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IT-outsourcing business grows 100 percent in half year

February 20, 2005. Daily Times

 

KARACHI: Outsourcing business in the country through IT-enabled services has crossed over $10 million mark with rapid growth of call centres and operators are optimistic to touch $20 million figures by the fiscal end.

Industry officials say the call centres have registered 100 percent growth during last six months and currently over two-dozen such centres are operating mostly in Lahore and Islamabad.

“Exact figures are not available as such,” said Farrukh Aslam, president Call Centres Association of Pakistan (CCAoP). “But it is definite that we have crossed $10 million figures during first half of current fiscal and the number could be double by June 2005.”

He said some 20 to 25 call centres are operating commercially across the country while there are some 10 to 12 centres of different public institutions, only serving to their clients and customers.

Country’s IT industry made comeback last year - first time after 9/11 incident - when the software export touched $32.22 million, which were almost 50 percent higher from previous figures. The current financial year saw a rising number of call centres, which has grown from last year’s six to 25.

“The call centre is defined as a unit that has adequate telecom facilities, trained manpower and access to database providing information to customers,” said Suhail Shahid, vice president i-Man in Islamabad. “The advancement in telecom technology has made it possible that the person handling a call could be anywhere provided that communication and interaction is properly handled.”

He cited India - the most favoured destination of western world to outsource IT-enabled services - that fetches around $2.8 billion annually with employment of over 285,000 people.

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