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Digital platforms are witnessing rapid growth and disrupting traditional businesses in areas such as education, e-commerce, healthcare, hospitality, and transport. These platforms have brought changes to the services sector by introducing on demand services for consumers and on demand employment for workers using “work on-demand via apps”. With the widespread growth of Internet access, India is home to more platform workers (aka gig workers) than any other country. Our study proposes to examine the ways in which informal workers pursue employment on app platforms as well as how they understand and negotiate the benefits and risks associated with platform work employment. Online and offline economies are being transformed and we explore producer/worker welfare, policy and regulatory issues and shifts in the labour market that have emerged. In this paper we focus on house maintenance and beauty care work.



V. Sridhar is Professor at the Centre for IT and Public Policy at the International Institute of Information Technology Bangalore (IIIT-B), India. In 2019 he published a book on ‘Emerging ICT Policies and Regulation: Roadmap to Digital Economies’. Sridhar has taught at institutions in the USA, Finland, New Zealand and India. Dr. Sridhar also has extensive industry experience with Tata Unisys and Sasken Technologies. He has been a member of Government of India committees on Telecom and IT. With his deep knowledge of telecom regulation and policy he has organised and chaired conferences as well as published many articles in peer-reviewed journals on the topic. Sridhar has a Ph.D. from the University of Iowa, U.S.A., Masters in Industrial Engineering from the National Institute for Training in Industrial Engineering, Mumbai, India and B.E. (Honours) from the University of Madras, India.

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Balaji Parthasarathy is Professor, International Institute of Information Technology Bangalore (IIITB) and an affiliate of IIITB's Center for Information Technology and Public Policy (CITAPP). His research and teaching interests focus on the relationship between technological innovation, economic globalisation, and social change. In his work he looks at – a) impacts of public policy and firm strategies on the organisation of production in the ICT (information and communications technology) industry and b) how ICTs are being deployed in various domains to transform social relationships, Mr. Parthasarathy has published widely and his work has been supported by many national and international agencies, including the Department of Information Technology (Government of India), the US National Science Foundation the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation, and the European Union. In 2017, he co-authored, "The Rise of the Hybrid Domain: Collaborative Governance for Social Innovation" with Yuko Aoyama.

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Preeti Mudliar is Assistant Professor, International Institute of Information Technology Bangalore (IIITB). Her research interests broadly centre around gender, infrastructure, and digital media using ethnographic methods and analyses. Her work has appeared in top HCI venues such as CHI and CSCW. Her most recent published work examined the gendered access and use of public WiFi infrastructures that prevent women from accessing and using the Internet in the same way as men. Currently, her work is focused on people's acts of 'repair' and coping following biometric authentication failures in the public distribution system (PDS) in India. Ms. Mudliar holds a Ph.D in Communication Studies from the University of Texas, Austin.

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