Boston Consulting Group and Michael & Susan Dell Foundation recently released a report that paves the way for ‘Unlocking the Potential of the Gig Economy in India’ as the country recovers from the aftermath of COVID 19. The report reaffirms two things in a big way:
- The gig economy in India, led by on-demand and shared economy players, is on its way to recovery
- Ecosystem enablers, like AuthBridge, have a big part to play
Sunny -Side Up
“Eighty percent of gig workers indicate that they are equally or more likely to take up gig work as compared to before lockdown.”
The findings are consistent with our observation that despite a year of hardships dictated by lockdowns and followed by the economic slowdown, gig workers want to come back to their jobs. We’ve heard from many gig vendors, like the beautician who was interviewed for this report, that job losses were inevitable even if they worked full time in the same profile. The story of Afzal, whom our team verified and onboarded, follows the same narrative.
A top-rated driver, Afzal worked as a driver partner with a ride major for four years before he lost his job last year. It was the longest in 15 years that he had a regular income coming in. After spending some time in his hometown in the Indian state of Uttar Pradesh last year, Afzal is back in Gurgaon, rearing to go as the opportunity arises. The opportunity providers, however, have a few bridges to build.
Getting Down to Brass Tacks
The largest service providers in the Indian ODE space are technology companies. Working actively with some of these businesses, we have realised that the way out of this pandemic for the ODE players is the same as everyone — laced with digital transformation, process automation and use of technologies like AI and ML.
“The major challenge for the ODE players is to build trust with customers who want to go back to their old consumption patterns and are looking at these players to give them confidence to do so. “
The technology head start already gives top ODE players a position of advantage, it now comes down to addressing the prerequisites as demanded by customers and building solutions and products around them
How AuthBridge Addresses Key Prerequisites for the Gig Economy to Grow Up to Its Full Potential
The report lays an onus on the ecosystem enablers to facilitate background checks, the top confidence-inspiring parameter amongst customers. Our contribution to that end is documented by the report itself:
“Background check and verification services, ranging from identity verification to comprehensive criminal record checks. These may partly migrate to real-time identity check systems with the advent of improved facial recognition and artificial intelligence technologies. For instance, Ola and Uber had roped in background verification agency AuthBridge to verify their driver-partners in 2015; they have now moved on to a real-time identification system that requires the driver-partners to take a selfie and self-verify their identity.”
AuthBridge has been validating education, work license and certifications etc. for major ODE clients. We have now innovated to introduce the concept of Vaccination Verification to our ODE clients. It is a mobile-based solution to check the vaccination status of their vendor partners in minutes.
The solution was built on the belief that customers are more likely to engage with vaccinated vendors, a finding consistent with the report of Boston Consulting Group and Michael & Susan Dell Foundation.
The Process of Vaccination Verification
- Data Interoperability
Our flagship product –iBRIDGE– is built on top of technologies like data mining, supervised learning, regression analysis and deep search algorithms and it looks for identity and criminal history at a pan India level. During criminal verification, the dataset pulled up scans 6000+ courts across 32 states and union territories in India and comes up with the best possible matches and a probability score in just a few seconds. Without AI, this search would usually take 36 hours or so. Our AI engine also helps in making sense of an extremely unstructured and non-standardised dataset. This functionality can further be integrated with any Human Resource Management System (HRMS) and Applicant Tracking System (ATS).
- Data Privacy and Security
iBRIDGE relies on an automated OTP-based authentication using the SMS / WhatsApp service. This layer of security ensures only that our platform is accessed only by the vendor for whom our clients have initiated the verification and onboarding process. AuthBridge is ISO 9001:2015 certified for quality and ISO/IEC 27001:2013 compliant for information security.
The Road Ahead
As per the report, the gig economy is projected to contribute an incremental 1.25 percent (approximately) to India’s GDP over the long term, creating over 90 million jobs in India. To tap into this potential in the shadow of COVID 19 will be no mean feat. Continuous innovation, investment in technology, and adoption of new-age solutions at a faster pace are going to be key differentiators.
At AuthBridge, we are working tirelessly to enable our gig economy clients to conduct business as usual. Some of our top solutions that are creating a buzz include:
- Vaccination Verification
- Digital Address Verification
- Digital Driver License Verification
- WhatsApp-Based Reference Checks
- Virtual Drug Testing
If you would like to know more about any of these solutions, write to us at firstname.lastname@example.org