Gig Work on Digital Platforms: QuikrJobs

In a project for USAID, we undertook a study of digital labour platforms in emerging economies.

This study is part of a series of case studies we conducted for USAID. We examined 4 digital platforms targeting workers in emerging economies and their impact on workers’ agency, access to employment opportunities, and employment terms and conditions.

QUIKRJOB

We examined the case of QuikrJob, a job-matching platform targeted at blue and grey collar workers in India. Job profiles include delivery boys, tele-callers, data entry, marketing and sales executives, teaching, nursing, office assistants, receptionists, and security guards. The platform aims to bridge the gap between Bharat and India to create opportunities for those living in Tier2 and Tier3 cities and towns, beyond the English-speaking urban, metropolitan areas. With headquarters in Bengaluru, India, the platform has over 10 million registered users.

This case study examines the ways in which QuikrJob impacts low to mid income workers in India. Some of our central questions included - the role of QuikrJob in enabling or improving access to quality work in India; How, if at all, are employment relationships and conditions are changing with the platform? Does QuikrJob support or undermine workers’ rights and ability to bargain for adequate wages and terms and conditions of their labor?

We interviewed workers in Bengaluru who had found employment through the platforms, platform managers, and labour market experts in the country. We made some interesting findings including QuikrJob’s role in extending support to migrant workers without existing social networks and helping workers break out of their own geographies to find new opportunities. However, employment terms like salary or the provision of leave and social security benefits remained in the hands of employers since the platform did not involve itself in interactions off the platform.



Authors

Zothan Mawii

Zothan Mawii is Research Fellow at Tandem Research. Her current work focuses on the impact of digital technologies on labour markets in the global south and the intersection between gender and emerging technologies. She has been studying the impact of digital labour platforms in emerging economies, conducting extensive field work in India, South Africa, and Myanmar. Key to her research are questions around changing employment relations and the nature of work, worker well-being, and worker rights in technology mediated work. Her research interests include digital labour, online social movements, the care economy, feminist perspectives on technology, and internet rights. She has previously worked on issues around internet shutdowns and online violence against women. She holds a MA in Digital Culture and Society from King's College London and a BA (Hons) in English from St. Stephen's College, DU.

Urvashi Aneja

Urvashi Aneja is Founding Director of Tandem Research. She works on the governance and sociology of emerging technology; southern partnerships for humanitarian and development assistance; and the power and politics of global civil society. Urvashi is also Associate Fellow at Chatham House and a columnist for the Indian Express. She has a PhD from the Department of Politics & International Relations, University of Oxford. Previously, she was Associate Professor of International Relations at the OP Jindal Global University and Research Fellow at the Observer Research Foundation.