Ease of doing business for MSMEs: The demand for freelance work remained highly resilient in the face of economic slowdown fears, with 46 per cent of the respondents from India seeing an increase in demand and 29 per cent reporting no change.
Ease of doing business for MSMEs: A survey on global freelance or gig economy by digital payments company for small and medium businesses (SMBs) Payoneer on Tuesday said that 66 per cent of freelancers in India were optimistic about growing global demand from SMBs. The survey, compiling responses from over 2,000 freelancers in 122 countries, added that over half of the Indian respondents anticipated more than 50 per cent growth in their businesses, recognizing the escalating global demand for freelancers. The key areas of work for Indian freelancers were web and graphic design, IT, and content writing.
The Covid outbreak had acted as a catalyst for the gig economy, attracting individuals with its flexibility and abundant opportunities in the realm of digital commerce, the survey noted. “In response, global businesses have increasingly turned to freelance professionals to tap into the vast potential of the global market. The remote workplace models induced by the pandemic have further fuelled the demand for freelancers across borders, resulting in the flourishing of Indian freelancers.”
According to the survey, the demand for freelance work remained highly resilient in the face of economic slowdown fears, with 46 per cent of the respondents from India seeing an increase in demand and 29 per cent reporting no change. Consequently, 70 per cent of freelancers from India reported working exclusively as freelancers, with 48 per cent of them dedicating 30 hours or less per week to their work.
“We recognize and support the substantial surge in demand for freelancers from global SMBs, driven by the advantages of increased flexibility, access to better-skilled opportunities, and the shared growth prospects that mutually benefit both,” said Gaurav Shisodia, VP of India, Payoneer in a statement.
Among other key India-specific findings from the survey were:
Indian freelancers had a higher wage rate of $22/hour than the rest of Asia with $19/hour.
69 per cent of Indian freelancers were seeing greater competition in their field, slightly less than in the rest of Asia (73 per cent), but more than in other regions around the world (59 per cent).
To deal with the escalating expenses caused by inflation, over 50 per cent of respondents stated taking on more work, 42 per cent of freelancers mentioned increasing their rates, and 32 per cent expanded into new countries.
Meanwhile, a NITI Aayog report last year had estimated growth in India’s gig workforce to 2.35 crore by 2029-30 from 77 lahks in 2020-21. The report ‘India’s Booming Gig and Platform Economy’ had expected gig workers to form 6.7 per cent of the non-agricultural workforce or 4.1 per cent of the total livelihood in India by 2029-30. With respect to sectoral classification, about 26.6 lakh gig workers were in retail trade and sales, and around 13 lakh were in the transportation sector. Another around 6.2 lakh were in manufacturing and about 6.3 lakh were in the finance and insurance activities.