Pakistan makes a lot of headlines these days but save a few, most are wrong kinds of headlines. However, amid this aura of negativity there are positive and reassuring happenings as well. Information technology is one domain where Pakistan exhibits the right image and appears to be poised to achieving its potential.
We are constantly seduced by high-tech gadgets especially by a dazzling array of smart phones that do pretty much everything short of cooking the food or doing the laundry. What was born as a communication tool for people on-the-go has been transformed into a very powerful device that has practically become an extension of our hands. Mobile devices have changed the way we live by creating seamless connections between work, home and everywhere else. During the past few years, mobile phone applications have become all the rage. There are various types of applications available including communications (email client, chat client, mobile browsers and social media clients), multimedia (image viewers, video and audio viewers etc), productivity applications (spreadsheets, word processors, financial apps, address book, file manager etc), and travel (GPS, weather, city guides, maps etc.). These applications create a world of value for businesses by offering advertising opportunities that could not have been imagined in the past. Mobile games and messaging clients can be considered to be the best medium for advertisement.
Although Pakistan has not yet realized its ICT potential, Pakistani developers have started to mark some of the tech areas as their domain. They are carving a niche in the mobile communication technology development arena by focusing on mobile devices application development. Among several Pakistani companies, Five Rivers, TkXel and some others have shown great promise in this market. The driving force behind this trend seems to be the convergence of technology to mobile devices and the immense profit making potential due to the sheer size of the market especially in the high-volume apps like games and entertainment. Niche applications such as health and finance may not have as big a market as games and entertainment but the customers are willing to pay much higher prices.
If you haven’t heard of Five Rivers (pepper.pk), you ought to. It is an eight years old Lahore based technology company that developed photo editing software for Blackberry, which went on to becoming the best selling paid-for application for the Blackberry only a few months ago. After being in the top five paid applications for some time, the Photo Editor Suite claimed the top spot on Blackberry’s AppWorld store. This application gives Blackberry users the functionality of cropping, rotating, adjusting the brightness and contrast, re-coloring and resizing pictures. As it turned out, the Photo Editor Suite was only the beginning of their reign on the Blackberry’s AppWorld store. In a short span of only three months, they have once again surprised the mobile app world with their new utility LED Notifier which has become the top ranked app at the BlackBerry App world. This new app is a fun and convenient tool to let users color-code their default red Blackberry notification LED when a call, message or email is received.
Companies are not the only contenders; individuals like Niyaz Noor Ali are also making their mark. He has developed a snazzy Windows 7 application (Kick Now) for football fans. ‘Kick Now’ provides full score with graphics, live scores, schedules and breaking news and the language customization ability makes it user-friendly.
Due to the success of companies like Five Rivers and TkXel, Pakistan has got an early foothold in the rapidly expanding market of mobile applications development and can reap great rewards by effectively exploiting the opportunities.
BY: Aijaz Alam is a professional with a diversified career of over 10 years. He is currently working as an independent marketing communications strategist and marketing communications collateral developer. In addition to possessing strong experience of developing a variety of content particularly marketing focused content, his career involves extensive experience of working with technology companies and e-businesses based in the US, the UK and Pakistan. His experience encompasses B2B and B2C Sales, business development, marketing (including e-marketing), product development and customer relationship management with American and European companies. He possesses solid experience in identifying new business opportunities, developing and implementing effective marketing strategies and creating and deploying marketing communications programs.