The role freelancers play in the growth of a sector
FREELANCING OUR WAY TO TECH LEADERSHIP
says Kiruba Shankar
I was recently talking with Rene Trescases, the founder of Scriptlance, one of the better known project bidding sites and he told me an interesting fact. India has the highest number of tech freelancers in the World…. more than US, UK, Australia put together.
Sure, we all know about the domination the big Indian IT companies (Infosys, TCS, Wipro etc) have in the global marketplace. But not many realize that there’s a very vibrant and successful freelance market and that we dominate this space as well.
The freelance world is a different world by itself. This is how it works. Many small businesses worldwide, who typically can’t afford the rates charged by bigger companies, are on the lookout for individuals or small companies who charge less. They post their requirements on sites like RentACoder.com, eLance.com or Scriplance.com. It could be anything from a complex e-commerce shopping site to a logo design. Freelance Programmer from around the world then quote their rates for a particular project.
The business owner then gets to choose the freelance programmer based on their rates, testimonials from other clients and their previous projects. And this is the area that India dominates and how!
Forget the fact that the net value of the projects aren’t big. Forget the fact that the main reason why the Indian freelancers get the projects is because they quote very competitive rates. The important thing is the entrepreneurial drive in them.
Most people start off moonlighting. After coming back from their full time job, they work on projects in the evening. It’s a healthy extra income. Some people talk about this as unethical which is why you never to get hear of many who moonlight. Some argue that what they do during their free-time is their prerogative. Whatever be the stand, there’s no denying the fact that freelancing forms the seed for entrepreneurship.
I have known many instances where people have quit full time work in software companies to pursue their own operations. Most start off with just a single computer with broadband connection in their bedroom.
I have also seen such people grow. They eventually get more clients than they can handle on their own. To meet the demand, they expand their set up and hire more people. And therein lies the power of Entrepreneurship…the power to generate jobs.
When I spoke with Kanwal Rekhi , who many call the Father of Entrepreneurship, during the TiE Entrepreneurial Summit, I asked him why focus on entrepreneurship? He said, if India has to be successful and strong, then it should encourage wealth generation. And that’s possible by creating more jobs. And who generates more jobs? Well, its the entrepreneurs, he says.
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