In today’s dynamic world of globalization, the nature of our work and job has undergone drastic changes. Gone are the days when jobs meant nothing more than doing a typical 9 to 6 work in a glass tinted office.
Sahil Sharma and Aditya Shirole decided not to remain averse to this phenomena which they believed will soon become an integral part of the global economy. This intuition eventually led to the fruition of GigIndia – an online marketplace for freelancers and people seeking part-time jobs.
Today GigIndia is more than two year old firm and Sahil & Aditya can be rightly proud that their intuition has been proven right. Their strong instincts coupled with their team’s dedicated hard work has put GigIndia in an advantageous position to exploit India’s thriving freelance market. And now with clutch of high profile investors pouring undisclosed amount of funding barely a month ago, this young company is probably in a stronger position than ever before to redefine India’s nascent freelance market.
To give a slight idea about GigIndia’s successful journey then today its freelance marketplace is helping some of the best companies to improve their productivity. This includes the likes of Alibaba Group, Uber, Paytm, BookmyShow, Swiggy, UC Browser and many other successful companies.
Techpluto caught up with GigIndia’s co-founder Sahil Sharma in an exclusive interview to know more about his company and India’s freelance market.
Q) How did the idea of GigIndia came to you?
A) We started out when we were in college; we are the graduates of PICT. Most colleges have 75% mandatory attendance; this made it quite impossible for students to do internships even with the part-time internship model. Even the students, who were selected for an internship, were facing issues where the office was too far and college timings were 8 AM to 4 PM.
During that time many of our friends wanted to do internships but they could not travel after college or they were not getting selected. So we thought, “Is there any way students can work for companies from the comfort of their hostel rooms or remotely?” And that was the time we came across the model of Gig Economy and when we researched we understood that, it’s a model which is growing rapidly across the globe and it benefits not just students, but also job seekers, homemakers and nowadays even professionals are entering this model.
Q) How GigIndia benefits both ends of the spectrum: employers as well as freelancers?
A) From the employers perspective, we help them scale faster in the most cost-efficient way. If you look that Gig Economy model, there are two factors why an employer adopt this model one is to get work get faster and secondly is to reduce cost and save time. For Freelancers, they get flexibility and a chance to upskill themselves.
In India, the key reason for people to start freelancing and be a part of the gig economy is to upskill and learn new things so that they can better align for opportunities for the future. Plus of course the additional source of income and the flexibility of not having to travel anymore. For example, People in tier 2 and tier 3 cities don’t have to travel to tier 1 cities to get additional opportunities.
Q) Is economic slowdown and cost-cutting only reasons why today so many companies are opting to hire freelancers?
A) I don’t think that the economic slowdown and cost-cutting are the only reason why today so many companies are opting to hire freelancers. The key reason is every company is figuring out the most effective and cost-efficient way to scale, where they don’t have to recruit, manage and train people to get the results they want.
When you recruit and train people who in some cases don’t perform in 6 months that becomes a liability.
So in a freelancer model, you only pay for work done so it’s a simpler and risk-free option where you only pay for work done and still scale faster.
Q) GigIndia recently raised an undisclosed amount of funding. How does the company plans to use this capital infusion?
A) We plan to use this fundraise to amplify our technology and grow our team.
Q) What is GigIndia’s revenue model and where does the company exactly stands in terms of revenue and profitability. Can you please share some stats and figures with regards to the same?
A) We can’t share any particular specific stats or figures but our revenue model is pretty simple, we charge a percentage as commission of the entire cost of the gig or project.
Q) What are some of the main pain points that today’s freelancer community suffers from and how can Gig India play an important in resolving them?
A) The main pain points for freelancers are:
- Authentication of work
- Recurring work
The reason why authentication is a problem is that many freelancers don’t get paid even after working. And their key challenge is recurring work; they don’t get the same amount of work every month.
The reason why many freelancers prefer working with GigIndia is because we only have authenticated work opportunities and they get paid for the work they have done. And with GigIndia they can expect regular inflow of work which can help them earn stable income on a monthly basis.
Q) Where do you see GigIndia 2-3 years from now in terms of overall growth?
A)We currently have a stronghold in the top 8 cities in India, and our target is the next 35 cities in India. From the customer perspective, we look forward to working with more companies in the future. That’s what we can tell at the moment
Q) Apart GigIndia, there are quite a few platforms that are catering to India’s gig market? How does GigIndia differentiate from all its existing competitors?
A) GigIndia’s culture of customer obsession and “Tech First” operating model is the key differentiator. We also heavily focus on using technology to scale our business which can be other differentiators.