Expanding to Jamshoro – Experience Report

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As of March 2022, Genetech Solutions has expanded to a new location by successfully opening a campus in Jamshoro. We have hired a team of full-time software engineers to work remotely in collaboration with our Karachi campus to deliver work to our customers around the globe.

The newly employed engineers in the Jamshoro campus are CS&IT graduates from local universities. The following is an experience report of our expansion process.

Our Process

This expansion has primarily been made possible because of the Pakistan Software Export Board (PSEB). Starting in 2020-21, PSEB has swiftly planned and developed Software Technology Parks in tertiary and secondary cities of Pakistan.

One such STP has recently been created in Jamshoro. This STP has enabled Genetech Solutions to facilitate this expansion. Our process began in 2021 with site visits to Jamshoro to work out technical, physical, and logistical details.

Teams from Genetech Solutions visited multiple universities and institutes to host orientation sessions about the possibilities and new employment opportunities for IT graduates in Jamshoro and the neighboring towns of Sindh.

The team visited Mehran University of Engineering and Technology and the University of Sindh campuses and conducted a recruitment drive at the University of Sindh. Our recruitment drives happened in January and February. They included detailed technical tests and onsite interviews conducted by our panel of industry experts. We aimed to look for individuals who, above all else, expressed a desire to learn and grow with us in the rapidly evolving global tech scene. Candidates shortlisted from testing rounds were invited to interviews where they showcased their technical skills and leadership abilities.

After completing our selection process, we offered the individuals we considered most relevant to the positions to join our Jamshoro campus. Besides the basic compensation, our new employees have also been provided with fully furnished office space, free meals, medical insurance, and other added benefits.

As of March, every new hire is assigned a mentor to help them complete their onboarding and learning plan. We also held an orientation week by inviting the new hires to Karachi to acclimate to Genetech’s work culture and bond with their long-distance colleagues. On top of this, we organized a 3-day communication skills training program conducted by industry experts in Karachi for our new and existing team members. The training consisted of 3-hour sessions for three days, including improving business communication, business writing and documentation, and presentation skills.

Local Talent Scene

Visiting universities and institutes in Jamshoro allowed us to meet with the local talent and analyze its scope. We especially noticed that provided with a little bit of training on soft skills, talent in tertiary cities of Pakistan is almost at par with the global IT industry’s requirements.

The recruitment drives were a grueling process for us as a company since selecting a few individuals was not an easy one. The students of all universities and institutes we visited possessed good technical skills and a youthful drive to be part of Pakistan’s growing tech scene.

Following this analysis, in the final steps of our process, we aimed to educate the local talent on their market worth and offered them as per the market rate instead of focusing on their asking salary, which was usually lower than the industry rates.

To some extent, a small amount of on-the-job training is required to refine the skillsets of local talent. For this, Genetech provides up-to-date training and study materials on Node.js, React Native, Angular.js, and Vue.js. Employees are also provided with hands-on experience to practice their skills on real projects in supervised environments.

We infer a largely untapped market of technically sound IT graduates in Pakistan who are more than capable of being part of Pakistan’s IT export. However, at the moment, there seems to be a gap between this opportunity and the actual IT industry. Genetech is, in fact, only the second company in the Jamshoro STP. So, more companies should be planning to expand to smaller cities.

Context of Pakistan’s Tech Scene

Until recently, Pakistan’s IT industry was fairly nascent. However, the IT sector is growing to its true potential. Pakistan has a median age of 22.8 and produces approximately 25000 graduates every year in the IT sector alone. Over time, Pakistan is becoming a hot destination for technology outsourcing.

Currently, the IT sector is one of the fastest-growing sectors of Pakistan, contributing about 1% of GDP at about 3.3 billion USD. However, the IT sector has traditionally been limited to Karachi, Lahore, and Islamabad, including only 17% of the population. This leads to a scarcity of IT resources, and in the recent hiring crunch, it has become a big problem for employers.

Moreover, larger cities provide numerous opportunities to skilled individuals, making hiring costly for companies, and job-hopping has become common. The scarcity of reliable employees in larger cities is a problem that needs solving.

Hiring from smaller cities and towns is a possible solution to the challenges of big cities mentioned earlier. Companies can move their recruitment drives to smaller cities and towns where they can find equally talented individuals at educational institutes and training centers. With time, just like Genetech Solutions, other companies can also have employee pools in other places besides Karachi, Lahore, and Islamabad. It is also an excellent opportunity to expand business across Pakistan’s rich cultural landscape and diversify its workforce.

Genetech’s Vision and Goal

Genetech is an equal opportunity employer and has been hiring from small cities since its inception two decades ago. We believe that the opportunity to work in the IT sector should not be limited to any race, ethnicity, gender, or class. An organization that promotes a culture of learning and focuses on holistic inclusion can cultivate an enjoyable experience for its employees, producing high-quality results at work.

In Pakistan, the gender diversity ratio in IT companies is currently at a record high of 16% and is primarily exclusive to the big three cities. There is a long way to go, however. One of the significant ways that the case for diversity and inclusion can be promoted is by bringing tertiary cities to the mainstream and exploring their talent markets.

Work Being Done by PSEB

This is why STPs are important in Pakistan. Evidently, STPs produce employment opportunities, spread educational awareness, generate local business volume, increase export revenue, and promote the cause of diversity and inclusion. STPs by PSEB provide office space at affordable rates and have backup power facilities, high-speed internet, central heating and cooling, and other facilities. PSEB has also expanded to other cities.

They frequently arrange open house programs and awareness seminars for Pakistan’s IT talent to grow and prosper. The effort clearly shows because, between July 2021 and February 2022, Pakistan’s IT exports registered a growth of 30%. The provision of subsidies and other forms of facilitation to software export companies and freelancers in smaller cities is sure to give the IT export industry a good boost.

Ending Note

Genetech Solutions has thoroughly appreciated the experience of expanding to Jamshoro, and we are actively looking to expand to more cities and hire more people. We are more than willing to provide new hires with any level of training, mentoring, and facilitation required to ensure a smooth onboarding and top-notch value creation. The opportunities are endless.

We hope you have liked this experience report. Feel free to contact us if you have any questions or if you need to request a quote.

Muhammad Abdus Samad

I am a technical content writer at Genetech Solutions, one of Pakistan’s leading software houses. I have done a bachelor in Social Sciences, majoring in Political Science, from IBA. Thinking critically and reading is my passion. I like meeting new people and travelling to old historic places to experience life from different perspectives.

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