After passing a sleepless night before computer, Freelancers go to bed in the morning with a heavy heart hoping that the situation will get better over the coming days. Usually they sleep for a large part of the day and then start a normal day-to-day activities. Then again they spend the whole night working for their clients and go to bed with a heavy heart since their expectations remain unfulfilled in the usual manner. This is the actual scenario of the daily life of Bangladeshi freelancers. What type of recognition do they get after doing all this hard work?
It is easily understandable that we need to earn a large amount of foreign currencies each year since we greatly depends on importing products from other countries. On these circumstances, our young freelancers are contributing to the overall economic growth of the country by earning handsome amount of foreign currency every year. A freelancer usually earns more than 1000 USD per month. Even a newbie on freelance sector earns no less than 500 USD per month. According to several statistics, there are about one and a half lacs freelancers in our country. So it is not hard to imagine how much foreign currency is being brought to the country through these freelancers.
Now let’s come to the unfulfilled demands of our freelancers that I mentioned earlier. Young freelance workers are contributing to the development of the country. But what do they receive in return? What type problems we must solve in order to take control of a large part of this freelance marketplace? According to most of the freelancers, some of the gravest problems they face include internet connection problem, lacking in payment processing system etc. We can unitedly address this type of problems in the coming ‘Freelancer Conference‘.
Some new freelancers expressed their disappointed regarding training facilities. Starters often fail to receive proper training. Freelancers, especially those who live outside of Dhaka city, suffer badly due to this problem. Our Dhaka-based IT Training Center, DevsTeam Institute (A Sister concern of DevsTeam Limited), is working with new freelancers right from the beginning and providing them with world class training opportunities. There are also some other institutions that have taken this type of initiatives. However, until now, no one has extended their helping hand to the freelancers who live outside of Dhaka city. Hence, many new freelancers are not getting proper guidelines though they are highly interested to enter into the freelancing world. This year’s ‘Freelancer Conference’ will provide basic guidelines on how to start freelancing. I expect new freelancers will get some effective guidelines from this conference.
There is a trade body for software industry entitled ‘Bangladesh Association of Software and Information Services (BASIS)’. Similarly those who import and sell computer accessories have a trade body entitled ‘Bangladesh Computer Samity (BCS)’. But there is not any trade body that can address and deal with the problems of freelancers. Again there is not any particular organization that can represent this sector to the policy makers of the country. Now these problems can be beautifully put forward in the coming ‘Freelancer Conference’. Together we can address these problems in front of the policy makers of our country.
I hope you do remember about the ‘E-Asia‘ event that was held in Dhaka last year. A freelancer conference was also held in the event. In the conference, freelancers put forward their demand about introducing ‘PayPal’ in Bangladesh. That was the moment when their voice was heard by the highest officials in the government. oDesk’s vice president ‘Matt Cooper‘ was also present in the conference and he seriously took this issue. After he returned to USA, he informed Paypal’s CEO about the issue. Then PayPal first showed their interest to start operating their business in Bangladesh. Additionally, Matt Cooper also helped us to transfer our earnings form oDesk to our local banks directly.
Paypal has not yet started its operation in Bangladesh. We can readdress this issue in the coming conference. I hope that this time we will be able to get a fruitful solution.
Another important thing is that there is misconception among many people regarding this marketplace. Many people think that it is a type of MLM business. If our government directly promotes freelancing in the coming conference, I believe it will help us to create awareness about real world freelancing.
And the most amazing thing about this freelancer conference is that you will be able to hear from the industry leader about their experiences and valuable thoughts. I have just got a list from Munir Hasan sir, senior consultant of ‘Digital World 2012’ event. The list has the names of industry leaders who will deliver speeches in the conference. Among them VP of Operations of oDesk Matt Cooper, former Vice President of Freelancer.com David Harrison, Vice President of Elance J. Olsen, CEO of 99Designs Jason are notable. You can know about the future of freelancing, insight on freelance marketplaces from the established leaders of this great industry. You cannot expect anything better than this!
Either directly or indirectly, freelancers will get many other benefits from this conference. Special thanks to the ministry of information and communication technology of Bangladesh for adding the ‘Freelance Conference’ to such a big event like ‘Digital World 2012’.
So mates, start counting down the days! We should put forward our demands to the authorities, shouldn’t we?