How Is Gig Economy Redefining The Job Trends In India

The future of India’s start-ups and its gig economy lies in digital innovations and a mature digitized ecosystem.


Back in 2016, Deloitte was asking whether the global ‘gig economy’ was a ‘distraction or disruption’, while a year later The New Yorker was wondering if the gig economy was working. Irrespective of the social impact of this new work model with its parallel workforce, today, we can safely say that ‘gigging’ is here to stay.

While the unorganised workforce has always existed alongside the organised one, the difference today lies in their integration with technology. This is what a recent Deloitte report on Global Human Capital Trends calls ‘the augmented workforce’ because they are ‘being augmented with machines and software’. Hence the proliferation of Uber drivers and Swiggy delivery men in our world.

Blue-collar jobs on the rise in India

Traditionally, blue and white-collar jobs have represented different socio-economic segments. Today, such class differences have blurred. And, new businesses like ride-hailing aggregators or food-tech companies are increasingly attracting investments.

Nearer to the festive season, for instance, e-commerce giants like Amazon and Flipkart are reportedly hiring 80,000 partners. This unprecedented employment opportunity for tech-enabled blue-collar jobs is also changing the skilled labour market.

Emerging trends in India’s gig economy

Need for skill: According to the National Skill Development Corporation, around 70 million are expected to enter the country’s labour force by 2023, including 59 million youth below 30 years. For large socio-economic segments in the country, it is more important to invest in polytechnics and in learning new skills. But for the millions already in the workforce, the State as well as private sector organisations need to drive upskilling and reskilling programmes to prepare them for the future of work.

Social security: As part of the new ‘Code on Social Security’ draft, the government has recently announced plans to bring India’s gig economy workers under a social security scheme. Such schemes would likely be related to life and disability cover, health and maternity benefits, old age protection, etc. For the millions of India’s skilled labour and contract workers with little job security and few benefits, this will be a big boon.

The future of work

The future of India’s start-ups and its gig economy lies in digital innovations and a mature digitised ecosystem. The government too has been making efforts to democratise digital platforms across sectors. For the next wave of home-grown start-ups to function effectively, we need newer ways of harnessing and analysing the flow of data.

The real issues, however, as far as organisations are concerned lie in accessing gig economy resources, followed by managing outsourced, contracted and part-time labour, and understanding emerging skills and critical capability gaps.

Disclaimer: The views expressed in the article above are those of the authors' and do not necessarily represent or reflect the views of this publishing house


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