India is considered to be the second largest market for Freelancers after USA. As per the data available India has close to about 15 million freelancers which bags around 40% of the projects across the globe which are meant only for independent consultants. US have approximately 53 million freelancers and their economy is a developed one, yet India has been able to make their strong presence felt in this market
Approximately 7.5 Million graduates are churned out every year in India but do you think that for most of them their first preference is to have a good job? The answer is no, majority of them don’t possess the employable skills and due to this job is not their first choice of otherwise advantage English speaking population that has been educated at reputed colleges & schools. So what’s the alternative option for them? They rather prefer to do something of their own, work independently, in short be a “Freelancer”
One of the major factors which have given a strong boost to freelancing in India is the growing internet penetration rate. There were 462 million internet users in India reported for Jan 2017 and this number is expected to touch 829 million by 2021, which will constitute 59% of India’s total population.
India government focus on digital economy and their collaboration with ISRO & Google has made it possible to ensure internet is available in rural & remote parts of the country. Internet connectivity is driving the entire gig economy in India
New era of Start-up community in India is further complimenting the freelancing market; most of the technology startups need expertise from consultants to shape their products & service offerings in the market and can’t afford a full time employee. As a result they are opting for freelancers with whom they can engage for specific project deliverable and shorter period of time. Indian government initiatives and growing number venture capitalist firms are providing a big boost to startup community which in-turn is creating favorable opportunities for professional freelancers
Another interesting data to ponder upon is that average hourly rate charged by Indian freelancers is USD 19 which is 2 dollars less in comparison to other freelancers earning globally. Hence for organizations it is a cost saving opportunity, boosting freelancing opportunities in India. An Indian freelancer on average works for 37 hours per week which is an hour more than the global average. Online platforms like “Freelancer.com”, “UpWork”, “Elance” are dominated by Americans & Indian freelancer’s community. According to Freelancer.com, it has close to 3 million independent consultants of which one third are Indians.
One thing we can say for sure that the number of freelancers in India will continue to increase and will significantly contribute to country’s economy. People today don’t want to be bounded in the shackles of corporate culture where they strive hard to climb up the corporate ladder, rather they want to be more entrepreneurial and independent at work
“You can think of freelancing as volatile and risky, or as flexible and opportunity- rich. Doesn’t having multiple sources of income and multiple moneymaking skills sounds less risky than putting all your eggs in one employer brand? Freelancing lets you shift gears when the world does”- Sara Horowitz (Freelancers Union, Author of Freelancer’s Bible)