Gig platforms have turn into ubiquitous in city India lately. In keeping with NITI Aayog, India at the moment has about 7.7 million gig (platform) employees, a quantity that it expects will attain 24 million by 2030. At the same time as gig financial system blooms, there are rising protests by gig employees about their working circumstances, low pay, and lack of primary social safety, prompting teachers from varied disciplines to carefully research the gig (platform) financial system. Nevertheless, one hole on this quickly increasing area of literature is concerning their monetary lives. Our research goals to fill this hole by documenting the character of platform work and the way it’s shaping the (monetary) lives of platform employees and their households. By means of a blended strategies method that included focus group discussions, private interviews, baseline surveys, and monetary diaries, we collect insights from about 35 platform employees working with greater than eight platforms in Bangalore – and coming from totally different age teams, genders, domicile statuses, platform segments – about their expertise(s) working with platforms, their earnings, bills, cashflows, financial savings, borrowings, pension, insurance coverage, time-use, previous work, future work, monetary objectives, and many others.
We discover that as platforms have established themselves and grown to turn into monopsonies within the labour market, platform employees’ expertise with platform work has worsened, earnings lowered, advantages discontinued, whereas extra prices and dangers have shifted on their shoulders. Staff discover it difficult to maintain such prices and keep their family funds and subsequently resort to taking loans far more ceaselessly than they put aside any financial savings. Platforms, by advantage of being monopsonist, even have the facility to design the fee construction in a means that compels employees to remain obtainable and search work for lengthy hours. That is completed primarily by means of incentives that kind a considerable a part of earnings and are conditional on the depth of employees’ engagement with platforms. However employees will not be assured to earn incentives regardless of placing in all the trouble from their finish, thus making their incomes unstable. An ever-expanding pool of platform employees and fluctuating buyer demand power them to continuously keep hyper-vigilant and compete for jobs with fellow employees, including additional to their bodily and psychological stress and exacerbating their day-to-day revenue volatility. Many contemplate platform work as unsustainable in the long term and have set objectives for his or her future outdoors the platform financial system, with most of them preferring some or the opposite type of self-employment. However they discover it troublesome to work actively in direction of reaching these objectives, given the day-to-day challenges of their work and cash administration. Regardless of the numerous challenges confronted in and complaints about platform work, employees proceed – and aspiring employees are flocking – to work within the platform financial system in the meanwhile as a result of there’s a lack of other employment avenues at the moment within the Indian labour market that may assure them comparable earnings for his or her degree of schooling and abilities.
Cite this report
Ponnathpur, R., & Ramachandran, R. (2023). The monetary lives of platform employees: A diaries research in Bengaluru, India. Retrieved from Dvara Analysis.
Ponnathpur, Rakshith and Risha Ramachandran. “The monetary lives of platform employees: A diaries research in Bengaluru, India.” 2023. Dvara Analysis.
Ponnathpur, Rakshith, and Risha Ramachandran. 2023. “The monetary lives of platform employees: A diaries research in Bengaluru, India.” Dvara Analysis.