Gig workers are worse off in South Asia

The pay is relatively better, but poor working conditions and an uncertain future are forcing a third of the employees to quit within a year. Only new laws can make it better.
Any conversation about tech today would be incomplete without talking about the thousands of men and women who are the backbone of most tech unicorns — the gig workers.

About a decade ago, the introduction of gig work ushered in an enormous promise of financial freedom and job flexibility for blue-collared workers in the global south.

The rise of app-based companies like Zomato in India, Careem in Pakistan, and Pathao in Bangladesh meant that a privileged few could hail — food, home cleaning, groceries, manicures, and more — from the comfort of their homes. Those delivering these services were happy to partake in this new consumer culture, before the absurd economics of VC-fueled growth caught up.

Talk to any delivery worker about their work today, and their answers will leave you little room to feel optimistic about what’s touted as “the future of work.”

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