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Making the best of gig economy

Authored by Dr. Anupama Natarajan, Principal, IFIM College

Plethora of options

Typically a start up ecosystem is formed by people in their various stages of start ups and various types of organizations in a given location, either physical or virtual, interacting as a system to create and scale new start up enterprises or companies. There are so many such companies already in place, to help new entrepreneurs.

Are you a camera buff with a penchant for cinematography? Gig network will link you to easy manuals for green horns and will help connect to other sources, which makes it the ultimate guide to build on your aspirations to direct photography for documentaries, short films and even motion pictures. The gig platforms are a ready launching pad for creative and lucrative job seekers.

There are film and video production jobs in plenty for the creative hands and technical experts like audio engineers, production engineers, post production engineers, remote maintenance engineers, in fact every technical aspect of film making calls for specific skills. If you have it then you’ve got it made. If you are a lone bird and wish to launch your own start up enterprise, Gig economy has answers to all your queries and will show you the ropes.

In Asia and particularly in India, there is a growing desire for autonomy culture. Colleges have upgraded to become deemed universities or Universities allowing for greater freedom of curriculum and teaching practices. Little wonder then, that, especially among young people, there is a marked change in attitude towards work ethics and work place ethics. They seek greater freedom, entrepreneurship and to shine in their specific areas of skill.

Vibhavari is 27, a qualified journalist with a Communication Diploma sitting smugly in her folder. She worked with Doordarshan for a couple of years and then connected to the gig platform which has opened many doors for her. She is currently engaged in making documentary films for a corporate house.    

India has no dearth of talent in various Technical, Financial and communicative skills which is in high demand in places like the Middle East and south East Asia. We have a highly competitive market with a large number of independent consultants with strong language proficiency. An added advantage here is that labor is cheap and out sourcing work to India is a viable plan and therefore attractive.

How Gigs work

It all began when the world economy was staggering from the infamous recession of 2007. Out sourcing work, trying to cut cost by hiring more gig experts for projects made complete sense. Multinational companies began to explore the new influx of young and talented work force, the Millennials, who were excited to explore gigging for different clients for a stipulated time with no obligation or commitment to tie them down once the work is done. Tarasha, an enterprising creative writer and mother of two lively youngsters, could not take up a full time post for obvious reasons. She signed up with witty pen and content mart (the latter shut shop in August 2018) and is enjoying her work and the extra bucks which are coming in.

Angels, Accelerators and much more

There is no dearth of Support services. We have Universities offering help, funding organizations like venture capitalists with their Initial Coin offering or ICO, support organizations like incubators, accelerators, co-working spaces and research organizations to indulge that quest for exploring new possibilities.

Specific service organizations typically focus on specific parts of the ecosystem to address legal queries, offer financial advice and support like crowd funding. Different organizations typically focus on specific parts of the ecosystem function and start ups at their specific development stage(s).

Calls for a highly accurate mindset

Accepting and adopting the open-talent economy helped organizations employ short-term consultants to walk into the smug spaces of full time employees, making the platform that much more competitive for everyone in the fray. It improved efficiency and made for an energetic work field.

Traditional consultants are expensive whereas part time professionals often get embedded in the organization, assimilate its ways of working, while bringing a wealth of experience and specialist skill sets. It is a win-win situation for both the individual and the organization.

It is important to remember that this calls for a mindset which is precise and accurate in picking the right kind of gig worker for the right task. It is the age of high specialization and specifying your need correctly would help in zeroing in on the right talent or expertise.

A paradigm shift 

A healthy proliferation of online businesses, start ups and e-commerce has embraced this new trend in job seeking and this in turn has seen a boom in freelancing. This is a paradigm shift where individuals are keen to shape their own destiny and enjoy leveraging their existing assets to good advantage. The beauty of this kind of contractual piece work is, it gives one the flexibility of where you choose to work from and who you wish to work for of course the kind of gig which is right up your alley.

Room for everyone

A recent study has brought to light that apart from the extremely skilled youngsters, there are sizable numbers of retired people from Gen X and enterprising members of the Baby Boomer era, who want in. Contractual work is convenient and if company policy fails to recognize their worth, there are online E market places like contentmart.com, wittypen.com and engineerbabu.com who will welcome their talent and be happy to pay.

Artificial intelligence helps connect talent and specific project after a careful study of working patterns, skill and level of competency of gig workers. Gig economy works well especially because in an evolving society, free market encourages the young and the old to retrain, strike again and not just survive but thrive.