Economy India
Article

Gig Economy in India

 

Gig Economy in India

By Preeti Mishra

The phrase "Gig Economy" refers to a labor market where short-term, temporary, and
flexible employment arrangements are common and are frequently made possible by
online marketplaces or digital platforms. Instead of holding traditional full-time jobs,
people in the gig economy often work on a project or task basis as independent
contractors or freelancers.Originally used to designate a single engagement for a
musician or performer, the term "gig" has come to refer to a variety of short-term
employment arrangements.A gig economy is a form of free market where businesses
hire independent workers on a temporary basis and temporary positions are
common.Gig Worker: A person who performs work or participates in a gig work
arrangement and earns from such activities outside of traditional employer-employee
relationship.
In India, there are 15 million gig workers operating in sectors like software, shared
services, and professional services, according to a Boston Consulting Group analysis.
The GIG Economy's main characteristics are
Workplace Flexibility: Employees are free to decide when, where, and how much
they want to work. For those who desire to balance employment with other
responsibilities or seek several income streams, this flexibility may be beneficial.
Digital Platforms: Online platforms and apps are mostly used to facilitate gig
economy jobs. These platforms link customers or clients looking for particular
services, such as ride-sharing, food delivery, graphic design, writing, and more, with
service providers (gig workers).
Job Variety: The gig economy covers a broad range of professions and services,
including those in the transportation, hospitality, creative, IT, and other sectors.
People can provide services that are in line with their talents and interests thanks to
the variety.
Gig workers are frequently classed as independent contractors rather than as regular
employees. Benefits, protections, and legal rights related to work are affected by this
distinction.
Income Fluctuation: Although gig labor has the potential to increase wages during
busy times, it can also cause income instability because there is frequently no
minimum wage or benefit guarantee.
Skill Based :Work that requires specific skills or knowledge is common in many jobs.
This may open up more specialized career options and draw talent-rich employees.

Global Reach: Online platforms allow gig workers to provide services to customers
and clients all over the world, hence increasing the size of their potential market.
Opportunities for entrepreneurship: Gig work can give people a way to turn their
interests or skills into sources of income.
The gig economy has had a huge impact on the job market, bringing with it both new
opportunities and difficulties. It has spurred discussions about the rights of workers,
how jobs should be classified, and the necessity of social safety nets that may change
with the nature of labor. Researchers, corporations, and policymakers are looking into
ways to guarantee that gig workers are treated fairly, have access to benefits, and can
prosper in this changing economic environment.
Growth Drivers of GIG economy
 Rise of the Internet and Mobile Technology
 Economic Liberalisation
 Demographic factors
 Increasing Young Workforce interested in side income to maintain status and
enjoyment
 Growth of E-commerce
Due to worries about worker rights, a lack of benefits like health insurance and
retirement plans, unpredictable income, and problems with job stability, the gig
economy has come under fire. Gig workers, according to some, may be more
susceptible to exploitation and ambiguous working circumstances.
A few of the well-known platforms for the gig economy are DoorDash for food
delivery, Upwork for freelance work, Airbnb for short-term lodging, and Uber and
Lyft for ride-sharing.
Disadvantages of GIG Economy
Lack of Benefits: Gig workers often do not receive employee benefits such as health
insurance, paid leave, and retirement plans.
Income Inconsistency: Fluctuations in demand can lead to inconsistent income,
making it challenging to budget and plan.
Limited Legal Protections: Independent contractors may have fewer legal
protections compared to traditional employees, affecting issues like workplace safety
and discrimination.
Lack of Job security and social security.
Lack of Data and Documentation employment in GIG economy
Impact and Future:
Indian Scenario : According to estimates from the NITI Ayog Report, the gig
economy employed 77 lakh (7.7 million) employees in 2020–21. They made up 1.5%
of India's overall labor force or 2.6% of the non-agricultural workforce. By
2029–2030, there will be 2.35 crore (23.5 million) workers in the gig economy. By
2029–2030, gig workers are anticipated to account for 4.1% of all income in India, or
6.7% of the non-agricultural workforce. Currently, medium skilled occupations make
up around 47% of gig work, high skilled jobs about 22%, and low skilled jobs about
31%. The trend indicates that the concentration of workers with medium skills is
gradually decreasing while it is rising for those with low and high skills.

India's gig economy is expected to develop at a compound annual rate of 17% to
reach $455 billion by 2023, according to the Associated Chambers of Commerce and
Industry of India (Assocham). Way Forward
Clear Regulations: The Indian government should establish clear regulations and
policies for the gig economy to ensure that gig workers are protected and that
companies are held accountable.
Social Security Blanket: The government should ensure that gig workers have access
to social security programs such as pension schemes and health insurance to ensure
financial security for older workers.
Also, gig workers should be granted the same labour rights as traditional employees,
including the right to organise and form unions.
Education and Training: The government should invest in education and training
programs for gig workers to improve their skills and increase their earning potential.
Encourage Fair Competition and Innovation: Government can encourage fair
competition by having regulations that prevent companies from misclassifying
workers as independent contractors and by enforcing fair trade practices.
Also, the government can encourage innovation in the gig economy by providing tax
incentives, funding and other support to companies that are creating new business
models and technologies.
Linking Women Empowerment with Gig Economy: There is a need to build the
right physical and social infrastructure that supports the engagement of women in the
gig workforce.
The gig economy has had a significant impact on the traditional job market,
workforce dynamics, and discussions around labor rights and regulations. It has
sparked debates about how to balance the benefits of flexibility with the need to
provide adequate protections and benefits for gig workers.

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