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Archive for August, 2006

Today I was a bit sleepy when I arrived in office. I was supposed to install the new SQL Server 2K5. So I started IM to a colleague in the Islamabad office as I thought that my senior partner and my PM had not yet arrived, to get some information as how to proceed and if I had to take some special considerations during the installation. I asked this fellow about his telephonic extension as I had forgotten it. The replies on the IM were very strange, but I could not figure out what was going on. He finally gave me his ext and I called him up. I was astonished to hear my senior partner at the other end, taking everything casually I just went through the normal talk as what was I supposed to do? He gave me the directions I suddenly heard a people laughing at the other end. My project manager was in office and was replying to my IM messages from the other side :(. I was a bit embarrassed over the whole thing; Guess I should’nt have skipped the cup of wake-up coffee before coming to office. 🙂

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Curse WAPDA

Well I have all the negative compliments for the Engineers in the national electrical company of
Pakistan. Yesterday I lost my monitor, cable modem, a couple of fans and a number of tube lights to the high voltage that ran through the wiring in my house. Today I went back home after completing my night shift and there was no electricity. In some unexplainable conditions I fell asleep and finally after 3 long hours the house was live again. But to my distress there was a bigger threat the voltage was fluctuating again. Ahaan but there was no precisions thing left to burn out this time, I had already lost my PC 😦 …

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Today I attended the BPO-TIES conference at PC-Lahore. Well I would like to commend the government to eventually step into this field and trying to build the trust in the business community that they are serious to help out this industry with the ever prevailing problems. I would quote the old saying “Better late then never”. Three cheers to the Punjab government in particular to take initiative and perform a number of steps to make Punjab the hub of outsourcing in
Pakistan. The session was started by our ever green respected Ms. Jehan Ara. It’s been years since the establishment of pasha as a small association with only nine companies on its panel to above 200 till date. Well I could add that there is always room for improvement and there is a lot of room to be covered by pasha even now 🙂
.

The boosting speech by the Chairman of PITB MR. Rizwan Amin Sheikh was ok. He had repeated the same project which the Punjab government had done for this un-disclosed Australian based company who employed the 40 people in their call center in
Lahore. Not to forget that a lot of stress was given to the point that all the 40 people, who entered the training course which was headed by an Australian, got hired in the end. Well either these guys were great minds or the trainer was a super human, well I would level the decision to be made by you guys. Another point that I would like to add here is that Punjab and
Lahore in particular has a very large pool of unemployed post graduates and Excuse me 40 people in one year is not a performance to boost on. Well “Something is better than nothing”.

The first panel session was quite something here Mr. Sultan Mahmood Director HR Form TRG made some really good points. TRUST was the key word here. We still need to build trust with the western nations. Sorry to say Mr. Parvez Musharaf being a Non-NATO is not enough to build the trust to carry out good economic ties with the western world. The other issue of the ambiance in the call center industry and the notion that being a CSR or TSR is not a bad thing and is a career in itself. The charismatic Mr. Aon Rana was a bit speechless in pointing out the problems and the ways in which the government was trying to cater them. Well can’t say anything to Aon he is a new guy in the        executive panel, lets wait and see what tricks he has up his sleeve to boost the software exports. I wish that he comes up with a few good ideas apart from the new web portal that the PSEB are launching in September this year, something more substantial. Well I did have a little chat with Aon but I would keep the a bit confidential at the moment because it ended into a HARD Talk kind of situation in the end.

I forgot to mention that the whole event was delayed due to the rain and the whole hall was waiting for the executives to come in. I guess we Pakistani’s would never find out what the phrase “Time is money” means. Okay no offence to my fellow country men even I was late a good odd 45 minutes 🙂. I would not loose this opportunity to say that the management at PC should try to park their cars on a rainy day at the parking and then try to reach the main entrance. Just try it once. I barely made it through without being electrocuted by a live wire hanging low at the passage out of the parking in to the main entrance area.

The discussion of the second panel on the HR issues was a bit to bitter to swallow. Okay now we in
Lahore are trying to get the mothers to work from home. Why? Well I can’t figure this one out; I think the un-employment rate in
Pakistan has fallen to the depths where we need to create this pool of people to work. What’s wrong with these guys we already have a very huge pool of literate people doing nothing in the urban population, first get these people to do some good work then we can get people to work from home if we have run out of the normal/regular work force.

Okay I did not forget the chief guest our minister for special education Ms. Qudsia Lodhi. Well can’t write anything about her, she did not even utter a word in the conference and soon left after the first tea. Well I think she really is special.

Summarizing the whole conference I would say that we still lag the professional expertise to carry out a good discussion. The agenda was vague, and so were the thoughts non related to the core issues at hand.

I think that we too need some good events to turn the direction of the winds towards our beloved country and stop discussing on the missed opportunities. The GE setting up a back office in
India and then the bursting of the Dot Com bubble could not have been the only turning point in the favor of our neighboring country. We still need to outline what made them so good and special that the west relies on their services for carrying out mission critical tasks in their business establishments.

I did get a bag sponsored by the Punjab IT Board, with a few ad dins, and would like to thank these guys for the good food too 🙂

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