Insights into the freelancer ecosystem
PayPal released a report sharing an overview on India’s freelancer landscape. The report highlighted the strong growth prospects of the sector and challenges of the freelancers in India. The study, conducted with 500 Indian freelancers in their local languages, highlighted that most Indian freelancers are under the age of 40 and are predominantlymostly men. Web & mobile development, web designing, internet research and data entry are the key focus areas for Indian freelancers while some of them are also engaged in accounting, graphic design and consultancy.
Of the surveyed freelancers, 41% have witnessed very fast growth in through the past 12 months, with 80% of them working with international as well as domestic clients. A significant amount of work for Indian freelancers comes from Australia, US and UK.  15 projects and 13 retainer clients annually gives this segment income stability & security. 
 Narsi Subramanian, Director Growth, PayPal India, said: ‘India is today the largest freelancer market in the world and poised for growth. Receiving payments in a timely, safe and secure manner is one of the key concerns for this community. At PayPal, we work closely with freelancers enabling them to leverage the opportunity in India and across the globe. Our key offerings such as and Seller Protection for Intangibles have helped solve payment related hurdles and propelled growth for this segment. We excited to see college graduates, 5-9ers and homemakers leveraging the freelancing professional and the global opportunity.
Most took to freelancing after having heard about it from friends, family, social media and freelancing platforms. Of the reasons that drove them to adopt freelancing, earning more income, flexibility in schedules and ability to choose who to work for, topped the list. Of the wide range of aspects, freelancers feel that they need external support in aspects such as setting up their own website, finding and retaining clients, fee and negotiation advice, protection and insurance.
Processing payments:
PayPal is among the most popular payment methods for international payments. Increasingly, risk and security are the most important aspects for freelancers as they accept payments from across the world, followed by a shorter time taken by payment methods to process payments. Another key challenge faced by freelancers is that of invoicing – most freelancers currently invoice through freelancer platforms, create an invoice manually or just share details over email.
Money management and freelancers:
Close to 61% of the surveyed freelancers have not been paid at least once through their career. Further, many freelancers receive payments only after 2-4 weeks of invoicing, thereby creating a gap in flow of capital. To overcome this challenge, freelancers provide discounts for early and charge for late payments.

PayPal India

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