The Covid-19 pandemic has shaken up the global economies and hit millions of jobs worldwide. The Centre for Monitoring Indian Economy (CMIE) has estimated that around 18.9 Mn salaried individuals lost their jobs during the April-July period in India. Many people with reasonably well-established careers have been left in the lurch; freshers who were hoping to begin their careers are finding it difficult to land new jobs.
In such a gloom and doom scenario when both organised and unorganised sectors have taken a hit, taking the enterprising road to solopreneurship can be a viable idea to kickstart a career. Solopreneurs, as the name suggests, are solo entrepreneurs who work and run their businesses alone. If you are an enterprising individual looking to turn into a Solopreneur, here are five career possibilities to undertake:
First, given the shocking nature of the pandemic and the inevitable and accelerated pivot to digital businesses and commerce, anyone trained in web development should consider becoming a freelancing web developer. India already has over 5.3 Mn registered domain names of which 55% are attached to a website along with 1.2 Mn unique websites indicating the strong influence the internet has on our businesses and lifestyles.
With the National Internet Exchange of India and C-DAC collaborating to launch a domain in Indian scripts, not only users can access content in local languages but even search through the URLs in vernacular languages enabling penetration in non-English speaking markets.
This is a huge opportunity for budding solopreneurs. According to a recent report, India’s e-commerce market is set to cross $100 Bn in gross merchandise value (GMV) with 300-350 Mn shoppers by 2025 and hence the need to go digital and web development.
If you have a flair for words and feel comfortable in communicating a business proposition through the ‘might of the pen,’ effortlessly crafting powerful and effective messages, an independent writing career is there for you. As businesses shift to online mode, there will be thousands of new businesses wanting to communicate their sales and marketing value propositions to their customers digitally. This is where your instinct for language and words comes in.
You could turn simple facts and ideas into high-selling magical messaging translating into profitable returns for the business. What is more attractive about this role is that it might even allow you to not remain confined to business communication. Based on your aptitude and interests and if you are willing to go ‘domain-agnostic’, you could branch out to other forms of writing such as technical writing, social media and blog writing, news writing, fiction writing and even academic writing, among many others.
With the recent migration to online educational platforms by most educational institutions hastened by Covid, tonnes of educational and academic content would need to be developed where you could find a fit. Quite remarkably, ‘content writer’ was the most searched job in India according to a study that came out almost a year before Covid.
For creatively-inclined individuals with a passion for moving pictures, another solopreneurial venture is video making/editing and production. If you can put together stills, footage, sound effects, dialogues, and animation effects creating a coherent, eye-catching and appealing narrative, this job is yours for the taking. With internet becoming an all-pervasive medium of communication and information exchange as well as entertainment delivery, the opportunities are boundless in this field.
From explainer and testimonial videos to stop motion and animation videos to 3D videos, you have a wide range of technologies to choose from. Again, this is an open field that allows you to dabble in and experiment with diverse forms of output such as training videos, commercials and documentaries, among so many others. It is highly encouraging to know that video is the most popular format for advertisements in India with the country being the sixth-largest market in terms of consumption of video ads.
It is advisable to get abreast with a few widely used video editing software to allow for a smooth ride.
If you are a numbers geek and number-crunching, spreadsheets and data interpretation and analysis come easy to you, solopreneurial data science/analysis must become your calling. If you are fine with the sight of charts, graphs and similar representations and can discern patterns and make sense out of the mass of unstructured data while being able to offer cohesive and valuable insights even through out-of-the-box manipulation of data, consider this independent career option.
With more and more businesses digitising transcending physical markets in a virtual marketscape, there is a massive requirement of data analysts who could help businesses convert sales, marketing, financial and customer data into solid business opportunities.
Becoming a solopreneurial consultant could be another way to look forward to a post-Covid career path. Based on your training and expertise, you could choose to become a financial consultant, legal consultant, health consultant, sports and fitness consultant, career consultant and several other options with a specialised background.
So do not despair. The post-Covid job market is brimming with possibilities. You just have to find your own niche and be willing to go solo.