LAHORE:Pakistan Software Houses Association for IT (P@SHA) organized its 11th annual P@SHA ICT Awards-2014 ceremony at an impressive ceremony held at a local hotel her the other day.
Speaking on the occasion, P@SHA’s President Jehan Ara said that the P@SHA ICT Awards is aimed at recognising the software and service applications by providing an opportunity to gain local, regional and international exposure, besides acknowledging creativity, innovation and excellence in Pakistan’s Information and Communications Technologies sector.
“As always we received an overwhelming number of amazing entries this year as well. It is so exciting to see such brilliant work being done in the country. However, this year we are pleased to have innovators from Peshawar joining the list of winners from Karachi, Lahore and Islamabad, thereby highlighting the amazing pool of talent from all corners of Pakistan.” Besides, more young people are creating innovative solutions for the world market and are managing to attract investment for their ventures, she added.
Elaborating, she said that the winners from the product categories of the P@SHA ICT Awards 2014 will be part of the P@SHA delegation from Pakistan that will compete at the APICTA (Asia Pacific ICT Awards) in Jakarta, Indonesia against 17 IT economies which include Australia, Brunei, China, Hong Kong, Indonesia, Korea, Macau, Malaysia, Myanmar, Philippines, Singapore, Sri Lanka, Thailand, Taiwan and Vietnam.
On this occasion, P@SHA Chairman Dr Shoaib A. Khan was of the opinion that the emphasis on research and innovation is impressive and is improving Pakistan’s stature as a source of technology and creativity.
“The public arid private sector institutions need to join hands to ensure that this specialised field benefits Pakistan through the creation of high value jobs and efficiency of government and business processes,” he added.
Key stakeholders from the IT Community who were present at the award ceremony and its conference highlighted the need for policies that facilitate the growth of the ICT sector and did not hamper its development. Emphasis on the grooming of talent to enable companies to scale and the need to explore a changing export landscape were also part of the discourse.
Panels of judges were from Karachi, Lahore and Islamabad. This year the P@SHA ICT Awards announced 49 exceptional entries as the best innovators in the 17 products and 15 service categories.
Leading dignitaries from the Pakistani ICT sector, representatives from foreign missions, government, academia and the business sector present on the occasion lauded the innovative achievers from amongst Pakistan’s ICT sector. A city like Karachi is a perfect fit for a technology incubator that could serve as a bridge between talent, opportunity and commercial development.
Jehan Ara said that P@SHA, with its global partners, is in the process of launching the largest technology incubator in Karachi. The Nest I/O – the new technology incubator – will be a welcome addition to our vibrant city and will be open for business in the first week of December, 2014. Made possible due to the generous support provided by P@SHA’s global partners Google for entrepreneurs and Samsung and through a federal assistance grant from the US State Department, the P@SHA technology incubator will service 50 plus technology teams and provide co-working space to an additional 700 technology entrepreneurs during its first year of launch.
Part of P@SHA’s long-term vision and policy, the incubation project has been under development for the last three years and is a natural extension of P@SHA’s effort to help grow the technology entrepreneurial community in the country, she said, adding that “The funding provided by our partners is, of course, necessary and has enabled us to launch such an ambitious project”.
Commenting on the upcoming launch, Google for Entrepreneurs Senior Partnerships and Programs Manager Bridgette Beam said “Pakistan has leading talent and a thriving entrepreneurial spirit. We are excited to connect great entrepreneurs from The Nest to start-up and communities around the world through the Googlé for Entrepreneurs network. There are big things ahead for start-ups in Karachi with The NEST.”
Samsung Pakistan’s head of corporate marketing M Saad-ul-Hasan said: “At Samsung we measure our success not only in our business achievements, but also by how well we serve our community. The NEST will help create new possibilities for people to become those relentless discoverers that define the future of the world that we live in, since that is what Samsung is all about.