Forbes India – Gig Economy, Gig Workers, Edtech, Food Delivery Apps: Cost Benefits, Operational Efficiency: The Gig Economy is Changing the Future of Work

The gig economy has equipped businesses with a diverse pool of in-demand skilled labor that contributes to the highest levels of quality at the most cost-effective prices.

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A FMCG giant headquartered in Mumbai has recently integrated a work technology platform to execute its audit requirements. The platform then set up a workforce to perform store, mystery and non-mystery audits for the organization and did everything from start to finish. This unconventional approach, while extremely effective, has allowed the company to track its retail operations and save costs.

On the other hand, one of the biggest and well-known IT companies in India has already completely ‘gigified’ its FoS business development in 35 cities. The concert partners carried out door-to-door activities in addition to setting up booths to reach the target audience. With this workforce, the company was not only able to generate leads, but also convert them to ensure quick time-to-market.

The common thread that ties these two companies together is their embrace of and trust in the gig economy and gig workers.

Gigification is one of many new ways of working where organizations leverage the gig ecosystem to perform critical tasks and gig partners get paid on the production and quality of those gigs. At a time when workplace autonomy and flexibility are increasingly valued, the gig economy is becoming the new norm. Fueled by technology, the emerging ecosystem has helped create a buyer’s market for many job seekers, while providing the agility businesses need to stay competitive. While gig partners are more often associated with food delivery apps, ride-sharing services, and e-commerce platforms, the reality, on the contrary, is quite different. The gig economy is far more varied than blue-collar jobs. The gig field extends beyond on-demand industry-created jobs and encompasses a plethora of basic operational work such as due diligence, monitoring, auditing, and phone calls.

Make hay while the sun is shining

The traditional workforce configuration has caused companies to face multiple challenges in doing their job. Barriers range from no guarantee of measurable results despite being paid fixed salaries, to additional monthly costs that come with constant rehiring, retraining and management. The long flat profit and loss (P&L) line of Fortune 500 companies is a testament to the loss of operational cost leverage due to fixed payrolls. The possibility of varying their P&L, in addition to paying only for a specific production and a limited risk, has pushed these giants to “gig-ification”. The emergence of work technology platforms, converting the fixed cost of payroll into a fully variable expense – directly mapped to their revenue – without any fixed upfront investment, just makes more business sense. .

In addition to the cost benefits, the gig ecosystem offers organizations the flexibility to scale flexibly as needed, which provides agility to the entire process, increasing operational efficiency. This is particularly beneficial given the uncertainties facing the business ecosystem today due to the pandemic. The gig economy has equipped businesses with a diverse pool of in-demand skilled labor that contributes to the highest levels of quality at the most cost-effective prices.

As beneficial as it may be, deploying an independent workforce always comes with its own set of challenges. Most businesses struggle to manage a large, on-demand workforce that isn’t on a fixed payroll, without the right tools and technology. This is where no-code technology that enables end-to-end workflow management—customized to business needs—plays a critical role for gig success.

On ‘gig-ifying’ startups vs behemoths

It would be safe to say that startups have been at the forefront of adopting the gig work setup. Characterized by their fast pace and low spending, a startup’s appetite for experimentation is higher, establishing itself as the “early adopters”. This led them to scrutinize and integrate talent from the live music industry to achieve their short and long term goals. On the other hand, with the plague of the traditional mindset coupled with a legacy system, companies have found themselves on the fence when it comes to the gig economy. However, as the pandemic spread, the reliance on behemoths and awareness of gig workforce efficiency increased dramatically. The ability for gig partners to accelerate their execution and reduce training expenses has led nearly 49% of Indian companies to actively engage in the gig model, as a flexible model for increasing capacity and cost reconstruction.

Areas such as human resources, customer service, transaction processing, marketing and sales, software development, IT support, graphic design, etc., as opposed to just blue-collar jobs, present also a huge potential for “gigification”. In response to this transition, in addition to delivery and last mile logistics, essential non-technical tasks such as monitoring, surveillance, business development, audits, phone calls, content moderation, foot on the street and expert roles such as engineering manager, graphic designer, are being gig-ified.

For many moons to come

A puzzle is complete when all the pieces fit together. Likewise, while private players are an active part of the gig economy, for its holistic growth, the government must also be aware of this burgeoning industry. For example, the development and implementation of social security policies will greatly contribute to the wider adoption of on-demand careers. Likewise, the role of technology can in no way be overlooked for the growth of the sector. With a rapidly changing gig setup, the infusion of robust technology infrastructure, and the advent of work technology platforms, the otherwise informal sector is streamlining. From finding work based on their skills and location, to completing work and making final payments, Concert Tech Stacks will help ensure streamlined processes for Concert Partners. Meanwhile, scalable workflow management frameworks will give businesses access to real-time visibility, tracking and monitoring, while ensuring results. All it takes now is effective implementation and a strong political push towards a sector that will be the next frontier for the business and work ecosystem in the years to come.

The writer is co-founder and CRO of Awign, an enterprise work platform.

The thoughts and opinions shared here are those of the author.

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