Rozgar Pakistan is the first Pakistani freelance marketplace which hopes to connect freelancers from Pakistan with employers all over the world. Think of it as the local version of Elance or Odesk, but instead of competing against people from all over the world for jobs, you’re only competing with freelancers from Pakistan. While that seems like a great opportunity, keep in mind that the reason Odesk and Elance are so popular is because of the wide variety of work available on them. Since Rozgar Pakistan has limited itself to Pakistani freelancers, you’re going to be competing for fewer jobs.
How it works
Clients can sign up from the homepage. They can browse packages offered by freelancers, ask questions, negotiate prices and then buy a service. Funds are held in Escrow until the work is done to the client’s satisfaction and then released to the freelancer. Freelancers also get feedback from each client, which is visible on their profile page.
Rozgar charges 3.5% per transaction plus the wire transfer fee ($8 per transaction).
Slow to start
The service is still in Beta, which could explain why a) the quality of freelancers is below average and b) the website content is littered with inconsistencies and mistakes. There also aren’t a lot of freelancers on the website to start with, which makes me wonder how many clients are roaming the halls. Clients will only be attracted to Rozgar Pakistan once they know the freelancers there are a) up to par and b) numerous so they have options to choose from.
The sole purpose behind the website seems to be to market Pakistani freelancers to the world, which is a noble cause, but the website does this by promoting Pakistani freelancers as the “cheap” option. “Thousands of verified low priced Pakistani freelance packages from service providers who provide 5 star services. You can get a job done in 1/3 of the price of US/UK market.”
The message: get top-notch work done cheaply. If the website really wants to promote Pakistani freelancers, it should increase work standards (by adding tests like Elance) and empower local freelancers to feel comfortable charging rates they can make a living off of. Of course, this might be impossible given that they are attracting clients who only want to hire Pakistanis (the only nationality of freelancers on the website) and therefore are already only willing to pay dirt-cheap prices. This is one of the biggest issues Pakistani freelancers who provide quality work have to fight against daily – the discrimination against South Asia when it comes to higher paying work on freelancing websites – and it seems Rozgar Pakistan will only make the distinction worse and therefore only attract low-quality freelancers.
Another confusing aspect of the website is that it promotes Pakistani freelancers to clients from abroad, with no option for locals to hire locally. This is reflected in the USD pricing, and the PayPal only payment solutions offered to clients. Once again, this could have a great opportunity to market Pakistani freelancers to Pakistan based businesses, which is a point Rozgar Pakistan seems to be missing out on.
Who’s behind it?
The founder of Rozgar Pakistan is Hisham Sarwar, one of the oldest freelancers in Pakistan on Guru.com. He earned over $1 million USD on Guru.com, and became on of the top 10 service providers on the website. He’s prominently featured on the Guru.com website as a result of his outstanding performance.