With a population of roughly 356m people spread across 17 countries, Middle East has an opportunity to use the collective intellect of the fastest growing pool of people across the globe. Population of Middle East has grown the fastest in last 2 decades with an approx 44% overall increase.
For any business model to grow, it depends on a couple or more mega trends that happen in that geography besides the idea brilliance. Considering that let’s look at couple of mega trends taking place in Middle East
- Technology Connectivity - As per the Arab Media Report, broadband & internet penetration in Arab countries will increase with 38% CAGR till 2013, with some countries like Qatar going up to around 84% internet penetration. This will allow people to stay connected through technology and hence work and operate in models which are more technologically connected, leading to more telecommuting. Middle East's job site Bayt.com did a survey and found over 87% of the participants were in favor of telecommuting. Mobile, smart phones and other advanced technological innovations have connected remote workers like never before.
- Freelancing - Of every 100 freelancers in the world around 0.5 comes from Middle East. Very small a number for an extremely big community, however the number is increasing. Jobs no longer provide the protections and security and over 55% people have moved to freelancing due to that reason.
One industry that stands in between these two mega trends in Middle East is "Crowdsourcing". As per Wiki - "*Crowdsourcing* is a process that involves outsourcing tasks to a distributed group of people. This process can occur both online and offline. The difference between crowdsourcing and ordinary outsourcing is that a task or problem is outsourced to an undefined public rather than a specific body, such as paid employees." There are various kinds of crowdsourcing solutions that businesses are delivering and using like creative work, microwork, funding, decision making, ideation and others. Using large group of people to participate, engage in various tasks while connecting with each other through technology will enable faster and cost effective business and innovative solutions. Besides business solutions social solutions can also be resolved using the power of the crowd.
A website in Egypt uses crowdsourcing for generating awareness on sexual harassment against women. Similar solutions will be built to resolve solutions of a growth and developing economy like Middle East including traffic jam details, accidents on roads or any other positive or negative incidents.
Crowdsourcing as a model has already been widely accepted in developed geographies but with technology and freelancing growing in Middle East, it is going to be the next wave in this region.
*"No one in this world, so far as I know, has ever lost money by underestimating the intelligence of the great masses of the plain people." - H. L. Mencken*
Post By - Manik Kinra - A quintessential sales guy, Manik's aggressive energy keeps the engine running for customer acquisition and marketing practices at Mixilion. With the concept of crowdsourcing close to his heart, Manik is an avid blogger and often writing commentaries on what's going on in the world of crowdsourcing in general and small business marketing in particular.
Twitter - @manikkinra