Growing up in Lahore, we were always told that our city was hailed for its abundance of great food. People from all over the country used to (and still do) come to Lahore for their foodie fix, whether it was desi food they craved, Chinese or fast food. Now, with the advent of the modern age, I hope that the new tech-savvy generations growing up in Lahore will be urged to feel the same pride when they learn about the hundreds of people who leave their own cities to come work in one of Lahore’s famed software houses.
Not only does Lahore have some of the largest software houses of the country, it is also home to some of the most innovative software houses in Pakistan. These are companies that have withstood the test of time and succeeded by harnessing the vast array of local talent available to them. Each success story in this article will convince you that with enough determination and enough faith in your fellow countrymen, you can accomplish great feats. Here is a list of 5 software houses in Lahore, in no particular order that you should definitely be aware of:
One of the leading names in the local software industry, Techlogix has been around since 1996 and was founded by 3 MIT graduates: Salman Akhtar, Kewan Qadre Khawaja and Khurram Afridi. It is primarily a global consulting, eBusiness services and IT services company that employs more than 300 employees. Their main office is located in Lahore but they also have branches in Karachi and Islamabad. Techlogix has marketing/support offices and branches in Dubai, Malaysia, Kuala Lumpur and Boston along with a software development centre in Beijing.
Although it is primarily an IT services company that mostly deals in software product engineering, business intelligence, enterprise applications and financial services, Techlogix has also released two independent products in the past; 1) MAESTrO, which is a software tool that is used in the automotive industry and is being used by 20 automotive companies, including BMW, Honda, Ford and Renault, for the creation of electrical systems for fuel-efficient vehicles. MAESTrO was made solely by one of the founders, Khurram K. Afridi and released under the license of Techlogix. 2) Jazba, which is a web-based design tool/publishing software that allows creation of catalogues and other publications. It enables users to incorporate graphic templates, layouts and Web pages directly from the camera.
Some of Techlogix’s core projects include the development of a mobile wallet service called Omni (similar to Easypaisa) for United Bank Limited, the implementation of PeopleSoft Campus Solution for LUMS as their primary campus automation software and the assembly of an enterprise architecture solution for Ufone.
Interested in working here? They’re hiring!
2. NetSol Technologies:
NetSol Technologies is among the top software houses in terms of infrastructure. It was a small setup that was started back in December of 1995 by Salim Ghauri (who incorporated his brothers, Najeeb, Naeem and Shahab Ghauri, into the company later on) and has since grown to a behemoth of a company that employs 1500+ people in Los Angeles, London, Lahore, Riyadh, Beijing, Adelaide and Bangkok. It is a large, internationally-renowned IT consultancy and software developer company that has global experience in allocating enterprise solutions to the leasing/lending and finance industry. NetSol also provides banking, healthcare, system integration and IT services to their clients.
Salim Ghauri had the vision of establishing a globally recognized corporation. He certainly managed to make this dream a reality when NetSol became the first and only Pakistani company to get listed on the NASDAQ, the world’s second largest global, electronic marketplace. It did not take the company less than 5 years to make its mark, not only on the Pakistani IT industry’s map but on the international map as well. With a small initial team of 200+ employees in 2000, NetSol became the first Pakistani software house to receive the ISO-9000 certification.
All of these achievements are overshadowed by the one, distinctive accomplishment of NetSol. In 2006, the company obtained the title of the first CMMI Level 5 certified company in Pakistanwhich is the highest level of sophistication a company can receive. To this date, NetSol Technologies and NCR Pakistan are the only companies to have attained CMMI Level 5 certification in Pakistan. Due to their international quality certifications and solid infrastructure NetSol Technologies has landed deals with quite a number of blue chip companies such as BMW, Nissan, Toyota, Mercedes-Benz, Yamaha, Fiat and Volkswagen.
Interested in working here? They’re hiring!
Founded in the year 2007 by Yasser Bashir, Arbisoft was initially named DeepPixels and handled only post-processing of 3D medical images but the software-oriented team soon grew weary and started experimenting with software development services which bore more profitable results. Consequently, Arbisoft grew into the prominent company that it is today.
They have dabbled and specialized in a wide variety of disciplines that include 3D modelling, game development, cloud enterprise applications, automated data scraping and search analytics, mobile app development and IT solutions. They do not have any offices overseas, however they do operate in four continents and have signed deals with major brand names like Kayak, Stanford University, Indeed, edX and TripScanner. One of their most innovative technologies is the ViewDDD iOS application in which a user can view, explore and visualize 3D models.
The first fully-owned product they’ve released is Intellistats, an app which analyses your phone usage, locates patterns and uses that information to tell you what carrier and plan is adequate for your daily usage. This venture was made possible because Arbisoft aims to establish themselves as an enabling platform for their own people, readily encouraging independent projects so that their employees may have the opportunity to grow by taking advantage of Arbisoft’s extensive resources.
Interested in working here? They’re hiring!
4. Conrad Labs:
Conrad Labs was founded in March 15, 2009 by Abbas Yousafzai, who maintains his position as CEO. He describes the company as a specialized firm consisting of experienced software engineers who work with early-stage startups as their partial engineering team, or at times, the said startup’s only engineering team. Conrad Labs is following a startup studio model.
Their entire team consists of 25+ people so far. Conrad Labs started out as the research and development wing for Conformity, a web-based SSO startup from Austin, Texas. The connection between them is evident when one notices that the current name of the company is a play on the words; Conformity Research And Development.
Although their team is relatively small, Conrad Labs has an experienced group of individuals working for them. Their team has extensive SaaS (software-as-a-service) and cloud knowledge and the technologies they work with include Java, MySQL, Python, jQuery and PHP which they apply for application development and purpose-built software services.
The most unique feature of Conrad Labs is their uncommon cash-and-equity business model. In simple terms, they have unparalleled flexibility when it comes to reimbursement because their setup focuses on both equity and cash. In order to grant more services at a lower rate to startups that are in their initial stages, they provide a year-long R&D agreement where they provide full services and put their hopes into a successful product or profitable acquisition (and this has even led to them giving up cash payment completely in some cases). Their contract also entails an agreement that their employees will be treated as full-time employees of the company they are working with. In fact, they have turned down various projects simply because the company in question turned down said agreement.
Conrad Labs has worked with more than half-a-dozen startups like Gemalto, Wisegate, Provio and Boomerang Commerce, but two of their clients are particularly interesting; 1) StoredIQ, which analyzes and processes petabytes of unstructured and irregular business data without shifting the large volume of data to a repository or special program. StoredIQ was later acquired by IBM. 2) Axcient, replaces traditional methods of corporate data backup, business continuity and disaster recovery with a sole, connected platform that mirrors a business’s entire data in the cloud.
Interested in working here? They’re hiring! Email Conrad Labs.
5. Mindstorm Studios:
Mindstorm Studios was formed by Babar Ahmed along with his brother Faraz Ahmed in 2006 after the former left a career as an electrical engineer in Austin, Texas. Babar made headlines when his company rose to fame and was hailed as one of the leading entrepreneurs of that time. Mindstorm Studios employs 40+ people with substantial experience in cross-platform game development, animation, character design, architectural visualization and graphic design.
The primary focus of the game development studio is the creation and publishing of first-party titles. Initially, they started out with PC games and gained fame for developing the official game for the 2011 Cricket World Cup. They soon realized that there were bigger fish to fry when the advent of smartphones changed the gaming landscape forever and an ever-increasing number of people started playing games extensively on their smartphones. Mindstorm Studios realized this shift in the dynamics and eased mobile game development into their workflow.
Since then, they have made a number of games for iPhone, Android and Windows Phone devices that have hit top spots in their respective app stores. One of their recent releases, Alliance Wars: Global Invasion has installs ranging from 10,000-50,000+ and some of its players spend up to 5000 USD per month on in-app purchases.
Although, Mindstorm Studios is more along the lines of a game development company rather than a software house, it has every right to be on this list due to the permanent mark they’ve left on the face of Pakistani game development market and is an example for future entrepreneurs and companies alike.
Interested in working here? They’re hiring! Email Mindstorm Studios.