~3. JULI 2014 Dhaka ranks third in global freelance outsourcing work Dhaka ranks third in global freelance outsourcing work Dhaka ranks third in global freelance outsourcing work Fazlur Rahman Dhaka has become one of the top destinations for freelance online work, outshining Indian cities such as Bangalore, as the Bangladeshi capital fast emerging as a major centre for data entry work that employs tens of thousands of people. According to a new report by oDesk Corp, a United States-based leading marketplace for companies and online workers, Dhaka is now ranked third among global cities where online jobs are outsourced from the West. A combination of cheap labour and good English skill has made Dhaka a “surprised winner” in freelance outsourcing jobs such as graphic design, data entry and check-up, translation and web development. “Many businesspeople tend to think about Bangalore of India when it comes to ‘outsourcing’. Actually, Bangalore ranks fifth on oDesk’s list of top cities for online work,” the report released this week said. The top four cities with more freelance work are: Chandigarh and Mohali of India, Dhaka of Bangladesh and Quezon City of the Philippines, it said, adding half of the freelance online workers in Dhaka do data entry work. Among the countries, India still tops the list in outsourcing job destination, followed by the Philippines and the US, the report said The oDesk’s report said Ukraine and Pakistan generated more online work in February, with jobs ranging from data entry to computer programming to translating, than Canada or China. More and more people are today working online perhaps because of the economic downturn that has gripped the world since middle of 2008, the report added. Reaz Uddin Mosharraf, secretary general of Bangladesh Association of Call Centre and Outsourcing, said Dhaka would soon supplant its Indian rivals as the biggest destination for online freelance jobs. “We have estimated the number to be around 100,000 and most of them are students with hourly income ranging between US$ 10 to $100,” he told the FE. Mosharraf said Bangladeshi freelancers – many of whom are based outside Dhaka – mostly specialised in graphic design, web development and data entry – with some earning up to $1000 a month. He said the payment is determined on project-to-project basis and the students from Dhaka University and Bangladesh University of Engineering and Technology (BUET) also do some online software works. According to the association, only a handful of smart techies used to do online freelance jobs five years back and Dhaka was “no where near the Indian cities in global outsourcing job map”. “But in the last three years, online freelancing jobs have underwent a revolution in the country. Number of such jobs have grown exponentially with IT clubs in major universities acting as key catalysts,” Mosharraf said. He said more students could land lucrative freelancing job contracts if broadband providers offer high-speed internet facilities and cheap bandwidth. “A lot of people I know feel hesitant to take up big and lucrative projects for fear that they will not be able to complete the work in time due to slow bandwidth facilities,” he said.