As India moves towards becoming a formidable USD 5 Tn economy, gig workers will play an instrumental role in enabling this. The current 7.7 Mn-strong gig workforce is leading the charge. A recent NITI Aayog report estimated that this workforce will more than triple to a massive 23.5 Mn by 2030, generating USD 250 Bn of work.
Pre-pandemic, half the gig workers were concentrated in two sectors – Retail Trade and Transportation, mostly app-based ride-hailing services and last-mile deliveries. But this changed in the wake of the pandemic, with Finance & Insurance, and Information sectors witnessing a 31% and 20% increase in engagement with gig workers. Additionally, we estimate that the percentage of gig workers in the IT sector will touch 35% in the near future – which is significant, especially given the current talent dichotomy of mass layoffs on the one hand, and skilled labor shortage on the other.
As IT organizations deal with this talent deficit, especially niche digital skills such as Artificial Intelligence, Automation, Data Analytics, etc., companies will increasingly look to the gig workforce to fulfil short- to medium-term projects on an ad-hoc basis. However, currently, several challenges hinder the widespread enterprise adoption of the gig economy model – data leakages, unscalable infrastructure, access management, loss of productivity days due to delays in shipping workstations, culture orientation, etc. Since these challenges exist across the lifecycle of gig workers, they need to be addressed at scale to enable widespread adoption of the gig economy model across enterprises.
This joint Zinnov-Microsoft study, “Unlocking the Power of the Gig Economy with Cloud PC,” touches upon the latest talent dynamics, the overall gig economy trends in India, and the role of technology in driving the growth of gig workers in the market today. Of the 7.7 Mn gig workers, 1.4 Mn are white-collar workers, and these jobs are witnessing significant growth compared to the traditionally dominant blue-collar segment. The share of white and grey-collar gigs is rising steadily, with Banking, Insurance, and IT services being the key verticals driving this trend.
The study also touches upon –
and much more.
Each challenge faced by enterprises is unique when it comes to collaborating with gig workers, be it in terms of gravity or the phase in which it occurs. To navigate such emerging challenges in a transparent and productive way, modern technologies such as Cloud, AI, and Cybersecurity are being leveraged. Cloud Computing is proving to be a key technology in helping enterprises navigate the challenges of the gig economy just like how it did wonders for enabling remote work. Cloud will remain at the forefront of the gig economy as well because of its ability to allow independent professionals to operate remotely, communicate freely, and navigate financial and technical complexities with dexterity and ease.
Products such as Microsoft’s Cloud Personal Computing or Cloud PC can help overcome these challenges of engaging with the gig economy, with ease. It will also make it cost-effective and time-saving, by enabling seamless engagement between gig workers and enterprises.
The COVID-19 pandemic increased the prevalence of the gig economy. When a large part of the workforce was unemployed, gigs ensured continued income streams and flexible employment. Companies benefitted from the gig economy by commissioning projects to gig workers, without compromising workflows.
The gig economy is only slated to expand in the coming years, emphasized by the fact that the gig workforce is estimated to reach 23.5 Mn by 2029-30. This large base of workers will account for 4.1% of India’s income generation. With an increasing number of platforms that connect gig workers and potential employers, and talent scattered across the country, the gig economy will grow to new levels. Talent has shown how they prefer working from home, and a gig model is the most mutual form of sustenance for companies and skilled workers.
The gig economy has been increasing rapidly over the past few years. India, specifically, has tremendous potential for growth, primarily due to the sheer volume of available skilled talent. In Europe and North America, statistics show that gig workers to take on projects to supplement an existing income. In India, research on the gig economy shows that gig-based projects and tasks are the sole income source of a large portion of the workforce.
Gig workers sometimes struggle with remote workstation availability, data security, and inconsistency of gigs. Gig workers also struggle with gaining the trust of potential employers, because of multiple gigs, and less work continuity in their backgrounds.
A gig is a fluid employment arrangement between a worker and an organization. The gigs could be in the blue-collar, white-collar, or grey-collar segments. The formal arrangement of such gigs and their revenue potential is known as the gig economy.
Cloud computing will be the foundation of a successful gig economy, since it is a secure, fast, and reliable way to ensure technology is accessible remotely, and by multiple people at the same time. For organizations, products such as the Microsoft Cloud PC will eliminate time and access barriers for remote workers or gig workers.
Microsoft Cloud PC ensures that a remote workforce is clued into an organization’s goals and objectives from anywhere, without technological barriers. It allows for quicker, safer, and more reliable onboarding, and work delivery.
Cloud PC guarantees productivity right from day zero, by eliminating security threats and access to a workstation.