Looking to Freelance? 5+ Successful Indian Freelancers who made it Big

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‘BE YOUR OWN BOSS’- Almost every second influencer is blabbering out the same stuff on Social Media and creating a lot of fuzz around it. After ‘ Winter is Coming’, we guess this is the second buzz phrase that is boggling minds, especially of young college students.

But is Freelancing really worth the hype? And are people actually Freelancing?

India is the second largest “freelancing hub” of the world after the US. Going by PayPal estimates, India has close to 1.5 crore freelancers — many of them working on home-generated projects with others dealing with clients (work providers) from the US, Europe and Australia.

A high-quality Indian freelancer earns roughly $20 per hour. Top jobs include web & mobile development, web designing, data entry & Internet research, accounting and consultancy services. Writing resumes, wedding vows & cooking recipes, online Bharatanatyam courses, online tutoring, online patient consulting (allopathic, ayurvedic & homoeopathic), data analytics, are other upcoming areas of interest.

Mr. Narsi Subramanian, Director (consumer & sole prop exports), PayPal India says, “

When day job turns monotonous or there’s a need for more family income, people start freelancing … The trend is catching on big time in India.

He further added that

“The growing startup ecosystem is also churning out more freelancing projects. Startups contract out a lot of one-time jobs to experts in relevant fields. Some big corporations have also started contracting out their non-core jobs.”

Nowadays, many people are turning to take up freelancing projects and many have turned into full-time entrepreneurs.

Here are the 5 success stories of people who took up Freelancing and turned them into a full fledged business.

 5 Success Stories of Indian Freelancers who made it Really Big 

Sheetal Kapoor, MD at Shree, Freelancer

Education- BSc in home science from Punjab University

Started freelancing in- 2010

Product Offered- Sells Indian ethnic, fusion ‘n’ fashion women’s wear

Platforms used for Business- 

Both Online [Started with ebay then retailed from several multi-brand ecommerce stores, and also through own website- Shree

By 2011, she had reached the biggies, Myntra and Jabong]  

Offline [30 brick-and-mortar outlets across India, UK and the US, with plans to reach 1000 by 2020.]

Monthly Sales-Sold 1st Kurta Online for $20 (on ebay) and now they churn out almost 3 lakh garments every month.

Inspirational Story of ‘Sheetal Kapoor, Joint MD at Shree’ in Nutshell-

Sheetal was a housewife before 2008 and had two children. Eventually when her children grew up and went abroad for further studies, she started accompanying her husband to his office. He was a businessman and had a firm that made unbranded garments for large retail chains.

There were often piles of samples thrown away at the end of an order but one day when her husband was travelling, a scrap dealer suggested her to sell the leftover samples online.

She took a photo of a Kurta, uploaded it on her recently made ebay account which sold out on the same night for $20 and she realized there is no looking back now.

USP of Shree-Shree clothing embraces Indian body curves, all sizes from XS – XXL, fusion prints, high-quality cotton yarn, pants and leggings instead of salwars, clean finishing, and machine-washable fabrics. The price range was kept reasonable (Rs 349 to Rs 2999), with high volumes being the key to profitability.

Nandita Pal Designs, freelancer

Education: BA (Economics), GNIIT, Advanced Multimedia Programme

Started freelancing in: 2012

Services offered:Designing communication manuals, website designing, packaging & label designs, Brochures, posters, emails, business cards, notepads, letter heads, and almost everything that can be printed.

Revenue Generated- Cost per job (print) – Ranges between Rs 8,000 and Rs 4 lakh

Inspirational Story of Nandita Pal in Nutshell-

Nandita drew her first landscape when she was two years old.  23 years later, love for colours made Nandita take up art as a profession. Now she is a digital illustrator, fine artist & graphic designer.

Growing up in Mumbai, she was able to pursue her passion for the arts and designing and is currently working as a freelance artist. Today Nandita is a much sought-after illustrator, website developer and packaging & label designer.

She charges anywhere between Rs 8,000 and Rs 4 lakh per project and works with several Indian companies and MNCs.

Taushif Ansari. freelancer, founder skinoutfit

Education: High school.

Started freelancing in:2012 

Products offered: Leather jackets & bags 

Platform Used- started selling on ebay and nowShips out over 200 leather jackets to USA every month 

Inspirational Story of Taushif Ansari, Founder of SkinOutfit in Nutshell-

Dharavi is one of the biggest slum areas of Asia with narrow lanes.

In the aftermath of the 2008 global financial crisis, Taushif Ansari went jobless as the leather factory he worked in shut down and as orders for leather goods, from Europe and the US, dried out post the Lehman collapse, many Mumbai-based leather factories had to shut shops.

Things started looking up only after 2011 for the leather goods manufacturing sector. This was when Taushif started in own factory.

When he started out, he had a small shanty, a sewing machine and laptop. In six months’ time, Taushif sold close to 90 jackets — mostly to American buyers. He started out by listing leather jackets, then went on to list men’s and women’s jacket, dresses, pants, skirts and so on.

He said, “There are many leather garment showrooms here, it’s difficult for them to get even 30 orders a month. Here using only a laptop, I get about 150 orders per month. Within 2 years I am able to sell my products in more than 30 countries”

Taushif’s SkinOutfit has now also started making leather bags for Indian markets.

Rishabh Pugalia, Rishabh Bhandari, Freelancer

Education: Pugalia is a chartered accountant and Bhandari, an MBA grad from NMIMS

Started freelancing:in 2011

Services offered: Corporate training, office productivity improvement, computer skill courses

Inspirational Story of Rishabh Pugalia & Rishabh Bhandari, Founders Yoda Learning in Nutshell-

Rishabh Pugalia & Rishabh Bhandari took up training corporates and quit their well paying Jobs. They started by holding workshops at various bluechip companies (PwC, Rio Tinto, Amazon, KPMG, Deloitte and the likes), in which they used to teach employees “ways to improve their work productivity.” They helped employees to hone their computer skills – mainly MS Word, Excel, PowerPoint and some data analytics packages.

“The classroom model alone was not scalable … so we went online a few years later,” says Bhandari.

Nishant Agarwal, PARTNER AT SHUBHAM JEWELS, freelancer

Education: Software engineering graduate 

Products offered:Online gemstones & beaded jewellery

Number Generated: Ships 15,000 to 18,000 packages every month

Customer base: 80% from the US, 10% from the UK and rest from other parts of the world

After securing his engineering degree and working for an online marketplace briefly, Nishant decided to join his family business: Shubham Jewels. He decided to move his entire store online after he got some experience in this domain. “For the first 3-4 years, our sales plummeted … but slowly shoppers started trying us out.

Now we have a lot of customers, many of them repeat customers. Every happy buyer is our repeat customer,” Agarwal says. By going online, Nishant managed to bring operational cost down, which is an added cherry on the cake for buyers.

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