Zinnov and Microsoft Study Indian Gig Economy

zinnov and microsoft study indian gig economy

Gig workers will play an instrumental role in enabling India's USD 5 Tn economy, with the current 7.7 Mn-strong gig workforce leading the charge. With this talent pool set to more than triple to a massive 23.5 Mn by 2030, these workers will generate USD 250 Bn of work, notes a joint study by Zinnov and Microsoft. Zinnov, a leading global management consulting and strategy advisory firm, along with Microsoft, released the findings of the study titled, 'Unlocking the Power of the Gig Economy with Cloud PC', which highlights how technology will be critical in enabling the gig economy.

The joint study also explores the industry challenges that the gig workforce faces, and reveals that in the post-pandemic business environment, Finance & Insurance, and IT sectors are witnessing 31% and 20% increased engagement with gig workers. Pre-pandemic, nearly half of all gig workers were concentrated in two sectors – Retail Trade and Transportation, which is rapidly giving way to nearly 35% of gig workers being employed in the IT sector. In fact, soon every third 'employee' of an IT organization will be a gig worker. This is especially significant, given the current dichotomy of mass layoffs and skilled labour shortage that companies are grappling with. As organizations explore new, innovative business models to circumvent this dichotomy, they will increasingly engage with the rising gig economy.

Engaging with the gig economy is not only beneficial for enterprises, but gig workers as well, notes the study. Viewed through the economical, operational, and innovation lens, gig workers benefit through high-paying, multiple short-term jobs that enable flexibility. It also allows for rapid upskilling while in some cases, enables investment in passions and interests that pay them. For enterprises, engagement with the gig workforce ensures cost savings, flexibility of an ad-hoc, project-based working model that can be scaled or descaled quickly, enable quick onboarding, and access to highly skilled, niche talent.

However, engaging with gig workers comes with its own set of challenges, including concerns around data security, IP theft, access management, cultural orientation, etc. And these challenges span across planning, onboarding, execution, and payment phases in the lifecycle of gig workers. The study reveals that more than 70% of CXOs feel that Onboarding and Execution are the two difficult yet crucial phases, addressing which can enable widespread adoption of the gig economy model. Technologies such as Cloud, Artificial Intelligence (AI), and Cybersecurity are being leveraged to address such challenges in a transparent and productive way.

Cloud technology, which enabled the seamless transition to remote work, will be critical in addressing the challenges of the gig economy. It enables independent professionals such as gig workers to operate remotely, communicate freely, and navigate financial and technical complexities with dexterity and ease. Products such as the Windows 365 Cloud PC combine the power and security of the Cloud with the versatility and simplicity of the PC, empowering both gig workers and enterprises to collaborate from anywhere in the new world of work.

Rajat Kohli, Partner at Zinnov, commented, "The current dichotomy of skilled talent deficit and layoffs, underscore the importance of a strong gig workforce strategy. With every enterprise in need of digital skills such as AI, Automation, Data Analytics, etc., leaders will look to the gig workforce to fulfil short- to medium-term projects on an ad-hoc basis. With the percentage of gig workers in IT organizations expected to touch 35% in the near future, newer enabling engagement models and platforms will take center stage. Hence, products such as Microsoft's Cloud PC will act as two-way enablers. On one hand, they will become critical in overcoming the barriers for widespread gig economy adoption and enable cost and time savings for enterprises. On the other, they will enable seamless gigs, offering flexibility and upskilling opportunities for the gig workers."

Bhaskar Basu, Country Head, Modern Work, Microsoft India, said, "Technology is a key enabler of the gig economy and will play a foundational role in defining the future of work and workplaces. To thrive in a hybrid world, people and organizations need solutions that are fluid, dynamic, and Cloud-powered. At Microsoft, we are committed to supporting organizations and individuals to work on their own terms, without compromising on security or accessibility. By providing secure and reliable solutions that support working from anywhere and on any device, our aim is to empower a diverse range of talent to participate in this growing sector."

Microsoft enables digital transformation for the era of an intelligent cloud and an intelligent edge. Its mission is to empower every person and every organization on the planet to achieve more. Microsoft set up its India operations in 1990. Today, Microsoft entities in India have over 20,000 employees, engaged in sales and marketing, research, development and customer services and support, across 11 Indian cities – Ahmedabad, Bengaluru, Chennai, New Delhi, Gurugram, Hyderabad, Kochi, Kolkata, Mumbai, Noida, and Pune. Microsoft offers its global cloud services from local data centers to accelerate digital transformation across Indian startups, businesses, and government organizations.

Founded in 2002, Zinnov is a global management and strategy consulting firm in New York, Santa Clara, Houston, Seattle, Bangalore, Gurgaon, Paris, and Pune. Over the past 20 years, Zinnov has successfully consulted with over 250+ Fortune 500 enterprises to develop actionable insights to help them accelerate their Digital Transformation journeys to create value – across dimensions of both revenue and optimization. With core expertise in Digital Engineering, Digital Transformation, Innovation, and Outsourcing Advisory, Zinnov assists clients by:

- Structuring and implementing Digital Transformation levers enabled by technologies like AI/ML, Cloud, IoT, and Intelligent Automation;

- Advising global PE firms in asset shortlisting and target evaluation, commercial due diligence, and value creation;

- Helping global companies outline and drive their open innovation programs, design and operate accelerator programs, and enable collaboration with start-ups across specific use cases and predefined outcomes;

- Enabling global companies to develop and optimize a global engineering footprint through center setups, and technology and functional accelerators to achieve higher R&D efficiencies, innovation, and productivity;

- Growing revenue for companies' products and services in newer markets through account intelligence, market entry, and market expansion advisory.

With their team of experienced consultants, subject matter experts, and research professionals, Zinnov serves clients from across multiple industry verticals including Enterprise Software, BFSI, Healthcare, Automotive, Retail, and Telecom in the US, Europe, Japan, and India.

Future of Freelance Work

future of freelance work

The future of freelance work looks incredibly promising, with opportunities set to increase substantially in the next few years. In 2023, the freelance workforce is expected to be larger than ever before, with an estimated 40% of the total workforce in the US and Europe expected to be made up of independent professionals.

The current pandemic has certainly played a role in the growth of freelance opportunities, with many people turning to remote working to adapt to the greater need for social distancing. Working from home is becoming a more and more popular option as people search for more control over their work/life balance, and this trend is expected to continue over the next few years.

Freelance professionals in 2023 can expect a wide range of opportunities, with many businesses looking to outsource a variety of tasks. Those with relevant skills and experience in graphic design, web development, and digital marketing can expect to find plenty of work. In fact, the demand for these services is likely to increase as businesses look to reach new customers and expand their online presence.

The rise of remote working has also opened up opportunities for freelancers in other areas, such as writing, translation, and customer service. As businesses grow increasingly conscious of their global reach, the need for professionals with language skills and cultural understanding is set to increase.

In addition to this, with more people working from home, there is also a greater demand for virtual assistants and other remote-based support roles. This means that those with the necessary skills and experience can expect to find plenty of freelance work in the near future.

Overall, the future of freelance work looks incredibly positive, with plenty of opportunities available for those who are willing to put in the work. With the rise of remote working, the demand for freelance professionals is only set to increase in the coming years. So, if you're looking to take control of your career and embrace the flexible lifestyle of freelance work, now is the perfect time to make the switch.

Taking Calculated Career Risks

taking calculated career risks

Taking calculated career risks can be exciting and fulfilling - but it can also be scary. Here are the tips to help you take steps towards your next career goal. Whether you're living your dream job or making a jump to a new field, few things are more terrifying than taking a career risk. Calculated career risks are taken when you deliberately make career decisions that might not work out as planned or turn out just fine. The best way to take calculated risks is to start small. The risk depends on your goal and the success you want to achieve with that goal. Calculate how much money you are willing to risk with each opportunity. Then, choose an option that allows you to make a significant impact on the company and how much money it will cost you.

Calculated risks are those that have a reasonable chance of increasing your earnings in the long run. If you're unsure about making a career change or if you've been thinking about it, this forum can help with ideas for an effective career move. You deserve the opportunity to take calculated risks that may ultimately help you reach your goals. You can master the concept of conscious career options, including launching a side hustle, taking a temporary job that doesn’t require a degree or similar credentials, or other risk-taking actions that makes sense for you at some point in life.

Do you have a new job or opportunity but aren't sure where to begin? Follow these tips to navigate your way through the risk-taking process. Undoubtedly, the greatest happiness comes from building, planting and developing a great career- it is never too late to start, even after retirement. Keep in mind, however, that the right career choice may be one that you don't prefer at first. You must feel confident about your long-term goals and uncertain about the future. Yes, if you have been considering taking a calculated career risk, it might be time for action.

We all know that sometimes we have to take calculated career risks. You need to be brave to move your business forward, no matter how scared you are. Many people may be inclined to take risks when they know the rewards are likely to be significant. Risk is a measure of uncertainty – the degree to which you can declare that your efforts will lead to something specific. The payoff for taking a risk is that you move from being unproductive to being productive and profitable.

Ordinarily, many graduates enter the real world with a list of job titles already in mind. This is how they get stuck, though- where do I start? I don't know my strengths and weaknesses or how to discover them. What should I do? Regardless, in order to stay ahead of the curve and catch opportunities, you need to take calculated risks. Calculated risks are decisions that may not pay off in the short run but have a fair likelihood of long-term success. Things can be easier than you think. And it can take your career in a new direction. Admittedly, it can be tough to stand out in today's world of entrepreneurship. But there's no denying that a huge amount of success is determined by the risks you take and your passion for the game.

In the book How to Die with a Small Borrowed Funeral, the author takes readers through his own journey from being hesitant and tentative to take calculated career risks. He provides actionable advice on how to be successful in life and make your dreams come true. Taking calculated career risks is all about finding out how to do something you don't know how to do but want to learn. If you think it might be too risky of an idea, maybe you should leave it alone. If you're afraid to take a risk because you feel like you haven't done enough research or made sure that it's the right thing for your needs, then perhaps there are other options.

If you really want to make a name for yourself in an industry, you need to take calculated risks. Your career will take many twists and turns. But taking calculated risks can help you propel yourself forward when others are standing still. The world is constantly changing, often fast and unexpectedly. The best career moves and experiences come when you take calculated risks. Calculated career risks are the risks taken with full awareness and 100% responsibility. In the same way, you anticipate a new relationship will turn out, you can prepare to think about your next major decision.

Fastest Growing Freelance Projects and Skills

fastest growing freelance projects and skills

Freelancer.com the world's largest freelancing and crowdsourcing marketplace by number of users and jobs posted, today released its quarterly Fast 50 Index for Q4 2022.

The index, which is based on data from 372,000 jobs posted on Freelancer.com between October 1 to December 31st 2022, ranks programming, report writing, and research related jobs among the fastest growing skills on the platform.

At the end of the year, many businesses and companies often rely on freelancers to assist with high volume tasks. According to the Q4 data, the leading tasks for the end of 2022 were Report Writing, Research and Technical Writing.

These job types were trending as employers were hiring freelancers to support them with compiling 2022 retrospective reports, creating strategic plans for 2023, and writing business reports. Research jobs also spiked as many entrepreneurs aim to start businesses in the new year, increasing the number of market research and business plan projects posted to the platform.

Report Writing (up 59.5%, from 3,374 to 5,384) takes the number one spot in the index when ranking the percentage growth of more than 2,000 skills available on Freelancer.com. Coming in a close second is the skill Matlab and Mathematica (up 56.4%, from 1,250 to 1,955), which are separate programming languages used by engineers and scientists to analyze data. Research jobs and Research Writing rank as the third and fifth fastest growing skills, up by 36.3% (from 3,905 to 5,325) and 32.1% (from 7,527 to 9,944), respectively.

A sudden increase in projects for tech and IT related skills on Freelancer is a continuation of the trends observed in Freelancer's Fast 50 for Q2 2022 and Fast 50 for Q3 2022 - where freelance jobs for software, app and website developers surged as a result of global tech layoffs.

In Q4 2022, the data reveals the new trend is employers hiring for programming jobs, as skills specific to programming dominated the rankings. Web Scraping, often used for lead generation and price monitoring, came in as the fourth fastest growing skill, increasing by 32.6% (from 3,891 to 5,162). C Programming and C++ Programming, general-purpose programming and coding languages used to develop systems and applications, increased by 28.9% (from 4,974 to 6,415) and 23.7% (from 4,775 to 5,907), respectively. Jobs requiring skills in Python, a high-level, general-purpose programming language, also grew by 20.7% (from 10,712 to 12,931).

Adding to the growth of engineering-related programming Matlab and Mathematica, projects seeking skills in Engineering also increased in Q4 2022 with Electrical Engineering jobs growing by 25.6% (from 2,305 to 2,897) and Mechanical Engineering jobs increasing by 17.3% (from 1,544 to 1,812).

"The latest index truly demonstrates the breadth of skills and jobs available on our platform. We have employers turning to freelancers for content jobs, such as writing and research projects, all the way to highly complex jobs like mathematics, programming and engineering. The trend that we continue to see is the surge in tech-related projects as a result of global tech layoffs," said Matt Barrie, Chief Executive at Freelancer.com.

While programming specific skills grew in Q4, other tech-related skills ranked as some of the fastest falling jobs of the quarter. CSS3, an advanced language used to style web pages, ranked as the fastest falling skill and was down by 67.8% (from 1,227 to 395) in Q4 2022. A similar skill for web page development called AJAX also decreased by 51.8% this quarter (from 1,763 to 849) after ranking as the second fastest growing skill in Q3 2022.

As both of these website development skills decreased, jobs relating to WordPress and general-purpose scripting language used in web development called PHP increased significantly. Projects for WordPress increased by 12.8% (from 17,275 to 19,499), while projects for PHP increased by 8.1% (from 44,333 to 47,937). PHP also ranks as the second most in-demand skill on Freelancer.com in Q4 2022.

While technical skills have always been sought out on the Freelancer platform, global layoffs are causing increases in niche tech skills and unprecedented fluctuations in demand.

In the previous quarter, Freelancer uncovered the trend of employers turning to the platform to hire highly skilled IT and tech specialists to support following mass tech layoffs. Tech-related skills made up 40% of the in Q3 2022, with Android App Development, AJAX and API ranking as the three fastest growing skills.

A similar trend was also observed in Freelancer's Fast 50 for Q2 2022 as Software Development ranked as the quarter's fastest growing skill, up 47% compared to the previous quarter.

This quarter, the demand for tech skills continues with employers hiring Programming related skills. Matlab and Mathematica, Web Scraping, C Programming and Python experienced the highest percentage growth for programming skills in this quarter's index. Other increases include C# Programming up by 11.2% (from 5,986 to 6,657), JavaScript up by 9% (from 17,439 to 19,010) and PHP up by 8.1% (from 44,333 to 47,937).

On the other hand, application development saw a decrease in demand in Q4 2022. Jobs requiring skills in Angular, a platform for building mobile and web applications, decreased by 58.3% (from 1,459 to 608). Projects seeking App Developers dropped by 52.2% (from 1,196 to 571), while projects for Android App Development fell by 49.4% (from 1,948 to 984).

"Mass layoffs in tech are causing ripple effects as companies scramble to plug skills gaps within their organisations. We're observing this in waves. As the tech giants lay off staff, we're seeing employers lean on freelancers for support with tech-related skills. Last quarter, web and app development was in-demand, but this demand has now shifted to programming with increases across the board for many programming language jobs. In 2023, we can expect to see more demand for tech related skills on Freelancer as layoffs continue and employers look to hire on-demand freelancers," said Barrie.

The second half of 2022 saw significant leaps in Artificial Intelligence and Machine Learning. Public access to powerful generative AI tools - such as Stable Diffusion, Dall-E, OpenAI's GPT-3 and ChatGPT - which are now changing the way designers design and writers write. This is now bleeding into other business areas. Since the release of Chat GPT on November 30th 2022, there have been 26 jobs posted on Freelancer in December that aim to harness the power of generative AI. Many of these projects are seeking AI and Machine Learning experts to help create chatbots, assemble GPT-3 and Stable Diffusion workflows when transcribing video, and integrating Chat GPT-3 to websites. As a reaction to these new technologies, there has been an increase in Machine Learning jobs in Q4 - up by 26.6% (from 2,215 to 2,809). Projects for Machine Learning, AI and Deep Learning are only expected to increase as more businesses become aware of these tools and their potential to integrate them across their business. "There has been an absolutely transformational step that has happened in the last few months with Artificial Intelligence, Machine Learning and Deep Learning. Any creative task man can do, AI can or will be able to do better. Leaps in AI will affect every facet of business. Not just in years, but potentially within months. Companies, businesses and startups are taking notice and exploring ways of harnessing these new tools," said Barrie.

The first expense most companies cut in a downturn is paid advertising. In Q3, Freelancer observed a shift in advertising behavior as employers turned away from paid advertising or SEM projects and began hiring freelancers for more traditional marketing or SEO projects. In this quarter, we're seeing these companies turn back to SEM and Google Adwords, as well as continue their efforts to improve their SEO. Jobs for Google Adwords increased by 21.4% (from 2,221 to 2,697), while Web Search jobs grew by 15.8% (from 4,111 to 4,763) and SEM-related projects increased by 12.9% (from 1,597 to 1,804). For freelancers, projects relating to SEM are some of the highest paying job types on the platform. On average, Search Engine Marketing jobs pay US$2,231 per project. SEO jobs also pay relatively high on the platform with an average of US$1,704 per project. The areas that did see a noticeable decrease in jobs posted in Q4 2022 compared to Q3 were Creative Design (down by 48.2%, from 1,309 to 677), Content Creation (down by 41.9%, from 1,181 to 686) and Advertisement Design (down by 38.6%, from 1,754 to 1,077).