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Last Updated : Apr 12, 2019 02:08 PM IST | Source: Moneycontrol.com

Delhi leads gig economy, not Bengaluru: Report

Around 1.3 million Indians migrated to five major cities in the six months till March 31 in search of jobs.

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Migrant workers in India, who are joining the gig economy enabled by technology, will find New Delhi to be the most favourable destination, as per data compiled by human resources firm TeamLease Services. Bengaluru, the technology hub of India, is in the second place.

Food delivery apps Zomato and Swiggy, and cab aggregators Uber and Ola led this industry. It remains mostly unregulated, and job security and benefits are minimal. Since training for these jobs is readily available, especially with the success of hyper-local delivery companies, more workers have entered the gig economy.

"The speed at which you can convert a migrant into a skilled worker has gone up. In fact, we can see that Delhi has some 1.3 million Ola and Uber drivers. It took eight years for Ola and Uber to do this, while the entire Indian IT industry employs around 4 million people," R Srinivasan, a professor of strategy at the Indian Institute of Management, Bengaluru, told Mint.

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The report said that around 1.3 million Indians migrated to five cities—Bengaluru, Delhi, Hyderabad, Mumbai and Chennai—in the six months till March 31 in search of jobs. This was 60 percent more in the six-month period that ended on September 30, 2018.

Industry experts think that not much has been done to develop the gig economy and protect those who work within it. Ahead of the Lok Sabha elections, parties from both sides released manifestos promising development to the startup and entrepreneurship industry. Policy experts have also argued that the next government must intervene with some changes in labour laws.

Mansi Kedia of the Indian Council for Research on International Economic Relations has said that, while these gig economy workers are an extension of India's informal labour, at least there is a record of them now. "Now, with the tech companies coming in, there is data available on who these people are, where they are working, etc, making it possible to enable job security," she told the paper.

Rituparna Chakraborty, the executive vice-president of TeamLease, said that an estimated 56 percent of the new employment in India is being generated by the gig economy companies. "Blue-collared workers are not covered by the obligations under labour law and do not receive any statutory benefits, including safeguards such as a minimum wage," she added.

Cab companies do not put drivers on direct payroll due to legal liabilities, a lawyer said on condition of anonymity. He added that the government could appease these workers by offering tax rebates and concessions although this may impact the price of the service for the end customer.

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First Published on Apr 12, 2019 02:08 pm
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