Article (November-2021)


The shift is moving from talent exchanges to capability exchanges

Rajesh Padmanabhan

Designation : -   CEO

Organization : -  Talavvy (


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What reasons do you see behind the phenomenal increase of gig economy in India? Is it a temporary boom or will last long? Is it going to replace traditionally hired workforce?

RP I see the following reasons as the main contributor to the growth in GIG opportunities in India.

Platform Play : The biggest disruption is platforms competing with businesses and snatching away a large pie. Businesses are no more threatened by a known industry competitive set but instead have now to worry about an unknown factor called platforms or market place. A quick technology aggregation model with a strong digital layer sets the tone of a quick penetrative model and industries are completely vulnerable. The success of platform play is also the flexible staffing model which is light and variable in terms of costs.

Continuous Education : The flexibility of having education and skilling as a continuous supply compared to the yesteryear's approach of sequentially educating and then working displaces myths and realities of the world today. Continuous skilling and earning will coexist and GIG offers the balance of today's need.

Startup Wave : The migration of preferences to the startup world against a conventional large enterprise play is another reason of how demographic shifts are responding to work and future. This is accelerating GIG play too.

Changing Employee Mix : Large companies and MNCs have changed their mindset from conventional staffing models to a mixed bag approach particularly after the Pandemic. This is helping big time for people to balance their lives and work and GIG offers a fantastic blended option of work with life.

Social security Code : We have made a great start in attempting to rewrite the social security codes. As more and more depth, intent and actions are demonstrated, the risk taking demographics will move their preference to living a life than working for a living. The societal acceptance coupled with a strong social security system will accelerate the GIG world growth.

GIG will grow strongly and at over 20% YOY and is here to stay. All domains may not have the same appetite for growth but a lot of thinking and adaptation will happen.

GIG will be a strong employee mix option offering immense flexibility for staffing but it comes with a caveat and i.e., employee engagement models have to be made relevant and contemporary and must include this set well for coverage and growth. It is a disruptive business model for the brave and the winning mindset.

What motivates the workers in embracing gig economy? Is it just for the attraction of flexibility or as a second choice because of compulsion arising out of worsening unemployment situation?

RP GIG offers one to encash the best value for skills in the market place. Yes the underlying assumption will hold good and i.e., one needs to continuously skill and be up in the game but trading the value one can create is the new purpose than 'working for a living'.

The flexibility it offers to Life particularly continuous skilling and living a full life with meeting all purposes is another massive compulsion of the current work force as a lifestyle.

The destruction of a mindset of a single vertical career is another big factor driving this as a potential new way of working. Experiences count more than careers is another massive realization of people post pandemic.

GIG is a very strong model to keep oneself relevant in a 'risk and return' working model. As Tech gets more and more disruptive, a continuous relevance seeking model will be the new code of work. Also labour laws and social securities are getting defined all over the world which encourages people to take a flexible route to live and work rather than work and live.

What is the long-term potential of the gig economy could comprise and contribute to turn around of businesses and make India Inc. globally competitive?

RP The locational cost competitive Labour market where the arbitrage approach was a differentiator to cost of product and service is now an old model which has been substituted with an agile methodology of business growth acceleration and cost competitiveness right shored locational agnostic approach. So any business that can use business anchors well to grow using technology is a clear winner. GIG offers considerable flexibility to business modeling and addresses skill relevance issues through market place. The shift is all about moving from talent exchanges to capability exchanges. As businesses become more and more cyclical, sustaining the same over long business life consistently calls for a paradigm move to increase the pie share of GIG in the employee mix. This in turn helps the people to keep themselves skilled, relevant and employable which could even result in getting a premium attached to pay. GIG also offers a continuous right sizing approach which is otherwise a leakage in a low business situation of permanent workforce. Both the employer and the employees will benefit from a right mix model which is agile and business refreshed from time to time.

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