The pandemic impacted people’s lives and damaged employment at a mass scale, but India is known for its extraordinary fightback in adverse situations. Indian youngsters used the epidemic as an opportunity and introduced many creative ideas for the development and welfare of society. During this challenging period, two youths from Bihar initiated a step for supporting freelancers and creating a virtual support system for institutions working in the online mode. Within one and a half years, they got unexpected success in their initiative and established the idea as the “Writers Community: An Indian Freelance Marketplace”. Recently they were SILVER GLOBEE® WINNER of the 6th Annual 2021 Business Excellence Awards for Company Work-From-Home Implementation of the Year 2021, organised by Globee Awards. Founders of the Writers Community, Ankit Dev Arpan and Shanya Das, spoke with The Sunday Guardian. Excerpts:
Q. Ankit, you have a legal background that is unrelated to entrepreneurship. How did you come up with this idea and started your venture?
Ankit: To be honest, I was never planning for it. I was doing social and legal activism; also, a tag of youth politician was attached to my name, but probably destiny and situation both were against it. During 2019 I was suffering from a financial crisis; at that time, I was looking for part-time jobs; my Hindi was good, that’s why I was looking for some Hindi content writing jobs. Fortunately, I got some tasks on minimum payment, still I had to work. After sometime, I got scammed, and the client didn’t pay me for my work and effort; at the time, I thought about posting this incident on Facebook and I realised that there were more people like me who were cheated. I contacted Shanya Das; unfortunately she had experienced the same while freelancing. So, we discussed and decided to create a platform for freelancers with the aim of zero scam in freelancing.
Q. Shanya, how do people work with The Writers Community, and how can they join?
Shanya: We are working as a marketplace for freelancers, so we tie up with e-learning platforms for academic writing and other institutions for non-academic works, also we contact brands and individuals for other freelance works like web development, social media optimisation, and other digital support. After getting projects, we post requirements in our official WhatsApp and Facebook groups. Interested candidates have to clear a small sample task, and after that, they get projects. New freelancers can quickly join us after registration on our website as an employee, or they can join through our social media as well.
Q: Did you face any challenges, Ankit? If yes, how did you come out of it?
Ankit: Definitely. If you are initiating something revolutionary, you will face challenges. The first challenge was trust-building; people were not trusting us as well because of these scams. For that, we started a transparent payment system and posted payment proof of even Rs 100 in the group. The second challenge was that training was an arduous task because people were unaware of it, so it was time-consuming.
Q. What are you planning next?
A. We observed in the last two years that students have degrees and knowledge too but due to lack of skills and professional ethics, they are not getting jobs. Students know only what is mentioned in books. Still, the way of implementation is unfair, so for that we will organise a “One Day, One Hour” session for skill and career orientation in different schools and colleges.