Netsol’s stock price soaring after $100 million deal
NetSol Technologies, Inc. is a provider of information technology and enterprise software solutions. The company is owned by Pakistani-based tech giant Najeeb Gahuri.
The Company’s primary source of revenue is the licensing, customization, enhancement and maintenance of its suite of financial applications under the brand name NetSol Financial Suite (NFS) and NFS Ascent for businesses in the global lease and finance industry. The Company’s offerings include its global solution, NFS. The four software applications under NFS have been designed and developed for a setting, and deals with multinational, multi-company, multi-asset, multi-lingual, multi-distributor and multi-manufacturer environments. Each application is used independently to address specific sub-domains of the leasing/financing cycle. NFS and NFS Ascent have various applications, such as loan origination system, contract management system, wholesale finance system and fleet management system. It operates in three regions: North America, Europe and Asia-Pacific.
Company announced the signing of a contract currently valued at more than $100 million, which includes license, maintenance, services and expected customization, with a long-standing customer to implement NFS AscentTM.
The agreement calls for upgrading to NetSol’s NFS Ascent platform, the company’s advanced solution for the auto and equipment finance and leasing industry, from the company’s NFSTM platform in Australia, China, Hong Kong, India, Japan, New Zealand, Singapore, South Korea, Taiwan, Thailand and Malaysia. The contract also includes implementation of NFS Ascent in South Africa, a new market for NetSol. The implementation phase spans a five-year period, with maintenance and support over ten years.
Shares reached a new 52-week high on Monday , Analyst Ratings.Net reports. The company traded as high as $9.50 and last traded at $8.72, with a volume of 2,810,395 shares traded. The stock had previously closed at $6.40.
Netsol has been the topic of a number of research analyst reports. Zacks Investment Research upgraded NetSol Technologies from a “hold” rating to a “buy” rating and set a $6.25 target price on the stock in a report on Wednesday, October 28th. TheStreet upgraded NetSol Technologies from a “sell” rating to a “hold” rating in a report on Friday, October 16th.
The stock’s market cap is $66.07 million.
“This is a transformative agreement for NetSol, representing the largest contract in the company’s history, and a strong endorsement for NFS Ascent from a nearly two-decade-long partnership with our client,” NetSol CEO Najeeb Ghauri said in a statement. “The significant investments we made in our infrastructure and staffing are paying off and building leverage into our business.”
NetSol Secures $2.8 Million IT Contract in the UK
One of the biggest IT companies in Pakistan, NetSol Technologies, has managed to secure a contract worth $2.8 million. It will be offering its services to a UK based gaming and 3D mapping company, eeGeo Inc.
NetSol Company Secretary Boo-Ali Siddiqui said “NetSol Technologies Limited has signed a ‘collaboration agreement’ to provide technology services to eeGeo Inc. – a Delaware corporation.” He was addressing the Pakistan Notification Exchange (PSX) in a notification.
eeGeo Inc is a software company which provides cloud oriented services like its SaaS platform. SaaS originated within games which required huge amounts of data to create real-looking, geo-spatially accurate city-wide renders. eeGeo can create and fast and fun interactive 3D maps for the very same purpose. Siddiqui said “Its specialty is to prepare internal 3D maps of buildings as per customer requirements.”
The contract winner will get shares in the company instead of cash. NetSol’s Secretary added “Under the agreement, NetSol will be issued 4.09 million ‘Series BB Preferred shares’ of eeGeo Inc. for which it is not required to pay any cash up front.” These shares will carry voting rights in general meetings as well.
Under the signed agreement, NetSol will get the shares and will provide outsourcing services to eeGeo at an agreed rate. The payment will be invoiced on a monthly basis.
NetSol’s total investment will be approximately $2.8 million over the next three or four years. The investment will be in terms of the services NetSol provides. The Pakistani IT company believes that eeGeo has potential to grow immensely. Their 3D mapping technology can be the flagship service. It has already got a good number of clients for 3D mapping.
Pakistan’s SI Global Wins Rs 1.15 Billion Contract from UK-based Firm
SI Global Solutions has signed an agreement of Rs 1.15 billion with two UK-based firms to set up a facility for the development of projects such as mobile applications, business consultation, and system integration.
The agreement signed by SI Global with SSC Global Ltd and Monolith Risk also includes training of fresh graduates and start-up businesses alike. In this regard, SI Global hired services of global experts for execution of this project who will further contribute to sustainable growth of the IT industry with respect to its potential and foreseeable contribution in the global market.
Noman Said, Chief Executive Officer of SI Global said:
I will ensure that business opportunities are not left untapped through these investments as there is no dearth of talent in Pakistan and this collaboration will help facilitate it."
Expressing his support towards this alliance and the teaming agreement with SI Global, Iain Stewart, Director SCC Global Ltd. said:
I believe this will benefit us and SI Global, and together will allow us to bring our expertise here in Pakistan, thus, delivering an excellent product. I look forward to building a long and prosperous relationship.
SI Global Solutions, an emerging Pakistan’s IT firm, is a System Integrator and Consultancy Company with international and local presence in United States, the United Arab Emirates and local branches in Pakistan is spread across Lahore, Karachi and Islamabad.
Monolith Risk, A UK-based firm, is a specialist consultancy firm focused on the preparation for and mitigation of physical security risks faced by organizations in high-threat environments, ensuring the protection of client assets.
Expressing his support towards this alliance and the teaming agreement with SI Global, Iain Stewart, Director SCC Global Ltd. said,
I believe this will benefit us and SI Global, and together will allow us to bring our expertise here in Pakistan, thus, delivering an excellent product. I look forward to building a long and prosperous relationship.
Iain Stewart, currently working for a UK based consultancy has vast experience in building security response systems while Carel Fredrick, Co-founder of Monolith Risk has in depth knowledge in the field of architectural design. Their expertise will bring innovative solutions towards the development of Pakistani infrastructure and crisis management.
With the recent upward growth trend observed in various industries in Pakistan, this development and investment in the IT sector specifically, will help Pakistan in reaching a global standing.
Investment in Pakistan IT industry up at $5.14b
Broadband penetration leaps from 3% to 15% this year
IT investment in Pakistan has risen to $5.138 billion as the sector is moving on a fast rack.
The IT's government regulator - the Pakistan Telecom Authority, or PTA - and the five key companies operating in Pakistan say "a large portion of this investment inflow is from foreign investors ranging from the UAE to Egypt, the US and China, among others". The amount includes investment made between FY-2010 and end-2015. A good year for investment was FY-2014 when the amount was $1,815.6 million and $851.6 million in FY-2015, in the wake of the 3G and 4G launch.
Khurrum Mehran, director of the PTA, said that "as a result of this launch the number of its subscribers rose swiftly to 26 million and the broadband penetration has gone up from less than three per cent to 15 per cent by now." Anusha Rehman, Minister of State for the Ministry of Information Technology and Telecom, is an aggressive and fast-moving minister to attract foreign investment for this sector.
Rehman is highly respected in Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif's cabinet. She said: "The introduction of 3G and 4G mobile broadband has brought the telecom sector at par with developed countries in terms of modern telecom services."
"We are proud of attracting these investments because this is a major input to enhance the country's annual GDP. We are also thankful to foreign and domestic investors for reposing confidence in our economy. We hope they will bring in more investment on a fast-track basis."
The quick expansion of the IT and telecom sector has also helped create more jobs, which is the key economic policy of Sharif, who stresses "more jobs for more people, especially for the young". This is why pro-business Sharif stresses the need for creation of more jobs, as he also has to contest national parliamentary elections in 2018 to return to power.
The IT and telecom sectors are expanding and offering new jobs as the economy rolls into modern business of e-commerce, e-banking, e-health, e-education, IT applications, the fast-growing and immensely popular home-based businesses and content development. Rehman and her ministry have been advised by to go all out for expanding this sector. The urgency to develop this sector is highlighted by latest World Bank studies which show that a 10 per cent expansion in high speed Internet connections boosts annual GDP growth by 1.38 per cent. In light of this, "the present exponential rise in mobile broadband users is expected to make a very positive impact on Pakistan's economic growth", officials also say.
The business and Ministry of Information Technology and Telecom report that IT exports were up 41 per cent in FY-2015 as compared to FY-2014. At the same time the content and software development is growing fast and is expected to boost the business gain in this sub-sector within the overall IT sector. What are key gains brought about to the economy by the 3G and 4G launch and its fast-track growth? It has led to the expansion of financial services, Web, e-commerce-related operations and more specifically in relation to women who constitute 51 per cent of the Pakistani population.
The overall growth of the sector is visible in all its sections. The latest PTA annual report for FY-2015 says the country's tele-density is now 61.8 per cent.
"Telecom revenues for FY-2015 are estimated to be Rs449 billion. Telecom sector contribution to the National Exchequer amounted to Rs126.26 billion," it says.
The report indicates that in the cellular mobile sector, the country had 114.7 million subscribers at end-June 2015. Egypt and Africa-based Mobilink leads the subscriber share with 29.2 per cent, followed by Norway-based Telenor with 27.5 per cent, China-based Zong 19.3 per cent, Pakistan-based and the UAE's Itesallat-affiliated Ufon with 15.5 per cent, and UAE-based Warid with 8.6 per cent.
Cell sites have increased to 40,704, covering more than 92 per cent of the land area in Pakistan. The operators are also focusing on tower sharing as a viable option to improve coverage and network efficiency.
The average revenue per user of the cellular segment increased to Rs440 during FY-2015 compared to Rs432 in FY-2014. The total outgoing national cellular traffic increased to 393.1 billion at end FY-2015, compared to 345.7 billion in FY-2014. The PTA says 393.1 billion SMS messages were exchanged on cellular network in FY-2015.
PTA chairman Syed Ismail Shah said the broadband sector is experiencing a true evolution, since the introduction of mobile broadband. "Broadband penetration rose to 8.97 per cent at end-FY-2015, as compared to just 2.07 per cent in FY-2014. The subscriber base took a huge jump of 345 per cent to reach 16.89 million at end-FY-2015."
The writer is based in Islamabad. Views expressed by him are his ?own and do not reflect the newspaper's policy
The Bank of Punjab upgrades to take on AutoSoft Dynamics' Real Time Gross Settlement System and Islamic Treasury Solution
AutoSoft Dynamics (Pvt.) Limited (AutoSoft), a global provider of Islamic and conventional banking solutions is pleased to announce that The Bank of Punjab (BOP), one of the largest banks in Pakistan has chosen AutoSoft’s AutoRTGS and ADAMS Islamic Treasury Management System as an enhancement to the ADAMS Conventional Treasury Automation System already running at BOP for the processing of large value fund transfers between the banks.
The AutoRTGS system has been designed in line with the State Bank of Pakistan’s requirement for all banks to enable the RTGS STP system by December 31, 2016. AutoRTGS is already implemented live at one of AutoSoft’s international customers and is a real-time straight through processing application for processing of large value interbank remittance transactions in real-time. The transactions are processed and linked with the Central Bank RTGS system, which minimizes the time and systemic risks due to any manual issues. AutoRTGS provides a complete network that helps the financial institution to easily send and receive information and messages about financial transactions in a standardized, secure and in a reliable environment.
In addition to the AutoRTGS, BOP has also selected ADAMS Islamic for the automation of its Islamic treasury trading desk. The Bank of Punjab has already been using AutoSoft's Treasury Solution – ADAMS Conventional since 2010. The ADAMS Islamic system is an automated dealing, money market and securities trading solution which is Shariah compliant and will support BOP’s Islamic treasury’s automation requirements. It provides the bank with a state of the art, multi-portfolio, multi-dealing room environment supported by robust risk management, back office management, statutory and management reporting features.
ADAMS Islamic & AutoRTGS will assist The Bank of Punjab in enhancing its operational efficiency and customer services while achieving and maintaining high level of scalability, security and will ensure smooth and continuous operations across the bank's divisions.
At AutoSoft we always strive to provide user-friendly, scalable as well as functionality rich banking solutions to our clients that are well-aligned to help the customer achieve their business objectives and also stay up to date with latest technologies.ABOUT AUTOSOFT DYNAMICS PVT LTD®
AutoSoft Dynamics is a leading global solution provider of Banking, IT and ICT automated solutions for the banking and financial services industry. AutoSoft offers a range of products, solutions and consulting services that cut costs, respond rapidly to market needs, enhance customer service levels and mitigate implementation risks. AutoSoft has grown organically since inception and now house over 130 employees with offices in three major cities of Pakistan. With its vast pool of resources, having years of experience in banking automation, AutoSoft is set to provide a multitude of services to the financial services industry and has already provided both conventional and Islamic banking solutions to many prestigious banks. AutoSoft solutions are currently implemented in 21 leading institutions within Asia, the Middle East and Africa. More information about AutoSoft Dynamics (Pvt.) Limited is available at www.autosoftdynamics.comABOUT THE BANK OF PUNJAB
The Bank of Punjab (BOP) head quartered in BOP tower, Main Boulevard, Gulberg, Lahore is one of the prominent financial institution of the country with a network of 344 total branches with 37 Taqwa Islamic Banking branches in major business centres throughout the country. It is among largest commercial bank of the Country. It provides a wide range of banking services including deposit in local currency; client deposit in foreign currency; remittances; and advances to business, trade, industry and agriculture.
Pakistan native tries to demystify his native country with software start-up
By Thomas Heath Reporter December 21 at 12:56 PM
Pakistan-born Imran Aftab was traveling in 2004 when an AOL Time Warner colleague posed a rude question.
“Imran, you’re from Pakistan, yet you seem normal,” Aftab recalled. “What is the problem with the rest?”
“People see all bad news. I thought, ‘How can I change things even at a small scale through business?’ ”
After that trip, the chemistry major decided to use his knowledge of outsourcing at AOL to start his own business that could make money while also helping his fellow citizens in Pakistan.
The business he created is called 10Pearls, a profitable custom software company based in Herndon, Va., and Pakistan. The company has more than 150 software experts supervised by Aftab’s brother in a 33,000-square-foot office in Karachi. Only about 15 employees work in Herndon.
Aftab creates customized software for all kinds of interfaces, including mobile platforms, kiosks and Web sites. Clients include NVR, Time Warner Cable, Discovery Education, National Geographic and Zubie, a spinoff of Best Buy.
For Zubie, 10Pearls helped develop an Android and Apple application that allows people to see where their cars are located, diagnose auto repair issues and track historic routes.
Although 10Pearls is relatively small, with revenue of less than $10 million, Aftab said it has been profitable since it began 11 years ago, making Web pages for handyman businesses.
The company, which Aftab calls a social experiment, reminds me of the “double bottom line” businesses that Washington sports mogul Ted Leonsis espouses. That refers to businesses that earn profits while accomplishing some social good.
“I see that business causes positive impact,” said Aftab, who makes three visits a year to his native country. “It can change things even at a small scale. Business is a good way for people to learn about each other.”
The enterprise isn’t all about altruism.
Pakistan is a good candidate for outsourcing because of its large English-speaking population — 180 million or so — that is tech-savvy and has mathematical skills. Its labor costs are also far below those of the United States and other developed countries.
The labor-cost difference, which Aftab refers to as “a labor arbitrage,” is helping drive his profit margins. He calls it a “blended shore model.”
Pakistani software developers earn about a third to half of what it costs to hire someone with similar talents in the United States. When the less-expensive labor in Pakistan is “blended” into the entire cost structure of the company, it increases 10Pearls’ competitive position.
To lure creative millennials, Aftab owns a sister company called Game Plan8, which produces car racing, zombie and other games for mobile platforms.
“People in this day and age want to be motivated intrinsically,” Aftab said. “It’s a sense of achievement that they build a game that people are playing around the world.”
Aftab’s first break in life came early. He had dropped out of an elite Jesuit high school in Karachi because his family could not afford the tuition.
The principal of the school called in Aftab and his father.
“I still remember the day when I sat across [the principal’s] desk accompanied by my late father. I had dropped out of school, unable to continue the higher education in this private school, due to the financial hardships that my family was facing. Bishop Lobo slipped a white piece of paper in front of us and in his booming voice said, ‘Please write down the amount you can afford.’ ”
Aftab stayed in school and ended up earning a full scholarship to Bard College in Upstate New York, where he earned a bachelor’s degree in chemistry. After earning a master’s in chemistry at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill, in 1997, he joined JPMorgan Chase, where he evaluated deals for the investment bankers.
“I knew I had to make money for my family,” said Aftab, who has several brothers and sisters. He had taken corporate finance and stock market courses while pursuing his postgraduate chemistry degree at Chapel Hill, which gave him some comfort about entering business.
The investment bank job taught him to take a hard look at business opportunities, estimating cash flow and finance and distinguishing a good business from a poor one.
After Chase, he worked at Microstrategy and then AOL Time Warner. He oversaw more than $150 million in outsource spending across seven countries at AOL Time Warner.
In June 2004, following the discussion with his colleague about the perceptions of Pakistanis, he approached his brother Zeeshan Aftab, who lived in Karachi. Aftab’s idea was to start a software company that created Web sites, portals and digital logos for small businesses.
“I took $2,000 from my pocket and told my brother to quit his job,” Aftab said. “I said we are going to do something very simple. I am going to find small businesses who need help, and we are going to do it cheaply for them.”
He started calling friends, asking them if they knew anyone who needed small software jobs for as little as $200. He visited digital marketplaces online. He walked through strip malls, visiting small businesses and restaurants, asking if they needed help with their online logos, menus or Web sites.
Most told him to get lost, but a few small jobs started dribbling in. First-year revenue was a paltry $50,000. He kept his job at AOL Time Warner, then took consulting work to make ends meet while he pushed his nascent business forward.
He knew the bigger money was in developing software applications, but he had to build experience first. He quit AOL Time Warner in 2005 and worked as a consultant while he expanded 10Pearls.
Bigger contracts started coming in, including one from a big telecommunications firm that needed help. During the Great Recession that started in 2008, business stagnated and 10Pearls pivoted to mobile applications.
“I could see that mobile was going to grow explosively,” he said.
The company’s big break arrived in 2011, when it won a highly competitive contract to build a mobile application for Social Radar, a Washington company started by Blackboard co-founder Michael Chasen. A key part of Social Radar’s business is that the app allows users to interact with people in the immediate vicinity.
The deal with Chasen helped establish 10Pearls’ credibility. That led to more and larger mobile app contracts.
Aftab, who lives in Herndon with his wife and three children, owns the largest share of the company. His brother owns the rest.
He said the U.S. and Pakistan offices, as well as customers, keep in touch via Skype, telephone and online. Even in a small way, he said, he feels he has broken down barriers and helped at least a few people make a better life.
“My employees in Pakistan have developed a better appreciation of the entrepreneurs and professionals in the U.S.,” he said.
Web Link of this success story is here
Senior Marketing Executive
AutoSoft’s AutoHRM solution selected by FINCA Microfinance Bank Limited, Pakistan for automation of its HR operations
Lahore – August 10, 2015 – AutoSoft Dynamics (Pvt.) Limited (AutoSoft) is proud to announce that it has signed an agreement with FINCA Microfinance Bank Limited (FINCA), the fastest growing microfinance bank in Pakistan, for the deployment of its Human Resource Management solution at the bank. AutoHRM was selected over other HR solutions based on its ability to meet the bank’s requirements and AutoSoft’s proven track record in expediently implementing its software solutions.
Mr. Mudassar Aqil, Chief Executive Officer, FINCA Microfinance Bank Pakistan commented during the contract signing ceremony, “AutoSoft has already established itself with a strong local presence in banking automation and has an in-depth understanding of the banking industry’s needs for business applications. AutoSoft also has a strong vertical niche suite, including the comprehensive Human Resource Management System that aligns very well with our business model for human resource management. We have signed AutoSoft as our technology partner of choice in view of their business and technology expertise and superior track record. We are confident that AutoHRM will meet our HR automation requirements efficiently and look forward to working with them.”
AutoHRM is a modular, flexible and user-friendly Human Resource Management Software. AutoHRM’s modular architecture will assist the bank in automation of its payroll, HR administration, recruitment, fund management operations along with direct integration with the core banking application. The complete suite consists of 16 modules to cover end to end talent management activities.
Mr. Javed Mushtaq, CEO of AutoSoft commented on this occasion, “We are very excited to be partnering with FINCA Microfinance Bank for our Human Resource Management Solution. AutoSoft continues to grow by establishing strategic partnerships with our clients. Our broad experience in providing automated solutions to both financial and non-financial institutions will provide a stable platform for FINCA to build on their existing HR infrastructure while providing the necessary support for the bank to achieve its growth objectives.”
Rocket’s e-commerce site for ‘frontier markets’ gets $55M funding
p>Rocket Internet’s ecommerce store Daraz revealed today that it has secured EUR 50 million (US$55 million) in its first ever funding round. It operates in Pakistan, Bangladesh, and Myanmar – three markets where e-commerce is at very early stages, which is the kind of unformed landscape that Rocket likes to blast into.
The US$55 million comes from the UK government’s CDC Group, which is focused on supporting and developing businesses in Africa and South Asia, as well as Rocket spin-off Asia Pacific Internet Group (APACIG), which is technically Daraz’s parent company. The cash will be used to grow the business in existing markets and for expansion into other nations in Asia where e-commerce is only just taking off.
“Although internet penetration is still relatively low, the market is developing fast and its potential is immense,” says Bjarke Mikkelsen, CEO of Daraz, in today’s statement.
Daraz runs separately from Lazada, Rocket’s estore for more mature markets such as Singapore and Thailand.