As a country, India is young and vibrant today. The median age in the country is 27.6 years. The millennial generation is bigger than that of China or the USA, and will constitute the world’s largest workforce by 2027. While a young workforce entering the market bodes well for the economy, it also puts the onus of presenting gainful employment to the millennials on the government and the businesses of the country.
In addition, the ubiquitous adoption of smart phones and the internet has broadened the horizons of this generation. They are aware, demanding and most importantly, connected. Their expectations of a career are no longer limited to just monetary compensation, rather they seek gratification and excitement from their work. So, the question is – are Indian employees looking at alternate types of employment? The answer is a resounding yes. Let’s take a look at three popular alternative forms of employment that employees are looking for while searching for jobs in India.
The gig economy: Permanent employment is no longer the only way to go for the millennial population. Gigs i.e. limited period contracts are gaining in popularity. In today’s borderless and technology enabled world, businesses and professionals come together for a particular project and part ways upon its completion. According to McKinsey, 20-30% of the working population in Europe and the US engage in some form of independent work. In India, the gig economy though in its infancy is beginning to create a mark on the employment scene.
On the one hand, as global economies slow down, the gig economy allows companies to turn their focus on cost cutting and downsizing. On the other, it caters to the highly flexible schedules that today’s highly connected, mobile workforce is looking for. Indian organizations seem to understand this. A report by FlexingIt shows that Indian organizations are getting more comfortable with flexible work - 75% of projects are part-time in nature, approximately 60% of projects have a remote component, and approximately 70% of the projects run less than six months in duration. Skills such as strategy, marketing, finance, HR, and technology are the most sought-after capabilities in the Indian gig economy.
Consulting: Today’s millennials who prefer not to be bound to a job or a company for life are eyeing consulting as an option. For those in professions related to accounting & finance, media, IT, insurance or many such fields, consulting is a viable option. Being a consultant gives a person the flexibility of deciding their deliverables as well as the hours of work. For employers in India, it eliminates the liability of paying benefits such as leave encashment, gratuity, provident fund etc. that is mandatory for permanent employees. According to the Associated Chambers of Commerce and Industry, the Indian consulting industry is expected to record revenues of Rs. 27,000 crores by 2020.
Entrepreneurship: The launch of government initiatives such as Startup India and Make in India has further fueled the interest in entrepreneurship among India’s young population. Other government initiatives such as Digital India and Global Entrepreneurship Summit are spurring an increase in tech startups, including several led by women. Hugely successful startups such as FlipKart, PAYTM, INMOBI, OLA Cabs, Zomato and OYO Rooms are inspiring millions of others to pursue out-of-the-box thinking and create employment not only for themselves but also for thousands of others. Women are also joining the entrepreneurial bandwagon in greater numbers and setting up trail blazing companies such as LogiNext, BabyChakra, CashKaro and MobiKwik. According to a Randstad Workmonitor survey, 83% of Indian workforce would like to be entrepreneurs, with 56% indicating they are considering leaving their jobs to start their own business.
As a young country whose youth advantage will last for another 20 years or so, employment opportunities are growing manifold in India. A stable business environment backed by sound public and private sector initiatives is fostering a new ecosystem where aspiring Indians can pursue alternative forms of employment without fear of failure.