Our IT Sector contributes $3.5 billion annually to Pakistan’s economy. The current IT export value is more than we owe to our friendly nations like SA and China. According to economists, it’s getting doubled in the next 2-4 years. The freelancers in Pakistan are contributing $1 billion to the overall IT exports.
A report prepared by a digital company Payoneer shows that 70pc of Pakistani youth is interested in freelance work. The different options available in freelance work helps young IT experts to earn a residual income while living at home. This economic storm is happening without any sufficient support from the Federal IT Ministry of Pakistan.
Types of Work Freelancers are Doing in Pakistan
The freelancers in Pakistan are currently doing a variety of online projects acquired from different European countries and the USA. Here is a list of popular freelance skills that are mostly helping freelancers to earn foreign exchange for Pakistan. The includes but is not limited to the following skills.
- Graphics Designing
- Web Designing
- Virtual Assistant
- Affiliate Marketing
- 2D/3D Graphics/Video Designing
- Mobile App/Game Development
- SEO (Search Engine Optimization)
- Content Writing
The Freelance Economy Prototype
As I say, there was not sufficient help provided by the government, it doesn’t mean there was no help at all. Punjab Information Technology Board helped train several individuals to polish their computer skills and sell their services to online clients worldwide. Dr. Umer Saif a young computer scientist and former chairman of PITB helped gather the young talent with a passion for computer skills and brilliant ideas. His leadership built a grand digital enterprise that’s helping students jump-start their IT career fast.
The E-Rozgaar training centers are spread all over the Punjab province. It has trained 10,000 individuals per annum since 2017 and let them collectively earn 33+ crore overall. The current revenue earned by these people is not enough. We have the opportunity to scale it to all provinces of Pakistan.
The Plan 9 helped new IT startups start their venture capital-based digital businesses. The incubation center gathers ideas from young people, trains them on the essentials to raise funds, build software, market their business, and start earning huge revenue.
It’s Time to Scale Freelance Economy
The experiment is successful, the prototype is tested, now it’s time to step forward and scale it nationwide. Imagine a country with 220 million people living in and it includes 64% youth in its total population. We have just trained 10,000 young individuals so far. It’s like taking a small pie from the whole cake on our table. It’s a dire need to scale this system, but how, let’s talk about it.
- Building more E-Rozgaar centers nationwide in every city with more than 2 million population.
- Training discrete IT skills that take a few days to train a student and let them start making money online. A good example is a blogger outreach service, digital marketers around the globe demand it with every breath of life.
- Inviting PayPal would be the game-changer for IT experts in Pakistan.
- Utilizing low-qualified people to start vLogging (a huge part of our young population) on different social platforms like YouTube and Facebook can lead to earning revenue from Google Adsense or Facebook ad-break. Currently, there are several people making money from their skills, here is an example of it.
- Building Fundraising platforms in Pakistan like Kickstarters can help people with brilliant ideas to raise money to fund their ideas and launch their business.
- Empowering young ladies to contribute to the digital economy. Some examples are already set by young females selling fashion-related products on social media. We can train more young ladies to learn mystical online selling skills.
- The BPO (business process outsourcing) raised India’s GDP from 1.2% in 1998 to 7.7% in 2017. We have examples, we should follow for sure.
Economic Goals to Achieve By Energizing Our Digital Industry
Our neighboring country India earns $180 billion per annum from the information technology sector alone. Isn’t that mind-shaking for us? Yes, it is. The trajectory of our digital economy signals double the numbers from $3.5 billion to $7 billion from our digital industry. It looks possible with 300,000 individuals and 1800 digital companies in Pakistan. That is only 0.21 % of the total of 140 million people living in Pakistan. The readers can estimate the overall potential that we can reap if utilized in a good way.
Digital businesses will be responsible for the rising and fall of economies. Pakistan has great potential to reap the benefits of the digital world and support its economy. The right strategies, training computer skills, and government support can increase the per capita income in Pakistan. The prototype is ready and tested, it’s time to decide and react positively.