Wednesday, February 16, 2022

Salaries of International Remote Employees From Pakistan Jump 27%

Salaries of Pakistanis hired for remote work by foreign employers are among the world's fastest rising, according to the "State of Global Hiring  Report 2021" produced by San Francisco based Deel. The company provides employment and payroll services for companies hiring international employees and contractors online. Hiring for work from remote locations has taken off since the start of the COVID19 pandemic. The pandemic and recent advances in communications technology are helping globalize the labor market for talent, creating new opportunities for people in developing nations to work remotely at higher wages for global companies. 

Rising Salaries of Global Hires. Source: Deel 

 Salaries rose the fastest for international online hires in Mexico (57%), followed by Canada (38%), Pakistan (27%), and Argentina (21%).  Salaries for global hires from India rose 8%, Philippines 7% and Russia 4%.   Philippines, India and Pakistan are the top three countries in Asia Pacific region where people were hired through Deel. 

Top 3 Source Countries of Employees. Source: Deel

Deel has over 250 legal, accounting, mobility, and tax experts as partners. The company allows any business to create, sign and send compliant localized contracts and pay teams in more than 120 currencies with just a click, according to its latest report on global hiring. It allows contract employees to withdraw a percentage of or their entire paychecks in cryptocurrency—Bitcoin, Ethereum, Solana, Dash, and USDC.

Deel report did not disclose the exact salaries paid in Pakistan after the 27% pay hike. However, a global survey conducted by Payoneer in 2019, showed that Pakistani women freelancers were earning $22 an hour, 10% more than the $20 an hour earned by men. While Pakistani male freelancers earnings are at par with global average, Pakistani female earnings are higher than the global average for freelancers. Digital gig economy is not only helping women earn more than men but it is also reducing barriers to women's labor force participation in the country. The survey also concludes that having a university degree does not help you earn more in the growing gig economy. The survey was conducted in 2015.

Freelancers Hourly Rate by Gender. Source: Payoneer

An average Pakistani freelancer working 34 hours a week at $20 an hour earns $34,000 a year, or nearly 6 million Pakistani rupees a year, a small fortune for a young Pakistani. This is one of the upsides of the online global labor marketplace for skilled young men and women in developing nations like Pakistan. Sometimes freelancing experience leads to tech startups in Pakistan. Year 2021 was a banner year for tech startups in Pakistan

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Majumdar said...

Good tidings. This is the way forward for Pakistani talent. Move more towards cross border gigs/IT services/ IT enabled services and earn globally benchmarked wages plus forex for the country.

Riaz Haq said...

Riaz Haq has left a new comment on your post "2021: A Banner Year For Pakistani Tech Startup Investments":

Rising #smartphone penetration in #Asia. #India, #Bangladesh and #Pakistan have new opportunities to #export online #labor to #America, #Europe. #Asia has the highest mobile phone users globally. #freelancing #gig #digital #economy

The region should adopt more cross-country collaborations, such as Go Digital ASEAN. These kinds of initiatives undeniably broaden the landscape of the digital economy and boost related infrastructures in the region. Meanwhile, national-level strategies like India’s National Digital Communication Policy (2018), 1st Policy for Digital Pakistan (2018), and Bangladesh’s National ICT Strategy need to be fully implemented and monitored as an utmost priority. Finally, South and Southeast Asian governments should foster a more sustainable digital ecosystem by promoting digital start-ups, removing entry barriers, developing human capital, and establishing national regulatory frameworks for the digital economy.


Digital transformation worldwide was already increasingly changing how companies make and offer their propositions and interact with their customers. But the COVID-19 pandemic has intensified this, with technology emerging as a critical means of resolving public health challenges and continuing to facilitate the new online consumer landscape. This accelerated digitalization is disrupting the world’s economy, making it one of the most significant growth engines for many developing nations.

What’s more, with the advent of rapid digitalization, Asian countries like India, Bangladesh, Pakistan and the Philippines are tapping new opportunities by exporting online labour to the West. In Bangladesh, for example, the digital economy is bringing employment to hitherto excluded sections of the population.

We are already seeing how digitalization is reshaping Asia. The digital transformation of South and Southeast Asia is opening a range of opportunities for its citizens, especially for younger generations. Many Asian countries are even in the lead globally in certain sectors of digitalization. For example, the Philippines and Malaysia have become the top two countries in e-commerce retail growth, increasing by 25% and 23% per year, respectively.

Asia countries are performing impressively on e-commerce growth
Image: eMarketer
What’s more, with the advent of rapid digitalization, Asian countries like India, Bangladesh, Pakistan and the Philippines are tapping new opportunities by exporting online labour to the West. In Bangladesh, for example, the digital economy is bringing employment to hitherto excluded sections of the population.

The pandemic effect
During the COVID-19 pandemic, digital connectivity in Asia played a vital role in overcoming the difficulties of conventional trade. The digital economy acted as a key enabling factor in the Asian recovery, Observer Research Foundation reports. According to Nikkei Asia, the pandemic has had a striking impact on Southeast Asia’s digital economy: 60 million people in the region became online consumers during this period. With this accelerated uptake of technology, there was an increase in nearly all e-commerce during the pandemic, with solid growth in sports equipment and supermarket items.

The pandemic had a beneficial effect on most areas of e-commerce

Asia now accounts for nearly 60% of the world’s online retail sales. Asian-Pacific e-commerce is expected to nearly double by 2025, reaching $2 trillion, according to Euromonitor International. From online retail to ride-sharing services to exporting online labour, this digital boom is reshaping almost every aspect of business and social life in this region.

Riaz Haq said...

#Pakistan #IT incentives: IT/ITES firms & #freelancers to pay no tax, keep earnings in Pak banks in #US$. No restriction on outward #remittances from #PSEB-registered IT Companies & freelancers. No capital gain tax for #startup #investors. #tech #exports

Pakistan Prime Minister Imran Khan approved on Tuesday a number of incentives, including tax exemptions, to facilitate the IT sector, freelancers and startups, a statement from the ministry said, as the country looks towards the digital economy to boost its dollar inflow.

The Ministry of Information Technology and Telecommunication (MoITT) added that the tax exemption benefit was the biggest demand of the sector.

"The other fiscal and non-fiscal incentives for the industry were proposed by the MoITT," it said.

"Long-outstanding issue of IT companies regarding easy inflow/outflow of foreign currency has also been addressed as specialised foreign currency accounts (FCY) for IT/ITES companies and freelancers will be introduced to meet their operational needs."

The approval was made in a meeting chaired by Prime Minister Imran Khan on Tuesday. Officials of MoITT, Pakistan Software Export Board (PSEB), State Bank of Pakistan (SBP), Federal Board of Revenue (FBR), Special Technology Zone Authority and Ignite National Technology Fund were also present in the meeting.

Faulty submarine cable causes internet disruption in Pakistan

According to the MoITT statement, the PM has directed to allow IT/ITES Companies and freelancers to retain 100% amount of remittances received through proper banking channels, in FCY Accounts without any compulsion to convert them into PKR.

Furthermore, there will be no restriction of outward remittances from FCY account for PSEB-registered IT Companies and freelancers.

PM Imran bets on IT sector to generate employment, dollar inflow

The prime minister has also directed the SBP to introduce financing streams for IT/ITES sector and freelancers keeping in view operational architecture and industry needs for these sectors.

"Recommendations of the Pakistan Technology Startup Fund was also approved by the Prime Minister as part of this historic package for the creation of a public-private partnership venture capital fund. Ignite National Technology Fund will create this Fund through Public private partnership."

Earlier, Business Recorder reported that the MoITT has prepared a package of fiscal and non-fiscal incentives for freelancers including the proposal of reduced sales tax rate, not exceeding two percent, as well as income tax holiday on exports income/ revenue/ receipts till 2030 and fast-track and simplified opening of foreign currency bank accounts to create a favourable business environment.

As per the report, the MoITT wanted to re-align the government strategies to attract a reasonable chunk from global spending on outsourcing and freelancing services in Pakistan, which, according to the ministry, will help create thousands of new jobs for freelancers in different sectors in line with the current government policy of creating high-end and well-paying white-collar jobs for youth employed in the digital economy.

Riaz Haq said...

Pakistan’s startup boom has triggered a “war for talent”
Flush with venture funding, tech companies are offering staggering salaries and perks, while recruiters struggle to hang on to candidates eager for the best deals.

In the spring of 2021, Qatar-born edtech startup Stellic decided to hire a head of engineering in Pakistan. The company used LinkedIn and sought the services of two recruitment agencies to find a candidate. Ten months later, however, the role is still open. “We have been trying different channels, but we haven’t found the right candidate,” Sabih Bin Wasi, founder and CEO of Stellic, told Rest of World.

Stellic’s struggle reflects a broad trend in the Pakistani tech industry, where companies — startups as well as traditional IT firms — are struggling to attract the right talent. The tech boom in recent years has created a severe shortage of trained tech workforce in the world’s fifth most-populous country. Experts believe the industry must come up with innovative ways to overcome the shortage soon, if it wants to continue its impressive growth.

Pakistan’s IT exports increased at a compound annual growth rate of 17.8% between fiscal year 2016 (July–June) and FY 2021. The country’s tech startups raised a record $365 million in 2021 and have already banked at least $223 million in less than five months of 2022.

“There’s literally a war for talent these days,” Salman Shahid, CEO of recruitment startup Kamayi, told Rest of World. “The situation has perhaps been the worst for local software houses, who cumulatively employ some 70% of the human resource, as they train fresh graduates only to lose them to well-funded startups.”

Over 57% of the respondents in a survey of 150 Pakistani entrepreneurs in 2021 cited the availability of top managers to be a “major” challenge. “The emergence of a growing number of venture-backed startups has led to companies competing for a limited talent pool by offering salaries way above market rate, along with other perks,” Invest2Innovate, the Pakistani startup accelerator that conducted the survey, said in its report. “The technology sector witnessed one of the steepest pay increases in 2021, as companies gave higher-than-usual increments in order to retain their resources.”

After graduating from a prestigious college in Karachi in June 2019, Ali Hasan took up his first job at a salary of 20,000 rupees ($128 at the time) per month — not much higher than the minimum wage — at a small software firm in Karachi. Three days later, he quit, lured by a well-known tech company that was offering double the salary. Hasan, who asked to be identified by a pseudonym because he does not want potential future employers to doubt his intentions to commit to an offer, signed the contract with the second employer. But a day before joining, he took up another offer that would pay him three times the initial salary. Since his graduation, Hasan has appeared for “hundreds of interviews” and signed at least seven offer letters, he told Rest of World.

Only two years later, Hasan was making 50 times his original salary as a staff software engineer for a global travel tech company.

Riaz Haq said...

Pakistan’s startup boom has triggered a “war for talent”
Flush with venture funding, tech companies are offering staggering salaries and perks, while recruiters struggle to hang on to candidates eager for the best deals.

Only two years later, Hasan was making 50 times his original salary as a staff software engineer for a global travel tech company.

This kind of steep career growth was unheard of in Pakistan until a couple of years ago.

A few years ago, a software engineer in Pakistan who had work experience of around three years would make about 150,000 rupees ($1,000 at the time) a month, according to Shahid of Kamayi. Now, someone with the same skills and experience earns double that. More than 40% of Pakistani tech companies gave over 30% increment raises to their employees in 2021, while 41% of firms gave hikes of between 15% and 30%, according to a survey by the Pakistan Software Houses Association (P@SHA). Yet, the annual turnover rate for the industry shot up to 30% in 2021 from 18% the year before.

There are over 500,000 people working in the IT and business process outsourcing (BPO) sectors in Pakistan. The country produces around 25,000 fresh computer science graduates every year, which is growing by 5% each year. Most of these graduates cannot be put on jobs immediately. “Only 20% of those graduates are actually employable. Very few local universities are actually training their students on newer technologies, like Javascript and Python, which account for almost 80% of our exports,” Mustafa Najoom, vice president of growth at, a recruitment startup that helps Pakistani engineers find jobs with U.S. companies, told Rest of World.

To navigate the situation, Pakistani tech companies are coming up with unique solutions.

Salesflo, a supply chain software catering to consumer goods companies, has launched a structured graduate program, which recruits recent college graduates and trains them across a range of business functions. “In our first year of Salesflo, we hired four fresh graduates because that’s all we could afford at the time. But the results were so encouraging that from next year onwards, we developed it into a structured graduate program,” Yasir Suleman Memon, co-founder of Salesflo, told Rest of World.

Salesflo has also chosen an unlikely destination to set up its engineering hub: Hyderabad, the eighth largest city in Pakistan. “There’s a lot of wonderful talent in cities like Hyderabad, Multan, Bahawalpur, etc., who have to move to metropolises for jobs, so why not take the jobs there?” Memon said.

Several tech companies are also trying to tackle the problem of talent shortage via coding camps and open-source courses.

One of the largest export-oriented IT services companies in Pakistan, 10Pearls, has set up “10Pearls University,” which offers free training and online courses in different technical disciplines. “To double our IT exports, we need to increase our workforce by two times,” Zeeshan Aftab, managing director and co-founder of 10Pearls, told Rest of World. “To address this, we need to combine multiple strategies: provide software development training to graduates of other engineering disciplines who haven’t secured jobs, incentivize women with professional IT qualifications who have become homemakers to rejoin the workforce, and adjust the current degree programs so students can join the workforce after two to three years of studies and complete the final year while working.”

Riaz Haq said...

Edge to boost base salary by 150% of Pakistan-based employees in face of inflation

ISLAMABAD, Pakistan: Edge, US founded HR-tech startup, is raising base salaries for its Pakistan based client relations employees to Rs 200,000 minimum.

This represents a 150 percent increase in base pay in a move seeking to provide relief to employees in the face of rising inflation and fuel costs.

More than 190 people working in the client relations department will benefit from this welcome development. Edge also plans to increase its global company-wide compensation budget in the near future.

“We are aware of the global economic downturn and its impact on our people, especially in Pakistan. More than ever, we understand our responsibility towards our people and the need to invest in them,” said Iffi Wahla, Founder and CEO, Edge.

“I sincerely hope this decision starts a momentum for wage increases in the country. Our mission is to democratize fair wages and access to work across the globe.”

The company was founded in 2020 and operates in the insurance, health, and retail sector providing global remote employees to North American companies. A total of 320 employees are a part of the company which has offices in the United States, Pakistan, and Peru. Edge plans on expanding to seven more countries by the end of this year and 150 countries by 2024.

Riaz Haq said...

The Philippines, India and Pakistan are the top three countries in terms of the number of workers being hired in the Asia-Pacific region, said a new report.

According to Deel’s State of Global Hiring Report released on Tuesday, Australia, Singapore, and India are the top three countries in the Asia-Pacific region where organisations were hiring last year. At the same time, Australia, Hong Kong and India were the fastest-growing countries for hiring new employees in the region.

In the UAE, Indian and Pakistani nationals account for the largest number of people among all expatriate communities. There are around 3.5 million Indian nationals, 1.7 million Pakistanis and 650,000 Filipinos employed in different public and private sectors nationwide.

The Deel study revealed that software engineering, sales and products were in the highest demand roles in Asia-Pacific.

In terms of salaries, Taiwan, Thailand, and South Korea saw the biggest average salary gains across all jobs.

Deel’s State of Global Hiring Report data is based on over 260,000 contracts and 15,000-plus customers across more than 160 countries, as well as over 500,000 data points from third-party sources, including Microverse. All countries, states, and cities in the report have at least 50 worker contracts on file as of December 2022.

Globally, hiring sustained its momentum throughout the year, as 89 per cent of all contracts were for remote roles. Many companies looked abroad to optimise talent costs.

Professor Samuel Dahan, chairman of Deel Lab for Global Employment, said average starting salaries for the role in content creation, operations and fiancé increased the most in the Philippines, India and Brazil.

While compensation rates also fell worldwide for new workers for the roles of accountants, customer support agents, consultants, designers and software engineers

Due to instability in the cryptocurrencies, Deel said, workers, lost some interest in receiving payments in cryptocurrencies.