March 20, 2018 Yes Institute

Gig (Economy) transformation

Author: Gaurav Kapur, Senior Fellow, YES Global Institute

I am sure majority of us would have never heard of Ryan Grant (28 year) or Daniel Robert Middleton (26 years) and many others like them. Daniel is a youtube star who made $17.5 million last year and Ryan is a young entrepreneur who made millions by buying from Walmart and selling on Amazon. These millennial have undoubtedly embraced the change around us and now creating new age enterprises and corresponding jobs and roles. Emergence of enterprise like Uber, and AirBnB have clearly established Gig economy as a dominating leader which has enabled labor to move from hedgehog grind to more flexible and oriented.

With around 34 percent of the workforce representing the “gig” workers, the sector has seen tremendous growth in last couple of years and is expected to be 43 percent of workforce by 2020.

The emergence of gig economy has unfolded various aspects of modern workforce

Firstly, flexible working hours has opened avenues for vast amount of informal workforce in India, especially women workforce who otherwise would not be able to play a contributory role in economic activity

Secondly, it helps corporates reduce cost by using shared services rather than having a dedicated resource to undertake task. This pay for use model with ‘talent on demand’ helps avoid overhead cost and other expenses associated with permanent employee

Thirdly, it enables getting best resource for the task and enable quick turnaround time. Organization can call for requisition from various freelancer and choose the best suited talent for the job, enabling best fitment.

However the gig economy does have its darker side represented in form of inconsistent income for gig worker with minimal benefits and social security net. With the ever increasing size of gig economy, it is also essential that policy makers imbibe the very nature into various policy including role of educational institutions in exposing students to the idea of freelancing and formation of safety net to avoid unnecessary fallout of workers. The gig transformation has started and India with its vast informal workers can engage them meaningful through right skill and training leading to not only job creation, but also huge self-employed workforce.