Dais nay tum ko chora tha ya tum nay dais ko chora tha ? (Did you leave your country or did your country leave you?)

 

 

Before you start reading. I urge you to watch the above first to get the context.

If you cant relate to it. Dont read further.

In the summer of 2017 I put out a survey based on the  request from all those friends, colleagues, family members professional acquaintances and aspirants from the Pakistani diaspora who wanted to find out the real financial cost of moving back. The survey was geared towards finding data points but from respondents all across Pakistan. I spent some time, to build an average cost basis for a potential return relocation back to Karachi, Pakistan. This is transactional cost, not the emotional cost.

This by no means is scientific(and no ones compelling you to use it nor do I care to listen to counter arguments about the variables), but it has had 17k responses that have been analyzed and averaged out as best as possible to normalize the data. If you ask nicely I may give you the data set and you can build your own hypothesis.

The real issue is not the financial cost, this is just a conversation starter. You know who you are.  The ones who say, i’ll move if, ill move when. This is geared towards the Senior executives who are 15+ yrs in to their careers and into CXO roles and who have been dying to do a startup, or dying to join a game changing organization in Pakistan.

The headline my friends is,  that no ones going to build a game changing organization for you, and every ones doing well without you:). Unless you decide to come, no ones going to beg you to relocate, no one gives a shit frankly. You are chicken, you aint coming back. I am trying to do my part to actualize the one component in your decision making process, which is you not asking the tough questions about relocation costs, cuz frankly you’ve moved on, you have grown, you value your independence, you left to create better economic outcomes for your self, so dont apologize for your sucess, people who you left behind are in different economic conditions than your self, your preferences have evolved or maybe they haven’t, may be its tough for you to send your kids to the American School cuz your brothers kids go to their neighborhood  school, granted you dont want to sound like a prick. So heres a first pass at all the shit that was holding you back. If you are one of those who want to buy an Audi in Pakistan and worry about the fuel costs, this guide is not for you.

If this doesn’t kick start the conversation, nothing else will. You are not ready to take the plunge. You tell your self you are. Its ok, we all get home sick, but you have to rationalize if you are home sick or if you really want to do this. Are you fat happy and comfortable with what you are doing with not having to worry about water tankers and the other so called horror stories you have heard. If you are a corporate whore, admit it to your self, thats the first step in the healing process.

Dont believe every thing you hear, some of this shit is worse than you can imagine, other stuff not as much. But till you are ready, no amount of Cost benefit analysis is bringing you back. Its a life style choice. You have to make the choice, no one else can or will.

Yes Fintech is hot, yes digital transformation is hot, yet digital every thing is hot, yes starting a restaurant is hot too, but are you ready? There are some 100k 200k USD jobs in Pakistan, no denying that. But there are dozens of people like you and a handful of these positions.  There are many like you and me, but not enough roles to go around, we are a commodity. So best to leverage all your pardesi store bought commonsense and take the plunge, but not without having a year long runway for life + your startup or your idea. Dont move to Pakistan to “find your self” there is no fucking Starbucks to sip your venti soy lattes here.

This is no time for self discovery. Only the fully committed will succeed. No half ass ideas no me2 shit is going to work. The stuff that will work is when you solve for local challenges or you create IP and or leverage the human capital arbitrage in your favor.

“Be careful whose advice you buy, but, be patient with those who supply it. Advice is a form of nostalgia, dispensing it is a way of fishing the past from the disposal, wiping it off, painting over the ugly parts and recycling it for more than it’s worth.”  Baz Luhrmann

 

Special thanks to the WordPress wizard who built the form.

These figures are net of taxes, if you will against better advice try to land one of those 200k$ jobs then you need to factor in 35% taxes to your operating plan. If you end up being self employed or live off your savings then not as much. Post June 30th 2018 if the new tax plan goes into play that number will be 15% per the new simplified tax regime.

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