Being a full time freelancer in India has gone from an unexplored career option to becoming a major contributing factor to the country’s economy. Freelancing gives a person an immense amount of freedom in terms of work and creativity.
This economy consists of a large segment of workers, with labels such as freelancers, self-employed, independent contributors and part-time workers.
From being able to choose your work according to your financial needs, the flexibility it provides, maintaining a balance between work and personal life, freelancing has somewhat developed the persona of the ideal career path for a major chunk of the internet-savvy generation!
Check out these interesting insights about the life of a full time freelancer in India:
India is a fast-growing economy. More and more professionals are offering skills which are diversified, unique and rare. This is creating a high demand for freelance work from the rising startups and SMEs flourishing in the country at the moment – says Dipesh Garg, founder of Truelancer.com, Asia’s largest freelance marketplace.
With more and more startups coming up, there is a rise in the freelancing economy. According to The Week, “India 70 per cent corporates have used gig workers at least once for major organisational issues in 2018.”
The report ‘The Future of Work is Anywhere – Gig Workforce’ by Noble House has revealed that “nearly 45 per cent of the human resource (HR) heads surveyed want to hire a gig worker so that they can supplement skills of the existing workforce, 39 per cent would do this to reduce the cost and 10 per cent for filling temporary vacancies in their teams.”
With such a craze for freelancing, we were curious to dig a little deeper and go beneath the surface to understand what being a full time freelancer in India is like:
Full Time Freelancer Market In India:
1) Internet Access
With the coming of the internet, connecting to clients all across the world has become a possibility and it has helped people establish many micro businesses and helped to grow them.
Not only is it a tool for finding clientele, but it also has a major role to play in increasing one’s skill set and to keep exploring options to keep upgrading tools and technologies.
2) Clientele and Payment
Most of the clientele of freelancers in India are from the western countries considering the low-cost services for the ones ranking their businesses in dollars and pounds.
Apart from them, the boosting Indian economy has led to a surge in small and medium enterprises and startups have created a huge market for skilled individuals offering diverse, unique and rare skills.
We cannot discredit the technology for this surge in the gig economy. Apart from the internet becoming accessible and available to all in India, more and more brands are coming up with cheaper smartphones and laptops.
Further, to receive payments for these, various online payment channels are available now which have made transfers quick and easy. A few commonly used payment portals are Payoneer, PayPal, Direct Bank Transfer, Stripe, Escrow etc.
4) Economic Value
The freelance economy in this country is fast becoming a major contributor to the national GDP with over 1 million freelancers contributing $400 billion to the national GDP. That being said, it’s no wonder how it’s indeed becoming a force to be reckoned with.
Income Of A Freelancer In India:
1) Average Annual Income
Most Indian freelancers earn an average of Rs. 20 lakh per annum, a report by PayPal said, adding that 23% of the 500 freelancers surveyed by them earned Rs. 60 lakh per annum on average.
2) Disparity In Pay
There is a large disparity in the average hourly pay for a freelancer in the US earning $40/hour to that of a freelancer in India earning $10/hour. This is owing to the difference in cost of living.
Indian freelancers get a lot of outsourced work from western countries at lower rates – the rates being low is still higher than what Indian clients would pay them. This disparity has reduced by $4/hour in the past 4 years and will gradually keep decreasing because it is an economic process.
3) Regular Employment vs Freelance
I started freelancing recently because I wasn’t able to do what I loved doing – be it in terms of job satisfaction, the creative output or the compensation. It’s a struggle honestly to establish oneself. It isn’t an easy task to keep yourself motivated, to keep up with the deadlines.
Sometimes you have to work on things that may or may not inspire you to do a kickass job but at the end of the day it is always a choice that you’ve made for yourself and you’ve got to push a little to get where you want to be.
Abhishek Pathak says, “freelancing is a worthwhile career option because there is a lot of hassle and competition in getting a “real” job.” Abhishek is one of the top performing freelance digital marketers on Truelancer. An engineer by profession, he says that it is easier for him to find freelance clients and offer them his services.
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Gaps That Need To Be Addressed:
It is very essential for a freelancer to be efficient and investing in tools and resources for increasing productivity and profits. As the market for freelancing grows, so does the competition and the need to be up to date with required equipment, tools, cloud technologies, machinery etc for your area of expertise.
However, marketing and investing is something that Indian freelancers shy away from. Awareness programmes and campaigns are needed for full time freelancer in India so that they know that it is not difficult to scale up if they learn how to invest in infrastructure and marketing.
With India becoming the biggest pool of skilled freelancers it is a reality that freelancers need to be on top of their game to keep the clients coming back.
“If you don’t build your dreams, someone will hire you to build theirs.” – Roota Mittal, Freelance Digital Marketer
We’re only going up! An increasing number of skilled freelancers providing quality services has contributed significantly to India’s growing GDP.
This has created a healthy and competitive environment for full time freelancer but as the market grows so will the need for innovation, creativity, persistence and intense marketing and management skills. Only the best out of them manage to survive!
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