A number of bright Pakistani expats that have studied at top universities such as Duke, Cornell, Oxford, UT Austin, and work at Google, Microsoft, and elsewhere — which also includes Adnan Haider from the Lootmaar fame — have come together to launch www.pkstudent.com today, a “US-based startup company that aims to provide the first Online Students Admission and Consulting Service in Pakistan”.
Their model is straightforward – they provide a set of general admissions and scholarship resources available on their site, and provide free “evaluation and consultation” that can help to guide you towards the best places to apply to. The hope would be that this would be followed by people paying for “admissions services” which includes preparing your admissions packages and writing effective supporting materials.
This is a space with very high demand among students in the local market, which also makes it a highly crowded space. I do agree that they could have easily disrupted the competition by executing a good online model, but right now they are not much different from the competition, except that their consultants are spread out all over the world.
Although I can see a couple of different models that would have worked better for this sort of service (particularly models that make the full process free for students and applicants) I will not critique them yet because this is 1.0 and this is also something these people seem to be doing out of genuinely good intentions, and not to mint money out of the less fortunate who need help in studying abroad (make no mistake though — charging for admissions services does seem to give that vibe to their brand).
Having said this, www.pkstudent.com is still likely to face a flood of traffic and I hope their system picks up and scales well –atleast in this country, this is a space where the demand is near infinite.