The Digital Rozgaar : An Overview

Think of a throwback not too long ago, when the pandemic shocked and shook the entire world; our lives changed and how! While many went into a permanent or semi-permanent work from home scenario, others lost their jobs in the wake of such trying times and yet others joined the already existing unemployment bandwagon. Stuck in the confines of our homes for days together, we started resorting to the internet like never before. In no time, there came upon a surge in the usage of the digital platform for various errands - from buying vegetables to attending classes, a situation primarily arising out of the social distancing compulsion. While the pandemic has brought about huge losses in the business and economy, across the world, there is a silver lining in the offing and it is what we term 'The Digital Rozgaar'. It is amazing to note how even the common man today has taken to the digital platform to earn a livelihood, who otherwise would have been financially handicapped in the current times, owing to a crunch in the conventional job market.

What is digital rozgaar?
The use of digital platforms like social media (Facebook, Instagram, Twitter, etc.), WhatsaApp, Youtube, Paytm, etc. to generate employment can be broadly termed as Digital Rozgaar (rozgaar in hindi means employment).

How does it work?
With the onset of the uncertainty pertaining to the lockdown, people, Government, organisations, educational institutions etc. flocked to the digital space in various ways. Given below is one such classification of the various ways in which the digitalisation has crept in all across the globe and led to employment and financial enhancement at various levels.

1. Offline to Online : One of the major areas worth mentioning under this category is the education system which has gone completely online from being conventionally offline. Classes, assignments, exams are all being conducted by means of Zoom, Google Meet, MS Teams etc. Looking at the current trend of the second wave of Covid-19 spread, this seems to be staying for a while now. The revenues earned by these online platforms sky rocketted like never before. Further, these platforms are also being used by offices to run their daily operations seamlessly.

Similarly, e-commerce industry boomed owing to the increasing demand of the customers to purchase almost every commodity online. Big basket, Amazon, Flipkart, Grofers are only a few in the long list of contenders. As more and more people have started depending on these app-based service delivery, a steady pool of employment for delivery persons is also getting generated thereof.

In the above scenario, it is the digital platform which kept many lives afloat by allowing them the opportunity to continue their business like before instead of succumbing to the pandemic pressure.

2. Already Online : Services that were already online also saw a revolution in terms of access and reach to the farthest nook and corner of the world. From being a matter of choice to being indispensable, online portals gained the required importance that it was perhaps craving to attain in a world prior to the Corona attack!

3. New Ventures : Catering to the various needs of the consumer during the pandemic, a lot of start-ups and services mushroomed on the digital platform. For e.g., online doctor consultation, purchase of medicines through a digital window, training sessions, different contests, life skills coaching, comunity services like maids, cooks, drivers, cleaners and the list is endless. Thanks to the digitalisation, these service providers are able to earn a livelihood today in the face of utmost hardships in the society. What is heart warming to note is that many of these online services like online Yoga classes or fitness training has impacted the society in a big way in terms of the upkeep of the mental and physical well being of people, in times of utmost despair and gloom. Another area worth mentioning in this segment is the rapid emergence of many easy to use e-commerce sites, user-friendly apps and websites catering to the daily needs of the consumers. Young tech savvy people seem to have found a way finally to unleash their hidden talent in the wake of such trying times without waiting for any validation from any organisations whatsoever. Since these services are much needed by the consumers, this form of digital set-up is thriving well and adding to the enhancement of the local set-ups.

4. Nurturing Hobbies : Lockdown allowed each of us a considerable leisure in which we tried our hands at various activities to keep us sane and occupied throughout the days. A few of us have taken our hobbies to the next level by turning it into an income avenue. This has been only possible due to the easy access of a very effective online domain. Today people are making a steady income by showcasing their products or talents arising out of timepass to a huge digital audience and there defienitely is no looking back !

5. Homemaker's Tryst : It is heart-warming to note how much digitalisation has helped home makers to carve out an income source for themselves by sharing yummy recipes or selling other hand made household essentials online. Further, homemakers are showcasing their talents by means of online classes in cake-baking, DIY arts and crafts, etc.

6. The Whatsapp Way : One of the most widely used and accepted platforms of digital comunication ought to be Whatsapp. Take a look around you and you will find almost 9 out of 10 people today have a smart phone and invariably is very hands-on with Whatsapp. What started out as a mere texting or messaging platform, took on a whole meaning especially during the pandemic times. The service provider and the end user found it excesively useful to keep the communication going even when the world was hit by a lockdown. There have been numerous instances in our localities in which the vegetable vendor or the grocery store onwer took to Whatsapp to accept orders and deliver accordingly. A perfect example of digitalisation being put to good use in income generation.

7. Digital Journalism : An extension of the digital revolution is also the emergence of digital journalism whereby news and media bites are just a click away and on the go in a real time basis on our mobile apps. Gone are the days when one would wait for the morning newspaper or would rely on a single news channel on TV to have access to the happenings around the world. The youth has particularly benefited from this shift, as Youtube has proven to be an excellent platform for showcasing talents and ensuring a pocket money as well.

8. Performing Arts : We have been hooked on to the various webseries on Amazon Prime, Hotstar, Netflix etc during pandemic. The entertainment industry is on an all time high, all thanks to the digital arena. Advantages of digital entertainment over the conventional ones is known to all of us and could as well be the theme of our next blog!

9. Commissions for Online Agents : With monetary transactions going totally digital, we are embracing the online mode of payments and services more and more. As a result, the agents providing these services are earning lucrative incentives. Common names that come to the mind under this genre are Ola, Uber, Practo, Medibuddy to name a few.

10. Crowd Funding : Is a concept by which money for a project is raised through individuals or organisations. With the emergence of digital trends, such funding has become easy and dynamic, whereby one has it easy to secure investors for his projects, as oposed to the conventional methods of convincing a bank or any other money lending instituions, with the required capability and credentials. Going the digital way has one more advantage in that it is to a large extent a pretty fair deal. Did you know the iconic Amitabh Bachchan-Ayushmann Khurrana film, Gulabo Sitabo was made through the process of crowd funding

11. The P2P way : P2P refers to Peer-to-Peer lending in which people lend money (instead of banks) to individuals or businesses. The lender in the process earns interest on the money lent and gets back the money when the said loan is repaid. Once again, the digital intervention has made a seamless affair, generating income avenue in its wake.

Wrapping up the above, we can't thank enough this wave of change that digitalisation has brought across the world and by the looks of it, most of it seems to be trending positive and will go a long way in the days to come. It is digitalisation that has ensured that there is an avenue of income for everyone with even minimum skill sets in the face of difficult times that this pandemic has brought along.

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