What is Gig Economy?
Freelancing or Gig Economy thrives by the people who are not regularly employed, mainly independent consultant or contract labour. Oxford meaning: “A labour market characterized by the prevalence of short-term contracts or freelance work as opposed to permanent jobs”. Also called the “flex economy” or “mobile economy,” it reflects the cultural change brought by a new generation of workers, especially millennials. Mainly coming from developed economies; this practice is gaining momentum day by day in Indian job market. Recent push to automation, Robots and Analytics has further fuelled the need to practice Gig Economy.
Recent development in gig economy:
Govt of India has proposed to include contractor in Gratuity list: Gratuity one of the most important component in a regular full time job, offered to any employee who completes 4.11 years in same organisation would get gratuity amount based on govt rule and is given only when employee leaves the organisation. Normally not a very big amount but considering the 25-30 years of work in same organisation it’s amounts a handsome amount for anybody.
Crowd sourcing Platforms becoming stronger and stronger: Major crowd-sourcing platforms like Upwork, Freelancer, Topcoder have been gaining momentum, alone Upwork is more than $1 Billion in revenue and has shown growth more than 200% over 5 years.
Deep skill resources are difficult to employ and difficult to find: People with high skills like Data Science, Cloud Architects, Full Stack, RPA, Big Data, Security, iOT are difficult to find and that too very difficult to on-board simply because of huge demand and lessor supply of quality resources. Recently NASSCOM has started industry specific future skills series and enabling partner companies employees to pick them and grow.
More and more Open source tools in market: So many versions, so many variations of products and apps are coming up that learning and mastering one may not be that easy for everyone, also the project span for these apps and platforms are very small as compared to some 10 years ago and now a days people with integration or architecture skills are preferred since they know more than one tool and can lead a discussion with any client.so it make sense to hire contractors or freelancers.
The Coursera effect on gig economy:
A real revolution in learning space is attributed to Coursera not only in India but throughout the world people are becoming independent in learning things they love. Entire hall in Wipro as well in Infosys was full house when “Andrew NG” founder of Coursera visited India recently, techies from all discipline made sure to listen to this new aged visionary. Through this platform people can pickup anything, learn and become what they want. “In-fact split personality is possible today”, I mean Tester in the day and Data Scientist at night. More and more similar platforms are enabling more and more people.
Govt failed to provide jobs to mass: Well IT industry in India has never been dependent on govt of India’s plan but to highlight out core subject this needs to be looked at all India level. In India the job scenario is not great & I believe govt is still in experiment mode; real benefits on the jobs may be seen in a year or 2. Obviously people will look for their own and instead of permanent job (which is off course not available) they would try out something individualistic like YouTube Video Jocky, A trainer, Ola or Uber cab driver, swiggy or zomato food supplier and all in all a more contractual job based economy, some call it “Modinomy”.
Companies like WeWork, and Regus are on expansion: Another good development to notice here is that WeWork is on expansion mode in cities like Bangalore, Pune, Hyderabad since the startup and individual workforce is on rise. WeWork recently valued at $20 bn which is huge in short span.
Digital is changing the behavior, people want new things in no time: Not only Millennial even your grandpa would demand a faster service. Everything on Mobile, new content every day, 24 hrs availability of content, companies and service providers are constantly on their toes to provide quality services and content which is possible through these flex workers.
Gig economy does not demand physical presence:
Technology industry can really correlate this, since cities like Bangalore, Pune, and Hyderabad are saturated in terms of living conditions, we all know going to office is pain, productivity loss, an unhealthy atmosphere, pollution etc are major concerns. If people are smart & productive enough sitting at a remote location delivering should not be a concern. Jobs like Data Science, Web Development, User Experience, Cloud Apps, Writing, Marketing, Product Design etc does not need people to sit in an office and slog donkey hours.
I personally feel this space is taking shape along with other changes; certainly we should keep an eye and to sail this new age workforce atmosphere the only way I see is through working on new age skills and gain variety of experience.
Reference: Its time for Gig Economy & Freelancing