ITCN 2009: Review of Pakistan IT Exhibition

ITCN 2009, or 9th ITCN Asia Exhibition and Conferences, held at Karachi Expo Center during August 11-13. While this year’s event missed the fanfare and crowd of ITCN 2008 (last year), it had its share of one-timers testing out what could be termed as Pakistan’s version of GITEX.

ITCN 2009 Reception

I visited ITCN on the last day. Here are my observations:

– Due to lack of floor map/exhibitors’ directory either at venue or on ITCN Asia web site, it was difficult to navigate around the halls.
– Major sponsor of ITCN 2009 was Ras Al Khaimah Free Trade Zone (RAK FTZ) authority. As they were looking to attract more investors to recession-infested UAE and Ecommerce Gateway (organizers of ITCN) wanted a sponsorship, apparently it was a win-win deal for both.

RAK Free Trade Zone Booth at ITCN 2009

– Main attraction of the event were booths of PTCL, Ufone and Wateen. Zong was there, as well as WorldCall and wi-tribe, but no Telenor.

PTCL booth at ITCN 2009
Wateen Booth at ITCN 2009
wi-tribe booth at ITCN 2009

– Dell was selling over-priced laptops and the sales staff was not interested (or too tired) to describe features. When I asked the person what offers they have in ITCN, he said they are not charging 16% GST with laptop price which one has to pay at retail shop. Way beyond me.
– There was no one on the booth of Information Technology Department of CDGK to represent the City Government. The person I interacted with, who was managing the “Command and Control Center” video, turned out to be an employee of an external organization that has deployed C&C Center and is now managing it on behalf of the CDGK. Incidentally CDGK has implemented the 4.9 GHz WiMAX Solution for Video Surveillance back in July 2008 but we have yet to see what it has achieved so far.
– E.Ocean was offering SMS based solutions, including Branded SMS, SMS Messanger etc. However, their corporate website is displaying ads through Google Adsense, certainly not a good business tactic.
– There was a booth titled “Pakistan Web Awards 2009”. On inquiry I was told that this is Pakistan’s First Website Awards, “patronized” by Sindh Ministry of IT and managed by a marketing company called The Xeptionalz. The does not elaborate on judging process, jury and who is really behind this. While the parent website does not even has an under-construction page. To me, it is clearly a Topi Drama.
– Then there was a company called StarChika which was clearly selling email and SMS spam campaigns. The guy at their booth insisted on visiting the website, which is as dumb as their marketing skills. I asked the guy if they have opt-in SMS lists and do they not spam people? He responded that they keep trying till the message is not delivered. I asked again if they spam, on which he said Yes. I bet the poor sod was unable to get what I meant by spam.
– Last but not least, there was a social network website for Pakistanis. While the site itself is in beta and it is not possible to learn much of the feature or number of users, I strongly object on the sticker they were distributing at ITCN. What sort of Pakistan image they are trying to promote?

Paki A Social Network

All in all, in my opinion ITCN 2009 was an event for the teens/young adults to hangout and learn about technology (if they get some spare time) and had not much for the corporate visitors.


10 thoughts on “ITCN 2009: Review of Pakistan IT Exhibition”

  1. I think you guys are missing the point. ITCN is loosing its charm not because managerial issues instead international brands are reluctant to come to the countries which has a ratio of almost 2 bomb blasts per month even in the hospitals. No one wants to stuck in a situation like the feb 2009 (the srilankan cricket team incident). Thanks to the war against terrorism

  2. MESSSAGE for NAWAZ SHARIF

    ASLAM-o-ALIKUM sir i am student of MBA i just want to say u always speak against Mushraff just mushraf mushraf and mushraf sir i am feeling u r just trying to take revenge u never say against pakistan biggest problem terrorism never say against unemployment against petrol prices shortage of enegry food …sir these are our basic problems we r poor people of pakistan we r facing these problems we r struggling with starving terrorism increasing just because of unemployment poverty lack of education plz sir give statement against any one of it….b serious n do some thing against these issiues as energatic u r against mushraff…..sir i am not taking side of x president he should b punish for his mistakes but punish should b for all political criminals also …..army always takeover government because Politician usually visit GHQ …Politician spoil army against other ruling party….army always takeover government cuz some politcal black sheeps want their benefit n they encourage army to take step against government ….dear sir we know very well restoration of CJ and yur govrnment in punjab all this done just bcuz of GENERAL KAYANI …it was the power of GENERAL KAYANI that GILANI announced restoration this is the prove that even yur party be helped by army even mr AITZAD AHSAN. visit GENERAL KIYANI for some game whether it is positive or negative game…..sir i just want to say involvment of army will never stop if Politician visits GHQ
    plz sir give yur concenrtation on other basic problems unemployment terrorism inflation energy shortage and OFCOUSE NRO instead of taking revenge…..these r real enemies of pakistan.i hope not only MR NAWAZ SHARIF every politicion will think about it that peoples r awaking they r understanding n more petriot then ever
    PAKISTAN ZINDABAD

  3. I agree with Kashif that if something is going wrong then we must point out so that initiatives could be taken for the next time. ITCN is no longer a biggest IT & Telecom event it is losing their charm for the last few years. The organizer have failed to attract some international brand name which have been a part in previous years:

  4. Kashif Aziz review on ITCN’09 is very poor.

    He forgets to see the floor map – well placed at the entrance of each hall. He also did not visit the reception area for the exhibitors list and their location chart.

    Exhibitors and trade visitors were given a copy of the Exhibitors’ Catalog.

    The Organizers of ITCN delivering International Brand Exhibitions and Seminars in Pakistan since 2001. Global economic turn down forced the biggest event organizers to post pond exhibitions or reduce the exhibition size.

    The Organizers of ITCN is the biggest event organizers in Karachi Expo Centre, where the other names now have lost their strengths and values.

    RAK FTZ was not the main sponsor, it was one of the main sponsor. RAK FTZ participation was very well planned and result of years research on ITCN, its organizer, Pakistani Market and Potential.

    RAK FTZ and ITCN’s Organizer jointly organized a Seminar on Setting the Business in the UAE. In this seminar 157 CEOs from various Pakistani companies participated and interacted with RAK FTZ panel for their businesses setup in the UAE.

    Business is always two way deal. That’s why it is different from LOVE. Above all RAK FTZ pavilion and Seminar provides a very economical solution of being informed about SETTING BUSINESSES IN THE UAE. (without going to RAK-UAE).

    Companies who participate in exhibitions spend big money to expend their market, they are never tired of catching potential (I mean real buyers).

    Dear brother, keep hopes and trust, Pakistan has big potential and need ambitious, passionate and capable youths to move it faster, farther.

  5. Dear Ms. Huma,

    I totally agree with your comments. I am also witness of all the ITCN Asia, but main kuch aur correction karna chahoonga. One mini catalogue of ITCN Asia was also released which was sponsored by NetMag. It contains all the profiles and all contact details of of exhibitors. Exhibitors were so happy from the visitors response because of the newly implemented policies from Organizers that reduce the General Public entry and improved the visitors from corporate sectors. I believe above 70% of registered visitors were from Corporate Sector which is a big achievement of ITCN Asia management. (Status taken by ITCN Asia Visitor’s Registration Desk).

    Another big difference is “lower speaker volumes” in the halls. Hence, I saw ITCN Asia coming back to its Corporate Track. Being an IT professional, I will contribute into improvement of ITCN Asia and its image using my capabilities.

    Yes, the promotions being done by Paki.com was in-decent. In an Islamic country, these sort of services should not be promoted.

  6. Dear Kashif

    Surprised to go thru your comments on “Pakistan Web Awards 2009”.

    Regarding the board of judges, the visitors were briefed that it would be a group of Design and Technical professionals specialists in the concerned field. These judges will vote according to special designated guidelines following international standards.

    And if you may please visit http://pakistanwebawards.com/Board_of_Judges.html, you will yourself find the description of board of judges.

    As far as the parent website is concerned, again surprised that how can one pass these remarks bluntly. The website was up and is up and running.

    If we really need to compete in the region to make Pakistan a real IT and Economic Hub, we need to change the approach. One must behave very RESPONSIBLY as the internet is a global mela and your “irresponsible” comments are doing nothing, but creating a bad image of Pakistan, its globally acknowledged IT & Telecom Event ITCN and the companies striving to bring the business line on normal tempo.

    You should have mentioned the high-level conferences held all the three days in conjunction with ITCN Asia. Dr. Irfan of Yahoo, Badar Khushnood of Google, Dr. Yaseen of PTA, Jehan Ara of P@SHA, Talib Baloch of PSEB, Ammar Jafri of FIA (Cyber Crimes), Urooj Alam of Sidat Hyder, Walid Irshaid of PTCL, President of Ufone, Muhammad Sadiq of Wi-Tribe, etc. etc….

    They were SOME of the reputed speakers and gurus of Pakistani IT & Telecom Industry. One can easily judge the level of conferences and number of corporate visitors of the exhibition.

    This is our problem that we do not HILIGHT the GOOD THINGS, but propagate BAD ONES with delight and pride.

    Please, think thrice before projecting a bad image of Pakistan.
    I repeat your question here:

    WHAT SORT OF PAKISTAN’s IMAGE ARE YOU TRYING to PROMOTE??

    My apologies if I have responded in aggression, but it was 14th August, Aaj tu kuch achcha likh daitay brother!

  7. The corporate sector and commerce is a little tough for me but I must say this SMS Spam thing is really going on. People are offered to send SMS to thousands of Karachi or Pakistan mobile numbers within minutes costing 5 to 6000 Rupees for the software. (Heard that from my relative who put up for sale this Spam software)
    Paki.com Site sticker is PATHETICfor sure.

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