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Rupee fall results in up to 8% increase in income for freelancers earning in US dollars

By Business Today

July 20, 2022


2 min read


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Indian freelancers getting paid in the American currency are set for a 7-8 per cent jump in their income as the rupee has fallen below the Rs 80-mark.

While the Indian rupee sliding against the US dollar has come as bad news for employees, especially as inflation is already weighing heavy on salaries, Indian freelancers getting paid in the American currency are set for a 7-8 per cent jump in their income. The Indian rupee fell below the Rs 80-mark against the USD, declining about 7 per cent in a year.

A company incorporated in India cannot avail services domestically and pay in a foreign currency, legally or statutory, clarifies Aditya Mishra, CEO of CIEL HR Services. But a lot of Indians are freelancing with global firms and taking up assignments on dedicated freelancing portals, he adds.

“A lot of freelance websites have come up through which international work is coming in. For them, it is a good time because the US dollar is getting stronger,” says Mishra. He highlights project report writing, content writing, software coding and testing, digital marketing and executive coaching assignments as some of the prominent freelancing work being done, estimating that 50,000 people in the country would be earning an income through freelance work.

Sanjay Shetty, Director of Professional Search & Selection and Strategic Accounts at recruitment firm Randstad India, says the number of people who are at an advantage may not be huge because the gig and freelance concept is still taking shape in India. “There are people who could be in the technology sector or oil & gas companies such as highly skilled offshore drilling platform engineers or high-end designers, project managers or automobile engineers who may be earning in dollars,” he says.

“With a 7-8 per cent decline in the value of rupee, industries, including consulting, analytics, and exports, are expected to gain. Talent employed as academicians, electronic data publishers for global products are others that are expected to gain from a higher US dollar value,” says Vishal Bhardwaj, Chief of Digital Transformation at digital recruitment firm Taggd

The value of the Indian rupee has depreciated by around 25 per cent against the dollar since December 2014. It has fallen from 63.33 against a dollar on December 31, 2014, to 79.41 on July 11, 2022, Finance Minister Nirmala Sitharaman said in a reply to the Lok Sabha, quoting RBI data. She attributed it to global factors such as soaring crude oil prices and the Russia-Ukraine conflict.

“Anything freelancers earn through these assignments or projects, they stand to gain 7-8 per cent increase in their overall income because the Indian rupee has declined by 7.5 per cent,” says CIEL’s Mishra. Randstad’s Shetty says inflation will also have to be factored in, but the impact of inflation will be lower on those who have a US Dollar income in India through freelance work than on somebody who is earning only in Indian rupees.

The experts also say that the advantage will continue for a while as the rupee is expected to stay weaker against the USD for a while in the face of continuing geopolitical and macroeconomic headwinds.