Work Online and Gain Skills for the Digital Age

Cloudfactory

1. No Poverty 6. Clean Water and Sanitation 8. Decent Work and Economic Growth 9. Industry, Innovation and Infrastructure 11. Sustainable Cities and Communities

Overview

The company basically is a web-based outsourcing platform that hires cloud-workers who can work from their internet enabled locations. Cloudfactory's clients are those who need big data services such as data entry, data processing, data collection along with audio/video transcription, categorization, web research and image tagging.

Author

Alisha Adhikari

Alisha Adhikari

School

Kathford International College

Kathford International College

Professor

Bhuwan Adhikari

Bhuwan Adhikari

Innovation

Cloudfactory, a Kathmandu-based startup has emerged among the front runners in the global crowd-sourcing market. The company, founded in 2010 by a Canadian tech entrepreneur, Mark Sears, is rapidly expanding its foothold in Nepal and beyond. Cloudfactory came into existence when Sears came to Nepal on a vacation with his wife in 2008. The company basically is a web-based outsourcing platform that hires cloud-workers who can work from their internet enabled locations. Cloudfactory's clients are those who need big data services such as data entry, data processing, data collection along with audio/video transcription, categorization, web research and image tagging. The tasks are broken down into sets of "micro tasks" which are then distributed to its pool of online workers who complete their work in the "virtual assembly lines". Cloudfactory currently employs 3,200 workers from Nepal and across the world, who process over a million tasks per day.

Work Online and Gain Skills for the Digital Age

Inspiration

Someone once told Mark Sears that, "Geeks will change the world!” So what would happen if a bunch of geeks moved their families to a third world country and did a tech startup to fight poverty and change the world? This question strike him. Ten years ago the first family came for a two week vacation to Nepal and ended up staying because they fell in love with a beautiful country and beautiful people. Since then, others have moved themselves and their families to join a new type of company. One that cares more about social impact than profit. But a company also wise enough to know that profit is what deepens our social impact over the long term. In 2008, they were a software development company building web and mobile applications for North American and European clients. Many of the clients started needing data entry related work and kept asking if they could hire people in Nepal and do it. They kept saying no because they were a high-end software boutique and not a data entry company. At the same time they had been living in Nepal for a year and only hiring talented computer engineering fresher. During the period they met many other talented Nepalese looking for an opportunity. The major existing solution was Amazon's Mechanical Turk (AMT) - a crowd sourcing internet marketplace. But its enterprise-grade was not enough for their clients and they faced many quality related problems. So they started Cloudfactory on January 1, 2010 as a technology platform to cater to the big demand and supply of online workers and haven't looked back since then.

Overall impact

CloudFactory is a distributed workforce company specializing in delivering significant efficiencies and cost savings for data-intensive business processes. Typical clients have large volumes of data entry, data collection or data processing work where quality is the critical component. The work is broken down into micro tasks that are completed along "virtual assembly lines" by CloudFactory's global, on-demand, managed workforce. As a social enterprise, CloudFactory exists to connect 1 million people in developing countries to meaningful IT work while raising them up as leaders to address poverty in their own communities. CloudFactory, a data services BPO provider and impact sourcing leader, was also presented with a 3S Award from the Global Sourcing Council for the positive impact that the company has made on the lives of thousands of skilled workers in Nepal. In a country where unemployment has consistently exceeded 40%, CloudFactory hired, trained and connected more than three thousand hard-working and educated Nepalese to meaningful data-oriented jobs that deliver value to hundreds of organizations around the globe. To date, CloudFactory teams have completed over 1,500 community projects and committed to over 58,000 personal action steps.

Business benefit

Large-scale data entry, audio/video transcription, web research, image tagging and categorization are the major projects of Cloudfactory. Companies come to them with large amounts of routine and repetitive work that they can break down in small tasks that can be partially automated but require people as well to complete many of them. Cloudfactory is the biggest story that the U.S. economy has never heard of. But that's going to change as implications become clear. The company just received $700,000 in seed funding, which will dramatically boost its progress. In bringing massive numbers of "offshore" workers online, Cloudfactory is administering the coup de grace to the fading distinction between onshore and offshore. (Initially, workers are focusing primarily on business-process tasks, such as data entry and data processing.)

From the beginning they have been about offering superior product, at an incredible value and the impact is the icing on the cake.

Social and environmental benefit

Cloudfactory is a 50-person team of Canadians, Americans and other nationalities based in Kathmandu, Nepal, and at Cloudfactory.com. Cloudfactory has combined teleworker with a larger social mission: "The company organizes its workforce into teams of five workers that meet face-to-face every week to review their accuracy, discuss one of the 40 Cloudfactory principles (integrity, dependability, productivity, ownership, etc.) and serve their community by doing things such as cleaning up public parks or volunteering at local orphanages."

One of the biggest green and social benefits of the Cloudfactory model may be that it makes first-world suburbs , car-centric, largely empty by day, with few local businesses and a spotty civic life — unnecessary. If people can "work from home and their local cafe," they don't need to commute; leading to the colossal (and decaying) "commuter infrastructure". And by day, workers can spend their money locally, supporting a local economy.

Interview

Mark Sears, Founder

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Cloudfactory

Cloudfactory

Kathmandu Metropolitan City, Nepal

Business Website: cloudfactory.com.np

Year Founded: 2010

Number of Employees: 1001 to 5000

Cloudfactory is changing the way the world works by providing an on-demand, digital workforce for scaling critical business processes in the cloud. There are three main values or mission of cloud factory, character, competency and community. They are on a mission to connect one million people in the developing world to digital-age work, while raising them up as leaders to address poverty in their own communities.