I have been trying to find data about the Pakistan IT industry for some time and I could not find a source which provided consolidated data about the industry. So based on information collected from different forums formally and informally, I present the following.
(We have to remember that although we have some government bodies, as well as some private associations, overlooking the affairs of the IT industry, they aren’t covering the IT industry as a whole, so some of the figures below are estimates.)
The IT industry directly employs about 300,000 to 350,000 people. The main hubs are Karachi, Lahore, and Islamabad but with the availability of IT infrastructure around the country, there is a lot of IT activity starting in the smaller cities as well. There are about 2000–3000 IT companies in the country. Islamabad accounts for 300–400 companies that are registered — the actual number would be higher.
The total revenue of the industry is estimated to be around 2–3 billion USD; however, since the registration percentage with the government bodies is low, the official numbers are lower. There has been a huge drive recently from the government to increase the registration numbers and good progress has been made in that regard. It is the fastest growing export sector in the country and some projections indicate that the industry will exceed the 11 billion USD mark within the next 5 years.
There are 171 universities and degree awarding institutions of higher education in Pakistan, and 98 of them have a computer science program. There are about 10,000 computer science graduates entering the job market annually and 1000–2000 in the Islamabad region. From a business perspective, these numbers are very encouraging and show that the businesses have a huge talent pool to tap.
Overall, the IT industry is making great strides, but it is still in its nascent phase and requires help and support from the government. If nurtured properly, the industry can become a pillar of strength for the national economy in the coming years.