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Business closures, downsizing, joblessness, recession, industry decline, market saturation, shutdowns, retrenchments, customer defection and staff attrition. This is a sample of oft-repeated words, policies and trends we have heard, read and spoken about in the last couple of years.

Over a million skilled people have left the country in despair. There seems to be an overwhelming consensus on the absence of business and job opportunities in the country. The jury seems to be out on gloom and doom in business.

This is not to say that things are very cheerful and chirpy. This is not to say that this is an exaggerated presentation of the real picture. But this is to say that adversity does bring opportunity.

Innovation is both by default and by design. Sometimes you plan an innovative initiative and it bombs. Sometimes you are bombed and you innovate to survive. No example other than the recent Covid-19 could be more apt. With a complete and absolute shutdown in every corner of the world, the world continued to work.

Enclosed, entrapped, isolated with little access to the millions of facilities available in the office environment, quickly and cleverly initiative after initiative was taken to ensure the show must go on. The virtual became real.

The home became the office, the market, the playground and so on. One innovation has given rise to many opportunities-opportunities that have lasted beyond COVID. In the present scenario in the country while most businesses are groaning and moaning some are growing and thriving.

All the traditional entry barriers like capital requirement, large marketing budgets, offices, factories, logistics are really not required. Whether you are young or old, jobless or moneyless, you have a great chance of succeeding.

This may seem like a fantasy or a con artist’s lure pitch, but it happens to be absolutely true. Let us take something which many people can do, i.e., online tutoring.

Traditional tutoring was a big business due to the abysmal quality level of in school teaching. Tutors invested in academies and taught in good schools to develop clientele for their academies.

With COVID the online teaching, that was considered inferior, took center stage. So you really do not need space to host students. You can Zoom in and use the screen share to teach all subjects possible. In Pakistan this form of earning money is on the take-off stage. According to Statista, the Online Learning Platforms market in Pakistan is projected to reach revenue of US$56.75m in 2024.

It is expected to show a strong annual growth rate (CAGR 2024-2028) of 47.19%, resulting in a projected market volume of US$266.40m by 2028. In Pakistan’s Online Learning Platforms market, the number of users is expected to reach 5.0m users by 2028.

The user penetration rate, which measures the proportion of the population using these platforms, is forecasted to increase from 1.6% in 2024 to 2.0% by 2028. With only 1.6% penetration compared to 20% in China, just imagine the opportunity possibility. So let us have a look at how to capitalize on this opportunity:

1- Research and find your niche— It is good to focus on a particular subject to tutor. Mathematics and English seem to have unlimited demand in the Pakistani market. However, within these subjects find “yours only” personal space. For that you must spend some time on what is the market demanding and what does the supply side offer. Even if it is English, see if you can offer something more than others.

If you have the skill to upgrade grammar or teach creative writing, study the type that is demanded by the market. If it is geography then look at what regions/topics can you make interesting by animation or through various creative ways to create a niche for yourself.

2- Search for proper platforms and how to penetrate them— Imagine on ground market entry. If you want to be considered by the customer place your offering where he or she visits. On ground we see car selling shops open in car markets where the customer is sure to evaluate and consider various sellers.

Similarly, the tutoring market has many virtual market places where parents and students browse to select the appropriate service available. Sites like or are some places to be seen and studied.

Also look for specialized WhatsApp groups that are acting as meeting places for tutors. Referrals that can get you entry in such groups are very useful. That word of chat is a powerful market entry point.

3- Build an impactful profile— Tutoring is a credentials market. The profile matters. The presentation speaks. Spend some time on arranging your background. Add things that you have done that will add to your offer of being a knowledgeable and engaging tutor on line. Go on some free courses on “how to teach on line”. Do them even if they are basic but their certification will show up on your profile and make a specialist impact.

4- Develop a Marketing Package— Once your profile is ready look at various promotional avenues. Try for some paid advertising in some high impact LinkedIn and other relevant forums to push start. Start writing a blog on topics of your subject and use your network to place it on market forums.

You can also make a video of yourself, explaining a difficult part of your subject in an energetic and interesting manner and post it on young students chat groups. Keep producing content and posting it. If it is of quality it will attract the target market.

5- Look for international markets— Online tutoring is cross border. It is a good form of earning foreign exchange. The immediate target market is Pakistanis in the Middle East. Dubai and Saudi Arabia has huge number of overseas Pakistanis whose children need tuition. Later the US, UK and Canada can be added. Many women who teach Quran are reaching these markets and making decent living out of it.

These opportunities would have not come if adversity had not come. Thus for all those feeling morose about no work, no money, no prospects, change your lens. Stop looking out and start looking in. The Khan’s academy and the Food pandas all started with big ideas but small steps.

Success creates complacency and failure leads to urgency. More rule changing innovations in the business world has come when all seemed lost than when all seemed cozy. So get moving on line to start a movement of disruption, innovation and creation.

Copyright Business Recorder, 2024


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