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Gig economy- Challenges and opportunities

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I employed a driver to take care of all my crazy navigation through the jam-packed roads in Bangalore. The driver, a really dedicated professional, took care of all the driving tasks for my family. However, the agreement also bought a regular employee cost in my home P&L, something that started to pinch me, especially when the utilization was low due to vacations and outstation travels. I figured calling a cab aggregator taxi was a more efficient model for my needs — frequency, scale, comfort and cost.

That’s gig economy in a nutshell for you. According to one definition, it is ‘a labor market characterized by the prevalence of short-term contracts or freelance work, as opposed to permanent jobs.’ In the gig economy, instead of a regular wage, workers get paid for the “gigs” they do, such as a food delivery or a car journey. A few years ago, nobody could have thought that doing a small gig in exchange for an hourly payment could become someone’s full-time job.

A recent study by the McKinsey Global Institute “Independent work: Choice, necessity, and the gig economy”, reveals that “up to 162 million people in Europe and the United States—or 20 to 30 percent of the working-age population engage in some form of independent work.”

Although this trend is fast catching up, there are many who vehemently oppose the scope and vision. This attitude depends on the perspective from which the matter is looked at. Those preferring to be self-employed cannot be blamed, considering the economic and political uncertainties in the world today. But, Millennials currently shape the largest proportion of the US work population (elsewhere too) and they are orientated towards satisfaction of their needs and personal interests. Gig options provide the much-wanted flexibility and sense of independence from the corporate walls.

This talent shift has happened because of the nature of millennials, fueled by new companies and services which disrupted the market. Uber, Airbnb, and Swiggy are just a few examples of companies with growing demand, which wouldn’t exist without the gig economy. By growing in size and revenue, disruptive startups acquire influence in the job market, shaping particular trends and introducing new rules.

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