Our latest country spotlight takes us to India, a place where gig culture is rapidly on the rise. Here, the concept of work is changing as businesses and workers jump headfirst into the gig economy because it allows more options than ever before.
According to Helma Kusuma, the country manager for India, Indonesia, Malaysia, Pakistan, and Bangladesh on Freelancer.com, India is quickly becoming the number one hub for freelancing and crowdsourcing in Asia – and maybe even the world.
The gig economy – which is also referred to as the “mobile economy” and the “flex economy” – refers to people that work with temporary contracts on short-term arrangements. Participants are known as “gig workers,” which is also another term for freelancers.
While business models like Uber, Fiverr, and Lyft have taken off in recent years, gig workers aren’t just limited to working these ways. In fact, they often provide skill sets that go above and beyond what a traditional company can provide.
India’s freelancing workforce operate in multiple different industries. Source.
The History of Freelancing in India
According to Business Today, one in four freelancers are from India.
In the past, Indian workers would predominantly seek out a permanent career for financial stability, but the latest generation to join the workforce is willing to take bigger risks for better rewards.
This means that many Indian workers actively learn a new job or skill to grow their career and branch away from the regular 9-5.
More companies are hiring freelancers from India. Source.
Innovations in India’s Economy
So, what exactly does India’s economy look like?
300 million businesses around the world are sourcing Indian workers – more than ever before.
GigNow, launched by global professional service EY, is a technology platform that connects people who are looking for short-term employment opportunities in India.
According to Sandeep Kohli, Partner and Talent Leader at EY, the platform aims to drive innovation through diverse teams as it will allow those who have differing life situations to leverage flexible gig working models.
Women Gig Workers in India
Women are by far the most underrepresented group in the Indian economy.
An analysis by the McKinsey Global Institute found that only 24% of women are a part of the Indian workforce, compared to 40% worldwide. The report goes on to share that India could add at least $700 billion to its GDP by 2025 if it continues to match the progress it’s making towards gender equality.
But what about the freelancing workforce?
According to the Times of India, freelancers in India spend more hours on a project than the global average but earn $2 less per hour, with women freelancers earning 11% less than men.
In the coming years, it’s thought that Indian women will become one of the largest potential economic forces, which will forcibly close the gaping gender gap between men and women. This expansion of skillsets by people in India – both men and women – will boost the economy in incredible ways.
The Millennials of India
India is the largest freelance workforce right after the US. Of the gig workers that operate in India, 43% are millennials (otherwise known as Generation Y).
This latest generation is drawn in by the flexibility and endless possibilities of freelancing.
Think about it:
They get to wake up each morning, set their own schedule, and do work that they love – it’s intoxicating.
Add to this—the prediction that the Indian freelance market is expected to grow by a whopping $20-30 billion by 2025 and you can start to see the impact this type of working model will have on the country.
The gig economy in India is undoubtedly on the rise – and for good reason. It’ll be fascinating to see how this new workforce will affect the country in the coming years.
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