Everyday we read these ads in the paper offering web design services at extremely low rates and I wonder how they survive on such margins and who do they serve. But as it happens there is a huge opportunity for 'entry level' web design firms at thebottom of the pyramid.
An offshoot of the gigantic Indian software industry, the low cost web design industry is growing every year, generating literally thousands of websites for small businesses all over India. What would be the average profile of such web design firms.
|They are all independent entrepreneurs where there is no heirarchy and the boss also makes the coffee|
|Most of these businesses do not need a fancy website. They just need to get online.|
No design processes. No complex wireframing phase. Just choose a template from the hundreds of template available for sale on the net, plug in the content and you're ready to go!! Most of these businesses do not need a fancy website. They just need to get online. Customization is very little and not required. So what if your site looks like a clone of the hundreds of others.
They charge peanuts for these sites. After deducting the cost of the template, hosting and other add-ons the margins are wafer thin to non-existent. They make it up in volume and high turnover per month. Many of them are hosting providers who also do web designing.
As with any highly commoditized industry many go out of business within a year or two of starting. Many take up jobs after struggling to make ends meet. But for every one that dissappear two more spring up, ready to serve.
Most of these businesses are run by college dropouts or owners who are not exactly at the top end of academic excellence. Due to the templatized nature of their work most are not able to go up the value chain with advanced services. The owners business skills are also rudimentary at best. Due to the low cost nature of their services many clients would not trust them with higher work.
However they do serve a purpose that of powering thousands of small businesses across India on the internet. They allow companies on a budget to get a taste for what the web can do for them. These same companies then continue this with newer sites, better sites, climbing up the value chain where companies like ours sit. And all this due to the hard work and ingenuity of the web designers at the bottom of the pyramid.