Fueled by a budding startup ecosystem and growing pool of freelancers, outsourcing continues to be a rising business trend in Lebanon. But where could this trend be heading to in the near future?
In an attempt to answer this question, we resorted to three young Lebanese entrepreneurs for firsthand insight. Here’s how each of them expressed his vision on the future of outsourcing in Lebanon.
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Technological advances are radically changing how outsourcing works globally. Nowadays, freelancers have affordable (if not free) access to advanced project management tools and online resources that allow them to be more efficient at work, and therefore become more price competitive.
One another hand, the growth of online platforms connecting clients to freelancers is increasing pricing transparency in the market, while simultaneously allowing the freelancer to reach a larger market that is not limited to their geographical area or dependent on their network of connections.
These factors combined are leveling the supply and demand fields, and shifting outsourcing decisions from being purely price-driven, towards being talent and experience driven. Additionally, outsourcing is going to expand to cover core business functions and design/aesthetics oriented jobs.
These changes in the outsourcing ecosystem are going to be essential for freelancers to compete beyond their country’s boundaries, and this specifically applies to small markets with a high concentration of talent such as the Lebanese market.
Ali Chehade | Digital Marketing Consultant/Serial Entrepreneur
Generally speaking, outsourcing is used for one of two purposes. First, to reduce costs by hiring cheaper service providers, and second, to hire specific talent that is not available in the local market.
Given that Lebanon is a small country, a business offering outsourcing services is likely to flourish, especially if offering competitive talents.
The market seems to have more startups and businesses than the technical workforce can offer. So I see Lebanon more as a consumer of outsourced talent than as a producer.
Roy Haddad | Managing Partner/Chief Marketing Strategist, DAY•DREAM
Outsourcing is key! The reason I say this with conviction is multifaceted.
For one, outsourcing helps businesses acquire the services of highly skilled and specialized talents who would otherwise be very difficult to retain on a long term in-house basis.
It also allows businesses to free-up internal resources to focus on developing relevant skills to their own industry, hence becoming a market reference when it comes to their core areas of expertise.
In addition to that, outsourcing helps businesses maintain lower fixed costs hence stay agile. This is especially relevant in Lebanon where uncertainty is quite high, and being able to maneuver quickly with the least carry-on weight can be critical.
Now of course outsourcing is not all moonlight and roses. It has its disadvantages, especially when it comes to control issues. Nevertheless, I do see a bright future for it, and I believe more and more entrepreneurs will capitalize on both ends of it.