Sushobhan Mukherjee


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Wordcon 2017 – International Freelancer Summit

Wordcon 2017, 2nd International Freelancer’s Conference was concluded last week on 9th February, 2017 (Thursday).  Our sincere thanks all delegates, speakers, panelists, media, partners, sponsors, volunteers to make Wordcon 2017 a grand success.

Wordcon aspires to build a collaborative platform of freelancers from various specialties, this very event is a fruit of collaboration of many freelancers, institutions, associations, businesses and individuals.

Wordcon’s genetic root lies in the art, science and commerce of having a totality of work and life. Wordcon speakers will be telling stories which they know best – their own journey and what they learnt and what they think we should unlearn and learn.

Wordcon 2015 premiered on 28th November 2015 in Kolkata in the form of its first Conference attended by local freelancers, entrepreneurs and professionals with three freelancers joining via webinar from Australia, Germany and the UK. Wordcon spirit was carried to New York and Bangladesh in March 2016, in the UK in July 2016. In last two years, we gathered an insight – a hunger of the post-industrial age perhaps, of having a balance of living life and earning our livelihood.

Wordcon 2017 Conference has been the culmination of Wordcon’s yearlong activities and campaigns in Kolkata / India, Bangladesh, Scotland and England, New York, Seattle in connecting Indian Freelancers with the global community and to share best practices.

Wordcon 2017’s theme was Freelancing – The post-industrial generation Career Opportunity.

Freelancing has been as old as war. In bygone ages, most of the people fought for one’s monarch, nation-state, religion, freelancers (lance means sword in old English) were fiercely independent and free-spirited. The English word “freelancer” first appeared in Sir Walter Scott’s novel in the late nineteenth century.

Functionally, many major functions of the society were conducted and are now being conducted by freelancers: doctors, lawyers, health care professionals, CA, musicians, authors, designers, translators, beauticians, content writers, journalists, photographers, performing artists, priests, SEO, social media analyst, ethical hackers, freelance consultants of all shades and the list goes on. Anyone who does not have a fixed employer and sells his/her skill directly to the marketplace can be technically considered a freelancer.

Wordcon2017’s core objective was to bring authentic, useful, fresh and inspiring stories of various freelancers or those who share the spirit of freelancing from our contemporary ecosystem.

Wordcon’s commitment to freelancers of India and abroad to build a global collaborative platform finds an echo of our own vision. For this, we have carried campaigns in Bangladesh, Africa, UK and US – Coast to Coast.

The event started with the chanting of Vedic mantras “Shiboham” by Sri Raja Bhattacharya and then the Inaugural session continued with the welcome address by Sri Pritam Bhattacharyya, Chairman – Wordcon, Chief Wordsmith – Wordsmith Communication, Sri Sushobhan Mukherjee, Chairman – Infocon Global, CEO- Prime Infoserv LLP, Sri Radhakrishnan, President – TiE, Kolkata, Dr. Parthasarathi Bhattacharya, Pulmonologist, Founder – Institute of Pulmocare and Research, Dr. Ashutosh Bhattacharjee, Chief Trend Analyst and Consultant – Vedic Life Trends, Chief Guest Sri Samarpan Maharaj, Belur Math and a formal Inauguration by lamp lighting., Swami Samarpanananda delivered the address on the theme of How to decrease the divide between Life and Livelihood. He clarified on the difference between life, livelihood and philosophy of life.

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The plenary sessions covered all diversified domains like PR, Sports, Media (Print, Radio, Television) , Academia, Translation, Sports, Literature, Writing, Filmmaking and off course music.

Speakers and Panelists like Ms. Rita Bhimani (Ritam Communications), Mr.Jamshed Nasiri (Formal Player and Football Coach), Mr.Jimmy Tangree (Friend’s FM), Snehasish Sur(Doordarshan), Professor Rajdeep Chowdhury (JIS College), Dr.  Buroshiv Dasgupta (Ex Director, NSHM), Dr. Dilip Shah (Professor of Bhawanipur Education Society), Mr.Sailen Sengupta (Wordsmith University), Mr. Avelo Roy (Kolkata Ventures), Mr. Rhitobrata Bhattacharyya (Media Specialist), Mr. Joydeep Ganguly (Business Strategist and Practitioner for International Business), Mr.Binod Ghosal(Bengali Fiction Writer), Mr. Deepak Kumar Khaitan (Practicing Company Secretary), Mr.Arif Ahmed (South Asian Management Technologies Foundation), Mr.Nirupam Sen (BSI), Dr. Sudip Sinha (NLP Master Practitioner), Mr. Kaushik Bhattacharya (Business Management Consultant), Ms. Malabika Chatterjee (Mono Translation Bureau), Mr. Pinaki Talukder (Anubadak Lingo Services), Mr. Subhasis Chatterjee (Connect India, Mozilla, Indus Universe), Mr. Subhas Mohanty (PRSI), Dr. Arnab Gupta of Saroj Gupta Cancer Care Centre focused on the theme of freelancing from the various fields and future directions and how we can apply the learning from one domain to another.,

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The event had witnessed the launching of Journals – Infoquest – 2nd Edition– a journal of Infoquest security, Freespace – Freelancer’s Journal.

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Wordcon 2017 was full of musicals as usual. The inaugural started with “Shiboham” by Mr.Raja Chattacharya , Post lunch was by Mr.Parijat Biswas with his own composition (lyric, music and performance) and Finally there was orchestra by Kolkata Youth Ensemble.

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The evening conclusive session was blend of indian, Bengali and international themes both in instrumental and vocal such as Bhoopali Raga, Titanic theme, Amra Sabai Raja collage, Mozart meets Ray, Mozart Symphony 40,  Aj mon cheyechhe,  Jibone ki Pabona, Mere Sapno ki Rani and Journey based on Mishra Jog Raga. We had a 21 musician fusion orchestra, conducted by renowned musician Amitava Ghosh.

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Wordcon will continue conducting small – local and hyper-local events with freelancers, followed by cultural, musical and literary showcasing.

The spirit of “Wordcon” is briefed through the small assemble of limericks:

তুখোড় গলা গানের? মন মজেছে ড্যান্সে?
ছকে বাঁধা চাকরী জীবন ভীষণরকম পানসে?

সিংহ হৃদয়? সাহস তূণে?
গড়বে জীবন স্বপ্ন বুনে?

ভরসা রেখো “ওয়ার্ডকনে” এবং ফ্রিল্যান্সে |

কর্পোরেটে ক্লান্ত জীবন, অন্যরকম গল্প লেখে,
দশটা-পাঁচটা বাঁধন ছেড়ে একলা নিজেই বাঁচতে শেখে,

এমন অনেক টুকরো জুড়ে,
ওয়ার্ডকনের হৃদয়পুরে,

ফ্রিল্যান্সমুখী বঙ্গবাসী, সন্মেলনে সল্টলেকে |

ফ্রিলান্স মানে স্বাধীনচেতা, ইচ্ছে ডানায় গঙ্গাফড়িং,

শঙ্খচিলের উজান গাঙে, জাপটে ধরা সোনার হরিণ ।

সঙ্গে থেক বন্ধুজনে,

আস্থা থাকুক ওয়ার্ডকনে,

ভবিষ্যতের যাত্রাপথে, ফ্রিল্যান্সের রাস্তা ধরি ।

Last but not the least, Wordcon and Infocon both feel that there is an increasing conflict in our life and livelihood and we are missing quality leisure and healthy social mixing. As a demonstration of this value, we have been organizing musical event called “Hammer and Violin” every winter, a picnic for entrepreneurs called EPIC, planning for a yearly sports event so that we have a total and harmonious growth.

With your help and support and with the grace of the Supreme Lord of the Cosmic Government, we hope that we shall continue our collaborative journey with Kolkata.

 

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“Me Too” Syndrome – RCA for Business Collapse

Customer: “Do you do ERP?”

Vendor : “Yes Sir, we have in house developed ERP both client server based and Web Based, but we have tie-ups with SAP, Microsoft dynamics and if budget is a constraint we can give you Tally as well”

Customer: “Wow, you have a platter of ERP solutions, how many people you have in your team?

Vendor : “Sir, we have 40 people with us having offices across India, US and UK, we do website development also sir”

Customer: “Web Development?”

Vendor : “Yes sir, we do portals, SEO, video, animations, virtual reality, 3D visualization…”

Customer: “Doing so many things? How do you manage?”

Vendor : “That’s the innovation sir, our project management and time management are the keys to the success. Not only that Sir, we have teams to handle your IT integration, security solutions, embedded systems etc.”

Customer: “But what is your value additions? Why people will give you order? What is your strength?”

Vendor : “Emm…Sir…Sir…we are doing it for years for so many customer, X given us, Y given us…Z…”

Customer: “But why? Why someone will give you?”

Vendor : Yes…ya..means…we work on quality, commitments, timelines ….’

Customer: “But those are very qualitative statements, no quantification…everyone else also do it, what is your differentiate factors?

Vendor : “ Sir we can help you with lowest possible price and best in quality”

Customer: “OK, will come back to you

Vendor : “Sir, should I send you a mail with our profile and offer?”

Customer: “No, not now, we will ask for it when needed”

These are imaginary discussions between a potential buyer and seller in a business conference. But the factualism is not imaginary. Rather this is the reality of market where all companies do almost everything with a mode “we also provide that service which other company” so that not a single opportunity gets slipped out from hand. This in effect does not create any value/credibility other than one more vendor in the crowd and in effect pricing becomes the only deciding factor. All vendors with same platter attack the one potential buyer and fight between themselves only on price and finally even when someone gets it, it becomes a nightmare during delivery due to excessive low price and everyone (including customer) starts bleeding. This is some kind of cannibalism which not only kills the eco system, but also facilitates death of lot of vendors/service providers. In effect the vendor company will not get desired growth, rise and wealth and rather they will start fighting for survival.

Moreover, most of the companies do so many things, they cannot build competency. They try to fetch an order somehow and then try to get it done by “Jugad” methodology of outsourcing. As a result, the people further downstream gets peanuts and off course quality, delivery timeline are bound to be pathetic. This way the chicken-egg story continues and business does not grow.

Beware of “Me Too” syndrome. It is curable if you under a true doctor and plan to migrate yourself towards the growth.

How? Think it yourself in a peaceful mind!

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