The global recession and liquidity crunch is making things difficult for everyone; small fish like us don’t stand a chance when giants like Coca-Cola are announcing dips in their profits. Job sites and Labour department and employment exchanges, especially in the United States of America and UK, are busy advertising the kind of skills that are still in demand and locations where people can retrain for those skills in order to get a job.
Things work a little differently here in Pakistan. The government is busy pacifying the militants, establishing governor’s rule and ensuring the availability of riot police for the impending long march. The opposition, on the other hand, has to make sure that they riot as much as they can during the long march, protest against the aforementioned governor’s rule and criticize government on every television channel that asks them to voice their opinion. The employment of common people is not something that is high on the agenda of either the government or the opposition parties.
However, after much deliberation, a new list of occupations is devised which can bring in richer dividends for the people, even in times of slump and economic decline.
Flag and Banner Industry: Whether it is election time, Muharram, Eid-e-Milad-un-Nabi, political rally, long march, short march or just the month of March, there is always a demand for a banner or two. Whether you are in business of providing cloth to the banner-and-flag maker or work as the darzi who sews the jhandas, there is steady employment in this business. Occasional employment is also available for hoisting the flags and banners across the length and breadth of the country.
Crowd provider: Just like flag and banner industry, potential for running a human resource agency for providing crowds for political meetings, marches, jalsas and dharnas is tremendous. Not only the possibilities for providing general public for rallies are enormous, one can create a niche speciality for providing people who are good at slogan chanting, rallying the mob and flag bearing. Of course the charges for specific human resource would be much higher than just general crowd provision.
Hijab Industry: Hijab industry is the fastest growing industry in the country. With imposition of Shariat in Swat and Fata and its probable spread to other areas, burqas would be mandatory for women if they are to leave their homes to go to the weddings and funerals of relatives. Quite a few people have already built empires out of manufacturing and selling Hijab-related clothing. Hijab not only has a huge market in the country, but it sells like hot cakes in other countries as well and can generate much needed foreign exchange for the country. Canada is one such country where the business of hijab is booming, thanks to the immigration of Farhat Hashmi to the greener environs of Mississauga. Toronto and Vancouver are the new hotspots for the trendiest in hijab wear. This scribe met a sister duo in Rabi Centre Karachi who were buying tonnes of black georgette. One of the sisters is running a very successful hijab boutique in Vancouver and the other sister is the manufacturer who exports the hijab wear from Karachi; both of them are doing very well while busy in God’s business. If your business if affected by anti-dumping duties or you cannot compete with the low cost of production for knitwear, you can always switch to hijab wear and make loads of money for yourself and your country.
Madrassa teacher: As more and more people are facing the axe and their purchasing power is declining, they will soon be pulling their children out of the regular schools and put them in Madrassas funded with Saudi petrodollars. The higher the enrolment in such Madrassas would be, the demand for teachers would accelerate in the same proportion.
Disclaimer: Invest your time and money in the aforementioned occupations at your own risk; we cannot guarantee that the market for them will stay stable.
Originally published in Dawn.com