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Understanding the Scope of Freelance Market to build a Long-Term Lucrative Career as a Freelancer

Aparna Singh
Aparna Singh
Create: Oct 25,2021

As per a report by ASSOCHAM published on IBEF, India’s freelance market is expected to increase by US$455 billion at a CAGR of 17% and is likely to create at least 350 million jobs by 2025. Currently there are approximately 15million freelance workers working on projects in IT, HR, and design fields. Most of the millennial population is showing preference towards gig contracts as it gives them flexibility to work in their own space and try new avenues to build their experiences. 

Understanding the drivers of the trend

Some key drivers behind the growth of freelance opportunities are – 

  • What the millennials want – the current generation of workforce, the millennials, don’t want the stress of full-time jobs. They are looking for healthy work-life balance. Moreover, many are not looking at acquiring a college degree in the face of inflated tuition fees and the heavy debt burden. To break away from the corporate culture and not get lost in the debt labyrinth early in their career, many search for freelance job opportunities.
  • The start-up culture – with huge impetus from a friendly business-friendly policies, easy access to low-cost internet and technology aided by exposure to international markets, the start-up ecosystem in India is growing. Hiring temporary staff or freelancers for non-core business activities is financially for these companies. So, they have boosted a thriving freelance market in the fields of engineering, product, data science and ITeS.
  • MNCs and MSMEs are recruiting gig workers – since the past two years of pandemic period, MNCs have opened their minds to engaging gig workers more regularly for prominent roles. For MSMEs, the gig economy has made skilled talent accessible to them at affordable rates. Currently the proportion of gig workers is relatively low at 75%+, which is <10% of the total hires, this number is likely to grow in future. in the survey titled 'Decoding the Gig Economy’ by Aon survey, 49% of 145 companies employ gig workers and 65% plan to increase this number over the next 2 to 5 years.

The Gig Business Model

Freelancers are paid differently for the services they render. While some charge a fixed rate, others may charge by the hour, for the project or actual unit of work delivered. It is up to the engaging company to draw a clear engagement model to protect the interests of both parties. The recent ‘Code on Social Security’ passed by the government provides workers with life and stability cover in the form of accidental insurance, and health benefits through nominal contributions of 1-2% of annual turnover by the aggregator or platform. The contribution made by the aggregator will not exceed 5% of the amount payable to the freelance workers. The establishment of a ‘National Social Security Board’ has been proposed to supervise and formulate schemes for the well-being of freelancers and platform workers. 

The freelance economy is here to stay and expected to continue growing as many of the full-time workers transition to the gig model. The positive amalgamation of the freelance and full-time employee model within the company has to be facilitated by companies.

About The Author

Aparna Singh
Aparna Singh
Create : Oct 25,2021