Two thumbs up for Pakistani techies

Published: April 15, 2011
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The lack of success is somehow discussed and internalised more than the sweet taste of victory. But let’s sip this sweet nectar one sip at a time and savour it, just this once.

The fastest brain in the world

The world of information technology has found an abundance of fresh blood from the fertile Pakistani soil. The fastest brain in the world according to the Guinness Book of World Records is Mamoon Tariq Khan, our very own wonder boy from Islamabad, now working on an inter-disciplinary IT solution to the problems of poverty and class divide through uniformed IT access from low-cost mobile phones, primarily for farmers finding buyers for their produce. But that is a separate column.

Awards galore

Our software houses bagged not one, not two, but 7 Asia Pacific ICT Awards (APICTA), held at Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia. Out of 16 APICTA categories, the [email protected] (Pakistan Software Houses Association for IT & ITES) delegation brought home 7 Merit Awards (the APICTA Silver equivalent).These included Merit Awards in security applications, e-inclusion and e-community, financial applications, communications, e-government and e-health categories. The [email protected] delegations have been making their mark at APICTA for the last three years, but this time they really managed to make heads turn, as for the first time, Pakistan’s name was called out 7 times, for awards in 6 different categories.

These awards will help the winning software houses build credentials in the Asian market and break new ground across the globe. But these things don’t just happen. Planning and merit-based selection of contestants is what enabled [email protected] to put their best foot forward. To represent Pakistan at the APICTA Awards, each of these companies had to pick up a winner or runner up award at the [email protected] ICT Awards 2010, an event that has matured into the flagship IT and ITeS sector industry event in Pakistan. You act like a professional, you get treated like a professional. It’s as simple as that. No hidden agenda, no conspiracy theory, just the sweet taste of victory after the sweat and toil of an honest day at work.

But it doesn’t end here. Badar Khushnood, Country Consultant for Google Pakistan was selected to serve on the panel of judges for the awards. Dynamic and always on the go, Badar is a graduate of the Lahore School of Economics; so this was a Pakistan show all the way!

Maybe you are not a technology buff, but still read this. Nor am I. But I sit up and listen if one country, any one country, crowds the trophy stand like we did in Malaysia this year. I am especially interested when that country is one beset by constant power outages and poor internet access. These seem to be minor irritants for our go-getting IT pros.

Maybe this doesn’t even affect you directly or in ways that you are aware of. But I am glad if you still read on because it feels good to be on the winning side: it’s important to discuss our defeats and process our feelings about them, but it sure feels good to take off our analytical caps and just bask in the glow of triumph every now and then.

Published in The Express Tribune.

ayesha.fazal

Ayesha Fazlur Rahman

An Islamabad based education consultant and Fulbright Fellow from Harvard University. Fazal contributes to the Islamabad pages of The Express Tribune.

The views expressed by the writer and the reader comments do not necessarily reflect the views and policies of The Express Tribune.