Today Current Affairs In Hindi
NEWS OF THE DAY : THE NEW WORKER
- January 17, 2019
- Posted by: Shivam
- Category: NEWS Worth To Read
NEWS OF THE DAY : THE NEW WORKER
With more and more people in the workforce going freelance, India’s gig economy is finally picking up pace
In 2016, Anaggh Desai completely shifted to freelancing. He had quit The Bombay Store, a Mumbai-based retail chain, in 2012, where he was the CEO. “Now I help new entrepreneurs move to the next level, and help mid-level companies clean up and streamline operations,” he says.
Desai is an example of a whitecollar executive who joined the gig economy. In general, though, the gig ecmy has exploded in India through the blue collar, opening up hundreds of thousands of economic opportunities. Ola and Uber empowered drivers to become paid chauffeurs of their own cars. UrbanClap and Housejoy opened up jobs for handymen. With Flipkart, Zomato and Swiggy, the delivery boys’ market burgeoned.
But gigs are not just meant for low-profile jobs. And the benefits are pretty attractive. Desai, for example, works only three days a week. He spends a fourth day in sharing his knowledge with people who get in touch with him for some help. The fifth day, he spends learning about the new economy. Weekends are off.
Or, take Megha Ghosh, who also left her steady, fat-salary corporate job to do things on her own. She headed events and branded content for Laqshya Media, a Mumbai-based events and media company. “I was the only woman in a ₹500-crore company with a cabin,” she says.
What made her quit? “I wanted to do more… in a corporate job you would be doing only one thing,” she says. Ghosh still manages events – it’s 10 pm on Monday, and she has just finished with her last gig, a show, Raag Shayari that marks the centenary of poet Kaifi Azmi. She is also writing a book, teaches at a school, and manages communications for a company.
Desai and Ghosh exemplify the white-collar gig worker, who have left their established careers to do things on their own. But they are yet to reach large scale. Even as the blue-collar economy continues to expand, experts believe that the real shift towards the gig economy will happen with white-collar workers. And some believe the process has already begun.
“People who have spent 20-25 years in the profession, and are financially secure, are moving out and doing gigs… The trigger to quit is stress,” says Gurprriet Siingh, senior client partner at Korn Ferry, a global organisation consulting firm, who believes that gigs are not just for millennials.
According to a Randstad Workmonitor Survey, 83 per cent of people in jobs want to start something on their own. Other estimates point to the gig economy in India growing at 25-30 per cent every year. What is also pushing things along is the number of people without jobs. As per the UN Labour Report, in 2018, India had 18 million unemployed people, forcing many to do gigs to stay afloat.
“The growth of the gig economy is founded on the digital revolution,” said Manshu Agarwal, CEO, Ponder, a referrals-based matchmaking app.
For the millennials, doing gigs is a way of life. Siingh’s daughter, Tanishqa, who is a commercial artist, wants to leave her job and pursue gigs, which she feels can support her financially, plus give her freedom to do what she wants. Working for a few months and spending the rest of the year travelling and following hobbies is fast becoming the new normal.
“The millennial generation is best suited to the gig economy since they have grown up with internet connectivity and digital communication,” says Agarwal of Ponder, a platform where people earn money through making successful referrals, currently for matchmaking, but soon for jobs as well.
It’s not all hunky-dory, though. “Gigs are the future of work,” says Pallavi Kathuria, Managing Partner of Egon Zehnder, a global executive search firm. “But India is not very developed in doing gigs… India has a butt and seat work culture, where you have to be present in office.” India’s IT services and BPO culture boomed on the time and material concept, where clients paid based on headcounts and hours spent. But, that is slowly changing. Kathuria doesn’t hold it against executives who left to do gigs, while hiring for companies, she often scouts for talent who left their corporate jobs to become entrepreneurs.
There are other issues, too. Gigs don’t give financial protection like provident funds, medical covers, among other employee benefits. Also, gigs have longer payment cycles. That’s changing, at least in the US. The Securities and Exchange Commission is looking at updating the law on who should receive stocks in private companies. That might have a huge implication on the country’s gig economy. Gig workers should gain, if companies create huge value out of their participation.
Gigs might not revolutionise the workspace, but there are areas of positivity. “If you have to sustain, you need a core team of highly capable people” says Santanu Ganguly, Managing Partner of Naevus Management Services, a Kolkata-based content firm, which works with both permanent staff and freelancers.
What is Ganguly’s strategy for freelancers? “Even if you are working with freelancers, you must work with a fixed set of them to sustain quality,” he says.
Like any developing area, the gig economy will face its own set of challenges. But the way things are going, most of them can definitely be overcomed.
2018 sixth-warmest year in India, says IMD
Year 2018 was the sixth warmest year in India since it began keeping nationwide records of weather events in 1901, India Meteorological Department (IMD) said on Wednesday while noting the country had lost over 1,400 lives in extreme weather events last year.
Highlighting the average temperature over India during 2018 was “significantly above normal”, the national weather forecaster said annual mean surface air temperature (averaged over the country) during the year was 0.41 degree Celsius above average.
It was, however, less than the global mean temperature for January-October when the world recorded 0.98 degree C (+/- 12 degree C) above the preindustrial baseline (1850-1900), making 2018 the fourth warmest year globally on record.
The analysis is part of ‘Climate of India during 2018’ report released Wednesday.
“The six warmest years on record in India were in the last 10 years. It shows that ‘global warming’ is happening ,” said secretary of the ministry of earth sciences M Rajeevan.
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