NetSol CEO Calls Pakistani Workforce a ‘Bright Spot’
New York: With labor costs on the rise in China and India, companies searching for talent in the Asia-Pacific region may do well to look to Pakistan, Najeeb Ghauri, founder and CEO of NetSol, told CFO Journal.
The company, which makes equipment leasing software used mainly by automobile manufacturers, generates a third of its $40 million in annual revenue in China and 60% in the Asia-Pacific region. And according to Ghauri, around 700 of its 872 employees are located in Pakistan, which he says has a highly-skilled but low-wage IT workforce.
The cost of Pakistani labor is more attractive than China and India, and is one-eighth as expensive as comparably-trained US employees. “It’s the biggest hidden secret,” he said.
Ghauri, who is speaking on a panel about US-Pakistani relations at Wesleyan University in Middletown, Conn. on Saturday, said Pakistan produces 445,000 graduates with science degrees every year, noting that “not everybody is a fundamentalist or a radical. They’re hungry, they go to college, and they want jobs,” he said. In the current climate of distrust between the two countries, he said, the Pakistani workforce is “a bright spot in the crisis.”
Another 100 of the company’s employees are located in China, where Ghauri said the company continues to see growth, despite attempts by the Chinese government to dampen a nascent inflation.
While the preponderance of NetSol employees are in Pakistan, the company hires locally for customer-facing staff because that’s what customers prefer, and so maintains small offices at its Los Angeles headquarters, as well as in San Francisco and London.
NetSol hopes to generate half of its revenues in the US in the next couple of years, up from the 15% it now earns, and will add staff in the US to drive those sales, Ghauri said. He estimates that the US has a $600 billion leasing market and says US-based customers “want local management teams.” – Courtesy Wall Street Journal