Independent Research and Policy Advocacy

The financial lives of platform workers: A diaries study in Bengaluru, India

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Abstract

We are grateful to the Financial Access Initiative, housed at New York University, for funding this work and for constantly providing valuable feedback that enriched the study during all its phases. We thank Dr. Indradeep Ghosh, Executive Director at Dvara Research, and Misha Sharma, Practice Head, Household Finance Research initiative at Dvara Research for their feedback and inputs throughout the course of the study. We thank Anupama Kumar who spearheaded the project from its inception till it reached the stage of data collection. We thank the several domain experts we spoke to, who helped us improve our understanding of the rapidly expanding landscape of research on platform economy and platform workers. It would have been impossible to recruit so many participants for out study without the generous support offered by the office-bearers of various platform worker unions in Bengaluru such as the Indian Federation of App-Based Transport Workers (IFAT), Peace Auto, and Snehajeevi Auto Drivers’ Union. We also thank them for sharing their perspectives about platform economy and the problems faced by platform workers coming from their deep engagement with these issues. We are extremely thankful to each participant in our study who gave us their precious time and more importantly, placed their trust in us and shared sensitive information regarding their experiences at work and their financial transactions in detail. Finally, we are thankful to Zion Research and Consultants for their assistance in translating and transliterating interviews; and our field intern, Samhitha, and field consultant, Tara, for their rigorous support in conducting the interviews and financial diaries surveys.

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  1. This made interesting and informative reading. Thank you. Inevitably, the mind ran a comparison with the Indian context even while the note managed to clearly convey how complex this whole thing is (health care!). Plenty of things to learn and seek to adapt to our circumstances. our health infra, information infrastructure, dispersed low-density population pocket etc plus lack of citizen friendly information communication on insurance policies. Frankly, the standard insurance policy document I’ve received in the normal course seems designed to make a person ill! I’m fairly sure, that institutions like yours are on top of all this and working to move things along in India with good researched basis – like this paper.

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