According to a report on Freelancing in 2020 and 2021, India is the world's second-fastest-growing freelance sector, with tremendous growth in the number of freelancers this year.
With an estimated 15 million freelancers, India's freelance economy is ranked as the world's second-fastest-growing freelance market, according to the research.
In addition, from Q1 to Q2, 2020, India saw a 46% growth in new freelancers.
Traditional employment arrangements have been reshaped by rapid advances in technology and workplace expectations. There has been a rise in the number of people contemplating Freelancing as a long-term employment option.
Freelancers are also feeling the impact of the Covid-19 pandemic. Freelancers are bouncing back with increased revenue as the restrictions placed to stop the spread of Covid-19 are eased.
The report stated, "Covid-19 produced a short-term pause in revenue growth, but it bounced back even stronger with 28% growth from May to June."
Other major markets for gig workers include the United States, Pakistan, and Ukraine.
The paper went on to say that the pandemic has affected the future of work because of growing technological usage and that "a permanent transformation in the global workforce is unavoidable."
Freelancers are in high demand, and businesses of all sizes, from startups to Fortune 500 companies, are seeking out freelancers for help on various projects and initiatives. If the startup movement continues to gain traction, the freelancing economy in India will flourish.
However, freelancers in India are paid less than their counterparts in other parts of the world. According to Payoneer's 2020 Freelancer Income Report, Indian freelancers earn an average hourly rate of $18, whereas the global average hourly rate is $21.
Even people with top educational and professional backgrounds are abandoning full-time employment to supply their talents and services as independent consultants, and the stereotype that freelancers are an inferior crop of professionals is progressively changing.
Freelancing was once not considered a primary source of income. It was considered as something that students or homemakers did to supplement their income. On the other hand, Freelancing is rapidly gaining popularity among the youth in India and around the world for a variety of reasons. The flexibility of working at one's own convenience, higher pay, and a wide selection of activities to pick from are some of the primary reasons for Freelancing's growing popularity. Let us have a look at some of the current freelancing trends in India.
The tremendous success of the freelancing industry has prepared the way for a new trend and broadened the scope of its future appeal. Today, an increasing number of corporate executives and graduates from some of the country's top universities (read: IITs, NITs, and IIMs) want to leave their employment in favor of a more relaxed lifestyle, which is a far cry from the 9 to 5 routine.
These highly trained professionals, who are undeniably talented and eager to learn more and broaden their professional horizons, have spawned a new breed of highly skilled, well-experienced corporate freelancers who work as independent contractors.
In India, the freelancing industry has resulted in a surge in the female workforce. Working online from home allows these bold, self-assured women to defy traditional expectations. The popularity among women who are unable to leave their homes due to personal reasons is undeniable and unstoppable. A recent Payoneer analysis found that one out of every five Indian freelancers is a woman.
Indians are changing their perceptions of Freelancing.
There was a time when the idea of Freelancing was frowned upon by the elders. After all, the work environment lacks the stability and security that come with a normal job. Of course, there were family constraints as well, with many labeling freelancing as "not a real career" and not everyone wants their kid to have an unpredictable wage. After all, how much money has been spent on college?
After a decade, the circumstance displays some promising signals of improvement, from the growing number of freelancers (look at the numbers!) to the growing acceptance of turning down startup employment offers. Change, as well as social acceptance, has already arrived. Is it something you're a part of?
Number of freelancers in India
In India, freelancers have played a significant role in the growth of startups. Startups are typically unable to hire highly competent employees on a permanent basis, which is why they turn to the vast talent pool available in the freelance sector.
While being cost-effective, such a method also meets the demand for specialized capabilities that aren't available in-house. While promoting the country's startup economy, freelancers are increasingly delivering their services to top-tier corporations as business conditions and demands change.
Established companies are now preferring freelancers
Greater and more successful companies are expected to have fewer in-house staff and a larger remote, virtual, and networked workforce — competent freelancers.
In the United States, 66% of large organizations deal with freelancers because it gives them access to their in-house personnel's talents and expertise.
Furthermore, different cities have various talent pools. These independent contractors do not want to relocate.
Corporates and businesses recognize this and are willing to experiment with remote working arrangements in order to attract the best talent.
How much do freelancers in India earn?
For workaholics, Freelancing is the perfect alternative because there is no limit to how much money you may generate. Your earnings will increase as you provide more services. Many people are transferring from full-time jobs to Freelancing just because of this benefit. As a result, the freelancing industry will continue to expand in the future. People nowadays are extremely talented and have a strong desire to advance and get wealthy.
Impact of covid-19
According to a 2020 survey by Flourish Ventures, 90 percent of Indian gig workers lost their revenue due to the pandemic. Before the epidemic, they earned over Rs. 25,000 per month, but by August 2020, 9 out of 10 were earning less than Rs. 150 per day.
Due to the loss of income, many workers were compelled to take dramatic measures to make ends meet, including borrowing 44 percent of the time, cutting 45 percent of their basic spending, and dipping into their savings 83 percent of the time.
According to the poll, the epidemic will result in the loss of 135 million jobs in India, pushing full-time workers into the gig economy. Furthermore, many laid-off workers are focusing on improving their abilities in order to take advantage of freelancing job opportunities and contribute to the growing economy.
Due to the predicted surge of gig workers migrating from full-time employment, the gig economy has been on the increase and is expected to outperform pre-pandemic forecasts.
While the government has taken the first steps to safeguard the social security of gig workers, the "Code on Social Security" still has to be tweaked.
The choice to remove 5% from the amount payable to gig workers, for example, should be discretionary (based upon income brackets). Such deductions would not be acceptable because most gig workers, particularly delivery executives and drivers, are already facing decreased income levels as a result of COVID-19.
Furthermore, all platform personnel should be covered by the Bharat Matrix. Employer companies can facilitate this, and it will secure employee protection, ensuring a long-term gig economy.