With rising levels of unemployment, employee dissatisfaction, job-hopping and entrepreneurship, the Indian economy today seems more like a grim landscape, ascending towards a rather unpredictable change. And freelancing, the new work culture that has slowly crept into the Indian mindset owing to its universal versatility and independent lifestyle, has already become popular enough to catch hold of a large segment of job-seeking, independent professionals looking forward to learning new ideas and explore more work genres.
The result? Freelancing in India sees a remarkable growth, giving a new voice to the modern, hard-working youth from different aspects of Indian society.
But, is it here to stay? In this article, we have analysed about the future of freelancing industry in India.
What do the statistics say?
If stats are to be believed, India is the home to the second largest number of freelancers coming behind the only USA. The number stands tall at a whopping 15 million individuals, working independently in wide array sectors like IT and programming, finance, sales and marketing, designing, animation, videography, content and academic writing etc.
While a major part of this income comes from foreign sources, mostly Europe and the US, the rising culture of Startup and entrepreneurship in India, contributes handsomely as well when it comes to measuring the pay scales. It is estimated that the Indian ‘freelancers’ market size will grow to whopping $20-30 billion by 2025.
Since the startup culture is here to stay for the long haul (owing to several government schemes as well) the freelancing business, as the experts predict, will only see more and more partakers leaving their corporate jobs behind and joining the ranks. Freelancers are in high demand and Companies right from start-ups to top-notch corporate are now reaching out to freelancers to seek their expertise to various projects and initiatives. If the momentum came from the startup revolution, the result will be a boom in the freelancing industry in India.
Freelancers are consistently gaining prominence and the perception that they are an inferior crop of professionals is gradually changing as even people with top educational and professional backgrounds are quitting full-time employment to provide their skills and services as independent consultants.
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The Present Scenario and The Future
The present scenario sees the coming forth of new subcultures that have arisen out of some reasons. We are talking about the results of freelancing and how it is changing the mindsets of an individuals part of the Indian workforce.
The Rise of Corporate Freelancers
The freelancing business’s overwhelming success has paved the way for a new trend and widened the scope of its popularity in future. Today, more and more corporates and graduates of some of the country's top colleges (read, IITs, NITs, and IIMs) are keen on leaving their jobs to opt for a more relaxed lifestyle, a far cry from the 9 to 5 schedule.
These highly skilled individuals, talented beyond doubt, and brimming with curiosity to learn more and expand their professional barricades, have formed a whole new category of highly skilled, well-experienced corporate freelancers who offer their services as independent contractors.
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In the present scenario, the moonlighters or the part-time freelancers occupy a fair share as well. Freelancing provides a welcome break from the monotony and the opportunity to learn more. Who can refuse?
So many professionals have chosen to freelance as part-time work. You can depend on projects for every month. So, it is far better if you continue this with your full-time job.
The Empowered Woman Workforce
The freelancing business in India has also resulted in the rise of the woman workforce. These empowered, confident women workers break the barriers of societal norms by working online from home. The popularity among the woman, who cannot leave the homes out of personal reasons, hence, is obvious and here to stay.
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Benefits Of Start-ups
Freelancers in India have been boosting the growth of startups in a big way. As a new company, startups are usually not in a position to hire highly skilled workforce permanently, which is why they are looking at the massive talent pool available in the freelance sector.
Such a strategy while being cost-effective also fulfils the need for specific skills-set not available internally. While fostering the start-up economy in the country, freelancers today are also increasingly providing their expertise to top-drawer corporates as business environments and needs evolve.
Through the Eyes of an Indian Society
There used to be an image when the freelancing business was frowned upon by the elders. The work culture, after all, lacks the stability and securities that come with a regular job. Of course, there came family restrictions as well, with many branding freelancing as ‘not a real job‘ and not everyone wants an erratic paycheck for their son. Not after all the money spent on college.
Fast forward to a decade, the scenario shows some positive signs of a change. From the growing number of freelancers (look at the stats!) to the gaining acceptance of refusing the placement offers for a startup. The change is already here, as well as social acceptance. Are you a part of it?
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Steven Reubenstone, Founder of Collaborizm, an online collaborative community-based in Miami, US, says that 75 per cent of the 115,000 individuals on the platform are freelancing from India. The motivation comes from the chance to find ‘new cool projects to work on, and enhance their credentials’.
Today, Freelancing look a brighter landscape that will continue to light the future. As more and more generations join in and unemployment grows, it comes as no surprise that even experts regard that this work culture is here to stay at least for the next few years. Though the foreign payment options are still scarce and highly inefficient and though there are no rules yet to protect the right of this workforce, freelancing has found acceptance and the future, albeit unpredictable, looks positive.
Make as Much Money as You Want
Freelancing is the best option for workaholics because there is no limit on how much money you can make. The more services you provide the more your earning will be. Only because of this advantage many people are switching their career from full-time job to freelancing. This is why the freelancing business will grow more and more in future. Because nowadays people are so talented and have the hunger to grow and become rich.
AI Is The Future But Freelancing Will Be Less Impacted
Yes of course!! AI is the next boom and even many businesses already implemented AI. And as it is growing it has already become a threat for the professionals but freelancing will be less impacted. Why!? Because there are so many things out there which AI can't do and maybe will not be able to do in future also. Freelancers have the opportunity to connect with more and more people which AI can't do. Also, AI can't learn various creativity each person has. No one can communicate better than human. So, there are so many ways that the freelancing business can grow in future and will be less impacted by AI.
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According to some research there are many challenges as well as opportunities that freelancing industry can bring in the future. But if businesses and organizations give more importance to hiring freelancers and develop or integrate systems that encourages freelancing then it will help both business and freelancers. But freelancers should must learn new skills to compete in this competitive market where new freelancers as well as new technologies coming everyday.