January 22, 2021 4 min read
Opinions expressed by Entrepreneur contributors are their own.
Freelancing has paved its way as a desirable career path for the many educated unemployed in Bangladesh. The largely untapped markets of freelancing, outsourcing, and e-commerce have boomed in the past few years thanks to rapid digitization, fuelling domestic job opportunities and in turn enabling faster economic growth.
A young tech entrepreneur, Khairul Alam, is spearheading this growth within the IT sector. He established his business, Fleet Bangladesh in 2018. Just a few short years later, it stands as an icon in the country’s freelance industry. Through his success, Khairul has demonstrated the power that comes from outsourcing with agencies, and its ability to meet a business’ needs faster, smarter, and more professionally. The four major categories of services are Call Center Solution, Prepship, Ecommerce Store Customer Support and Ecommerce Inventory Software Management Solutions. The core focus is on Value Added Services, B2B & Customer Care assistance.
After losing his father at a young age, Khairul faced mounting pressure to pay for his educational needs. This is what led to his first freelancing gig, opening his eyes to the huge potential on offer in the industry. It turned from a job to a passion, as he worked full-time by day, and continued to freelance at night.
“I had to attend 9 am-5.30 pm office,” says Khairul. “But my affection for freelancing never decayed. Getting back from office, I used to sit with my laptop and work up to 2-3 am for my clientele!”
Khairul eventually left this job and took the biggest risk of his life. He established the agency Fleet Bangladesh with huge dreams to transform the freelancing market.
Advantages of Freelancing
Along with providing an invaluable multi-faceted exposure, freelancing provides several benefits such as immense flexibility in locations, freedom to choose clients and projects, experimental opportunities, unlimited income scope, diversity in options, etc. Coupled with the rise in depth and reach of technology, the work-from-home culture has also provided freelancing projects an edge as remote work is gaining compounding value.
Starting A Business
Khairul’s company began with just 10 people. In a few short years, this has grown to more than 500 freelancers on his staff – about 90% of them being permanent. The company offers employment opportunities to many who are currently jobless, with a focus on the educated youth. What once held low social status, is now growing in popularity – though still has a way to go.
“I can see a large number of young people are jobless, unutilized. I have a dream to convert them into resources.”
They currently provide services to more than 300 companies worldwide, including Amazon, Walmart, and eBay. The business provides vendor management, fulfillment, and private label product for Amazon while offering store management solutions to Walmart and eBay.
Fleet Bangladesh is reshaping the selling of in-demand products by finding and researching in-demand trending products from around the globe. They find similar products in the US and use social listening tools to determine any issues customers are experiencing with the product. They take that data and produce their own products on Amazon or Walmart that solve the specific problem customers are facing.
They also help brands set up and sell on these online marketplaces. For any new sellers, they create a simple solution to help them manage and grow their business on these platforms. For established brands, they carry out an audit on their current market, the channels they are selling on, and their methods of advertising. Fleet then offers a solution to help them manage their brand on the platform.
Importance of Analytics
Analytics have played a huge role in the successful implementation of the business model. Fleet Bangladesh provides store benchmark data, customer intelligence, and better context for every interaction. Data analytics strengthens any organization by facilitating disciplined thinking, aligning the focus of key decision-makers, improving processes, optimizing conversations and helping to make informed decisions in order to forecast, implement as well as mitigate effectively.
I believe every youth of Bangladesh has potential and my goal is to uncover their potential to the steepest point. That’s why we planned to establish 60 offices in 64 districts in Bangladesh and this we cover 360 degree coverage all over Bangladesh. We call it «Goal 360» quoted Khairul.
Naturally, Khairul doesn’t envision this will be enough. He has plans to go even further.
Future of Bangladesh Freelancing
The ICT Division and Bangladesh Freelancer Development Society (BFDS) have now created a database of local freelancers and are providing them with ‘virtual cards’.
The government aims to bring all freelancers into a single platform where they will gain recognition and credibility, along with accreditation, career growth, personal branding, and eligibility for credit and transactions. The rollout is expected to begin this month.