Thursday, April 18, 2024

Dvara Analysis Weblog | The monetary lives of platform staff: A diaries research in Bengaluru, India


Rakshith S. Ponnathpur
Dvara Analysis
Risha Ramachandran
Dvara Analysis


Gig platforms have turn into ubiquitous in city India in recent times. In response to NITI Aayog, India at the moment has about 7.7 million gig (platform) staff, a quantity that it expects will attain 24 million by 2030. At the same time as gig economic system blooms, there are rising protests by gig staff about their working situations, low pay, and lack of primary social safety, prompting lecturers from varied disciplines to intently research the gig (platform) economic system. Nevertheless, one hole on this quickly increasing subject 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 staff 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 staff working with greater than eight platforms in Bangalore – and coming from completely 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 so forth. 

We discover that as platforms have established themselves and grown to turn into monopsonies within the labour market, platform staff’ 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 preserve their family funds and subsequently resort to taking loans far more often than they put aside any financial savings. Platforms, by advantage of being monopsonist, even have the facility to design the cost construction in a method that compels staff to remain accessible 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 staff’ engagement with platforms. However staff aren’t assured to earn incentives regardless of placing in all the hassle from their finish, thus making their incomes risky. An ever-expanding pool of platform staff and fluctuating buyer demand drive them to continuously keep hyper-vigilant and compete for jobs with fellow staff, including additional to their bodily and psychological stress and exacerbating their day-to-day earnings volatility. Many think about platform work as unsustainable in the long term and have set objectives for his or her future exterior the platform economic system, with most of them preferring some or the opposite type of self-employment. However they discover it tough to work actively in direction of reaching these objectives, given the day-to-day challenges of their work and cash administration. Regardless of the various challenges confronted in and complaints about platform work, staff proceed – and aspiring staff are flocking – to work within the platform economic system in the intervening time as a result of there’s a lack of different employment avenues at the moment within the Indian labour market that may assure them comparable earnings for his or her stage of schooling and abilities.

For extra detailed insights on the lives and funds of gig staff, learn the government abstract and full report.

Cite this report


Ponnathpur, R., & Ramachandran, R. (2023). The monetary lives of platform staff: A diaries research in Bengaluru, India. Retrieved from Dvara Analysis.


Ponnathpur, Rakshith and Risha Ramachandran. “The monetary lives of platform staff: A diaries research in Bengaluru, India.” 2023. Dvara Analysis.


Ponnathpur, Rakshith, and Risha Ramachandran. 2023. “The monetary lives of platform staff: A diaries research in Bengaluru, India.” Dvara Analysis.

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