Filled with patriotism, Faizan Aslam started his software house with zero investment. By the grace of ALLAH, today he owns two software houses in Pakistan and one franchise office in Canada as well. His work and personality is an example for Pakistani youth. We can brighten our future by following his footsteps.
This interview of Faizan Aslam, chief executive of Macropak solutions, is very encouraging especially for those who are determined to achieve their goals but don’t have enough sources.
Q: Where did you get education from and what you wanted to become in your childhood?
Ans: I finished FSC from DPS Sahiwal and earned my software Engineer’s degree from Islamic University of Islamabad. I used to be in top 10 students of my class but I have never been the topper because I did only paid attention on practical work.
Every kid dreams of becoming someone, I wanted to become a doctor because my friend Yasir Jamal’s father was a doctor. His work seemed very easy to me because whenever a patient came to him, he used to take fee just for writing the prescription. I am a bit lazy so I wanted to do something which did not require a lot an attention. It is my good luck that Allah gave a much better work.
Q: What did you have to go through while living as a student in Islamabad?
Ans: When I was studying Software engineering in Islamabad, I got a monthly allowance of 6 thousand Rupees. Although it was OK but it was not enough to cover the expenses. I did an internship at Wateen Telecom. As soon as I finished the internship, I got commission based job of corporate seller at Wateen Telecom. I could easily earn 50 to 6o thousand rupees per month. My friend and I enjoyed a lot, I bought a motorcycle.
After three months I decided to leave this job because it was not related with my career, and I didn’t see any advantage of this job in near future. So I left the job.
Q: How did you get the idea of making a software house? And what difficulties you had to face?
Ans: I never thought of making a software house. It just happened by chance. I started my business with zero investment, and did not take help from home. One of my senior friends, Muhammad Shahid, who was a student of MSc, was working 25 thousands per month job. I offered him to work with me, which he accepted. After that I employed my friend Iftikhar. Now we had less space in the hostel, so we arranged a room in Islamabad through my friend. During that time I completed my education.
When I went to see my family in Sahiwal, I gave my fifty thousand rupees to my father. I told him to keep it as it was my first earning. He was very happy and surprised, he asked me how did you earn this much money? Then I told him in details that I have been working as well and now I have started my own software house. My father advised me to study more because it was uncertain that the business will start. I asked for a year, in case the business didn’t start very well, and then I would continue my studies.
My family wanted me to open a branch in Sahiwal. But I was afraid that the software house will not go very well because Sahiwal is a small town.
I asked my friend, Asad, to find me someone in Sahiwal, he told me about Shero Bhai. He was my first employee in sahiwal.
I cleaned up my bedroom and put two tables and chairs and that was my first office in sahiwal, now I have a multistory software house. I am blessed with a good team, and we have a lot of work.
Finding good staff was the only difficulty I had to face.
Q: How much investments are needed to start a software house? And where can one get business from?
Ans: As I told you, I started my software house with zero investment. It really depends on your creativity not on money. If you are creative then only one computer and an Internet connection can get you a good business. One is recognized by his work, not by his degree. New ideas are always admired in this market.
If you are willing to do it, then getting business is not a very difficult thing to do.
Q: What services do you provide? How much do you charge for making one software?
Ans: We offer several services, you can find them on our website www.macropaks.com
We mostly work with online and web based applications. Software industry has two kinds, local and International. Basically we are exporting software and the biggest thing about this business is that it is tax free until 2016 in Pakistan.
Q:What kind of software’s is most demanded in Pakistan and abroad?
Ans: Pakistan mostly demands for out dated systems, Pakistan is very far behind; we need a lot of more work. Many people don’t even know how good software can help in expanding their business.
Q: Are you satisfied with the response you get , where do you see yourself in future?
Ans: We have been receiving very good response. As far as the future is concerned, the goals should always be positive, then ALLAH rewards.
Q: I have heard that India is making a lot of money from software industry, is It because we are very behind?
Ans: India entered software industry a long time before we entered in. therefore they are very ahead of us. You can call it the laziness of Pakistani government that we entered this industry very late. We are behind because we don’t have enough resources.
Q: If someone has a bachelors or masters, and they are interested in software field, then can they get the education of software developing online?
Ans: It all depends on interest. If you are interested then you can do anything. Acing this field without experience is very difficult. This is the kind of field where if you have a guide, then you can learn very easily.
Q: Are you satisfied with the curriculum of Pakistani Universities for software developers, if not what is the reason behind it?
Ans: I am not satisfied at all because all the material that is taught to the students is out dated. Those syllabus are good for passing the class but they have no use in practical life. When the students enter practical life, there are a number of difficulties they face as their knowledge is either out dated or its not practical.
COMSAT University asked me what they should teach the students. I told them that only a four months semester is good enough for the software developing students, rest of the classes are just waste of time for students. I don’t understand why software developing students have to study subjects like chemistry, management, math, and accounting.
They are teaching unnecessary subjects just to complete the credit hours. If they really want to complete the credit hours, they should teach relevant subjects. But unfortunately no one has considered on this point yet.
Unless we make our curriculum as it is needed for a specific degree, there will not be any better recognition of degree.
Q: What a student should look for while choosing an institution?
Ans: Never choose an institution by looking at its architecture. They only consideration should be the educational level and the faculty. Generally, government universities are better than private universities. However, UET & some Semi-Government Universities are the best for example, NUST, and CASE.
Q: If a student wants to become a software developer after Metric, What course/degree he will need?
Ans: He needs to spend two years in FSc, and after that it is a four year course to become a software developer. So, in total it takes six years. If you only want to do software developing then graduating is good enough. However, if you want to teach then it is good to get a Masters degree.
Q: If a young software developer wants to work with you, or wants some advising, can he/she contact you?
Ans: If he/she is a software developer, then it means they already know software developing. If he/she wants to work with us then he will have to come in the office and work. Although some of our female workers work at home, I don’t prefer working at home.
If someone wants any advising they can contact me at firstname.lastname@example.org
I would suggest software developers, if they want to do then applications they should ace slicing tool in Photoshop. And choose a specific field because if they know only one application perfectly, then they can earn a lot of money.
Q: Do you have any message for Pakistani youth?
I have a complaint against Pakistani youth. They live all their lives in Pakistan, they study here and use the resources. When they become ‘someone’ they start disliking Pakistan and leave the country. I only want to say that it is our own country, no matter how it is. There is no other country like Pakistan. I request the young nation to play their part, be an entrepreneur like me and play their part for the betterment of this country. Pakistani’s living abroad can also play their role by sending their savings to Pakistan. May Allah Bless Pakistan With Great Success in the Coming Years, Pakistan Zindabad !