The Growing Gig Economy and Its Future Prospects

Let’s understand more about the gig economy in India and the major catalysts responsible for this growth trajectory

With all its benefits, Gig Economy is creating a buzz in the industry, especially in the post-pandemic job crisis scenario in India. According to reports, the freelance community in India is expected to grow by $20-30 billion by 2025. It is also predicted that the online freelance market could add $2.7 trillion to the global GDP by 2025 Continuing at the rate the freelance community is growing and adding freelancers and gig workers to the economy, these predictions may soon become a reality. Let us understand more about the gig economy of India and the major catalysts responsible for this growth trajectory.

Change in the economy of concerts after the pandemic

The pandemic has disrupted the freelance economy. As business operations resumed, the gig economy experienced a paradigm shift. The demand for freelancers has exploded around the world. About 40% of freelancers saw higher rates after the pandemic. While several sectors have experienced massive unemployment, the gig economy has flourished since the pandemic. India saw a huge 46% increase in the number of new freelancers in the first to second quarter of 2020, as many laid-off workers and employees went freelance to generate higher incomes. India’s freelance community saw a substantial 42% increase in average hourly rates from $21/hour in 2020 to $26/hour in 2022. In some sectors like finance, Indian freelancers demanded an hourly rate of $71 against a worldwide average of $41/hour. time.

Freelance Gig Economy Market Size & Industry

Due to the pandemic, rapid digitization and increasing demands for flexibility, the gig economy continues to grow. The total global addressable market for the independent economy is $1.5 trillion. Over 77 million freelancers currently operate from Europe, India and the United States, with North America accounting for over 50% of global freelancers. Due to rapid technological transformation, the global gig economy is seeing a huge demand for tech freelancers, with the IT industry adding several new positions. Countries like India, Philippines, Pakistan and Ukraine with low domestic job opportunities are seeing an increase in the number of freelancers. As organizations are now accustomed to remote working all over the world, they are willing to hire qualified professionals from different parts of the world.

What can India offer as a market to the global audience?

India, as a labor market, is teeming with skilled professionals and tech workers, which global markets are chronically short of. India is a hotbed of skilled professionals who can meet the growing demands of global audiences. India produces a large number of science and technology graduates every year. Millennials and Gen Z talents are highly creative and refuse to be tied down to conventional 9 to 5 jobs. As a result, India’s young workforce is moving towards freelance and contract opportunities. Possessing one of the youngest working populations in the world, India has the potential to become the largest freelance gig economy in the world.

Startups and the gig economy

One of the most obvious reasons for the booming freelance community in India may be the growing number of startups in the country. India has the third highest number of startups in the world and is manufacturing unicorns at unprecedented speed. As unconventional as they are, these startups have welcomed freelancers and workers with open arms. Since freelancers are experts in their fields, easy to hire, and less expensive than permanent employees, they prove to be an alternative to full-time employees. Startups all over the world are hiring Indian freelancers because of their competitive rates and easy availability. As a result, the startup culture is pushing the indie gig economy to new heights. Many Indian cities are embracing the startup culture, leading to an increase in coworking spaces. Coworking spaces and startups nurture the freelance community in India and facilitate opportunities for collaboration.

Increase in platforms for freelancers

As the demand for freelancers skyrockets, several supportive and goal-oriented platforms have sprung up. Freelancers, businesses, and these platforms create a mutually beneficial ecosystem where everyone’s needs are met. Freelance platforms not only help freelancers discover gigs and opportunities, but also help nurture them through online courses, consultations, and specializations. These online platforms are rising to the occasion and bridging the gap between supply and demand between freelancers and businesses. Many organizations looking for qualified professionals use freelance platforms to find and attract the right talent. As a result, online freelancing platforms act as catalysts to connect freelancers to businesses and vice versa.

Final Thoughts

A better work-life balance, greater flexibility, lucrative income, and more skilled opportunities pave the way for many professionals in the freelance community. The independent community in India can empower vulnerable groups like women, people with disabilities, immunocompromised people or those living in rural or remote areas to find suitable opportunities. Likewise, businesses may turn to freelancers, gig workers, and contractors even during a recession or future crisis to ensure business operations and continuity. India’s independent community will continue to rise and dominate the global gig economy in the years to come.