Wednesday, April 24, 2013

Elance Official Launch in PH : The Online Revolution Just Keeps Getting Better

Wazzup Pilipinas!

I was invited to attend the official launch of Elance. Elance is the world’s leading platform for online work. It is a pioneer in today’s freelance revolution where, as their tagline states, "people work differently".

Today over 500,000 businesses and 2 million freelancers use Elance in 170+ countries. Innovative global enterprises, small businesses and startups tap into the Elance talent pool, building teams from software engineers, application developers and web and graphic designers to copywriters, market researchers, data scientists, social media marketers, customer service agents and other business professionals. More than 1 million freelance jobs are completed through Elance annually.

I was the first one to arrive at the official launch of Elance in the Philippines which was held at the Society Lounge located at the Atrium building in Makati city. To make most of the time I decided to make a video interview which you will see later in the middle of this article.

YouTube video invite:

Elance announced that they have hired Ronald M. Cirujano as their country manager in Philippines, based out of Manila. Cirujano confirmed that Elance is committed to bring more opportunities of online work to Filipino talents. “In Q1 2013 we saw more than 4,600 jobs and projects being awarded to Filipino freelancers on Elance from businesses all over the world and this number will continue to grow fast as more businesses and talents come to work online.”

Mr. Cirujano is accompanied by Justine Raagas, a freelancer mobilizer from Cagayan de Oro, whose responsibility is to introduce Filipino talents to online freelancing and train them in achieving success through workshops and learning sessions. The company plans to hire additional five mobilizers across the country to increase awareness and knowledge of online freelancing.

There was also another representative from Bangladesh who was present during the launch.He laso answered questions pertaining to the challenges encountered in his country, which includes similar problems we encounter here in the Philippines like a poor Internet connection.

From a global perspective Kjetil Olsen, Elance’s vice president for Europe, points out that “No longer are talents bound by the constraints of the local labor market; if you possess a skill in demand on the global labor market there are thousands of opportunities available online. Online freelancing has truly redefined how we view, perform, and value work.”

I was able to get a short video of Olsen sharing what Elance is all about:

Olsen further explained that an important metric is the number of freelancers hired for their first time, which ensures that more can participate in this labor market transformation. In 2012, a total of 2,182 freelancers were hired for the first time, a 175-percent increase from 2011. The survey revealed that 20.8 percent of Filipino freelancers were hired for the first time on Elance less than a week after registering on the platform.

“We see more professionals joining the online freelance work revolution, and experiencing the joys of working as they please, from selecting their work to becoming their own boss,” Olsen said.

The Philippines is one of the biggest markets for freelancers in the Elance platform, and ranked fourth in number of users and ninth in terms of earnings. Filipino freelancers earn an average hourly rate of US$8.3 (or an average of PhP 342.00 at current values). IT and programming professionals are paid an hourly rate of US$14.4, the highest among Filipino freelancers on Elance.

“The progress in the Philippines is above the overall growth Elance is experiencing,” says Olsen. “In fact, with the potential for even greater growth as companies continue to embrace online freelance work, the future is indeed bright for Filipino talents and local economy alike.” More than 500,000 businesses and 2.3 million freelancers use Elance in over 170 countries. 

A report issued by Elance, entitled “The State of Filipino Freelance Market, indicates that the country is a prime destination for freelancers because of factors as a skilled and hardworking workforce, technologically savvy population, and accelerating entrepreneurial communities, to name a few.

Many Filipinos have indeed tapped the opportunities available online as many are very active in accepting work they contracted online. Not only does the job give you flexibility, it also allows you to become more versatile and productive in your online career. The pay is also becoming commensurate to the quality of work produced, and payment methods have become more convenient as well.

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