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Challenges and Opportunities in the Gig Economy in a Post-Covid World

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By Rhea Pillai, Abhineet Nayyar, Sunakshi Bajpai, Vrinda Gupta, Sattva Consulting; contributions from Shruti Patil and Saurabh Kanade, The Asia Foundation

This research aims to improve the understanding of the rapidly growing space of the platform gig economy, which is estimated to triple in the next few years. In India, the gig economy has its roots in informal work arrangements in the rural agrarian economy, urban industrial hubs, and domestic spaces. The rapid adoption of smartphones and the internet and the emergence of platforms that connect workers to work opportunities have contributed to such alternative income-generation streams.

Amidst the pivot of the work format, digital platforms have emerged as enablers for employment creation, especially in urban areas. During the Covid-19 pandemic and the resulting lockdown, consumer behavior shifted towards increased dependence on online platforms to get the required products and services in these geographies. This digital revolution is expected to address the inefficiencies of the unorganized sector and increase employment/income-generation opportunities for all, especially for women by granting them the flexibility of time and mobility. These new jobs will likely be dominated by the platform gig economy workforce, attracting demand and supply-side players.

Adopting a multi-stakeholder approach that includes—platforms, workers, and policymakers—the research explores the opportunities and challenges in the gig economy, especially in a post-Covid-19 world, and highlights the myriad ways in which the key actors and decision-makers can come together to solve these and enable growth in this exciting sector for sustainable and equitable job creation.

Posted December 15, 2022
Related locations: India
Related programs: Inclusive Economic Growth