IT Industry overview

The IT and IT-enabled Services (ITeS) marketplace offers lucrative opportunities for developing countries to join the  ranks of the developed world. The scale and pace of growth in this sector is faster than in any other industry, and a number of developing countries are attempting to emulate the success enjoyed by countries such as China, Thailand and India.

Future IT Tower KHI

Future IT Tower KHI

The Government of Pakistan has been proactively developing the IT sector in Pakistan since the last few years. A few of the incentives offered include tax exemption till 2016, establishment of IT Parks with low rent, foreign ownership of equity invested in IT and 100% repatriation of profit allowed to IT companies.

State Bank Reporting Earnings Estimated Total IT Industry Export Revenue
Estimated Total IT Industry Size
US$ 116m US$ 1.4b US$ 2.8b


Pakistan’s IT industry has been rising steadily since the last three years. A marked increase in software export figures are an indication of this booming industry’s potential.


Total number of IT companies registered with PSEB 1306

Number of substantial IT companies region-wise breakup

445 Karachi
351 Islamabad/Rawalpindi
426 Lahore
84   Others
Total number of foreign IT and telecommunication companies working in Pakistan 60
Number of CMMI-assessed companies One CMM Level 5 company, one CMMI Level 5 company, three CMMI Level 3 companies and sixteen CMMI Level 2 companies
Total industry size US$ 2.8 billion (WTO-prescribed formula)
IT and IT-enabled services exports US$ 1.4 billion (WTO-prescribed formula)
Percent growth in exports over the last one year 61%
Number of IT graduates produced per year Approximately 20,000
Export targets for the current fiscal year 2007-2008 US$ 162 million
Number of universities offering IT/CS programs 110
Number of IT professionals engaged in export-oriented activities (software development/call centers etc.) More than 15,000
Total number of IT professionals employed in Pakistan 110,000
Total IT spending in the fiscal year 2005-2006 US$ 1.4 billion
Total space utilized in IT & Software Technology Parks Eleven IT Parks covering an area of 750,000 sq ft



The State Bank of Pakistan in its statement for the year 2006-07 reports the export figures of software and IT-enabled services to be US$116 million which shows a consistent annual growth. State Bank of Pakistan adopted BPM 5 Reporting system to report the IT exports revenue, which restricted the export figures to US$116 million only in 2006-07. In India, the Reserve Bank of India follows the BPM 6 (also called MSITS) Reporting System, which raises its exports to billions of US dollars. BPM 6 includes sales to multinationals, earning of overseas offices & salaries of non-immigrant overseas workers to export revenue. Using the MSITS Reporting System, Pakistan IT Industry exports are estimated at US$ 1.4billion while the industry size is estimated at US$ 2.8 billion. It is significant to note that Pakistan IT exports growth in each of the last few years has been more than 50%.


State Bank Reporting Earnings Estimated Total IT Industry Export Revenue
Estimated Total IT Industry Size
US$ 116m US$ 1.4b US$ 2.8b


The World Trade Organization (WTO) lists Mode 3, revenue generated by commercial offices overseas, and Mode 4, compensation received by temporary workers who have traveled abroad, as export revenue streams which must be included in trade revenue calculation. There is also strong evidence to suggest that other countries, such as India, in fact employ global services export figures when reporting or estimating revenue.

The following table describes the four WTO modes for export-in-services recognition. The need for the four-mode model arises because trade in services is much harder to monitor than trade in physical goods. Physical goods pass through air, sea or land ports, and are accompanied by detailed financial and other documentation. Services trade, on the other hand, can be transacted over the Internet, through post, or through travel of personnel, with revenue flowing into company or personal accounts, which can exist anywhere in the world.


Following are some of the renowned IT associations of Pakistan:


Pakistan Software Houses Association (PASHA) was formed in the last quarter of 1992 by nine software houses. By 2003, PASHA had grown to over 200 members. Its main objective is to promote and develop the software and services industry in Pakistan and to protect the rights of its members.

The software and services industry is growing at an enormous pace in Pakistan and PASHA, along with its members, is playing an important role in making their presence felt, both nationally and internationally.



The Computer Society of Pakistan (CSP) is the national organization of Information Technology CSPprofessionals in the country. It was established in 1973 to promote the use of computers, increase general awareness among the public and to look after the professional interests of the IT personnel in the country.

The Society holds lectures, seminars and technology forums which provide an excellent platform for the interaction of professionals. It organizes annual computer exhibitions and software competitions all over the country with the objective of fostering a better future for IT in Pakistan.

The Computer Society of Pakistan sponsors students to take part in the international software competitions in various countries as well as organizes various programs for the youth. The current membership of the Society is over 2000 professionals working in over 350 public and private sector organizations.

 The Organization of Pakistani Entrepreneurs (OPEN) is a voluntary not-for-profit association dedicated to providing leadership opportunities for our members and community. The organization was formed in 1998 by a group of Pakistani-American entrepreneurs and corporate executives and registered in the Commonwealth of Massachusetts in the year 2000. The association’s charter is to provide networking opportunities and enhanced business opportunities for entrepreneurs and professionals who work in high- tech, finance and biotech fields in North America. OPEN meetings and events are open to the public. OPEN has chapters in New England, Silicon Valley, New York, and Washington DC.

OPEN Chapters have boards comprising the most successful Pakistanis in the areas of finance, technology, telecommunications, biotech and consulting in North America. OPEN regularly organizes events pertaining to current issues in business and entrepreneurship. In addition to OPEN’S highly successful Board of Directors, OPEN is comprised of executive committees of seasoned entrepreneurs and professionals from a multitude of industries and professions that help plan, coordinate, and execute OPEN’s mission.


A global not-for-profit network of entrepreneurs and professionals dedicated to the advancement of entrepreneurship. TiE’s mission is to foster entrepreneurship globally through mentoring, networking, and education. TiE, The Indus Entrepreneurs, also known as Talent Ideas and Enterprise is a global, non-profit network dedicated to the advancement of entrepreneurship.

Founded in 1992, in Silicon Valley by a group of successful entrepreneurs, corporate executives, and senior professionals with roots in the Indus region, the organization today has over 10,000 members across 44 chapters in 9 countries.

Dedicated to the virtuous cycle of wealth creation and giving back to the community, TiE’s focus is on generating and nurturing our next generation of entrepreneurs. In order to achieve this, the organization has built programs to energize and inspire its constituencies. Prime example of this is their flagship event TiEcon, the largest conference for entrepreneurs worldwide.

The one constant guiding the evolution of TiE has been its philosophical framework. It has kept the vision and decisions of TiE’s leadership true to its basic beliefs that wealth creation and giving back to society are invaluable human endeavors, and that an open, inclusive and forward-looking organization is the right vehicle in which to reach their objectives.



ACCO is an organization rich in information and experience with a wealth of knowledge and wisdom in its members. The key to continuing success is the sharing attitude among its members. The industry in Pakistan is now in a growing phase and many organizations require advicethe investment in their contact centre in terms of enhanced customer service. ACCO is in a unique position to assist today’s contact center market place in their quest for improved delivery.

ACCO provides valued services, at both individual and organization level, encouraging the promotion of best practices and professional standards.

ACCO is established as a pivot for building new memberships with other professional bodies, government departments, overseas organizations and other agencies who have an interest in the successful development of contact centers, organizing the said conference is evidence to this commitment.




Pakistan Computer Association (PCA) was established in December 2000 as an autonomous, non political, non partisan, non-profitable and service oriented organization. The Computer Association has been formed with the involvement of professionals, specialists, manufacturers, institutions and the related organization of Computer and Information Technology within the country.



Filed under Pakistan Economy, Telecom and I.T Industry

12 responses to “IT Industry overview

  1. Nabeel Soomro

    The info presented is great. We progressed so much and its never accepted. Hoping to beat the indians some day!

  2. Rishi

    Good to know that our neighbours are doing good and picking up well in the industry. But catching up with India in the industry in near future is as distant as India catching up with China in GDP. If we look at the data which is 2 years old. i.e 2007, Indian IT industry size was 47.8 billion USD. ( I am not sure but looking at the increasing chart it should have crossed 60 billion USD by now in 2009.

  3. Shantanu Chatterjee

    Yeah right Pakistan will sure catch up with India.
    btw one single IT company like TCS,Wipro,Infosys has revenues of USD 4billion+.

    Overall our IT+ITES+H/W Industry is ~100billion USD of which exports are around 73 billion USD.

    So u have a lot of catching up to do.

    But I welcome any competition cause that is what keeps us on our toes and makes us strive harder.

  4. wow i am impressed to see the success of pakistan’s I.T industry within such a short span of time. An export of $2.8 billion is impressive but certainly not enough for a nation of 170 million people.

    Their industry is growing at a rate of 58 percent annually and more report at :

    suggest, that their target of $9 billion in 2010 can be achieved in overall I.T Export. I wish them good luck.

  5. Well it’s good to know that pakistan is catching up with india fast in I.T industry. Although india is ahead at the moment and our industry is much bigger but still pakistan is a nation of great talents and they have the strength to achiev a lot at a short period of time.

    wish India & Pakistan best of luck…

  6. Kevin

    cool… as india, pakistan and china emerges as leaders in the field of I.T and softwares, i have no doubt that Asia will be the powerhouse of I.T industry in the coming years.

  7. Tahir Alvi

    In my opinion we need to work hard for our nations, if we achieved this then ultimately we able to lived with high standards of life as west. i visit Sweden in 2009 and see that how Swedish people lived.

    So work hard for your nations.

  8. MOON

    if all of us put our full efforts, then may be we may attain our targets as nothing is impossible in this world.

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