There is no question that Pakistan is a huge untapped market when it comes to human resources especially in the IT sector. For years, companies have been offshoring their development work to Eastern European countries such as Ukraine and Belarus. Tech giants also saw the workforce potential of Asian markets and thus set up their offices in India which had the largest population in the region. We saw a huge boom in the IT industry for all of these countries and they became the go-to destination for hiring tech talent.
However, there has been a shift in the market in recent times, even before the Russia-Ukraine conflict. Of course, the conflict caused fluctuations in the market and forced companies to look for talent alternatives in other countries but the real reason why the shift was inevitable is the maturity of these markets and the evolution of the local IT industry there. The IT businesses in these countries have become quite well established and are able to capture the top cream of the country.
The IT industry of India is a great example of this trend with startups getting over 25 billion dollars in investment just last year but, more significantly, tech giants such as Microsoft and Meta have given freelancers an alternative to work within the country at a higher rate, gain a stable job and achieve unique benefits such as stock options. This incentivises the top talent in the country to be employed by local companies rather than work as an independent contractor for a remote company. For these reasons, the market can benefit by increasing competition in the region which is where countries such as Pakistan come in.
Pakistan is the 5th most populous country in the world with a population of over 220 million. It produces over 25,000 graduates from top Computer Science universities each year and has over 600,000 software engineers with expertise in current and emerging technologies. This number does not even factor the thousands of Pakistanis working abroad who are willing to move back to the country if they can find an opportunity worth even half of what they’re earning abroad.