Thursday, June 23, 2022

US Tech Firm Gives Remote Employees in Pakistan 150% Raise

American tech firm Edge has boosted the minimum salary of its Pakistan-based remote employees to Rs. 200,000 (about US$1,000) a month, a 150% increase. The firm's 190 employees work from home for the firm headquartered in Sacramento, California . “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 its Pakistani-American Founder and CEO Iffi Wahla. “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.”

Edge was founded in 2020 and operates in the insurance, health, and retail sectors.  It provides 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 to expand to seven more countries by the end of this year and 150 countries by 2024.

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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Javed E. said...

Looks good on paper but given that the Dollar has increased vs the Rupee what was the salary in $ paid 3 or 6 months ago?

Riaz Haq said...

Javed: "Looks good on paper but given that the Dollar has increased vs the Rupee"

Remote employees in Pakistan spend in rupees, not in US dollars.

Even if you assume an exaggerated 50% inflation rate in PKR, they are still well ahead with a 200% raise..

Besides, these employees have to compete for talent. If they lag in compensation, they won't be able to attract/retain top talent.

Javed E. said...

Noted – Just wanted to get some real numbers- Is it a 200% raise i.e. they were making Rs. 50,000 prior to the raise? That is indeed significant.

In June 2021 1 US Dollar was equivalent to Rs 157, whereas today it is equivalent to Rs 209 about a 33% loss, so a 200% increase to them is indeed very significant.

Riaz Haq said...

Javed: Is it a 200% raise

You caught the error. It is indeed 150% raise, not 200%.

Javed E. said...


Always appreciate your wite ups. There are amazing and full of information that is not available for any other source. Please keep this up.

And definitely my goal is not to catch errors.

Curious as to what the wages for these employees were (In Rs or Dollars) prior to this raise.

Riaz Haq said...

Javed: "And definitely my goal is not to catch errors"

Thank you.

I do want you to catch any errors. It helps me.

To me, 100% means double and 150% means triple of what these were prior to the latest raise.

So the MINIMUM monthly salary in PKR at Edge would have been about Rs 65,000 a month prior to the latest raise to Rs 200,000 a month.

Riaz Haq said...

Famed Silicon Valley investor Marc Andreessen says the rise of remote work will create an 'earthquake' in how and where people live

Marc Andreessen said remote work could cause an "earthquake" in how we live.

He said it'll mark a civilizational shift as people no longer have to choose their home based on where their office is.

Since early 2020, the pandemic has ushered in remote work policies, which have stuck in the years since.


How “Digital Nomad” Visas Can Boost Local Economies

Work-from-anywhere, where workers enjoy the flexibility to live in a geography of their choice, is here to stay, and countries around the world are in a race to attract the growing class of international remote workers known as “digital nomads.” Portugal, for example, now offers a two-year renewable residence visa for workers who can prove that they have a remote job for the length of their stay. Other countries that offer a form of digital nomad visas include Australia, Czech Republic, UAE, Estonia, Germany, Thailand, Indonesia, Italy, Spain and Brazil, among many others. (See the below chart for details). These visas typically require proof of income and remote employment, travel insurance, and intent to depart. In summary, digital nomads invest their time and money in the local economy, without taking local jobs, and build bridges with local knowledge workers — a win-win for both remote workers and local communities.


Termed as “World’s Next Big Thing” by Lonely Planet, Pakistan is one of the world’s most favorite tourist destination. It is a country with diverse geographic and ethnic cultures. It has numerous historical monuments and heritage sites in the central, soaring shorelines in the south, and mighty Karakorum mountain ranges in the extreme north. It is home to the world’s second-largest mountain K2 in the Himalayan ranges.

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.