Genetech Solutions and ConsulNet Corporation visited Skardu from April 17 to April 24, 2024. Each company had specific goals for the Skardu mission. ConsulNet’s objective was to celebrate the graduation of their Skardu cohort from their tech training programs, host a ceremony, and interact with graduates. Furthermore, they aimed to expand their reach by recruiting 50 new female participants for upcoming programs. On the other hand, Genetech focused on assessing the feasibility of opening an office in Skardu. This involved evaluating infrastructure, assessing the talent pool (including graduates from ConsulNet’s programs), and the local tech landscape by organizing an industry meetup and conducting market research. Ultimately, they aimed to identify potential market gaps and opportunities and determine if Genetech’s services could find a niche in Skardu’s growing tech scene.

Sneak peak – a promising tech hub awaits

Skardu emerged as a land filled with potential for both companies. Here’s what excited us:

Great facility: The Software Technology Park Gilgit Baltistan provides excellent infrastructure specifically designed for IT companies, including reliable power backup, high-speed internet connectivity, conference rooms,  and modern office spaces. This, coupled with the government’s support for the tech sector in Skardu, creates a highly conducive environment for tech businesses to flourish.

Talent pool: The region is home to a vast pool of untapped talent, making it an excellent opportunity for Genetech to employ skilled individuals. We have witnessed firsthand the potential of these talented youth to excel in tech, given the right training and support.

Market niche: After the graduation ceremony, Genetech hosted an industry meetup where we invited the local tech industry, which worked in a fast-paced agile environment similar to Genetech, as well as distinguished guests from the public sector and academia. During our conversation, we realized that there is a gap in the local tech industry. Although there are digital marketing and virtual assistant firms, there seems to be a lack of companies specializing in tech development. This presents a great opportunity for Genetech to establish a presence in the region. In addition, ConsulNet’s presence allows for a collaborative approach. Genetech can benefit from ConsulNet’s training expertise, and ConsulNet can further refine its curriculum for trainees in Skardu to address any skill gaps and improve graduate employability.

Skardu’s workforce is hopeful, tenacious, and ready

The Skardu youth population impressed us deeply. Their ambition, strong communication skills, and grit were truly commendable. By establishing a Genetech office in Skardu, we can create rewarding career options locally, retaining this talented pool within the region. The energy and optimism they displayed in the face of past challenges due to limited infrastructure were inspiring!

Considerations before takeoff

While the potential is undeniable, some factors require further evaluation before establishing a physical presence:

  • Harsh Conditions: Skardu experiences significant cold weather. We’re currently assessing the existing heating systems in the identified facility to ensure employee comfort and efficient operation throughout the year. Additionally, we’ll gauge the team’s comfort in working in such a climate. In addition to the cold weather, Skardu is also known for its rugged terrain and frequent incidents of landslides. This could potentially disrupt the 4G-fibre network in the area, which is crucial for communication and data transfer. Therefore, we are closely monitoring the situation and have contingency plans in place to ensure uninterrupted connectivity for our team in the identified facility. The safety of our employees is our top priority, and we will take all necessary measures to ensure their well-being in the face of such challenges.
  • Optimizing the workspace: The current facility has thin walls that might lead to sound transmission. To ensure focused work environments, we’re exploring soundproofing solutions.

Genetech is planning to soar high in Skardu

Genetech is aiming to open a Skardu office soon, contingent upon addressing the identified factors. We’re also establishing a dedicated workstream tailored to the Skardu team’s skillset. This will ensure a smooth transition for the graduates and maximize the impact of both ConsulNet’s training programs and Genetech’s presence in Skardu. 

Beyond business – what a place! 

The overall experience was incredibly positive. The hospitality we received was exceptional, and the food at local restaurants was truly amazing. The breathtaking views of Skardu will stay with us forever!

 

Jannat is a Content and Marketing specialist with a strong interest in copywriting, data analysis, and lead generation. Currently, she is exploring Sales in IT to broaden her skill set and explore new opportunities for professional growth. With an interdisciplinary academic background, Jannat holds majors in history and literature alongside minor studies in computer science and programming. She loves challenges and welcomes opportunities to learn new things. Throughout her academic and professional journey, she has consistently demonstrated diligence and a commitment to excellence, earning her notable awards and recognitions. When she is not working, she can be found reading Robin Sharma, watching documentaries about the medieval era, healthy dieting (as best as she can), painting, and laughing at her own jokes.

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Jannat Zeeshan