Sahil Sharma is an Indian Entrepreneur and Co-founder & CEO of GigIndia – a B2B gig marketplace for on-demand work completion at scale. Sahil completed his Bachelors in Computer Science from PICT, Pune and has expertise in Business Development, Marketing, and Team building. In 2019, YourStory.in recognized GigIndia as one of the top upcoming Tech30 startups. A foodie at heart, Sahil’s other interest remains sports.
As the second wave wanes across most states in the country, many companies are turning to the flexible gig workforce to get their operations back on track. Since the impact of COVID-19 fast-tracked remote operations, companies are realizing the importance of using gig workers to meet business objectives.
Considering the multiple benefits of working from home, which includes a better work-life balance emerging from the flexibility of work hours, there has been a massive fillip for women job seekers to join the gig economy and find meaningful employment avenues.
100X Growth Potential
Thanks to the new-age tech solutions that gig platforms deploy, it helps companies in restarting, curating and scaling up operations. Through digital modes, customers can be reached remotely 24×7, increasing the growth potential of enterprises by 100X.
Moreover, earlier enterprises relied only on tier 1 cities for customer and vendor outreach. Backed by remote working and digital connectivity, brands are investing heavily in penetrating T2, T3 and T4 emerging cities as well as rural markets. The deeper penetration has also led to higher productivity since there is greater conversion and a high rate of merchant acquisition.
Besides, using the gig model can ensure 100% variable costs, depending on various factors, unlike the fixed, typically higher, costs of legacy employees and systems. Quality, productivity and costs are all controlled through tech automation. The gig system also allows managed work deliveries as these AI-powered platforms ensure every outsourcing is 100% secured and tracked in real-time. This empowers decision-makers to scale the operation up/down quickly as required. Human errors have also been managed to a great extent with auto quality checks, work allocation and optimum resource planning.
The gig economy is creating great employment opportunities for youths across the nation, irrespective of gender, caste, religion, age and educational background. Through the gig model, all types of jobs are accessible to everybody. Professionals across diverse domains can work remotely and build their careers in the field of their interests and aspirations.
Case studies from different sectors highlight the scope and advantages of leveraging the gig ecosystem to keep BCPs (business continuity plans) going, notwithstanding ongoing economic conditions and market headwinds. For instance, the pandemic has rapidly fuelled the proliferation of digital payments pan-India, leading to a sharp rise in downloads and usage of fintech products. There has also been a massive spike in demand for health and life insurance products because people’s focus on their health and well-being has improved during the past year.
Furthermore, with the vast majority of people staying indoors most of the time, lifestyle-related expenses have been curtailed. In turn, this has triggered the trend of investing in stocks, bonds and investment funds, especially among millennials. The pandemic has also made millennials more aware of the importance of purchasing healthcare insurance versus their previous focus on life insurance.
Given this scenario, fintech and BFSI services need swift solutions to maximize their customer reach. Also, as SME/SMBs are going digital, it is pushing fintech enterprises to scale their operations across T2 and T3 cities. The consequent surge in demand faced by banking and financial services companies has led to an increase in tele-calling requirements for marketing, sales and CX (customer experience) functions. As a result, companies are deploying the gig workforce to meet these requirements due to the higher efficiency and conversions, reduced costs and the ability to expand customer reach, all of which helps them scale swiftly.
Similarly, driven by rising consumerism and the demand for an array of products and services provided by e-commerce and other digitally-enabled companies, many large enterprises and online businesses have been relying on on-demand platforms since these help them scale rapidly, reduce fixed costs and enhance productivity. The in-demand functions include jobs such as lead qualification, telemarketing, last-mile delivery partner recruitment plus merchant/seller on-boarding and engagement, among others.
As millions of workers lost their jobs over the past year due to pandemic-linked constraints, gig platforms offer a ray of hope for finding freelance and short-term project-based assignments that can help them tide over immediate liquidity issues. Simultaneously, the gig economy is acting as a growth catalyst in the e-commerce industry by helping enterprises scale speedily via a flexible gig workforce.
Meanwhile, it is worth mentioning that the Central Government has taken note of the gig workforce through its new Code on Social Security, 2020. The Code aims at providing uniform social security benefits to all employees, including gig and other platform workers in the unorganised sector, covering them under the new labour legislation. Undoubtedly, the government has realised the potential of the gig economy in employing workers across diverse categories and industries.
Consequently, more jobs aspirants and business houses are expected to shift to the gig model because of its significant advantages for both employees and employers. This comes as a winning proposition for all stakeholders.