Srinagar: Once an average boy in the class, Rubaitul Azad is one of the top rated web designers of Kashmir. 26 years old, Rubait has been in the field of graphics and web designing for years and today his clients include the top notch industries around the world.
It was not that easy for him, he had to face a lot of criticism and opposition in the beginning.
Rubaitul said, “My academic performance has never been strong. I was an average student who always used to be disinterested in studies but since childhood, I was completely and utterly obsessed with designing things and coding.”
The self-taught tech savvy has learnt the art of designing from various online platforms. In 2012, he started freelancing with a number of companies which gave him the confidence to work harder.
Hailing from Gulshan Nagar, Srinagar, he designs modern websites, applications and provides all kinds of web services.
“I build digital products and provide web services for start-ups, enterprises, healthcare companies, education and other sectors. Initially it was very difficult but I was always open to learning which helped me much,” he said.
He further improved his skills to learn website development, UI/UX designing, WordPress development, Server administration, Search Engine Optimization, Social Media Marketing, Mobile App Development and few more techniques.
“My experience as a freelancer has been like a roller coaster ride. I used to study online video lectures on designing and I still do so because new things are trending so one has to keep up with the trends. After seven years of arduous hardwork, I have built up my own client pool,” he said.
Presently, he has done 300 plus projects with renowned international, national and local brands. KTP Exports Private Limited Singapore, Shanghai Uniforms Singapore, Kinpin TV are some of the companies he has worked with. His designs have been used by more than 100 industries and corporations including Hindustan Times, Yahoo, ABP News, MSN, Business Inside, India Today, abp News, News18 & Aaj Tak.
On graphics sharing platform – Unsplash and Pexels, Rubait has a whooping views of more than 35 lakh users which are impressive figures.
From a younger age, he was good at using Photoshop and other photo editing software.
According to him, many people of the valley are not aware of the freelancing and gig economy which is thriving across India.
In freelancing, a company hires the employees for a temporary basis rather than full time.
He said that freelancing is not only restricted to young people, rather people of all ages, including growing children and elderly people, can pursue their careers in this field.
“There is no age or other criteria for admission. Anybody from anywhere can enroll in various online courses and start their career,” he said.
He further said, “It’s like getting back to the Stone Age when man first began to hunt and collect his own food on his own. In order to ensure and guarantee your future, I believe that you should begin thinking like a gig player, even if working a full-time job now provides you with a sense of comfort and security.”
As the pandemic led the industries to cut down the staff, the same also caused the growth of freelancers. During the pandemic, many employees moved to freelancing because of its flexibility and opportunities.
“Gig Economy is helping people to grow out of unemployment crises. People who are starting careers in the gig economy have paved the way for themselves to reach a higher wavelength, and it is important to remember that with every opportunity comes an equal amount of obstacles and difficult things,” he said.
He further said that for a traditional job, individuals are required to provide evidence of their certificates in order to be hired, and they have to retire from the job after working for a certain period of time whereas freelancing gives you an opportunity to work regardless of the qualifications and grades.
Work from home mode is not new to freelancers as they have to work inside the confines of their familiar environment. It’s not the conventional 9-6 hours job but a job where a worker decides his or her own working hours.
“You can take projects and ask for the payment of your choice. The more projects you take, the more money you can make. One has to win the trust of the client. If your skill sets are not comfortable with the project, you can simply turn down the project,” he added.
Making a good reputation with clients is what Rubait is known for.
“It all requires a laptop and an internet connection. It can empower women and specially abled people and those who live in rural areas. The gig economy in coming years will dominate the world,” he said.
His goal is to encourage the local youngsters to enter the world of freelancing. To engage the youth into freelancing, he started giving freelancing courses to students. Over the course of the last three years, he has instructed more than 200 students, and as per him, a significant number of those students are now successful freelancers making a fair living.
Initially he had to face a lot of criticism from his parents and relatives who used to say that his laptop is not going to give him livelihood.
“In Kashmir, people think only those get jobs that possess degrees. Very few people value skills. The mentality should change. Degree is nothing if one doesn’t possess skills. Students should go for skill development courses too,” he said.
While concluding he said, “Listen to your heart and head together and make choices that are in your best interests, since in the end, what really count is how happy and pleased you are with both yourself and the job that you do. My theory is that our faces should be able to convey the delight and enthusiasm we have for the task we do.”