Today, in this interview with Inspirery, an innovator has joined us, who aims to revolutionise the IT sector through his expertise, vision, and innovative ideas.
Meet Khurram Akhtar, who is a young CEO and Co-founder of Pakistan’s leading software and IT development company: “Programmers Force.” It provides all kinds of IT and software development services around the world and synergizes human and artificial intelligence to deliver sustainable solutions.
His success lies in his innovative approach and the age at which he started this journey. At the age of 11, when most kids were enjoying their childhood, Khurram was working with his father. He understood work and professional life at a very young age, and even started his own company at the age of 18.
In this interview, we would ask Khurram about their company, how they started, the challenges they faced during this tenure, his inspiration, failures, and the winning formula behind the success of Programmers Force.
How did you get started in this business?
When I started Programmers Force, my motive behind it was to help the people of my country and to show the potential of my country’s IT sector to the world. I wanted to prove to the world that Pakistan can provide up-to-the-mark IT development services. Through dedication, innovation, and a highly skilled workforce, Programmers Force demonstrated that Pakistan can excel in delivering top-notch software development services, showcasing the country’s potential and expertise in the IT industry.
How do you make money?
Our main source of income is generated through selling the IT services. We develop digital solutions for businesses so they can optimise their digital operations and reach a wider audience. Our development services include IT, tech & development, digital marketing and sales & business support. Recently, we’ve upgraded our product development which now incorporates AI and ML services, making us Pakistan’s first ever AI-based tech company and one of the fastest-growing IT companies that offer AI-based services.
How long did it take for you to become profitable?
I never remembered when my company became profitable in terms of revenue. However, what I remember is when my company started helping other businesses, which is what I call profit.
When you were starting out, was there ever a time you doubted it would work? If so, how did you handle that?
Not at all, the main challenge was to find a potential talent for my company. I knew that Pakistan has got a skilled workforce, and it never made me doubt my decision. However, the only challenge I faced was the hiring process, as PF has strict criteria for the developers and engineers.
Eventually, we got the ideal workforce we needed. In the recent survey of my international clients, the majority of them are satisfied with the services we offer to them.
How did you get your first customer?
Just like any business, it was hard to find clients in the early days. The main issue was trust, no client was ready to work with a newly launched IT development firm. To overcome that issue, we started offering discounted pricing products without any commitment, while in our industry this wasn’t a practice. Clients started putting trust in our services and eventually, we became a leading IT development company.
What is one marketing strategy (other than referrals) that you’re using that works really well to generate new business?
If you ask specifically for marketing, targeted advertising works best for our business. We pay for advertising platforms like Google Ads, these agencies showcase PF ads to users who display interest in seeking an IT development firm for their project development needs.
What is the toughest decision you’ve had to make in the last few months?
My toughest decision was to introduce AI product development. It was a completely new thing for an IT firm like PF. The main issue was the initial investment. We had to hire a lot of talented AI developers, buy Machine Learning (ML) APIs and do the marketing of our AI product development. Still, after investing a significant amount, of time and resources, I didn’t know whether it would work or not.
However, the results were positive, clients started showing interest in our AI project. Today, we’re one of those few IT firms in the world that offer reliable and stable AI and ML product development services.
What do you think it is that makes you successful?
My employees. I always value the suggestions of my workforce and we implement their suitable suggestions in the project. They have played an important role in the success of Programmers Force. The place where my company stands right now would have been impossible without the dedication of my skilled and hard-working team.
What has been your most satisfying moment in business?
Recently, Programmers Force has achieved international certification for upholding up-to-the-mark employee and business standards. This certification now makes Programmers Force compliant with international employees’ norms. I have always prioritised my workforce and gave them all the perks & benefits essential for maintaining a healthy work culture.
What does the future hold for your business? What are you most excited about?
I see a bright future for my company. We’re constantly growing at a satisfactory rate. Furthermore, our R&D team is consistently developing and implementing new services and operations that are well-received by our clients. Moreover, as our client base grows, we continue to expand our operations to more and more countries, showcasing Pakistan’s expertise and capabilities on a global scale.
What business books have inspired you?
Rich Dad Poor Dad is the most inspirational book for me. It gives financial education and challenges the conventional thinking regarding education, money, assets and liabilities. It explains how acquiring money-making assets and reducing liabilities can lead to successful business start-ups and financial success. Overall, it assists entrepreneurs to make better financial decisions and adopt an entrepreneurial mindset in their business ventures.
What advice would you give to your younger self?
Well, I would advise my younger self to be patient and stick to the current work/project going on. During this tenure, I’ve learned that patience is crucial when running a business. Furthermore, I think failure and tough times are a part of business and professional life. What matters is how you deal with the moment and that is what makes you a successful businessman.
Are you willing to be a mentor? If so, how should someone contact you?
I will be more than happy to help any professional who possesses the courage to think outside the box and is prepared to challenge themselves. I am dropping my LinkedIn profile here, entrepreneurs and start-ups can reach out to me, I’ll try to provide guidance to anyone the best as I can.