The role of e-commerce in the growth of the Indian Gig Economy

Gig work is no longer the future–it’s already here. One of the newest employment trends that have gathered several eyeballs in recent times including the Niti Aayog, a think tank of India, is the concept of gig working. As per the Niti Aayog report, ‘India’s Booming Gig and Platform Economy’, the Indian gig workforce is expected to expand to 23.5 million workers by the year 2029-30, which is nearly a 200% jump from the current 7.7 million. Overall, the demand for gig workers has increased by 10X whereas the participation of gig workers has increased by 3X in the year 2022 in comparison to the year 2021, according to the Taskmo report 2022. Women’s participation has increased from 18% to 36% showing a remarkable growth of 2X last year whereas Youth participation in the Gig economy has seen an 8-fold increase between 2019-2022.

As per an Aon survey—’Decoding the Gig Economy’, 49% of the 145 companies have already employed gig workers and 65% plan to increase this number over the next 2–5 years. Hence, there is a vast potential for job seekers in blue, white, and grey collar jobs. As India is moving toward becoming a $5 trillion economy by 2025, the gig economy will be a significant building block in achieving the above goalpost, bridging the income and unemployment gap. In March 2021, Boston Consultancy Group (BCG) published a study, “Unlocking the Potential of the Gig Economy in India,” which said the Indian gig economy “has the potential to serve up to 90 million jobs in the non-farm sectors of India (which is around 30%) with the potential to add up to 1.25% to India’s GDP through efficiency and productivity gains alone”. Also a recent report released by Taskmo has shown that “The participation of youth in the gig economy has increased 8-fold between 2019 and 2022.”

In the current scenario, the E-commerce sector has shown the highest demand of gig workers because of the flexibility in the demand and supply of the goods. India has experienced a boom in internet and smartphone penetration and India’s e-commerce market is expected to reach US$ 111 billion by 2024 and US$ 200 billion by 2026 which leads to more work opportunities.

Hiring inexperienced permanent employees with sky-high wages that may yield little to no return, is senseless. Companies are associating with Gig discovery platforms which offer outcome based compensation for services like last mile delivery, telecalling, business executive and many more. The demand for gig workers in e-commerce sector is continuously growing, according to Taskmo report e-commerce sector is showing 3X month on month growth in the demand whereas more than 40% gig workers are directly or indirectly associated with e-commerce companies.

E-commerce is considered to be one of the major drivers for the gig economy which has attracted every sector to work on gig models with outcome based compensation.

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