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Agility Is Key For Working In India’s Gig Economy

The gig economy is creating an agile work environment, with the much-needed stability supported by smart tech.

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India’s economy is unique; the population is ever-growing, adding about 4.75 million people to its workforce every year. The more unique stats are the fact that almost half of the Indian workforce is part of the agricultural sector. What of the remaining? With the growing number of multinational companies and private employment opportunities that are based on multiple skills, unheard of a few decades ago, the Indian employment scene is bustling and quite diverse, like the nation. The strength of a growing economy is that it becomes an attractive prospect for globally successful firms that like to test their brands or products. India, with the most diverse markets within one nation, is an exciting challenge. The pace of innovation and the acceptance of experimental trends has led the economy to grow with unpredictability but remain on a steady upward course. The current workforce needs ask for fast computing, multi-tasking and cost-effective solutions.

Indian gig economy, makes for a welcome change

Pace defines the Indian economy as it has become an adaptive environment, in line with global trends. This has also been a reason why the growth of the gig economy is a welcome change. Traditional means of employment have always been attractive and the hustle for government jobs still exists. However, the newly skilled workforce catering to new needs of consumers has made the Indian workforce more risk-taking. A steady 9-to-5 job has its advantages, but the psyche supporting the solidarity of permanent positions is overwhelmed with the need for purpose. That happens to be a key characteristic of the largest segment of the current workforce – the millennials. It is found that everyday almost ten thousand baby boomers are retiring, leaving the major portion of the workforce to the millennials. Of course, Gen X still holds many of the key positions in large to small corporations, but it is the mid-level workforce that is responsible for the growth of a company.

Millennials – A comprehensive, agile workforce 

To all the millennials seeking purpose and challenges, being inclined to innovation and lacking proclivity for monotonous jobs, the gig economy offers something different. The report, ‘The future of work is anywhere – Gig Workforce’ by Noble House, shares that 70 percent of the corporates have used gig workers for key organizational issues in 2018. By 2022, the gig economy is set to claim 25 to 30 percent of the job market. With an increase in available jobs for gig workers, the sentiment of the gig workers towards the risk of an unsteady job is changing. This has also opened avenues for start-ups and even many traditional companies to resolve their manpower needs for temporary or one-time tasks. Keeping someone on the payroll for dedicated roles is great, but many low-end yet important functions may not require dedicated resources. To remain in a competitive environment, the workforce always requires to be on their toes and have an innovative mindset.

Alternative thinking: Changing mindset encourages next-gen solutions

Alternative thinking has led to more unique solutions across all industries. People’s changing perspective towards the gig economy heralds widening of thought process and welcomes an open-to-try mindset. Legacy of problem-solving methods has a major role to play in our approach to challenges and needs, but what a gig economy is doing is that its promoting comparative, analytical decision-making. Many times, the best option is ‘collectively best’, on an individual note that may be far from reality. Choosing gig work gives people freedom and flexibility in what they do, and up to some level, on how they do it. It creates a more updated workforce with diverse knowledge, through gigs in various organizations. The gig economy offers results in fields of work that require new skills or niche skills. On the other hand, it provides workers an opportunity to upskill themselves to work in a new domain of interest.

Agility in upskilling and personalizing tech choices

Being agile is key to survival in India’s gig economy. Quick adaptation means quick upskilling to perform tasks that are unique or niche. Learning tools to do these tasks is another aspect of the present digital work environment. People of the new workforce need to upgrade, familiarize and settle on their personal choice of tools that they feel comfortable with, to churn out work of high quality. Opinion becomes much valuable for these gig workers. Seeking comfort in how they do certain tasks keeps the morale high and ensures continued good quality. Gig workers are personalizing their toolkits to offer customised service and build a personal brand. The tech innovations and offerings by indigenous and global industry players in software, has allowed not just gig workers, but also businesses to perform any task with no limitations. In the present age of alternative thinking and risk-taking, no one can be at a disadvantage. The gig economy is creating an agile work environment, with the much-needed stability supported by smart tech.

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. Unless otherwise noted, the author is writing in his/her personal capacity. They are not intended and should not be thought to represent official ideas, attitudes, or policies of any agency or institution.

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gig economy

Billy Cheng

The author is Vice-President & Head of International Business at Kingsoft Office

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