6 Factors Leading to the Growth of the Gig Economy in India

The term gig-economy is no longer alien to us. Factors such as internet penetration, digitalisation, and information technology innovation have changed the global market dynamics overall.

One out of every four freelancers is from India, according to a 2018 PayPal survey. India, which also dominates the app ecosystem, accounts for 50% of global freelancers – most of them under the age of 40.

Freelancing is currently the hottest phenomenon in India. PayPal reports also state that over the past year, a significant 41% of Indian freelancers witnessed massive growth. Millennials contribute significantly to that trend. They are open to exploring the concept of freelancing as it widens up the opportunity of flexibility and convenience while working.

Also Read: GST Number Soon to be Mandatory for Gig Economy Workers

Let’s take a look at the major factors boosting the gig economy:

  1. The growth of start-up culture: For budding entrepreneurs who have just joined the start-up world, recruiting full-time employees costs heavily. Generally, companies prefer to hire freelancers based on assignments and specifications they obtain from their clientele to leverage resources efficiently. The emergence of startup culture represents a boon for millennials entering the gig economy world.
  2. Progressive approach to work by millennials: The market is full of potential with the rise of globalisation and digital invasion. Work pressure and hectic schedules in private sectors have further changed the perception of millennials lately. Factors such as growth opportunities, a steady flow of jobs, a better work-life balance, and flexibility encourage young talent to abandon corporate work culture freelancing.
  3. Generation X is signing up for gigs: Freelancing is no longer taken up by millennials only; now, even Gen X is also signing up for freelancing. When they slowly turn to freelance after gaining the right amount of work experience, they enjoy incentives such as flexible work schedules, flexibility to retain work-life balance, consultancy approach, and dream for their career niche and new-age profiles.
  4. MNCs are employing contract-based workers: This is one of the most important trends contributing to the Indian gig culture. The bigger market players are slowly contractually hiring young talent for small ventures. MNCs are doing flexi-hiring to reduce costs and time and effectively curb operational expenses and manage time, giving young and budding talents great opportunities and exposure. As per the EY report, 20% of organisations globally with over 1,000 employees have a workforce that is made up of 30% or more contingent workers.
  5. Growth of freelancing platforms: The rise of the freelancing platforms has led to the growth of the gig economy in the country and globally. Many home-grown and international platforms act as a bridge between brands and freelancers around the world, providing businesses with a global marketplace to outsource work at an affordable price and freelancers to build a living on their terms.
  6. Blockchain-based payments: Last but not least, payment mode is also seen as one of the obstacles for freelancers. A recent survey by PayPal found freelancers to be positive about their future; they agreed that their greatest challenge was an inconsistent income. But with the advent of the blockchain-based payment system, this has eased down the financial transaction leading to transparency in the payment structure.

Today, in India, millennials are becoming more prone to work satisfaction than any other metric, while selecting the perfect job for them. Factors that play a vital role in significantly improving the gig economy are hyper-connectivity, career stability, and fluid dynamics of the work. The future of the gig economy in the country is bright and can ascend as India is among the top 10 countries for freelancers.

For any clarifications/feedback on the topic, please contact the writer at sujaini.biswas@cleartax.in

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