The term ‘gig economy’ is not alien to us anymore. Factors like internet penetration, digitalisation, and advancement in information technology have transformed the overall functioning of the market dynamics across the globe.
According to a 2018 PayPal report, one in every four freelancers is from India. Dominating the software ecosystem too, India accounts for 50 percent of the global freelancers – a majority of them are under the age of 40.
Currently, freelancing is the hottest trend in India. PayPal reports also state that a significant 41 percent of Indian freelancers witnessed a massive growth in the last one year. Millennials are significant contributors to this trend. They are open to exploring the concept of freelancing as it widens up the opportunity of flexibility and convenience while working.
Several factors are contributing to its growth; some of the driving factors behind this trend are:
Unconventional work approach by millennials
With the advent of globalisation and digital invasion, the market is full of opportunities. Work pressure and hectic schedules in private sectors have further resulted in changing the perception of millennials of late. Factors like a steady flow of work, growth opportunities, flexibility, and better work-life balance are encouraging young talent to go for freelancing leaving corporate work culture.
The emergence of start-up culture
Hiring full-time employees costs heavily for budding entrepreneurs who have just entered the startup ecosystem. To optimise resources efficiently, usually, startups prefer hiring freelancers based on projects and requirements they receive from their clientele. The emergence of startup culture is a boon for millennials who are entering the world of the gig economy.
MNCs are hiring contractual employees
This is one of the most significant trends contributing to gig culture in India. Bigger players of the market gradually employ young talent on a contractual basis for niche projects. To curb operational expenses and manage time effectively, MNCs are doing flexi-hiring to cut down costs and time giving great opportunities and exposure to young and budding talent.
According to an EY report, 20 percent of organisations globally with more than 1,000 employees have a workforce that is made up of 30 percent or more contingent workers.
Gen X is signing up for gigs
Freelancing is not just taken up by millennials anymore; rather, a lot of Gen X are actively signing up for freelancing. As after attaining a right amount of work experience, they gradually shift to freelancing, which gives them opportunities like flexible work schedules, freedom to maintain the work-life balance, consulting approach, and vision towards their niche career and new-age profiles.
Blockchain based payments
Payment mode is also considered as one of the challenging aspects for freelancers. PayPal’s recent survey found freelancers to be optimistic about their futures; they did admit an irregular income is their biggest challenge. But with the introduction of the blockchain based payment system, this has eased down the financial transaction leading to transparency in the payment structure.
The rise of freelancing platforms
Another factor adding to the trend is the rise of the freelancing platforms for freelancers both globally and nationally. Many homegrown and international platforms are acting as a bridge between the brands and freelancers across the world thus providing a global marketplace for business to outsource work at an affordable price and freelancers to build a livelihood on their terms.
These platforms have only given a boost to the gig economy and helping freelancers in maintaining a constant source of income, exposure to credible global clients and strengthening & building a relationship with brands.
Today millennials in India are getting more inclined towards job satisfaction rather than any other parameter while choosing a perfect job for themselves. Factors that are playing a vital role in giving a boost to the gig economy to a great extent are - career mobility, hyper-connectivity, flexible work dynamics. The future of the gig economy in India is bright and can expect an upward swing as India is among the top 10 countries for freelancers.
(Disclaimer: The views and opinions expressed in this article are those of the author and do not necessarily reflect the views of YourStory.)