The median fee earned by freelance consultants dropped by almost 25% between the first and second quarter, but started picking up from the third quarter onwards, slowly reaching pre-Covid levels. Consultants in the FMCG industry were the least impacted by the pandemic in terms of fees. Industries such as professional services, pharmaceuticals and education saw a 20% decline. The impact of the pandemic on fees paid to junior consultants, with less than five years of experience, was limited.
“As top-tier global talent increasingly chooses freelancing because of the flexibility, autonomy and financial opportunities it offers, large corporates are rapidly recognising and leveraging this talent pool for the agility, quality and specialised skills offered,” Flexing It founder & CEO Chandrika Pasricha said.
Flexing It said its data represents more than 200 skills sets in strategy, marketing, finance, supply chain/operations, and technology. The platfor m has 70,000 freelancers on it. The professional gig economy values experience, with skill levels, education and years of experience determining the fee they command.
Information technology is the highest paying skill for junior consultants with less than five years of experience and a median per-day fees of Rs 6,500, and those in the 90th percentile commanding Rs 28,000. At higher experience levels (15-20 years), strategy consultants and IT consultants charge the highest median fee (Rs 15,000).
The report says gender disparity persists in payments and women earn about 35% less than men. “Though the median compensation of women is significantly lower than that of men, it grows at a relatively higher rate than that of men until 20 years of experience. However, it stagnates at this point while that of men continues to grow. After 20 years of experience, while men’s median income rose by 20% from Rs 15,000-18,000, that of women remained the same at Rs 12,000,” the study said.