Flexible, flexi-time, and contractual hiring is expected to gain prominence in the future, revealed a study conducted by IndusGuru, an independent business consulting company. The study states that in the next two to five years there will be a rise in the trend of gig professionals being hired in India primarily at mid-career level positions. “This is a relatively new but fast growing trend wherein experienced professionals are undertaking freelance gig work. This trend is no longer confined to the tech sector of skills, but spans all enterprise functions,” Deepak Malkani, director, co-founder, IndusGuru, told FE Education Online.
Currently, the gig economy is estimated to have 7.7 million workers. It is expected to expand to 23.5 million workers by 2029–30. The workforce will constitute 6.7% of the non-agricultural workforce or 4.1% of the total livelihood or employment market in India. “This is an unorganised sector and needs to be organised. Its proliferation cannot be unified. In India it will be specific to certain sectors and regions,” Rajiv R Thakur, director general, Jaipuria School of Business, opined.
The rise can be primarily attributed to three factors; senior professionals seeking flexible career options, availability of remote working due to digitization of office space, and the overall post pandemic work culture. Other factors that have triggered the rise in this trend are startup layoffs, funding crunch, and shutdowns due to the pandemic.
People with more than 10 years of experience have now started to opt for such opportunities leaving their full time traditional corporate jobs, as per the study. They either take it up as a source of extra income while holding onto a full time regular job, or consider it for a flexible work schedule. Fresh talent, with a low to medium level of education, also take up freelance work for the same reasons. “To maintain equity in the payscale of gig professionals and regular employees, there is a dire need to multiskill them,” Raghav Gupta, co-founder, CEO, Futurence Technologies, said.
According to a NITI Ayog report, millennials and Gen-Z between the age of 19-25 years old constitute 48% of the gig workforce today. Experts say this indicates that the youth in India are more inclined towards freelancing and gig jobs. The report further states that women are more likely to take up online jobs as it allows them to manage familial responsibilities while earning at the same time. The trend is prominently gaining a foothold in tier 2-3 markets, the study said.