Enabling ‘gig’ economy: Indian ‘freelancing’ on an upswing

K.R.Srivats New Delhi | Updated on January 09, 2018

As ‘freelancing’ takes wings in India, a significant 41 per cent of Indian freelancers witnessed growth in the last 12 months, a new PayPal study has revealed. Most of the 500 Indian freelancers surveyed expect to be doing a lot more ‘freelancing’ work in the future, said Narsi Subramanian, Director Growth, PayPal India, while sharing the findings of the latest report from this global leader in digital payments.

Subramanian, who is responsible for managing the small business and consumer segment, including freelancers, said 74 per cent of the Indian freelancers surveyed had a PayPal account. The rest were mainly using bank transfers for payments. Nearly 23 per cent of them had annual earnings of Rs 60 lakhs. Also most Indian freelancers have been working independently for close to four years

By one estimate, India has about 10-20 million ‘freelancers’ — individuals who use computers/ Internet to offer services in both domestic and export markets. Web & mobile development, web-designing, internet research and data entry are the key focus areas for Indian freelancers, while some of them are also engaged in accounting, graphic design and consulting.

The study, conducted with 500 Indian freelancers in their local languages, highlights that most Indian freelancers are under the age of 40 and are predominantly men. Also, a significant amount of work for Indian freelancers comes from Australia, the US and UK. 15 projects and 13 retainer clients annually gives this segment income stability and security.

India is the largest freelancer market in the world and poised for growth. One in four freelancers in the world is from India. “Receiving payments in a timely, safe and secure manner is one of the key concerns for this community. At PayPal, we work closely with freelancers, enabling them to leverage the opportunity in India and across the globe,” Subramanian said.

PayPal’s key offerings such as and Seller Protection for intangibles have helped solve payment-related hurdles and propelled growth for this segment, he said. This PapyPal study revealed that most Indians have taken to freelancing after having heard about it from friends, family, social media and freelancing platforms. Of the reasons that drove them to adopt freelancing, earning more income, flexibility in schedules and ability to choose who to work for, topped the list.

Published on January 09, 2018

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