Future of Gig Economy Looks Promising, BeGig CEO & Founder Tells Sputnik
© AP Photo / Mark LennihanThe Acer Timeline 3810T laptop is shown Tuesday, June 9, 2009 in New York.
© AP Photo / Mark Lennihan
According to a report by India’s think tank NITI Aayog, freelance "gig" employment in India is about to expand to all sectors.
Companies in India are increasingly on the lookout for freelance, or "gig", workers to fulfill roles in business development, field sales, last-mile delivery, digital promotion, brand promotion, and micro-influencers.
Media reports quoting NITI Aayog estimate said that India has 7.7 million gig workers and they are likely to swell to 23.5 million by 2029-30.
The rise of such working relations can be credited to the rise of the likes of Ola, Zomato, BigBasket and other quick-commerce firms.
In an interview with Sputnik, Shilpa Jain, CEO and founder of BeGig, a Tech Mahindra subsidiary, talked about how the company is bridging the tech skill gap through gig workers, challenges of the gig economy platform and the future prospects of gig economy.
Sputnik: What inspired the creation of BeGig, and how does it aim to bridge the tech skill gap across all industries?
Shilpa Jain: The post-pandemic world has seen a significant increase in remote and contract work as businesses seek to cut costs and maintain productivity. This trend has created new opportunities for freelancers in the tech industry, who can leverage their skills and expertise to work on a project basis model.
BeGig was founded with the goal of supporting these freelancers, particularly those who may have been laid off during these challenging times. We aim to provide freelancers with a stable flow of work opportunities while ensuring that their interests are protected.
The platform offers tech freelancers the support and resources they need to build successful freelance careers and achieve their professional goals. We understand that freelancers often face exploitation and lack of recognition, and our mission is to create a fair and equitable ecosystem where freelancers are valued and rewarded for their contributions.
BeGig bridges this gap giving access to companies to talent all across the world. This means clients can find and hire freelancers with the right skills and expertise to meet their specific needs, regardless of location.
We have a team of specialists who can understand tech requirements of the companies, guide and match them with the perfect resources for their project. As a tech freelancing platform we offer clients access to a diverse range of tech skills and expertise, including areas such as web development, software engineering, cybersecurity, and data analysis, and a lot more.
Freelance hiring through platforms like BeGig helps companies in fulfilling niche skill requirements for special projects, scale their tech workforce up or down as needed, without committing to long-term employment contracts.
We are looking forward to providing gig teams as a service, for start-ups and companies in industries apart from tech.
Many clients have a vision, however, it is difficult to have knowledge about the specifications of what tech is required to build that product. We are looking at providing overall support by helping decide on the tech and finding the right resources to work on it.
Sputnik: Can you tell us more about BeGig's hand-picked, pool of skilled techies, and how it helps enterprises save time and money?
Shilpa Jain: At BeGig, we take great efforts to ensure that all the techies who join us are well-prepared for their roles. Upon signing up, they are required to complete a rigorous onboarding process, which includes a role-based test. To qualify for the interview round, they must score above 50% on this test.
Once they pass this initial stage, they engage in a detailed conversation with our tech hiring specialists and undergo a soft skill assessment. Only after successfully completing all these steps are they added to our pool of talented techies, known as the Gigverse.
Our techies are not only highly skilled and experienced but also extremely motivated, which makes them ideal candidates for our client's needs.
The companies get benefitted as remote tech resources save overhead costs, increase productivity and pace of the projects thus saving time and money. Apart from this, there is flexibility and no long-term commitment as clients can hire freelancers on project basis.
Further, companies don’t have to train freelancers as they have the required skills and expertise to start working on the project right away, and lastly, access to specialized skill talent is one of the biggest benefits because each project has some specific requirements that may not be required full-time.
Sputnik: How does BeGig ensure its clients are matched with the right pre-screened talent or gig using thorough processes and AI technology?
Shilpa Jain: Currently, we have a qualified team of technical recruiters with immense knowledge about the skills and client requirements. They match the freelancers from our gigverse pool of pre-screened techies who are motivated and skilled.
Our version 2 of the platform is under development and once deployed, our expert AI matching tool will suggest the top three profiles to each client depending on the requirements stated by them.
Sputnik: With the gig economy growing rapidly what are some of the biggest challenges that BeGig faces, and how do you address them?
Shilpa Jain: Some of the biggest challenges faced by gig economy platforms are:
1.Maintaining loyalty: The gig economy is becoming increasingly competitive, and we must work hard to maintain freelancer loyalty. This involves creating an environment where workers feel valued, connected, and rewarded for their work. We at BeGig are providing opportunities for skill development and support to pursue freelancing as a career by proving a regular flow of projects.
2.Ensuring workplace safety: We ensure to the best extent possible that our freelancers get everything they were promised, to deliver their best in every project. Behaviour with the freelancer and provision of safety equipment (onsite projects) etc. We can only know these things if the freelancer communicates with us effectively and openly, so we promote clear communication from both sides and ensure that workers are trained on safety protocols and are provided with the necessary safety equipment.
3.Meeting client expectations: As a gig working platform, there is a limit to how involved we can be in the execution of each project. Trust is a big factor. We must provide high-quality resources to our clients to solve their tech challenges. But even though all our freelancers go through an extensive onboarding process, sometimes there is no compatibility of the resource and the company. In these cases, we assure replacement of the resource without any extra charges.
4.Dealing with compliance and regulations: We must navigate complex regulations, including tax laws, labor laws, and safety regulations. We work with governments and regulatory bodies to ensure compliance with regulations while also advocating for the interests of our freelancers and clients.
A few more steps that we take to handle these challenges are:
We are constantly working on leveling up our technology and platform experience for a seamless user flow;
We have a thriving community and loyalty programs to incentivize freelancers to stay with us;
We have tie-ups with regulatory bodies to create policies that are beneficial for both freelancers and clients;
Lastly, we prioritize transparency and communication to build trust with both- techies and clients.
Sputnik: How does BeGig plan to create a tech community for the future, and what impact do you hope to have on the gig economy as a whole?
Shilpa Jain: Our goal is to create a highly skilled community of tech professionals who are passionate about making a positive impact. We aim to foster an environment where these talented individuals can collaborate effectively, learn from each other, and grow together.
Finding individuals with specialized skills can be a challenge, but by personally bringing together this talented pool of techies, we believe we can achieve something truly groundbreaking. The gig economy has been embraced in the Western world, and we are determined to catch up by building an ecosystem that supports and encourages freelancing.
At BeGig, we practice what we preach by building our own product using a team of freelancers from our tech pool. We have faith in the growing demand for the gig economy, and we want to empower tech professionals to build successful freelance careers while creating innovative products and enjoying the freedom to live life on their own terms.
Freelancing has the potential to enhance productivity and spur new ideas by providing opportunities to work with different people. We want to make it clear to companies that working with freelancers is the best solution to adapt to the ever-changing tech landscape and work cultures.
Sputnik: Can you talk about some exclusive rewards that BeGig offers tech freelancers, and how they encourage growth and development?
Shilpa Jain: BeGig offers a range of exclusive rewards to tech freelancers to encourage their growth and development. Firstly, we help skilled tech professionals find suitable gigs by connecting them with companies and projects that match their skills and experience.
Additionally, we assist them in creating a compelling profile and portfolio that can help them stand out in a competitive market.
At BeGig, we also believe in fostering a sense of community among our freelancers. Our platform allows them to engage with each other, share tips and advice, and even create gig teams for more extensive projects. This community support enables freelancers to learn from each other and grow together.
We understand that getting paid on time can be a significant concern for gig workers. Therefore, we take care of payments through our platform, ensuring our freelancers don't have to chase clients for payment. We also provide our freelancers with more insights into legalities and financial policies to help them navigate the complexities of gig work.
Another significant advantage of working with BeGig is that we don't charge any platform fees to our freelancers. We believe in empowering individuals to earn their maximum potential and make a substantial impact on their journey.
Overall, BeGig is committed to supporting and providing resources to our freelancers to thrive and build successful careers.
Sputnik: How has BeGig adapted to the changing needs of its clients during the COVID-19 pandemic, and what strategies have you implemented to ensure their success?
Shilpa Jain: The COVID-19 pandemic has significantly boosted the gig economy in the tech industry. As businesses were required to rapidly adapt to digital solutions for remote work along with other online services.
As a result, there has been an increased demand for tech skills and expertise, creating new opportunities for freelancers and independent contractors in areas such as web development, software engineering, digital marketing, and cybersecurity. Many businesses have turned to the gig economy to find the specialized skills they need for specific projects or fill temporary gaps in their tech workforce.
Moreover, with the shift towards remote work and the need for flexible solutions, many professionals in the tech industry have switched to freelancing to manage their work and schedule more personally.
The pandemic has thus accelerated the growth of the gig economy in the tech industry and is expected to continue driving its expansion in the coming years.
Being a platform operating in the gig workspace, we were able to easily acclimate to the changes that took place in the way organizations function since the pandemic.
We’ve enabled organizations to hire remote workers easily while also ensuring the reliability and quality of these resources, which is a major issue organizations have faced while hiring talents during and post the pandemic.
Sputnik: What do you see as the future of the gig economy, and how do you think BeGig will continue to innovate and stay ahead of the curve?
Shilpa Jain: The gig economy is constantly evolving, and there are some interesting trends that we have observed.
One such trend is the emergence of specialized freelance platforms that cater to specific skill sets. These platforms help connect freelancers with businesses that require their specialized expertise, resulting in better job matches for both parties.
Another trend we are seeing is the formation of gig teams that work on entire projects instead of just individual tasks. This approach allows freelancers to collaborate with others in their field and take on larger, more complex projects while also enabling companies to hire these gig teams for specialized projects.
Platforms are also evolving to help gig workers create better profiles and portfolios that showcase their skills and experience. These improved profiles help freelancers stand out in a competitive market and attract more clients.
Moreover, there is a growing interest in wallet systems for freelancers who want to receive payments directly and avoid heavy commissions charged by gig working platforms.
This trend allows freelancers to have more control over their earnings and reduces the administrative burden of managing payments.
Also, while the demand for freelancing work is currently higher in metropolitan areas, we expect to see a gradual shift in the coming years as more people become aware of the benefits of this model of work and as the startup system continues to expand across the country.
Finally, upskilling platforms are becoming increasingly popular to help freelancers develop the necessary skills to be successful in the gig economy. As more workers enter the gig economy, it is essential to have platforms that offer training and resources to help them succeed.
Going forward, we can expect to see more of these trends in the gig economy and a continued focus on empowering freelancers and companies to work more efficiently and effectively.
The future of the gig economy looks promising, with more opportunities for freelancers and businesses to connect and collaborate.