The IT challenges being faced by India’s burgeoning Gig Economy

India’s gig economy is definitely booming. A recent report by Boston Consulting Group puts the number of gig workers in the country at over 15 million.

Over this decade, it is estimated that there will be 23.7 million gig workers, constituting 6.7% of the non-agricultural workforce in the country. In 2020-21, it was 7.7 million, which was 6.7% of the non-farm workforce and 1.5% of the total workforce.

It’s not just sheer growth. The opportunities are so vast that the Indian gig economy can absorb 90 million workers in non-farming sectors.

This translates to $250 billion in terms of revenue, contributing 1.25% to the Indian economy, according to a joint report by Boston Consulting and Michael and Susan Dell Foundation.

India is the fifth largest country in the world to employ flexi-workers, after the US, China, Brazil, and Japan. The gig economy in India and across the world got a massive boost during two years of the pandemic when people confined inside their homes were forced to order various services online.

The gig economy is expanding rapidly, allowing millions of people with low, mid, and high skills to find jobs as the entry barrier is low. Gig platforms have risen from 20 in 2016 to over 200 now.

Workers still have to warm up to Tech.

Despite all these facts and figures, a report by CII.CEO states that 50% of gig workers still find jobs through the traditional route of referrals, though 80% have internet access. The report suggests that allowing technology to have a major say in hiring could further boost traditional and modern economies.

The companies that are putting the enterprises in need of gig workers and people who are in need of jobs on a common platform are using AI-ML and big data analytics to optimize the efforts of companies and individuals. A whole host of companies are engaged in the service, and popular among these are Workflexi, References, GigZoe, Truelancer, and Flexible.

Technology has made finding jobs easier, seamless, and transparent for gig workers. There are tools to help enterprises train their large gig workforce and to help retain them. QuoDeck is one such B2B platform that engages users with its unique AI and big data analytics model. It is the market leader and has a 5 million user base across enterprises like Unilever, Flipkart, and others.

There are also apps for gig workers to manage their payments and work. One such, Qoner, allows users to keep track of their earnings, pending payments, and others and provides all those variables in a dashboard. Another such app, Apna, reveals how it uses AI to level the field for gig workers, allows them to be upscale, and helps millions achieve their goals.

However, these apps are not used by all, and the overall gig economy in India shows strong signs of being an unorganized sector. The lack of rights and transparency related to gig workers is also another aspect that is holding back the growth of the workforce.