Shahamat Hussain

Shared economy is one of the ideas that is changing the world. Shared economy is also known as peer economy which can be understood as a set of practices that allow individuals and companies to share access to products, services and experiences through technology and innovations. It is a class of economic arrangements; participants share access to products and services, instead of individual ownership.

In a country like India, where internet enabled smart phone users are growing, shared economy will open doors for new opportunities. Looking at the kind of developers behind this kind of a business model, the primary progress is the changing technology, which, with new innovative technology allows us to connect with people and discover things to share. Secondly, the shift in paradigm which is characterized by openness, humanness and the need to stay connected. Third is the economic reality which brought home environmental pressures like the population growth, limited natural resources and growing awareness of the effects of climate change after the 2008 financial breakdown.

Sharing brings two changes; a reduction of resource consumption and it allows access to resources. The first experience of sharing economy in India started with business models like Uber, the San Francisco-headquartered mobile app based transportation system, launched in 2013.The most recent entry into shared economy was in March 2015, when Ola (previously Ola cabs), launched its app for personal transportation and is now India’s second biggest taxi cab aggregator. Sharingdais.com is another online platform for peer-to-peer sharing. The company has been conceptualized and promoted by a group of IIM graduates with a dream of connecting every household through sharing economy. Launched in July 2014, the website has four categories- book sharing, food sharing, and skill sharing and peer-to-peer services. The platform gives an opportunity to become either a provider or a seeker of goods, skills & services.

The benefits of being part of this economy saves money, environment as it supports sustainability and the access to goods and services that are not available otherwise in consumer culture. There is criticism about shared economy especially in India. Broadly, digital trust or online reputation, growing private ownership in India due to increase in income, taxes, licensing, geographical restriction, protection of consumers’ interests. India is now concentrating on online websites and this makes e-commerce players give awesome offers to bring in more buyers.

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