As ‘freelancing’ takes wings in India, a significant 41 per cent of Indian freelancers witnessed growth in last 12 months, a new PayPal study has revealed.

Most of the 500 Indian freelancers surveyed expect to be doing 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 that 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 ₹60 lakh. Also most Indian freelancers have been working independently for close to four years.

By one estimate, India could have up to 20 million ‘freelancers’ — individuals who use computers/internet to offer services in both domestic and export markets. There is also an industry estimate of the Indian ‘freelancers’ market size growing to whopping $20-30 billion by 2025.

Key focus areas

Web and ,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 the UK. Fifteen projects and 13 retainer clients annually give this segment income stability and security.

India is the largest freelancer market in the world and is 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 of this community. At PayPal, we work closely with freelancers enabling them to leverage the opportunity in India and across the globe,” Subramanian said.

The firm’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 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 are earning more, flexible schedules and the freedom to choose who to work for.