From Rickshaw Driver to Six Figures A Month – An Internet Success Story

If you’re a regular read of ProPakistani, you’ll know that citizen empowerment through access to internet and information technology is something we believe in very strongly. Today, we have a story that showcases exactly that.

Usman Khan, a 33 year old from Lahore, used to drive a rickshaw. Having dropped out of college before he could finish his FA, there weren’t many income streams available and like a large segment of the population, he did what he had to do to feed his family of 3.

indexUsman’s breakthrough came in the form of a regular customer named Omair, who worked at a software house on M.M Alam Road. Regular conversations during daily commute revealed a sharp mind and Omair took Usman under his tutelage.

His first foray into online work was through a video portal called SabMaza. However, even after 2 years of efforts, it didn’t amount to much. The competition was simply too fierce and his experience too limited. It wasn’t wasted time though, Usman stresses. What he learnt during that time was the art of optimizing a site so that it ranks as highly as it can on search engines.

When we asked Usman about how he went about learning the ins and outs of generating organic traffic, he chuckled and said:

I didn’t even have the money to get an internet connection. I drove rickshaw during the day and for Rs 40 per hour, I went to internet cafes and worked. I read all I could about how Google indexed websites and how I could make mine rank near the top. I wasn’t great at English so I bought a dictionary and kept it with me. It was slow progress but I persisted.

Armed with experience and information, his new venture was more modest. A site called MobileRingtones, which provided precisely what its name suggests, was his next project.

What might seem like a fairly mundane idea was to be the breakthrough Usman was seeking. Today, the site gets over 25,000 unique visits a day. Two months ago, Usman also launched a companion mobile app and it has already seen over 10,000 installs.

All in all, MobileRingtones nets him well above six figures on a monthly basis. A far cry from the mere Rs. 10,000 – Rs. 15,000 he earned while driving a rickshaw.

Speaking about the reversal of fortunes, Usman says:

I feel blessed. I’ve seen bad times, really really bad times. Schools calling us to give a deadline for fee submission, tuition centers doing the same, I don’t wish that on anyone. Last month, I closed over 1900 Euros in revenue. Next month promises to be even better.

Today, Usman has moved on to better and bigger projects. What struck me during my conversation with him was his desire to see his story be one among many rather than a one-off. While his extenuating circumstances meant that he just had to keep trying till he succeeded, he realizes not everyone has the same reservoirs of patience.

Honestly, I have a ton of ideas on how to generate income via the internet. If someone’s poor and uneducated, like I was, I want them to know that all is not lost.

ProPakistani has featured its fair share of people who have earned millions through hard work and talent but arguably, smaller stories like these are what matter more.

I distinctly remember moving back to my old neighborhood after 5 years and seeing the very same sabzi walay, the same shop keepers and the same chowki daars. While their faces were wrinkled and grey streaked their hair, they seemed to be stuck in a time loop, doing the same things they had been doing for years.

When I talk about the power of the internet, what I mean is the power to break this cycle. Barring some miraculous stroke of luck, Usman would have remained a rickshaw driver for years, maybe moving up in the food chain as time went on but it would have been at a slow pace.

The internet handed him the reigns to pull himself out of poverty through hard work and determination alone. And him succeeding in doing so tells me that a digital revolution in Pakistan is truly underway.

Talal is the Editor in Chief at ProPakistani.


  • ScarletCrimson

    “But no. Let’s heavily tax the internet and make it a luxury for the masses, instead of a right.” – Pakistani Government

    Btw, happy for this guy. Hopefully more Pakistanis will follow his footsteps.

    • Khurram ShahzAd

      Plus have you noticed, there is water in the bottle :-)

  • Nadeem

    Is he earning through Google AdSense ?

    • Umair A. Shahid

      No. He advertises his bank account number on his website and people transfer him Euros.

      • ^butthurt

      • Nadeem

        Beta mehnat kr hasad na kr….

      • Asmat Ullah Khattak

        hahaha so funny Mr. Umair A. Shahid

      • HarrySidd

        very few ppl knw the word *SARCASM* br0 !!

        • Nabeel

          even fewer understand it….

      • Arsalan Ahmad

        aap bhi apna bank account number apni site per likh kar Euros kama lian na…

    • Agha

      SEO…

  • Ali Ahmad khan

    Wish you all the luck in world.May God bless you.

  • Pakistan is got talented people but its really sucks as a country , The only reason i moved my business to UAE , I started form 1000 rupees and worked day and night meanwhile govt did nothing but did best to destroy it , killed my business with load shedding and bankers treated me like i was some big ass taliban because i was recieving payments from USA and UK .. There is NO Respect in Pakistan to be honest specially for those who work their ass off ..

    • Ahmad

      you repeated the word ‘ass’ two times in your single comment:-)

  • farzan

    true inspiration for all entrepreneurs …
    hats off …!!

  • ay

    Great .Never give up , the true essence of life ..

  • Saqlain

    It is indeed consistency and hard work. I met a rickshaw driver in Peshawar. He is CS graduate and driving rickshaw. I must to share this information with him.

  • Human

    One of the best article in the history of this blog. Well done Usman bhai & Syed Talal.

  • AQeeL ALi

    Usman khan! Determination and Hard work always pays!

  • Mariam Khan

    This is called “change” we need more people like Omair to encourage, motivate and guide people like Usman who are not educated yet determined to achieve their goal, really appreciate the hard work and dedication of Usman and Omair both towards their work. Keep helping and guiding your fellow citizens.

  • Ali

    Adsens sa 6 figures!!! Kidding????

    • by

      PP must be talking about around $1000 a month or bit higher. Painting it “six figure” adds spirce to the story. IMO, the tale is about hard work. Thats it. Internet was just a tool used by Usman to turn his life around.

    • Zawyar Ur Rehman

      Its is indeed possible to get 6 figures from adsense (in PKR that is)
      But it does require a ****load of hardwork and determination just like narrated in this story.

  • by

    load shedding, and bankers treating you like terrorists. Thats how several ghunchay bin khilay murjha gyay.

  • Great story. This is what we need; stories that instill hope among the masses. Well done! I write for the Huffington Post, Business.com and other publications, I would love to interview Usman guy for my podcast. Can you please share his contact details with me? My email is syedirfanajmal[at]gmail[dot]com. Please remove my email ID before you publish this comment.
    Thanks.

  • Danish

    SEO?

  • yousufrafi

    Totally an inspiration!!

  • Waqas Rasheed

    Hats off to Omair, really an inspirational deed.
    Society needs such visionary people who actually give something to society and recognize true potential.

  • Fasih Ali Khan

    One day, I’d love to make a story too, but need serious help!!!

  • Shehzad

    Bitter Truth. You are Dam Right bro.

  • MJQ

    Bravo Usman for the hard work and consistency to achieve success. Thanks to ProPakistani for bringing such a success story to inspire the others.

  • BILQEESKENCHI.PK

    Funny ya Fake but dono hai story ek. Admin sahab plz tell k Usman sahab ki kis site ke 25,000 unique visits hain? Ringtones wali ke? janab ring tones wali ke maximum 700 to 900 dailys visits hain. Or if im not wrong 25,000 unique visits ap ki site ke b nahi hain. Or aj ke door main without heavy investment itni jaldi six figures main earning start nahi hoti. or Site pe Adsense account kis country ka hai jo in Euros a rahay hain? koi paper evidence hai tu plz share karin? but es bandy ne struggle zaror ki ho gi but mein samjhti hon k ye story fake hai or ap plz explain karin ke y paise kaise kama rahay hain? 1900 Euros kaise earn kerte hain Mr. Usman. I hope u must publish my comments.

    • Ishtiaq

      Bilqees Baji aap tou apni kenchi leke in becharon pe charh dori hain. Baji, Hath hola zara plz.

      • BILQEESKENCHI.PK

        lolzzzzzzzzz bro hath hola hi hai plz check his site status at your end :)

    • Awais

      I have sites having alexa rank of 2-3 lac and they have almost 4k visitors each per day. This guy’s site’s alexa rank is 152,000 so he is most probably getting more than 7k visitors per day.

    • MobilesRingtones.com

      Just in case who are checking the website on Alexa please make sure you are spelling our website correctly. Its http://www.mobilesringtones.com. I believe you might be missing “s” in the domain “mobilesringtones”. Ok lets move on @disqus_TFiynTc59G:disqus Ringtones are popular all over the world and have searches,popular websites like zedge,mobile9 etc.Started with ringtones. See the image to see the monthly searches of the keyword “Ringtones”. As far as the earning module is concerned we don’t think it has concern with this at all.There are so many ways to get an adsense hosted on any legal website. If you want to meet Mr.Usman khan to know more and if by that your opinion towards this story will change from “FAKE” to “ORIGINAL” leave a message at our facebook page and we will get back to you.

    • Zoms

      Its not a fake story. I am witness to his project “Sabmaza”.

    • MMMTheHacker

      “or ap plz explain karin ke y paise kaise kama rahay hain? 1900 Euros kaise earn kerte hain Mr. Usman.”

      Saf saf bolo na ke method bataen money kamane ka. Itna drama zaroori tha kya?
      #RustyKenchi

      • BILQEESKENCHI.PK

        buri baat aise kisi bare se mukhatib nhi hote

        • MMMTheHacker

          Hahahaha my bad. I apologize Baji. Btw your site looks great. It would be nice if you get rid of the pirated content though.

          • BILQEESKENCHI.PK

            Tanqeed or Tareef dono k lye shukria :)

          • BILQEESKENCHI.PK

            Baji b kehte ho or Baji ki site ko criticize b kerte ho? pirated content tu nahi hai, u know very well jab kahin koi incident hota hai tu sab news channels same news he dete hain but with little bit change, tab tu ap ko nahi lgta k ye news pirated hai. jo news baqi laga rahay hain hum b wo he laga rahe hain. Pirated kehna ziyati hai ap ki bahi mere.

    • aamir7

      So you are claiming k ProPakistani k bhi 25k unique nae hain? Itna Zulm tu na karain pls

      • AQeeL ALi

        Sir they are checking wrong stats. Its not their fault.

      • BILQEESKENCHI.PK

        lolzzzzz nhi sir im inspired by ur site, but im sure k ap k daily 25,000 unique visits nhi hain :P trust me :)

      • Mehreen Ali Chudhary

        Aik Rikshaw Driver Ne Ye Seekh Lya ke Online 6 Figures Earning Kaisey Kerni Hai.. Sochney Wali Baat Hai os Ne Yea Kyun na Seekha ke Domain ki WHois bhi Apne naam kerwani hai… Jahan Tak Mujhe pata hai ke Umair Khan or Sajjad Ashraf es domain ke owner hein.. Even Google play pe jo Apps hai wahan bhi Sajjad Ashraf ka naam hai.. Dear Aamir Sb.. Kya main bhi koi backlink hasil ker sakti hon koi aisi story or kisi ko middle man bana ke..Hope you understand what i wana explain in short…

        • Mariam Khan

          Miss Mehreen first stop burning yourself out and don’t start envy other people success, I am journalists and I am covering this story long back but cause of my other assignments I could not cover it, so stop mudslinging other on your half baked knowledge, and don’t act as a proxy for someone else, I am giving you open challenge to prove this story wrong from any end.

          • Mehreen Ali Chudhary

            Please explain what is this then??? Main tu just thora buhat knowledge se yea janti hon ke Jab koi banda ya bandi itna bara project launch kerta ya kerti hai tu wo es ki domain jo ke aik main cheez hoti hai wo kaisey kisi or ke naam ker sakta hai.. also sirf domain he nahi.. apps bhi same name se upload hoi hai.. ab chun ke aap es story pe kaam ker chuki hai or aap ka knowledge bhi half nahi ho ga.. es lye aap behtar explain ker sakti hein..

            • Mariam Khan

              I would suggest you to upgrade yourself on the technicalities of website before commenting on such articles, best of luck.

            • Mariam Khan

              And just an additional information you must be aware of defamation law so be careful.

              • Mehreen Ali Chudhary

                Really then it could be for those who spread false information … As per me .. main wohi send ker rahi hon jo fact hai.. so anything from you warmly welcome :P

                • I think you should meet Mr.Usman or give him a call :) stop burning your energy here.

    • M. Aamir. M

      API! Learn SEO, rule the world..!!

    • Dr.tamour

      nice publicity stunt taqay aaplogo ko attract kar sakay kya samjhee

      • BILQEESKENCHI.PK

        Pakistan main jahan bhot kuch ho raha hai wahan aisi publicity ho jye tu kya faraq perta hai :P

        • Dr.tamour

          lolz….. har jaga yehi statement sunay ko milti hai pakistan hai khair hai . pakistan kya lottery mai mila tha. ya pakistan out of warranty ho gya hai… Pakistan ki izat hum log hi nahi karay gay to bahir kya haak karay gay………………………………………………………………….

          my toungue is a double edged sword …scissors cannot defeat me

    • ghumro

      Bilqees phupho, itna jealous mat ho. Kiya pata aik din tum bhi itna kama lo (agarche mushkil hai kiyon ke tumharey paas common sense ki kami lagti hai)

  • Shoaib Kahut

    Indeed an Inspirational story ! A model to be followed by all ..

  • Nouman

    inspirational story…

    hope our fellow bloggers are not goining to copy his site, instead take idea

  • yasir

    Hard work is always progressive

  • so he told something to increase google rank????

  • Never imagined our rickshaw journey will take us so far, feeling determined for motivating and providing platforms for more brains like Usman khan.

  • let me know when you want to interview Usman

  • tabish

    The title is misleading. Instead of writing six figures a month you should write six figure RUPEES a month. But, I am happy for him and want to wish him many more success.

  • dan

    I don’t know why some people want to reveal their income to everyone. I am Clickbank Premium Member 2015 (if you don’t know what it is then search for it) but still I don’t want to people/government to trace me and tax me

  • Muhammad Ather

    Definitely we must appreciate Usman’s hard work without much technical knowledge and higher studies. It was all about passion to do something. Love you Usman!

  • Eli Ehsan

    Kudos for ya Champ. hope you continue to prosper.. Now, Please don’t undermine the “DAILY ROUTINE” workers (Chowkedars & sabzi walas et al) though. Learn to respect every professional doing their job coz without ’em doing it you & me won’t be able to do ours.. Also, essentially you’r too doing the SAME OLD SAME OLD routine work everyday by Optimising your site to gain site Visits init? So please be humble & continue DOING COKE man……. :) #Peace

  • You sir are an inspiration! Best of luck for the future :)

  • Dr.tamour

    nice article,

    i feel i am motivated to start a web based project.

  • Ahmad

    I wish there are many ‘Umairs’ around to help such people!

  • Haya Ali Khan

    Seeking business partners/investors to establish a niche export business, the product is to be sourced from within UAE and is exported to pakistan with confirmed buyers at karachi. contact at [email protected] PH# +923009379038.

  • Faizan Asad

    its all depend on Luck .

  • Waseem Anjum

    Awesome story. I’m gonna buy Rikshaw :-p

  • Shaheers

    BE AWARE,
    as a Muslim we should earn from Halal, as their are thousends of ways to make money if you not diffrentiate it,
    this ringtune website is based on music and music is Haram in Islam, majority of peoples go here for music, so majority of money earned from this is Haram as well,