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A gig worker dons entrepreneur’s hat during the Covid crisis

Sangeetha Chengappa Bengaluru | Updated on September 24, 2020 Published on September 23, 2020

Mauli Karande had a tough beginning, but now several jobless youths work under him

The pandemic may have broken the back of the gig economy, but it has inspired a gig worker from rural Maharashtra to turn into a micro-entrepreneur and hire several jobless youths from his village to work under him for ₹20,000 to ₹25,000 a month.

Born to a Maharashtrian sugarcane farmer household in Ganeshwadi village, Mauli Karande, the youngest of the three children, was forced to return to his village at the onset of the pandemic from Pune’s Savitribai Phule University, where he has been a self-funded student of Bachelor in Vocation (in IT) since August 2018. Now, in his final year, he will continue his classes online till he graduates next year.

 

“I earned enough money by giving Physics tuitions to 25 Junior College students near my village for a year to pay for my admission to the Bachelor’s course; however, I had no money left to cover my monthly expenses of food, stationery and The Hindu newspaper, which I bought every day. Our annual family income is just ₹60,000; so, there was no way I could turn to my parents to fund my education. Since I had no money for bus fare, I borrowed my classmate’s bicycle and rode from street to street searching for part-time jobs, but every hiring agency wanted me to pay a deposit of ₹2,000 to ₹5,000 to register myself for a job,” the 24-year-old told BusinessLine.

Job hunt continues

So, Mauli resorted to looking for jobs online and on apps. Last August, he found an interesting job listing for video editing by GigIndia on the Indeed Job Search app. Shortly after applying for the job he was called for a test and interview, after which he was trained for one month and put on the job by GigIndia, a B2B on-demand work completion marketplace for businesses and gig workers.

 

“I only made ₹2,000 in the first month as I was still learning on the job. My earnings jumped to ₹63,000 in the second month and to ₹1,20,000 in the third month. I realised that the harder I work and the more I deliver, the more money I will make. Within a few months of working with GigIndia I repaid the loan and interest of ₹3.5 lakh my father had taken to get my older sisters married,” he said. Upon returning to his village in February, Mauli decided to take on a lot more work and trained seven other jobless youngsters from his village to work under his guidance. “From February 2020 till July-end, when the project ended, I earned ₹9 lakh and a total of ₹15 lakh in the last 12 months,” said Mauli.

Mauli Karande

 

Sahil Sharma, the co-founder of GigIndia, says the marketplace has provided employment to 2,000 gig workers at an average income of ₹10,000 to ₹15,000 in the last four months alone. “All of them are micro-entrepreneurs who work on their own terms, get paid as per what they delivery in data entry, data moderation, lead qualification, telemarketing and content creation jobs. People like Mauli, who are able to think big, end up achieving big goals compared to others who are satisfied doing what they are tasked to do,” said Sharma. GigIndia has 7.5 lakh registered, screened and trained workforce, which can be deployed across 200-plus cities in India. “With our technology, we are able to train and manage the workforce at scale to drive results for businesses and large enterprises, who only pay for results and not for the workforce deployed,” he said.

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Published on September 23, 2020
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