Confiz is a technology services company based in Lahore, Pakistan. It provides high-tech solutions to international clients, many of which are Fortune 500 companies, in Mobile Applications, Quality Assurance, UX/UI and Infrastructure Management.
Can you tell me a little about Confiz and its associated companies?
Confiz started in 2005 and has become one of the leading technology services company in Pakistan employing around 250 people. Our customers include Microsoft, Intel, PwC, etc and many other large corporations. Our associated companies include PakWheels.com, Simplicant, KamataPakistan and Simobo.
PakWheels.com is one of the largest internet portals in Pakistan. PakWheels helps millions of Pakistanis buy and sell all types of cars and bikes, gives access to thousands of automotive news and reviews, check automotive prices and find solutions to their automotive needs. Over 40% of Pakistan’s internet population visited us in last 12 months clocking over 250 million page views. Simplicant is a cloud based next generation recruitment platform that helps companies manage end to end recruitment process. KamataPakistan is Pakistan’s first blue collar marketplace that helps employers hire guards, cooks, office boys, sales attendant and more. Simobo is a mobile value added services company. Our customers include Telenor, Warid, Ufone and telecom operators in Africa and Middle East.
What’s your philosophy when managing multiple businesses like this?
Find best people out there, bring them on team, share the vision, give them room to operate and execute, celebrate and share success.
Is finding the right people hard?
It’s always hard to find good talent and that’s true for the entire world and not just Pakistan. We faced challenges but over the years we have been able to build a very good and differentiated brand that helps us attract talent from all over Pakistan and also from expats planning to move to Pakistan. Less than 5% of our workforce has been recruited through traditional channels like job board, etc, majority of our workforce is through organic sources, referrals, social networks, etc.
What is your role in the company?
My primary role in the company is to instigate people and push them to keep trying to reach their best.
What were the early problems that you faced in the first year or 6 months?
The initial challenges were to manage the delivery while trying to grow/build the company. We were all working full-time on customer projects and we had to manage hiring, setting up office infrastructure and everything with all with that. Working 16 hours a day was pretty normal. It’s 10-12 years back, hard to recall.
How did you get your first contract ever?
We got our first contract through an online marketplace back in 2003. It was the dawn of such online marketplaces and was very expensive to register on them. However, once we got our first contract, word of mouth helped us grow the business without ever returning to such marketplaces.
What has been your biggest mistake so far?
Mistakes happen everyday; our goal has always been to learn from them and commit new ones rather than repeating the old ones. I have had my fair share of mistakes. From not delegating enough, not think high enough, not being ambitious enough, not thinking out of the box to many more, all have been big at that point in time – it would be hard to qualify the extent of each of them.
It’s hard to point a specific incident or turning point and credit it with success or failure. Life is a series of events and one leads to another and another.
Are there any specific problems when outsourcing from Pakistan?
Overall, we have not faced any specific problems while working from Pakistan. There has been some dark days and times but thankfully we have been through them without a problem. Hopefully things should only get better moving forward.
How do you differentiate yourself from any other software house?
Intense focus on learning and achieving excellence, very strong hiring filters to hire the best, only taking up engaging projects and providing a conducive and top notch environment. These are some of the things that help us differentiate from other software companies.
Our products division has been another differentiating factor, we have been able to create a few successful product lines.
Any advice you give to aspiring entrepreneurs?
Just do it. Most of us just keep dreaming, very few of us get up to start things. As they famously say “begun is half done” so I would say again that just do it. Boldness has genius, power and magic in it.