5 lakh freelancers earn Tk 800cr annually

The Bangladeshi freelance entrepreneurs are currently earning about Tk 800cr through digital outsourcing, popularising the country’s name in the field of outsourcing in global IT market. According to ‘Digital Economy Report 2019’ published by the United Nations Conference on Trade and Development (UNCTAD), the number of Bangladeshi freelancers in the global outsourcing market now stands at five lakh.

After publishing of the report, Post and Telecommunications Minister Mostafa Jabbar recently said the UN information is a major evidence of digital progress of Bangladesh under the visionary leadership of Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina. Due to the favourable policy of the government, a large number of Bangladeshi professionals have emerged proving their worth in global IT market.

According to the report of UNCTAD, there were only 10,000 freelancers in Bangladesh in 2011, earning less than Tk 80cr. That number increased to 30,000 in the following two years only. But within the next few years the number of Bangladeshi freelancers in the global market jumped to five lakh, earning Tk 800cr annually.

According to the report, considering the low labour cost, quality of work and relatively low risk, the big global IT companies including from United States, United Kingdom, Australia and Germany are now being increasingly interested to Bangladeshi freelancers in the field of digital outsourcing. According to Information and Communications Department, since 2011, the government has undertaken a series of projects aiming to create skilled professionals in digital outsourcing. Periodically, these training activities have continued.

Generally, big global companies looking for cheaper labour market start from various types of application software to different outsourcing tasks such as web design, graphics design, database creation, search engine optimisation, report processing. So, multiple online platforms have been developed. Freelancers are finding their work through competition from these platforms. Freelancing can make more money than a regular job. Finding work from a specific platform can also be done at home at a convenient time.

One of the most successful freelancers in Bangladesh is Tahmina Begum Ema. She took training for digital outsourcing through the Learning-Earning Project of the Information and Communications Department. Then she learned some more work in her own initiative. Now she is freely getting work from different platforms.

Ema says Bangladeshi freelancers are showing their skills and getting more work than ever. She also gives some suggestions for moving forward in this regard.
She warned that we see a lot of shocking advertisements in the Facebook, such as "Graphic design in a week, earn millions of money at home". These are actually traps of deception. ‘One should have to make herself capable for the information market with the proper training and long effort’, she added.