Exclusive Interview with Mr. Ali Kirmani COO TPL Trakker
Profile: – Mr. Ali Kirmani is a senior telecom executive with cross cultural & cross continental telecom experience (Asia, Africa & South Pacific). 18 years of industry experience in developing and emerging markets. Proven ability to deliver and execute commercial projects in more than 10 countries. Strong functional skills in strategy and business development. Managed large teams during challenging periods and demonstrated the strong interest in developing people. Well versed in GSM 2G, 3G, 4G (LTE – WiMAX), M2M projects, Navigation, Telematics & Fleet Management Solution.
Specialties: P&L Management, Operations, Commercial, Outsourcing, Vendor Management, Project Management, Process Development & Re-engineering using Six Sigma (Green belt certification from Motorola)
NM: What is Personal Tracking?
AK: We have just recently launched Personal Tracking that consists of multiple segmentations. Also to mention here is that we were, from past many years, receiving requests from customers that they needed some kind of tracking for their young children. Also, there were requests for the tracking facilities for the old parents by the people. And it was, as you can get it, on the individualist levels of requests. But then large mobilizations urged us to do tracking enable for them or for work force management systems.
These demands from our clients drive us to develop this product. We further segmented this product like for the children, more likely the school going young children, who are not allowed to have cell phones with them. And same to an extent goes for the elderly people but in this case who are not actually able to handle their cell phones or any other communication devices or whatever the source it may be. Our product for this segmentation provides a way better options like one can put it on the bag or wear as a watch and he can be tracked through an application on the cell phone or laptop of the concerned.
Further, you also can mark the zones like safe zone and unsafe. While the zone demarcated, and your loved one, be it your child or old grandfather crosses out that particular area of the safe zone, the application alerts you. All you need to do is to locate them and bring them back to the comfort zone or should I say the safe zone, their home of course.
Now on the business or commercial side, we can find it really more than useful for the person, say the head of a business unit, most of the time traveling around from meetings to the business stations, especially when are living in Pakistan having not that good standards of security and other things like that. So under such circumstances, tracking is such a remarkable gift to keep concerned persons in touch. And when we say such tracking wearable can also be used for communication, it is truly helping.
Now again move to the workforce management in the larger perspectives, people working in tough conditions say low-security areas or harsh climates they always need to be approached with such ease and that we have made possible through this technological craftiness. For example, we can ensure the security of polio workers in the Northern areas of Pakistan or we can search a worker a strayed in the desert of far away around an oil field search project. And this is not the end, businesses people are engaged with like the post, pharmaceuticals, supply and distribution and many other, our product is just to incorporate and become their routine a complete picture of perfect management and satisfaction overall by enhancing their efficiency as well.
NM: What are its prime advantages?
AK: Prime advantage is no doubt security as I already mentioned. But secondly, it is also a communication device, install it on the cell phone or a laptop or any other gadget supporting all the hardware like your desktop. And what it does? It acts like a phone, though obviously, it looks like the watch on the opposite. But through it, you can have a clear two-way communication. Just press that button of your wearable and you are in contact on another side, so in case of any situation you are accessed or have access to the pre program numbers on this device ranging from 3-4.
And third is the management advantage as well. So it can be considered a multipurpose device, in short.
NM: What is your main target market for this product?
AK: We have three categories of target markets. The first segment as we are stressing consistently is the school going children with no access to cell phones, other is the high profile businessmen and the last but of course not least important at all is the large workforces and large firms. And fourth is the people working in difficult terrains, say, polio worker for instance, or journalists, doctors, workers in the oil field etc.
NM: Are you focusing Karachi only or your product is available nationwide?
AK: No we are available nationwide with services and products everywhere in Pakistan.
NM: Do you see any demerits associated with the product? (misuse or disadvantages)
AK: I seriously doubt that, because the product we are providing is a personal product to which you program completely, either emergency numbers or the use of it over all. So for me, I cannot see any disadvantage of the product.
NM: How do you see the future of 3G and 4G in the Pakistan?
AK: 3G has a very good future in Pakistan but also around the world as well. Today it is omnipresent either we look at Africa, India, Europe and even everywhere. Also, 3G has been changing our lifestyles and our approaches towards the adaptation of technology are on the developing trends. Further concerning to the local Pakistani market it is to be noted here that there are only 10% of our overall population who have access to broadband. And this is surely a small proportion which means that there is the huge opportunity of consumer pool to grow with the easily accessible high-speed internet, like 3G, in the market.
NM: What would you say about the development trend or opportunity of telecom sector in Pakistan?
AK: I have served a large part of my services to the telecom sector, say more than 13 to 15 years. And I have seen tremendous growth trends in Pakistan market. For example, Telecom sector in Pakistan was having only three big names like Mobilink, PakTel, and Instafone and back in 1999, the total subscribers were three hundred thousand. But soon after 6 to 7 years, the subscribers’ pool counted for 7-8 millions. That shows the robust growth in the profound sense. And same for now I see tremendous growth, particularly in the broadband sector, in the telecom sector. However, we will be witnessing other sectors growing out of the telecom. Like recently introduced machine to machine communication sector or we should better say M2M. We are going to witness a lot of development in that particular sector as Vodafone, Telenor and ATNT are few names that reflect you, machine to machine communications already being carried out.
On the other hand economy and transactions are now available on telecom services incorporated in the form of Telenor Easypesa, Ufone Upesa and other such products including money transfer services of Mobilink as well. So we have to be ready to see even revolutionized the world around us deeply knitting technological colorful strong threads in our lives.
NM: Have you see any competition in the market against your products of Personal Tracking?
AK: No there is no such case at all, we are the only PTA verified personal tracking product and service provider in Pakistan. Any person or company selling such products are illegal except us as so far no any other company is licensed to provide personal tracking products in Pakistan.
NM: What is your opinion regarding the Government policies of tax especially when it comes to services sector?
AK: Recently Government has imposed 8% tax on the services sector that actually concerns us much more because going that way means you are even burdening the industry and leaving fewer chances or narrowing the chances as well opportunities not only for growth but the establishment of businesses especially start-ups. So we think it was not the right move on the part of Government to change with 8% over the services sector.
NM: Any message for the readers?
AK: The only message I would like to give is that technology is for its tremendous growth in Pakistan and TPL Trakker is the pioneer in the tracking business. And we are covering the entire segments from vehicles to the human and obviously verily business and workforces as well. So we are continually bringing better technological experiences and our commitment to our clients will be ever consolidating. We thank our clients and wish them prosperity and future growth.