KATHMANDU, Aug 15: Avinash Shrestha, 26, works primarily as a User Interface Developer at Cranialogix Technologies, Maharajgunj but has been actively pursuing projects online, through oDesk since 2009. “Just by working for a few hours, one can easily earn the amount that one normally gets on a monthly basis, from a full-time job in reputed companies in Nepal,” says Shrestha who himself is a testament to this. Shrestha uses his graphic design and web development skills to get work online. He shares that he already has a few permanent clients through oDesk who provide him projects. “I get enough work from them and now no longer have to look for new jobs or clients,” he says.
Working online is not easy, however. “Since there is no face-to-face interaction, problems with communication might arise if one does not have proper online communication skills,” opines Shrestha. “Also, one has to identify where their personal strengths lie when it comes to taking up work. There are plenty of clients looking for skills ranging from managerial to graphic design but one has to know what one is capable of,” Shrestha says, adding that jumping into work without being well-versed in it will not only spoil the relationship with the current client but also fetch you negative reviews which will harm further work opportunities.
Managing Director of Weblink Nepal, an IT solutions company involved with internet marketing and online jobs in Bagbazaar, Kathmandu, Sitaram Rimal who has been running the company since 2009, also opines that scamming is abundant in this business. “One must look into the company profile, details of companies who provide work and verify the company claims before pursuing matters further,” says Rimal. He opines that not everyone can do well at online jobs although a certain percent is making a good earning from it. “It all depends on the individuals’ internet marketing skills and efficiency,” he says. According to Rimal, apart from projects focusing on specific services, website promotions and data entry are some popular types of online jobs.
For Rahul Giri, a musician, producer and filmmaker, the catch with jobs of this nature is the freedom he gets to work on things he loves. “If I were on a 9 to 6 job, I’d have no time to work on music or any other project. Working online lets me pick and choose the kind of work I want to do and when I want to work, that too all from home,” says Giri who is mostly involved with his electronic music band, Sulk Station, but works 10 to 15 hours a week online to ensure all his expenses are met.
There are plenty of international companies and companies in Nepal who engage in online jobs, connecting contractors to individual clients through telecommunications. Companies like oDesk, Freelancer and Elance are gaining popularity amongst the Nepalis as well. “There are already a significant number of Nepali players in the “online jobs” space. You can spot a lot of Nepali design houses, search engine optimization companies across sites such as odesk.com, elance.com and more,” says Giri. Giri believes that online jobs are perfect for Nepal since the required infrastructure is minimal. “If you are a designer, for instance, all you need is a computer and a decent Internet connection,” he adds.
CloudFactory, an online social enterprise
Talking of online job platforms in Nepal, CloudFactory is a unique Kathmandu-based crowd sourcing platform founded by Mark Sears.
“The purpose of CloudFactory is to connect one million people in developing countries to basic computer work, while raising them up as leaders to address poverty in their own communities,” says Sears. Apart from just being an enterprise which gives people part-time jobs online, CloudFactory also aims to invest into young leaders who can be the change makers in Nepal and other developing countries. Hence, it is mandatory that the “cloud workers”, all of whom are located in Nepal for the time being, spend time weekly on CloudFactory values/principles such as honesty, ownership, dependability and learning and set goals to apply them to their lives in small ways during the next week. “This along with serving the community once every month or two as a team is important to the CloudFactory purpose and vision,” adds Sears.
Sears also believes that ventures in online jobs are well suited for Nepal. “We can´t build factories or compete in manufacturing exports but we can compete in digital services exporting. That is why we built a digital factory, to create jobs that are flexible and tied into the global economy,” Sears cites his own example. “Nepal and our cloud workers are providing much needed and valuable digital services to businesses around the world,” he shares. The growing interest in this sector, Mark believes, is due to the fact that people are excited about earning good money by working on a computer, learn new things, do it as a team and still have the flexibility to pursue further studies or another job. “If you can type and read English well, are great at Googling and researching things online, you are probably a great candidate to become a cloud worker,” he says.
Mark also stresses that most online jobs are scams. “If they ask for ANY money upfront then it is not a job but most likely a scam. You may need to work at a reduced rate during a training period but if a company sees value in you they will invest into you and not vice versa,” he opines.
Keep in mind
When it comes to online jobs, there are success stories that seem luring and there are incidents of fraud and disappointment. Hence no matter how internet savvy you are, you need to take heed to the details, know what skills you can provide without overselling yourself, communicate properly with your clients and you can be the next success story on making good money online.