- Pakistan has a large and tech-savvy population, which is an opportunity for the telecom sector
- The government of Pakistan is ready to support digital transformation through policy investments and infrastructure
- The development of digital infrastructure will help generate good revenue and people’s lives
Pakistan’s telecom sector is considered the most powerful system in Asia with a significant growth in mobile phone penetration. The system provides a powerful foundation for digital services and innovations.
Mr.Mikhail Gerchuk, CEO of e&international, the controlling company of PTCL group states that, “This has been driven by investments in infrastructure and the expansion of mobile broadband services. The large and tech-savvy youthful population represents a considerable consumer base and workforce opening up immense opportunities and creating a conducive environment for digital transformation”
Mr Mikhail Gerchuk an important figure and known as a key person in Pakistan’s Telecom and technology industry, shared his views that how much potential Pakistan has to develop the digital ecosystem.
Pakistan’s macroeconomic conditions, digital development and the challenges faced by the telecom operators show its potential towards a digital ecosystem. Mr.Mikhail Gerchuk is optimistic about Pakistan’s potential and assures that his company will support in the development of digital infrastructure.
Pakistan’s telecom sector is a leading sector with good employment opportunities for youngsters. It offers enormous opportunities with a population of approximately 240 million, the majority of people are under 30 years of age.
He has a strong belief that the youth will play a significant role in the development of digital infrastructure. He believes that this population presents an opportunity for the country to become a global success. He also emphasized that e&international through the PTCL group is committed to aiding this progress by investing and developing robust digital infrastructure.
Government is also interested in boosting the sector and played a significant role in promoting digital transformation through different initiatives. The government also made various policies to encourage e-commerce, digital financial services and the development of a digital ecosystem.
Research has shown that the development of digital infrastructure will boost economic growth and empower people to lead better lives.
The PTCL has shown its interest and promises to play a significant role in Pakistan’s digital transformation journey. Also, it has committed to empowering all of its citizens and creating a positive impact in both their personal and professional lives. In the last few years, Pakistan has also faced massive macroeconomic challenges like other countries. Rapid inflation and currency devaluation have been pressing concerns, affecting the overall economy.
Currently, e& is the largest foreign investor, with these factors also affecting e&’s investments and return on investment. Gerchuk also expressed concerns about the rising taxation on telecom operators in Pakistan, which is the highest in the world.
According to Mr Gerchuk, “Despite expectations of tax reductions in the budget cycle, no relief was granted”
The higher dollar rate and currency devaluation including high taxes has led to a decline in the average revenue per user in dollar terms. This has created an obstacle to the telecom industry’s ability to invest in digital infrastructure.
However, Gerchuk also mentioned the requirement for consolidation in the telecom market especially the four mobile players present in the Pakistani market.
The aim to create a ‘Digital Pakistan’ is a top priority, which inserts a lot of pressure on telecom operators in an emerging digital market to invest significantly in Pakistan’s digital infrastructure. Gerchuk stresses the significance of advancing infrastructure and strong connectivity to bring Pakistan according to global standards.
Gerchuk is completely committed to Pakistan’s potential, despite knowing the macroeconomic challenges Pakistan Telecom is currently facing.
With a focus on developing digital infrastructure, continuous effort and overcoming upcoming challenges, the telecom sector can play a significant role in developing Pakistan towards a more digitally empowered future.