Freelancing Market Trends – Geography

Case studies

Understanding freelancing market trends and leveraging them is the difference between growth and stagnation for many Web Services companies like Gyrix. However due to lack of awareness, skills or inclination many companies miss to analyze the trends.

As described in the previous article, many of these offshore companies rely on Freelancing portals to fetch projects. Based on our discussions with peers in this industry, we see quite a few companies struggling to occupy their teams and utilizing the available skills. To help them do a better job, we are sharing our Data-based insights after analyzing these freelancing websites.

For any market research report it is important to state the objectives, methodology and limitations. So here we go


  • Identify market trends across various factors like Geography, Opportunities, Skills
  • Search for behavior pattern of clients on freelancing portals
  • Identify suitability of freelancing portals for small and mid size IT Outsourcing companies
  • Answer questions like – Are Freelancing portals suitable to achieve growth for the IT Outsourcing companies.


  • Sample size: 14,700 projects across freelancing portal in Web Development category
  • Duration: The data was captured across a month in 2nd half of 2016.
  • Process: Data was manually cleaned and fed to analytics tools. Standard analytic processes were used to unearth trends.


  • As the data was fetched only across a month, factors like holidays and seasonal periods may have some impact on it
  • Human error in the results should be assumed to be around 2 to 3 %


We shall divide the freelancing market trends in 3 sections:

  • Geography
  • Money
  • Skills

Today, we’ll cover the Geographical aspect of freelancing market trends:

  • Which continents and countries are leading in posting freelancing projects ?
  • What is the market share of different countries  ?
  • What is the inclination of different countries towards different project types ?
  • Which countries can a company realistically target ?
  • Clients of which country are more likely to award projects than others ?


Let us start with the simplest: Which continent and countries have the highest number of projects ?

Absolutely no points for guessing

Continent-wise projects

North America tops the chart with almost 50% of the projects. Europe is a distant second closely followed by Asia. Australia being the single continent-country stands at fourth position


Coming on to the countries.

We will take points away if you name any other country than the USA to top the chart.

Freelancing Project Across Countries 2016

Top 10 countries for Projects under Web Development Category


USA alone contributes to 40% of all the Web Development projects. Followed by UK as a distant second. Surprisingly India stands a very close 3rd. This might indicate that second and third level of outsourcing is pretty much in vogue here. Australia comes at 4th position, followed by Canada.


After this comes the division of projects in Fixed Price and TnM (Time and Material).

There is clear inclination (though not a tilt) towards Fixed Price projects across all the countries.

FP and Hourly Projects - Country wise 2016

Categorization of Project in FP and TnM for Top 10 countries

TnM projects constitute around 47% of the total projects in USA and Australia. Whereas they stand at 45% and 39% for Canada and UK respectively. For India the percentage is 29%.

Coming to the final and most important Chart.


Clients of which countries are likely to award projects than others

Of all the projects listed Globally under Web Development Category, only 45% projects have a realistic chance of being awarded. So the next time you find a project that is just perfect for you, that has the ideal budget or hourly rate, that has the client with best rating and feedback… pause for few seconds and consider this…

Before your company gets into competition with other awesome freelancers on the platform, 55% chances are that the proposal will be wasted because of the CLIENT. The client’s priorities / mood / inclination / preferences are the biggest threat to your project conversion matrix.

Still there are few countries who do better than others as shown here

Country wise Project Conversion chances 2016

Realistic chance of awarding Project – Globally and across Top 5 Countries

Australia tops the chart with an above par conversion chances. It indicates that clients from Australia, though lesser in number are more serious than other countries in awarding projects.

*Wink wink* You now know, more than 2/3rd clients from which country are wasting your time. Beware !


And that’s it for today !

We hope a better understanding of these freelancing market trends will benefit your company. Leave your comments and feedback here for any improvements in presenting the results. Share your request for specific information, we shall try our best to unearth it from the available data.


Next up “Freelancing Market Trends – Money”.

Stay Tuned !



  • The analysis was done based on the limited set of data available from freelancing websites, hence it neither claims to be 100% accurate nor is a reflection of the entire freelancing market
  • The outcomes are shared here for informational purpose only and no liability is borne by Gyrix or any of its members, for decisions made based on the analysis
  • Readers are expected to treat this as good faith information sharing only and should use their judgement before making decisions of any kind

Special thanks to Shreyas Padhye for co-authoring this article.

The IT Services Landscape of Today

The IT Services Landscape of Today

Case studies, Updates

With the emergence and growth of freelancing websites (like upwork, freelancer, guru) the IT services business has changed drastically. Smaller IT companies have mushroomed across the developing world. They cater to projects from the developed world (US, Europe, Australia) that were earlier inaccessible.

These changes have brought new challenges for everyone.

For clients:

  • Finding the right outsourcing partners
  • Developing skills to effectively manage distant teams
  • Gaining productivity despite time-zone differences
  • Assimilating members from different cultures without meeting each other

For IT companies:

  • Increased competition
  • Working on market adjusted rates
  • Team members turn into competition because of very low entry barriers in the business
  • Continuous upskilling of team members and associated costs

Along with the above challenges, there are disruptive forces at play:

  • Technological updations
  • Automation of tasks that were fetching handsome revenues till now
  • Cyber Security

So how should a typical IT services company survive amid all the chaos ?

Gyrix IT Services

With our experience of building a successful and scalable IT Services Company at Gyrix, we have gained few insights to handle these challenges. The insights are divided in three categories:

  • Client Front
  • Team Front
  • Market Front



Client Front


  • Retention is preferable than Acquisition: We made genuine attempts to retain our clients for the maximum time possible. Some of our clients are continuing with us for more than 3 years now. It gives the company stability, the team members develop functional expertise, payments are never a worry and the rapport can be utilized for expanding the engagement.
  • Up-skill team members for client needs: We faced challenges in meeting all the technological needs of our long term clients. It is better to develop the new skills in-house, rather than losing the opportunity to an outside entity. It gives bandwidth to learn under protected environment (with lesser risks). Sometimes the clients are willing to bear the cost for the team member to learn new technology.
  • Deliver value while sometimes bearing the cost: Services is a test-match that never ends. An inning is always followed by another. The performances are bound to vary, some clients would be very happy, some may not. But if the goal of delivering “Value” is clear, life becomes easy. An IT services company Sometimes should be ready to bear Cost while delivering Value Always.



Team Front


  • Smart is better than average: For longevity of the company, it is better to hire smart people people at higher costs rather than below-average people at lower costs.
  • Up-skilling is for the company not for the individual: Setting aside a budget to incentivize team members to do global certifications, should be considered a business cost.
  • Shuffle team at regular intervals to reduce dependency: It may be an enticing option to allow a stable team to continue working for a long term client, but making changes below the threshold of disruption is always better.
  • Test the bench capabilities: Team members not allocated to projects should be tested regularly by shadowing to live projects. It keeps the morale high and trains them free of cost.

Based on our discussions with peers in the IT world, we found many companies are following most of the above learnings.



However, the one aspect where many IT companies (especially the smaller ones) lack is the Market Front.

Market Front


  • Tend to make convenient assumptions
  • Work on their own strengths rather than the demand in the market
  • Allocate disproportionate resources for unnecessary technologies
  • Bet on “emerging” technologies prematurely
  • Assume that all the technologies are relevant to all the geographies. E.g. The list of technologies more in demand in Australia may not exactly match with US.

We had realized the importance of understanding the Market Front earlier in our journey. Hence we developed skills to analyze the Freelancing market with the objective to:

  1. Carefully observe technological trends
  2. Understand market demands
  3. Unearth geographical patterns

We performed a detailed activity over several week, fetched information from some of the freelancing websites, applied analytical tools to sift through the huge amount of data and drew conclusions based on the results. When we had solid conclusions in front of us, we tweaked our sales and delivery strategy to enhance our potential of growth.



Update: We’ve published the article on Freelancing Market Trends across Geographies !

How to filter Entrepreneurs from Wannapreneurs ?

How to filter Entrepreneurs from Wannapreneurs ?



As a service provider for Web and Mobile Solutions, we interact with many wannapreneurs on a daily basis. Initially it was exciting to discover/discuss new ideas but gradually we needed a way to filter the really serious ones. Below is a hack for it:

wannapreneurs vs entrepreneurs

wannapreneurs (wp): I have this great idea and want to start development immediately.

me: Sure, we might be able to help with it. Please explain the idea.

wp: I want to create an X for Y industry. Do you have any experience in it? Can you help ?

me: Yes, we have worked with multiple startups in Y industry and have successfully completed quite a few projects. Our team members have good functional understanding of the industry. This is our understanding ——-

wp: Thanks. This helps a lot. Which technology should we use ?

me: We have implemented our earlier projects using A,B and C technology. However, we also have expertise on D,E and F.  Final decision on the technology will be yours. Before we continue further discussions, we need to formalize your thoughts and have a document ready to understand the scope of work. It will help in proper estimation, planning and goal setting.

wp: Sure, i’ll get cracking on it and provide you the document by tomorrow EOD.

me: Do you require any help from my side ?

wp: Nothing for now. These inputs are sufficient for me to work on the document.

me: Sounds good. Looking forward to your email.

**2 weeks pass by – No revert**

*me thinking* What could I’ve done better to help the wannapreneur further ?



To gauge the seriousness of wannapreneurs, ask them to do the smallest of the task. If there is no revert – You’ve saved yourself from wasted efforts in fruitless discussions.

If the wannapreneurs return with a great outcome and same vigor – you have interesting potential client and the opportunity to work with genuine Entrepreneur.

Saying Goodbye to 2016 – An Entrepreneur’s take

Culture, Entrepreneurship, Updates

2016 is being widely labelled as the most disappointing year in recent memory (avoiding extreme terms for the sake of professionalism). The reasons fall heavily across the spectrum: From the geopolitical events, to corporate sluggishness, to unfortunate turn of events and the list goes on and on….

But how was the year for a typical Indian Entrepreneur like me ?

Indian Entrepreneur

Overall it was a difficult year to say the least:

  • The global uncertainties ensured that we were on our toes for the major part of the year
  • The wide fluctuations of growth prospects from extremely positive to utterly depressing gave mixed signals to everyone around us
  • The learnings, un-learnings and re-learnings were steep and didn’t provide us a minute of respite from challenging the status-quo

So what is this all about:


  • We started 2016 on a very positive note backed by a 100% year on year growth for our company. The team was all set and promising new members were joining the team almost every month. We were falling short of operating space (a difficult but good problem to have), so we expanded our office space
  • The biggest coup of the year was the strategic tie-up with a company in Australia. This helped us to have a physical presence in a developed market. We were able to reach more clients and engage on interesting projects
  • This relationship grew stronger over time and we also had an offshore visit from the Australian partner. Many things were brainstormed during this visit and a mid-term roadmap was chalked out. The team was excited by the interaction with an onsite partner and the new perspectives that they received
  • The projects were pouring in and we were experimenting with new technologies. The formula that we had developed for the last 3 years was working well

What could go wrong, you’d say?

As the year progressed on, we faced some headwinds:



  • Stressed projects: A couple of projects were proving to be troublesome, we focused our energies on them, took some tough decisions and ensured that the clients are happy with our delivery. After numerous long nights and weekends in office, the projects stabilized. These experiences gave us good insights on our strengths and improvement areas, which we gradually worked on
  • Few unexpected exits: We were largely dependent on the hardworking and dedicated team we had meticulously built over the last 3+ years. Some of the senior members were really showing promise of taking additional responsibilities. But at the same time, they too had to progress in their careers and hence it was with heavy heart that we had to say goodbye to Arpita, Ankur, Bhaskar. We parted ways on a positive note and are still very much in touch
  • Global uncertainties: We started facing hurdles in acquiring projects that should have been a cakewalk a year back. This lead to a sluggish period for operations, so we needed to beef up our sales team to overcome the challenges. We hired a dedicated HR and she helped us to streamline our hiring processes
  • Unprofessional prospects: The most disappointing phase was when we offered a senior sales guy a better package than his expectations, agreed to wait for his 2 months notice period – to be told a day before his joining that he has decided to continue in his current company because he got a hike over the package that we had offered. The issue here was not that he rescinded on his promise to join us, but the time and opportunities wasted in this process. This proved to be a real learning for us and we corrected our hiring process to handle such eventualities
  • Unprofessional member: Have tried to explain it here
  • Few tough decisions: “As an Entrepreneur the toughest decisions of your life, will definitely be related to the Human Resources”. Wrong hires, Engagements stretched beyond their life, Missed hires – are the decisions that you’ll always regret and pay a heavy price for

We too had to take such decisions:

  • A few people were asked to pursue their careers elsewhere. We tried our best to take the most humane approach possible. We gave sufficient indications and opportunity to make corrections, when that did not work we gave all the support in terms of documentations, referrals and monetary support to help in the transition. Some took it professionally, some got emotional. We publicly apologize if anyone feels that we made the wrong decision OR if there were lacks from our side to handle the situation. We are sure, in the long term they will realize that the decision was in their own interest and ultimately helped in pursuing their careers in a more suitable company
  • A prolonged Engagement: We were having a difficult problem with 1 particular team member. Extremely talented, technically superior, good communication skills but a complete mismatch for our Culture. We tried to counsel this team member to smoothen the edges and not create disturbances in our environment. We gave him opportunity on the most sought after projects, gave him unlimited access to office resources to enhance his skills, provided enough chances but still the nagging problem of cultural misfit persisted. It was after hectic discussions and debating tough choices that we decided to ask the member to leave

All along the while, Gyrixians were working hard and partying harder. We had numerous events for Self Improvement,  Winning Documentary Contest, Supporting Social Causes, Foundation Day, Awards, Long Trips, Short Trips, Birthdays, Festive celebrations, Games, Masti etc.

With this, we have reached the climax of the year and you are wondering that I’ve not yet touched upon Brexit and Trump, but there is a particular reason to it. No one can predict how these two events will unfold.

  1. Brexit: Might be bad for the world in general but might be a blessing for Indian IT companies, if the Indian government is able to leverage the situation to our advantage.
  2. Trump: What can I say more that’s not said already? With my limited understanding of Economics and International policy, if he implements all the things he says, the world is heading towards bigger trouble in the next 4 years. For Indian IT companies there are mixed signals. He may hinder IT outsourcing and H1-B, at the same time he might be more favorable towards India vis-a-vis its competitors. So no one knows what lies in store for the Indian IT Industry.

So what is our outlook for the year 2017 ?

“Extreme uncertainty in one variable demands relative stability in others”

With the year closing on uncertain terms, it is better to adjust our plans prudently. We are hopeful that 2017 will be more cheerful and will allow us to pursue our goals without many external considerations. We have ambitious goals and new initiatives to unveil. As always, we are confident that our super dynamic team will be able to pull off any challenge we throw at them.

We thank our team, mentors, friends, well wishers, support network and family for helping us achieve our goals this year. Here’s to more Growth and Entrepreneurial dynamism in the coming Year !!!

We wish everyone a Great Year Ahead !

Happy New Year