Accelerating India’s Gig Economy: How Enterprises are Driving Growth

The gig economy model is gaining popularity in India since it has given a wide spectrum of people a wealth of flexible employment options. The idea has not only assisted in reducing unemployment and underemployment in the nation, but it also makes it possible for individuals to monetise their assets, time, or skills, creating a second source of income.

Annanya Sarthak, Co-Founder and CEO of Awign, says Indian companies are now attempting to “gigify” their core business operations by breaking down complicated tasks into smaller, offering independent jobs that can be completed by part-time or freelance workers on a project or milestone basis.

gig economy

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In recent years, there has been a global recognition among enterprises regarding the immense value of the gig economy as the preferred work model. The gig economy has witnessed substantial expansion in this period as a result of shifting workforce behaviour and evolving business priorities, driven by a fiercely competitive business landscape. However, just a few years ago, there was comparatively lower awareness or adoption of the gig model. Four years ago, we reached out to an industry leader in the e-commerce sector that was grappling with rising fixed costs and operational inefficiencies. We proposed an on-demand work fulfilment solution for lead generation work to help optimize their P&L. However, at that time, the company management was skeptical about the gig model and required time to restructure their workforce to adapt to the future of work. Fast forward to today, it has been nearly 2 years since the company adopted the gig model, achieving substantial cost savings, improved productivity, and accelerated business growth.

Enterprises now seek to ‘gigify’ their core business functions, which essentially refers to the process of breaking down complicated tasks into smaller, independent jobs that can be completed by part-time or freelance workers on a project or milestone basis. By adopting this approach, employers can turn fixed expenses associated with acquiring, training, and retaining staff into variable costs and reduce them.

Rising enterprise adoption

In the last few years, the concept of giggification has been revolutionizing the sphere of work execution and workforce utilization. It has allowed enterprises and platforms to simplify core business functions such as customer support, sales & business development, proctoring, last-mile delivery etc., reimagining business operations while creating agility for the enterprise. Enterprises of all sizes, from early-stage startups to large enterprises or legacy companies, now put their trust in gigification for numerous reasons. Awign’s data suggests that as of April 2023, 35.7% of the demand for gigification came from large enterprises, 46% from mid-sized enterprises, and 18.3% from growth companies, showing massive adoption from large and mid-sized companies.

With gigification, businesses can rely on gig workers to fulfil their core business requirements on demand and scale their business rapidly. For instance, companies in the FMCG industry face challenges in performing retail stock audits and compliance checks. To solve this problem, an end-to-end audit infrastructure and automation solution can be developed by a gig platform and executed through a distributed gig workforce across the country.

Gigification has several benefits, including lower costs, wider geographical presence, easier access to specialized talent, and increased flexibility and agility. Companies can quickly adjust to shifting market conditions or project requirements with the help of gig workers. Without the limitations of a conventional employment model, they can easily scale up or down their staff in response to demand. In a rapidly changing and highly competitive business environment, the gig model allows enterprises to remain flexible and maintain their position.

Companies are also becoming increasingly aware of the benefits of bundling multiple crucial business processes to create more efficient workflows. They have started to bundle other interrelated business processes or functions through the gig platform to execute work and manage operations end-to-end. For instance, a D2C company can leverage a gig platform to perform stock recon audits, create leads through business development, carry out shelf share audits, and last-mile delivery, and provide pre and post-sales assistance, taking charge of the user journey from the backend to the front end.

The Future of Gigification in Newer Industries

According to a report from BCG, it is projected that the gig economy will add 90 million jobs – contributing 1.25% to India’s GDP. Although popular and proven, the true potential of the gig economy is yet to be unleashed to its fullest. While approximately 10% of the current scope of work is being giggified in the industry, there is potential to push this envelope to up to 30% in the next 5 years.

Gigification is seeing considerable growth in demand with rapid digitization and robust growth of tech-based industries including healthtech, fintech, foodtech. Awign’s data suggests a 300% growth in demand from quick commerce, 250% from healthtech, 200% from fintech and 198% from foodtech companies in the last two years. These figures show how gigification is becoming more important in today’s job market and how gigification has the ability to change how we work and do business. Potentially, Retail Operations, Merchandising, Warehousing and mid-mile, Market Intel and consumer Insights, Consumer Product Testing, Micro and Nano Influencer Marketing, AI Operations and On-Demand Knowledge are expected to become the next big functions gigified by enterprises.

In conclusion, despite its rapid growth, the gig economy is still largely untapped and offers a wide range of business opportunities. For companies looking to save expenses and improve agility, gigification offers a viable solution. Businesses can access skilled talent, streamline processes, and gain a competitive edge by leveraging gig workers and bundling corporate operations. Organizations can operate with convenience and cost-effectiveness while remaining ahead of the curve by using the gig model.

gig economy Sarthak

Annanya Sarthak is the Co-Founder and CEO of Awign, India’s largest work-as-a-service platform. With a B.Tech. in Mechanical Engineering from IIT Ropar and experience at Larsen & Toubro and reputable management consulting firms, Sarthak possesses a diverse skill set in finance, human resources, software development, and operations management. In 2016, he co-founded Awign, with the purpose of solving the challenge of unemployment in India – uplifting 100 million lives by ‘gigifying’ recurring enterprise work.

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