One of the features of many Pakistanis is their ability to rise from modest situations to positions of considerable wealth, usually achieved through hard work and a determination to succeed. One such person is Monis
One of the features of many Pakistanis is their ability to rise from modest situations to positions of considerable wealth, usually achieved through hard work and a determination to succeed. One such person is Monis Rahaman who is a testament to others of the possibilities and the potential of Pakistanis through effort and sense of purpose. His influence extends to UK, United States and Pakistan and he has used his wealth and position wisely and considerately to create and develop new ideas.
Monis was born in Lahore but spent his childhood in the United States and Saudi Arabia. His father worked in both the countries as an advisor for the United Nations. After studying engineering at the University of Wisconsin at Madison, Monis then helped develop the Itanium microprocessor chip at Intel which led to his first venture, a chip-design consulting firm that he abandoned after a year, seduced by the dot-com boom.
In 1999, Monis Rahman with a partner started a company that installed cameras in day care centers, allowing parents to watch the video streams online in real time. Edaycare.com attracted $2.5 million from investors, including Ron Conway, an early backer of Google and PayPal. About a year later the partners ran out of money, forcing them to sell the company for stock that was ultimately worthless.
After four years, Rahman–inspired by the success of Friendster.com–decided to start a social networking site for Muslims in the United States and United Kingdom. He named it Naseeb.com and decided not to go head-on as a matchmaking site because dating has a negative stigma from a Muslim viewpoint.
Rahman decided to move back to Pakistan, where he converted a guest room at his family house into an office. He registered his parent company, Naseeb Networks, in the United States to make it easier to raise money and subleased a small office in San Jose, California. This time he spent only $60,000 in total start-up costs, in part by doing some of the initial programming himself. To prime the market, he used equity in the company to buy the electronic greeting card site eidmubarak.com. Three thousand people from the site’s 1-million-strong mailing list signed up immediately paying annual memberships of $40, and by 2005 Naseeb.com started generating $300,000 in revenue.
Monis Rahman soon needed more programmers and support staff, and buying ads in local newspapers was expensive. So he decided to build a 'quick and dirty' job site to post his own job openings. Other local companies noticed, and he agreed to post their ads for free to help boost Naseeb’s traffic. He offered the largest companies the ability to search for résumés, as well as software to power their own company job boards and the right to post their logos on the front page of his new site. He named it Rozee, means Livelihood.
By 2007 Rozee.pk was generating more traffic than his thinly veiled matchmaking site. Today 5,000 companies actively post openings on Rozee.pk, paying between $29 for a single ad and up to $20,000 for a suite of services leaving Monis Rahaman no time to focus on Naseeb.com.