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KP Moves Towards Digitisation With ‘Work Around’

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PESHAWAR: In a move towards digitisation, the Khyber Pakhtunkhwa Information and Technology Board (KPITB) has introduced Pakistan’s first-ever business process outsource (BPO) system which will start from October 15.

The project, named “Work Around”, aims to create digital employment opportunities in Khyber Pakhtunkhwa (KP) and to help the workforce understand the benefits of technology.

Under the BPO system, a set of business activities or a single function would be outsourced to another company. Some outsourced processes include payroll and benefits management and customer services in the form of call centres.

BPO acting Project Manager Saad Javeed said that preparations for launching the project have been finalised and the venture would prove beneficial for the growth of technology in the province.

He said, “We are hoping that the KP chief minister will inaugurate the project on October 15, which will be a milestone achievement for the province.”

He further said that the BPO system would facilitate national and international companies to set up their offices in an ideal environment.

“The funding for the project has been provided by the World Bank administered Multi-Donor Trust Fund (MDTF) and amounts to two million dollars, out of which Rs144 million have been released for the BPO project,” he said.

Talking in relation to the structure of the office, Javeed said that around four halls and several rooms have been built for the project, while adding that each room is well-equipped with new furniture and a 24-hour backup power generator.

“We have also installed fast computers and high-speed internet at the BPO centre to ensure smooth functioning of the project,” he said.

Further, the project manager said that two international companies have already signed a memorandum of understanding (MoU) with the centre to establish their offices. Several other international businesses have also shown interest in opening their offices here and the negotiations in this connection are underway.

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In terms of costs, he said that the BPO centre would charge $55 per seat from international companies for using the facility.

KPITB Communication Manager Danish Baber Yousafzai said that this is the first project in the country which would generate revenue for the government while providing job opportunities to the youth of the province.

“Around 350 seats will be available in the centre and we have made it compulsory for the companies to hire individuals holding KP and merged districts domiciles,” Yousafzai said.

Around 30 per cent quota has been specified for women in an effort to encourage them to become a part of the digital word, he added.

Yousafzai also said that though the BPO initiative was started in Peshawar, it would gradually be expanded to all major districts of KP in a bid to create more jobs for the youth.

Meanwhile, KPITB Managing Director Dr Shahbaz Khan said, “Work Around is the first step from the provincial government to enter to the world of BPO. KPITB is planning to further strengthen the sector in the future.”

He said that KP’s youth were very talented and they only needed a proper channel to utilise their skills and abilities.

He further said that besides launching the BPO initiative, the KPITB is also offering early-age programming and advance digital skills for interested individuals.

“These specialised training sessions will help prepare a well-equipped and professional workforce for the IT industry of the province, which will also prove beneficial for the country.”

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