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“Unlock” The Future Of GIG Economy In India

How to leverage your expertise and shift from “Survive” to “Thrive” in the new normal.


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3 points

Millennials and Gen Z have experienced something that no other generation has ever experienced before. Yes, our previous generations have seen wars, national crisis, communal riots, terror attacks, epidemics, and of course economic downturns and recessions. But never ever have any of our previous generations experienced all of that combined with the power of being digitally connected with the world. It may seem small but if we look back, just think about how much time it took you to be online and connected to find an alternative way to continue working, staying in touch with your office, family, loved ones, and emergency services. 

Yes… exactly. Hardly anytime. Imagine if this was in 2010 or 2001 or 1990? Do you see what I mean? That is the uniqueness of the situation we are in today.

At this very moment, there are 4.33 billion active internet users worldwide. 57 Percent of the entire world’s population has internet access. There are 3.9 billion unique mobile internet users worldwide, which makes up 51 percent of the global population.

India has over 560 million internet users making it the second-largest online market in the world, ranked only behind China. It was estimated that by 2023, there would be over 650 million internet users in the country.

2020 has been anything but an ideal year. While we have survived physical, emotional, psychological, temperamental, and ergonomic challenges for over 9 months there has been a quiet surfacing of an alternate economy, a way of working that is novel, fresh, and yet remains within the conventional norms of the services industry. 

And as usual, India is bang in the middle of it all.

Welcome “The GIG Economy” – The New Age Economy in India!

As the word “Gig” suggests, it’s a term used for temporary or short term contractual or project-based work either one time or on a need basis, the payment for which is done upon completion of the work or services rendered. 

This is where an individual (Freelancer) or a small company takes over a part of the entire project that they specialize in and delivers it back to the client. The client or customer then stitches all the pieces together. 

Here’s a simple example, let’s say you open a small enterprise, now think of all the services your company will need. Think of everything from setting up to execution from website to social media, from package design to marketing, from GST number to GST filing, from manufacturing to shipping et all.

Now think if you have to hire all these resources or find vendors from the open market who will follow your guidelines and also most importantly fit into your budget. 

You get the picture. 

Now imagine if you as the company owner could outsource all these tasks without hiring a single staff on payroll or even have an office. 

The power of the internet and the collaborative thinking of some stalwart entrepreneurs has enabled the world of freelancing to come together and create their own universe to serve small to large businesses and brands to get the job done in prices that fit their budgets while maintaining a high quality of service.

In this short read, let’s explore the internet-driven “GIG ECONOMY” and should you get a piece of this pie.

GIG ECONOMY FACTS!

  1. Projected to grow to $455 Billion by year-end 2023
  2. India is emerging as the 3rd largest online labour market
  3. About 24% of gig workers come from India
Top three reasons why people choose to participate in the gig economy:
  1. Perform tasks aligned to their interests and skills
  2. The flexibility of work hours
  3. Gainful self-employment

WHICH ARE THE HIGH DEMAND SERVICES?

While there is a wide range that cannot be limited to just a few categories, s when we look at leveraging the gig economy model using digital tools almost everything that can be done using the internet gets covered here.

Some of the hot choices for which SMB’s and Corporates turn to gig platforms are:

  1. Social Media Management
  2. Digital Marketing Services or Troubleshooting
  3. Website design & development
  4. Programming & Coding
  5. E-Commerce Store Development
  6. Virtual Assistants
  7. Document & Presentation Services 
  8. Secretarial Services
  9. Video & Photo Editing or Animation
  10. Lead Generation & Market Research
  11. Copywriting, Blogging, or Ghost Writing
  12. Influencer Marketing

And the list goes on. I have listed the top gig platforms further in the next section where you can learn about these categories in detail.

Remember, you don’t have to be an expert to start you just have to start to be an expert!

Is Jumping into the “Gig Economy” Right for You?

Ask yourself these 4 questions?

Question 1: What skills do I have that others are in need of right now?

Question 2: Are people paying money for this skill?

Question 3: What uniqueness can I offer to interest potential buyers of my service?

Question 4: Am I disciplined & responsible enough to deliver the services?

If you have a positive answer to the 4 questions, then you have a value proposition that may be of interest to others.

The most important question that you have to answer is: Is your “GIG” in line with your interest? 

Because if not then you are only mimicking others and are not dishing out your own uniqueness and creativity. It is crucial that you know what your strengths are and how you can leverage them to help you grow. 

This is a really important part if you want to sustain and build something worthwhile.

As you start your exploration journey you will find that there are a ton of freelancers who provide a similar type of services and often fail to deliver quality. Remember that when you work as a freelancer managing your “Gig”, you are also building your own personal brand, one customer at a time. 

Quality of work is uncompromising in the open market. A good review reaches 7 people and a bad one reaches 700.

When handling projects or gigs, work like a Michelin star chef, don’t’ serve it if you won’t eat it. 

The most successful freelancers grow mainly because of customer reviews. The Platforms that offer you to come on board as a freelancer also reward you handsomely for encouraging repeat buyers. It’s the one way in which the community creates a Win-Win-Win situation. 

The Customer Wins – The GIG Owner (YOU) Wins – The Platform Wins

Where Should I Start Looking?

There are a ton of platforms popping up every other day but the most trusted in the Indian markets are:

  1. Guru.com
  2. Fiverr.com
  3. UpWork.com
  4. Freelancer.com
  5. Tapchief.com

It is highly recommended to be associated with a reputed platform rather than starting off on your own for the simple reason that the platform already has figured out a way the customer prefers to buy with them. They have already set up the infrastructure and the governance mechanisms to safeguard the freelancer and the customer. Most importantly, the platform is already spending money on getting traffic to their site, which usually is the biggest challenge when marketing online. So that you can focus on creating a winning profile, crafting an irresistible offer, and showcasing your work.

Starting off with one of these platforms also will build an internal discipline in you to maintain timely delivery and high-quality standards, it is absolutely crucial to have someone watch over while you find your feet. 

Let’s Sum It Up!

The job market has changed and so has the way we operate. The “Gig Economy” provides a good alternative for students and professionals with sellable skills to market them through a monitored channel. 

Having a gig of your own also helps you to build a first-hand experience in sales, services, customer engagement, and other such areas which are crucial for your overall development and induction in the real world. The following quote really sums it up if you have a skill that will help people out there!

If you believe your product or service can fulfill a true need, it’s your moral obligation to sell it. – Zig Ziglar

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