Pakistani Techie helps installing communication network for UAE satellite station

Sarfaraz Alam's Texpo established itself as a leading IT solutions provider with a client base.

Farooq Baloch May 24, 2013
Yahsat is the first ground communications satellite station in the Gulf Cooperation Council (GCC) countries. PHOTO: AFP/ FILE

KARACHI: The United Arab Emirates (UAE) joined the league of the world’s big players in satellite communications in April 2011 by launching its first satellite into orbit – now it has two. The satellites are managed from Yahsat Satellite Tracking Ground Station in the UAE. A veteran Pakistani IT expert, who assisted in network installation of this project, is now aiming for a skilled IT workforce for his homeland.

Built by Astrium of the United Kingdom – a wholly-owned subsidiary of European Aeronautic Defence and Space Company (EADS), a global leader in aerospace, defence and related services – Yahsat is the first ground communications satellite station in the Gulf Cooperation Council (GCC) countries.

Yahsat Satellite Ground Tracking Station is a flagship project of Texpo, a leading technology infrastructure provider based in Dubai. Texpo’s CEO Dr Sarfaraz Alam said, the company was responsible for cable networking installations. This involved sub-communications systems installation based on the requirements of its client Astirum UK Ltd.

Besides that, Texpo also won a tender for e-government in 2006 to evaluate 22 services of different government departments of Dubai, he said.

Born in Karachi, Alam belongs to a middle-class family with the aspiration for quality education to get the best life has to offer. After completing his schooling from Karachi, he moved to the United Kingdom for higher studies.

He founded Texpo in 2000 in the basement of his residence in London while he was a masters’ student at Academy of Professional Studies College, an affiliate of Fredrick Taylor International University. In 2003, he completed his doctorate in information technology, along with business, majoring in Advance IT Infrastructure from Brunel University London. He was recently awarded CIO of the Year award by Teradata.

The company started as a software developer but soon realised that businesses were outsourcing their projects to companies in India and Pakistan because of their low costs, Alam said.

“We, therefore, decided to do something different and create a niche of our own,” he said. “I started building expertise in data centres and moved to Dubai in 2005 because it provided immense opportunity for our business and there weren’t many companies offering such services.”

Texpo has established itself as a leading IT solutions provider with a client base in the Middle East, Central and South Asia and North America, earning over $5 million in revenues annually. Texpo is also looking forward to strategic expansion into different regions.

“We have initiated our business plan to commence operations in Brazil, Canada, Sydney and neighbouring GCC countries,” Alam said.

Texpo has also extended its operations to Pakistan by opening a Karachi office three years ago – the reasons for which are not limited to commercial aspects only.

“I have come back to Pakistan for two reasons. I want to create 100,000 jobs in the ICT sector of the country during next five years and serve the country by developing highly skilled IT workforce,” Alam said.

Texpo is in the process of facilitating talent in IT through its project ‘Mentoring a talent’, which began last year to groom students who have the right IQ for IT. “Under this programme, we are giving scholarships to students from Karachi to Gilgit-Baltistan. We have already given 20 scholarships,” he said.

In the first stage, Texpo pays full university fee for those who qualify for its scholarship programme by passing their online exams. Once the students acquire degrees, they have to sit through another exam. Those who pass this exam are offered a paid internship in any of Texpo global offices for six months.

In the third stage, these students take another exam and those who are successful secure a permanent job placement in Texpo.

“This procedure is because I acknowledge the importance of students learning how to build different operating systems or platforms by hand rather than just through software.”


Eye Opener | 9 years ago | Reply

Read the false claims of Sarfaraz Alam & Texpo in 'designing the whole satellite station through his own hands'. People like him are a shame for the country & it's pride.


Concerned | 9 years ago | Reply

I am a graduate of Brunel University and I don't remember him at the graduation in 2003. If you go to Brunel University website, there was no Ph.D graduate name for Safaraz Alam.

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