HE CAN TURN IDEAS INTO GOLD WITH HIS STRATEGETICAL SKILLS, VISION AND WISDOM
CEO & Founder NetSol Technologies
Honorary Consul of Australia for Punjab
About Salim Ghauri:
Mr. Salim Ghauri is a renowned IT Entrepreneur recognized globally today. He is the founder and CEO of NetSol Technologies He is also the author of his book “Ghauri”. His Interest in IT over years of IT expertise developed at Saudi Arabia and Australia in his previous years urged an entrepreneurial thrust for his motivation.
NetSol achieved a global recognition as a leading supplier of IT software and solutions for finance and leasing; capturing over 90% percent of the Chinese Auto Leasing market. At present, the Honorary Consul of Australia for Punjab and in addition, he has chaired the Federal Government’s ICT Task Force. Salim Ghauri is a continuous Contributor to Planning Commission’s Vision 2025.
He has served as a Former Chairman of Pakistan Software Houses Association for IT and ITES (P@SHA). Salim Ghauri acted as the Former President of American Business Forum and he has also served as the President of TiE Lahore which is the biggest entrepreneurial nonprofit organizations in Silicon Valley dedicated to fostering entrepreneurship globally. Salim Ghauri is passionate about working hand in hand with the people of Pakistan to give back something to this nation in the IT and Business sector.
NetSole having worked with more than 200 Finance and leasing companies in over 30 countries with more than 1600 employees have truly set a remarkable benchmark for others and made Pakistan proud throughout the world.
LUMINARY: Please share something regarding your professional journey so far how you started your professional career?
Salim Ghauri : As it says in the book “GHAURI-From nothing to everything” started my career in 79 very lucky to pursue my passion( IT). I am a petroleum engineer by qualification however never pursued that career as interest was only in computers so I joined CitiBank in 1979 to start my career and dream in computers and that was the best decision of my life which lead me to self-learning and to develop computer programs and technicalities.
I really worked hard to become good at it. Until living in Australia my last few years I decided to come back to Pakistan which wasn’t easy decision because Australia is a beautiful country good and happy life, everything is working in your favor coming back to Pakistan was not an easy proposition at that time. But somehow I am a person who don’t think from mind I just go to my guts feeling and I stay with my inner belief and I came back to Lahore in 1995
LUMINARY: Why you selected IT as your career ?
Salim Ghauri : In the 70s during my first interaction with the computer , its ability to respond so quickly to my command simply fascinated me to such an extent that my mind told me that this is going to be the future. So just went with my gut feeling of perusing a career in computers and that’s what I am doing from last 40 years just software development and all IT related services.
Luminary: Why most of the projects that NetSol is doing are outside Pakistan? why not Pakistan?
Salim Ghauri: It’s not about Pakistan. It’s just that the market is outside Pakistan. We have developed a Lease & Finance application software. We are one of the largest company in the world in this domain. We have the understanding how this business works. Our biggest achievement is to have developed a globally recognized product from Pakistan. Almost 90 percent of Chinese multinational finance companies running their portfolio in our software, no other software company can do that. And it’s just not China we have taken over the market in many countries.NetSole is operating from different regions including North America, Asia , Austrailia , and Europe.
Luminary: What differentiates your company from others in the industry in Pakistan as well Internationally?
Salim Ghauri: we are dealing with an enterprise solution for landing lease and finance so we are specific. There are many companies in Pakistan but they all are dealing with different solutions and they don’t work in areas where we work so we are specialized.
This is why not everybody can compete with us when you go into general business you have hundred of people lying out to take your business away. Where we are we have only four to five companies which compete with us within the world.
Whereas what others do they are just comparing with everybody else even in Pakistan there are 100 companies doing same re episodes. We just don’t promote the strategy of having too many customers. Just want to take a number of customers highly value sharing so we can deliver better services if one takes too many customers they compromise quality so different reasons what we have done in the past and how we are planning the future.
We just want to be very focused on what we do working in a very specialize area where very few companies compete with us and for this we have expert and skilled human resource with us here in NetSol not many companies will have that type of resources what we have today.Around 1600 people are working with us in NetSol today.
Luminary: how you look at the current situation of IT industry in Pakistan?
Salim Ghauri: Extremely excited. Pakistan IT is really doing well and now in a growth mode. This industry is bearing fruit because of the twenty years of hard work. Pakistan holds a prominent position in the IT world.
Luminary : the How you look at the youth of Pakistan and their role in IT ?
Salim Ghauri: Pakistans youth is so talented that people abroad admit it and they are working on lots of startup ideas and I entitled them a lot as well. I have seen many good ideas coming out of our industry and making a global recognition to that. Pakistan is where the world is now we are now into the internet properly. Our internet economy is growing in and soon this will become a greater chunk of the total GDP. So once internet economy grows than GDP grows as well , because there will be more people offering the services. At the moment there are many groups offering services but the number will grow.So we will see more investment in the Internet economy.
Luminary: What do you think about academia in Pakistan? Are they producing sufficient human resource required by business industry ? Are they effectively connected for research , knowledge and opportunity sharing ?
Salim Ghauri: IT industry in Pakistan is very young our schools are very young approx. thirty years old. So it takes a certain age to mature. But it’s amazing what have been done in last thirty years. Many students and engineers have come out with such a young school and faculty still, we have produced. Twenty years from now when I started and to what I see today is a great difference we have more schools and private schools as well offering IT education.
Luminary: Are they producing right person for the right job?
Salim Ghauri : A lot to be done look let’s be honest because as I said earlier they are young schools we are learning but we are learning fast.Schools are producing and they can produce better. I am not happy with our own work sometimes I want to improve it every day and the challenge for is “ how can we become more efficient” that’s an ongoing improvement process. But today we have good schools definitely, they can be better definitely there should be more linkage between industry and academia. A lot of work need to be done I am also invited by many academic institutes. They invite me to help the curriculum and address the IT dislinks and to interact with students and classes.
Luminary: There is a Delima here Pakistan that mostly CEOs visit institutes like Lums and IBA who are already enriched with such resources whereas 80 % schools are down the track and left unattended for such mentoring and guidance ?
Salim Ghauri: I am a very ordinary man and I go to ordinary schools. I have opened myself to people. I accept all the invitations to visit schools and Universities to speak to the students. I believe by sharing my failures and successes with young people, I would help them take the right decisions.
I do agree with you Lums can handle this very well but the schools down the track I like them more. So my time spent with those schools are more than any other schools and that’s our responsibility to do and we do it very well.
Luminary: What are your company ambitions for the future?
Salim Ghauri: We are one of the leading suppliers of leasing and finance enterprise solutions in the global markets. We have the best product best people working here with us in Netsol this business has no limit we can sell anywhere in the world.
Luminary: What do you do to live a balanced life? Are you into any sports?
Salim Ghauri: I just work ruff and then enjoy my life I don’t believe working each and every day. I believe in delegating power and work. I am into serious exercising business. I also play golf but don’t get much time for that because I spend more time at the gym in the morning and than with family.Golf needs more time almost four hours for an 18holes game and if I take more time for golf then the family time suffers.So either I can play golf or take out an hour for Gym at my home.
Luminary: Have you ever failed in your Life?
Salim Ghauri:There is a list of failures so long that I can not even count.
Luminary: How you come out of your failures?
Salim Ghauri: Accept your failure yourself and don’t blame others very simple.When you take a decision you are responsible for it so you should accept it and then you learn and move on. On the way where we are today we made a lot of mistakes but we just learned and moved on. The fact I am here means I have done something right too.
Luminary: What are you doing to ensure you continue to grow and develop as a leader?
Salim Ghauri: I think a good leader delegates and its all about smart leadership that how you are able to delegate. A Leader always makes sure this that there are people who can always manage in your absence. We have a very good team to lead the work . Since you are sitting do you see me attending any call at all? I did not. We have hired the best people and then we let them do their work.
Luminary: What advice would you give someone going into a leadership position for the first time or want to start a business? to the younger generation of CEOs, managers, startups, entrepreneurs and business leaders?
Salim Ghauri: It’s the right time to come into business because Pakistan’s economy is moving very quickly. It’s a big country with approx. 200 Billion people. A lot of opportunities are available many Ideas to sell. Anything sells here because people buy. So just take the benefit of the right time as in few years time there will be too many people and there will be fewer opportunities. Like in North America and Europe they have very few opportunities because of too many people have already take the opportunities. Still, we have many opportunities here in Pakistan and it’s the right time so come up with your ideas and don’t be afraid to fail because people who try they fail so failure, in fact, is not bad.