Network is the computer, once said the SUN. The world is getting smaller and smaller with the expansion of Intranets to the Internet. People are getting aware of the resources available in the world. This luxury, of getting in touch with anybody on the net, is making the Globe a big market place. Asia, being developing continent, offers a nice opportunity to the investors all around the world. The intellect of the Asia can be, and factually speaking is, deployed to the development projects related to the software, hardware and communication structures. Sub-Continent has always been a source of inspiration, for its natural beauty, rich cultural and moral values. India and Pakistan try their best to be at the edge of the (so-called) war, putting the best to develop just ammunition and strategies. Now as the need of the time is dictating the use of the information technology as a tool to maneuver the resources of the Globe, Sub-Continent is not behind the rest in the race of the technology.
The need of information technology has created awareness at the individual’s level and a market at the corporate levels. This market is preparing itself to cater for the needs of the future by deploying the aware individuals into the process. Economic and cultural constraints are orienting the markets into two different categories namely horizontal and vertical.
Horizontal market targets at a larger sale volume with a very small profit margin. UNIX, DOS or Windows etc is a good example of it. Economic structure of India makes it a feasible horizontal market for the investors interested in producing the stuff, which is to be sold in bulk. A labor (programmers and system analysts) of general intellect available at cheaper rates is a good bargain.
Vertical market on the other hand targets at a few clients producing the stuff, which requires a very high intellect of the developing team, very powerful resources and a team of the experts (elite of their fields). Deep Blue gives a good example of what can be the target of vertical market. Intellect level and economic stability of the people, involved in modeling and reshaping the infrastructure of the information technology, assure a good future of Pakistan as a vertical market. Luck is already on its way, as a serious effort of making another Silicon Valley here in Pakistan is also under consideration. We need a class of genius people to compete the world. The first attempt, therefore, should be made to prepare environments, which can not only attract the intelligent but can produce the genius out of them.
The way our state-owned communication-enterprise is bridging the gaps, Pakistan can be well seen as an outrider of the information world. Some might consider it a prejudiced approach, but how can they answer to our top of the line people who are well recognized all over the world. If the coming breed of the intellectuals is mothered properly then a few more years and we will be standing tall, making our footprints to be the landmarks of the history.
By Irfan R. Toor
[From the Archive: This article was written in 1997]