Journal of Economics and Business
ISSN 2615-3726 (Online)
ISSN 2621-5667 (Print)
Published: 13 January 2021
IT Freelancing in Bangladesh: Assessment of Present Status and Future Needs
S. M. Shahedul Alam, Ahmed Rizvan Hasan, Tanmay Borman
Pabna University of Science and Technology, University of Dhaka, Bangabandhu Sheikh Mujibur Rahman Science and Technology University
Download Full-Text Pdf
Keywords: IT, ICT, ITES, Freelancing, Digital Bangladesh
The tremendous changes that business and economic activities worldwide have gone through in the last few decades, have opened new avenues for IT Freelancing to establish itself as the next big thing in business arena. Bangladesh, transitioning to more IT-centric businesses, holds a huge potential in this domain and has already emerged as a global freelancing hub under government patronage. The main objective of this study is to assess the present status and the future needs of IT Freelancing Business in Bangladesh. This study is of descriptive nature and based on primary and secondary data. Relevant statistical analyses were performed using SPSS. The study found that, 96.2% freelancers are below 35 years old and 80.8% have completed the tertiary education. Significant gender gap exists among the freelancers in terms of participation. It is found that 73.1% freelancers are working on a part-time basis and 33% want to be IT entrepreneur. Half of the freelancers have received training from government and private IT Institutes. Most of the freelancers are satisfied with the earnings from freelancing. Freelancers have observed lack of capital and IT infrastructure support, shortage of training facilities, payment-related issues and social barriers. In order to face the challenges of the fourth industrial revolution head on, the government should take initiatives for ensuring country branding, mobilization of funds, better internet connectivity and steady flow of foreign currency earnings from IT sector and thereby actualizing the ‘Digital Bangladesh’ agenda.
Askari, M. M., Zabeen, S. M. S., & Uddin, K. M. (2015). Problems and Prospects of IT and IT Enabled Services Outsourcing in Bangladesh. Bangladesh Journal of Tariff and Trade, 1(3), 34–59. http://btc.portal.gov.bd/sites/default/files/filesbtc.portal.gov.bd/publications/ae3df639_e50a_4d18_be5d_e897880b3f1b/Journalissue3.pdf
Bangladesh Computer Council (BCC) & ICT Division. (2019, August). e-Government Master Plan for Digital Bangladesh.https://ictd.portal.gov.bd/sites/default/files/files/ictd.portal.gov.bd/page/a59bf1d9_b3b1_48bb_aff9_dbf8ef9d559d/e-Government%20Master%20Plan%20for%20Digital%20Bangladesh%20Final.pdf
Bangladesh Hi-Tech Park Authority. (2017, May 5). Bangladesh Hi-Tech Park Authority.
Bangladesh Bank (2020). Mobile Financial Services (MFS) comparative summary statement of September, 2020 and October, 2020. Bangladesh Bank, Central Bank of Bangladesh.
bdnews24.com-Bangladesh’s First Internet Newspaper. (2005, May 27). EU ranks Bangladesh among top 20 IT outsourcing destinations despite lackings. Bdnews24.Com. https://bdnews24.com/business/2005/05/27/eu-ranks-bangladesh-among-top-20-it-outsourcing-destinations-despite-lackings
Banglapedia. (2014, July 27). Banglapedia - the National Encyclopedia of Bangladesh. http://en.banglapedia.org/index.php?title=Computer
Bose, T. K., Uddin, M. R., & Huda, M. N. (2013). Prospects of Bangladesh as a Leading Outsourcing Destination in IT Sector. International Journal of Managing Value and Supply Chains, 4(2), 1–16.
Brown D, Wilson S. 2005. The Black Book of Outsourcing. Hoboken, NJ: Wiley
Cable.co.uk. (2020). Worldwide Broadband Speed League 2020 | Internet Speed Tests - Cable.co.uk. Cable.
Das, A., Rifat, G., Kumar, D., Habib, A., Ehtesham, A. Z. M., & Shamsur, M. (2018). A Study on Bangladeshi IT freelancers: A Survey. International Journal of Computer Applications, 182(32), 38–45. https://doi.org/10.5120/ijca2018918256
Dhaka Tribune. (2017, December 12). Sheikh Hasina Software Park – a state-of-the-art facility in Jessore. Dhaka Tribune.
Dhaka Tribune. (2019, November 29). Bangladesh opens world’s 7th largest data centre. Dhaka Tribune.
Dubey, A., Abhinav, K., Hamilton, M., & Kass, A. (2017). Analyzing Gender Pay Gap in Freelancing Marketplace. Proceedings of the 2017 ACM SIGMIS Conference on Computers and People Research - SIGMIS-CPR ’17, 13–19. https://doi.org/10.1145/3084381.3084402
Ethirajan, B. A. (2011, October 11). Bangladesh unveils $130 “Doel” laptops. BBC News.
ITU. (2017). ITU | 2017 Global ICT Development Index. www.Itu.Int.
Gheorghe, M. (2015). State of Freelancing in IT and Future Trends. International Journal of Social, Behavioral, Educational, Economic, Business and Industrial Engineering, World Academy of Science, Engineering and Technology, 9(5), 1474–1478. https://pdfs.semanticscholar.org/4589/4748ff1e9bafa1df29258604c25b7587a9d0.pdf
ICT Division. (2019). Annual Report 2018-19. ICT Division, Ministry of Post, Telecommunication and Information Technology.
Heiskala, M., Hiekkanen, K., & Korhonen, J. J. (2011). The impact of information technology enabled services on value co-creation. Retrieved November, 23, 2012.
Hunter, I., Fishback, B. D., Koester, E. A., & Kim, Z. (2012). U.S. Patent Application No. 13/414,278.
McKeown, T. (2015). What’s in a Name? The Value of ‘Entrepreneurs’ Compared to ‘Self Employed’… But What about ‘Freelancing’ or ‘IPro’? International Review of Entrepreneurship, 13(2), 103–116. ’s_in_a_name_The_value_of_’Entrepreneurs’_compared_to_’Self-Employed’but_what_about_’Freelancing’_or_’IPro’
Mould, O., Vorley, T., & Liu, K. (2014). Invisible creativity? Highlighting the hidden impact of freelancing in London's creative industries. European Planning Studies, 22(12), 2436-2455.
Mustafa, N. (2018, April-June). Bangabandhu Satellite: A Journey To Space. Bangladesh Quarterly, Volume 38(4), 10–19.
Quélin, B., & Duhamel, F. (2003). Bringing together strategic outsourcing and corporate strategy:: Outsourcing motives and risks. European management journal, 21(5), 647-661.
Rahman, M. A., & Rahman, M. M. (2017). Factors, Impacts, Problems and Solutions of Freelance Earning in the context of Bangladesh. Business & Entrepreneurship Journal, SCIENPRESS Ltd, 6(1), 1–13. https://www.scienpress.com/journal_focus.asp?main_id=72&Sub_id=IV&Issue=72815
Shklovski, I., Palen, L., & Sutton, J. (2008, November). Finding community through information and communication technology in disaster response. In Proceedings of the 2008 ACM conference on Computer supported cooperative work (pp. 127-136).
Statista. (2020, November 24). Internet penetration rate Bangladesh 2010-2019.
Sultana, R., Im, I., & Im, K. S. (2019). Do IT freelancers increase their entrepreneurial behavior and performance by using IT self-efficacy and social capital? Evidence from Bangladesh. Information & Management, 56(6), 103133. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.im.2018.12.001
The Daily Star. (2014, September 30). Bangladesh wins WITSA global ICT award. The Daily Star. https://www.thedailystar.net/bangladesh-wins-witsa-global-ict-award-44195
The Daily Star. (2015, September 27). BSS, N. Y. Hasina receives ‘ICT Sustainable Development Award.’ The Daily Star. https://www.thedailystar.net/country/hasina-receives-ict-sustainable-development-award%E2%80%99-148216
The Daily Star. (2016, November 23). Bangladesh steps down 2 notches on ICT index. The Daily Star.
The Daily Star. (2018, February 14). Bangladesh enters 4G era on Feb 19. The Daily Star.
The Daily Star. (2019, January 17). Govt to go for third submarine cable. The Daily Star. https://www.thedailystar.net/business/government-decides-for-3rd-submarine-cable-connect-in-bangladesh-1688437#:%7E:text=Bangladesh%20wants%20to%20be%20a,ME%2DWE%205%20in%202017.
The Daily Star. (2020, November 26). Bangladeshi freelancers to get fresh credibility through identity card project. The Daily Star.
The Independent. (2017, February 22). 2nd submarine cable connected: BSCCL. The Independent. http://www.theindependentbd.com/printversion/details/81958
Turban, E., Rainer, R. K., & Potter, R. E. (2003). Information technology. Islamic Studies, 2, 0.
Uddin, S. (2019, March 5). BHTPA gets ISO certification. The Financial Express. https://www.thefinancialexpress.com.bd/trade/bhtpa-gets-iso-certification-1551760168
Yoganarasimhan, H. (2012). The Value of Reputation in an Online Freelance Marketplace. Marketing Science, 32(6), 827–1011.