The Indian economy, while being recognized as one of the fastest growing economies in the world, is on a rapid growth trajectory. The global fourth industrial revolution has brought with it the uncompromising need for industries to effectively respond to and realign their organizational strategies relative to the use of next-gen digital technologies and AI, nature of employment and upskilling, and hybrid work models. Studies suggest that by 2030, automation is projected to render nearly 70 percent of jobs in the formal sector obsolete. On the other hand, technology-driven innovations, if leveraged effectively, point to sustainable job creation for approximately 90 million workers.
The gig economy
With the advent of technology, further exacerbated by the economic disruption due to the pandemic, the gig economy in India has grown substantially. For low-income workers, whose livelihoods were severely impacted as a result thereof, traditional perceptions of work and the workplace were overturned. This, however, is not a new concept, given India’s large share of informal and casual workers' segment. Recent studies reflect that over 85 percent of India’s workforce is hired through the informal sector.
Gig work comprises primarily on-demand work with close to no formal contracting. Most of these jobs are pertinent to lower-income job types like deliveries, including food, ridesharing such as Uber, microtasks, and beauty and wellness. An extension of gig participation has also led to ‘platform work’ wherein the use of technology is used in the form of online platforms to match demand and supply of services. Studies estimate the value of the gig economy at over 250 billion U.S. dollars generating up to 90 million jobs in India’s non-farm sector alone. Over the long term, estimates point to an increment of over 1.25 percent to the GDP.
The great resignation
The great reshuffle or resignation refers to the masses of people quitting their jobs precipitated by the pandemic. In India’s IT and tech industry, company turnovers and attrition rates have been at a record high, while ongoing hiring processes were being executed at unprecedented levels. With a wide demand gap for mid-career employees created by risk-averse employers reluctant to hire people with little experience, employees prefer job roles that align with their ambitions and goals and prioritize work-life balance.
Digitally enabled industries susceptible to change are finding innovative ways to consistently mold themselves to a shape-shifting landscape. Again, these companies stand on the precipice of continual upheaval and reorganization, moving from fully remote working to hybrid post-pandemic. According to a report, approximately 83 percent of women want more flexibility in their job, while over 70 percent have quit or have considered quitting their jobs due to inflexible work policies. Further, nearly 90 percent of women were compelled to take a pay cut to work more flexibly.
With scales tipped in favor of hybrid and full-time remote environments that foster more flexibility for both men and women, studies underscore the importance of leaders embracing this new paradigm and leveraging the hybrid workforce to create effective and sustainable delivery models.
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