Since the onset of the Covid-19 pandemic work and the job markets across the globe took a 360-degree turn. With life disrupted and business paused the roaring job market instantly came to a halt. But with darkness comes a ray of hope and remote working comes as a savior for all kinds of business. The changing dynamics blurred the age-old barriers to flexible working arrangements. As work became untethered from the office, organizations began to eye the global talent market rife with freelancers and gig workers. Work from anywhere and for anyone is possible now. Millennials love the freedom where they can choose when to work, where to work, and for whom to work. The flexibility that comes with freelancing is worth leaving your full-time job and the pay is equally fruitful. Freelancing has just begun and is yet to fully bloom in Indian workspaces and even in its initial stage, it has done wonders. FinancialExpress.com caught up with Devaansh Bahl, Co-founder of Unigigs and discussed the freelancing scene in India and his Zero commission freelancing startup. Excerpts:
How is UniGigs uplifting the Gig Economy?
The pandemic has not been easy for both employees as well as businesses. We witnessed that businesses were laying-off full-time resources to cut down on operational expenses and on the other hand, employees were insecure in their 9-5 jobs. This led to a paradigm shift in the mindset of both the employees and the employers. The employees started exploring and developing alternate earning opportunities in order to sustain and grow, while companies wanted to stay lean and still function effectively. Lot of people started moving towards multiple short-term freelance assignments and were now comfortable with the idea of working remotely, in a distributed team environment. The pandemic has transformed the workforce, workplace, and work culture. We are witnessing a surge in freelancing activity.
Is 2022 going to be the silver lining for the freelancer community?
As per global industry reports the total Freelance Market size is $1.5 Trillion, growing ~ at a CAGR 15%. It is indicated that countries with lower domestic work opportunities are seeing a surge in freelance professionals. In addition to this freelancers are also proving to be game-changers for SMBs with ~ 70% of SMBs in the U.S. have worked with freelancers at least once. This trend is catching up in other developed and developing countries of the world. Additionally the pandemic has accelerated Freelance Growth and has also led to a paradigm shift in the mindset of both the employees and the employers. The employees have started exploring alternate earning opportunities in order to sustain and grow, while companies want to stay lean and still function effectively. Based on industry reports, India is likely to have 350 million gig jobs by 2025. India’s gig sector is expected to increase to US$455 billion at a CAGR of 17% by 2024 and has the potential to expand at least 2x the pre-pandemic estimates. At present, India has a pool of ~15 million freelance workers staffed in projects across IT, HR, and designing.
How has the freelance community diversified due to the pandemic?
Additionally, the pandemic has accelerated growth in freelancing and has also led to a paradigm shift in the mindset of both the employees and the employers. The employees have started exploring alternate earning opportunities in order to sustain and grow, while companies want to stay lean and still function effectively. This is validated by the 46% Growth in New freelancers from Q1 to Q2, 2020 in India according to a recent industry report by Payoneer.
What are the unique features of Ungigs that make it different from the other freelancing platforms?
How we are different: We believe the following are our biggest competitive advantages:
Make in India; Global Audience: The platform built for Indian sellers and global buyers, delivers the advantage of the affordable talent.
Zero Commission: We believe India is a very price-sensitive market, hence we decided to be a zero percent commission platform. This incentivizes sellers to interact and transact more on the platform. Other platforms charge 25-30% commission from either buyers or sellers or both.
Post-Pandemic, Early movers: The post-pandemic era has acted as a growth stimulus for the entire freelance industry, hence early movers will be at an advantage to grow and scale the business while capturing a bigger market share.