1st Edition

Emerging Work Trends in Urban India
COVID-19 and Beyond

  • Available for pre-order. Item will ship after March 11, 2022
ISBN 9781032027548
March 11, 2022 Forthcoming by Routledge India
248 Pages 19 B/W Illustrations

USD $160.00

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Book Description

This book offers an overview of India’s emerging digital economy and the challenges and opportunities for urban workplaces. It examines contemporary economic and social transformations in India by focusing on how new technologies and policies are shaping urban work practices and patterns. The book emphasises on inclusive and equitable practices that consider the needs of the formal and informal sector workforce as essential to India’s urban development. Drawing on insights from the intersections of society, economy, and environment along with theoretical frameworks from across disciplines, it examines key issues related to work trends in Indian urban economy and its digital landscape, including Industry 4.0 and technology-labour nexus, smart cities and innovation, urbanism and consumerism, workplace transitions such as remote working and service industry, digital divide, skill development initiatives, and the impact of socio-economic inequalities and disruptions. The authors provide perspectives on the digital future of urban work in India and other emerging economies in the post-Covid-19 phase, and underscore the importance of enacting balanced policies, remodeling institutions, and equipping the labor force for adapting to new demands towards determining future employability and investments. 

This book will interest students, teachers and researchers of urban studies, urban sociology, sociology of work, labour studies, human and urban geography, economic geography, urban economics, development studies, urban development and planning, public policy, regional planning, politics of urban development, social and cultural change, urban sustainability, environmental studies, management studies, South Asian Studies, and Global South studies. It will also be useful to policymakers, non-governmental organisations, activists, and those interested in India and the global economy.

Table of Contents

Foreword by Shashi Tharoor

Chapter 1        Introduction

Chapter 2        Future Workplaces: A Global Perspective

Chapter 3        Workplace Transitions in India: An Overview

Chapter 4        Services Industry: Consumerism and Urbanism

Chapter 5        Technology-Labour Nexus and Industry 4.0

Chapter 6        Workers in the Urban Informal Sector

Chapter 7        Digital Divide: From Smartphones to Broadband

Chapter 8        Smart Cities: Innovations and Inequalities

Chapter 9        Conclusion



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Nidhi Tandon is Director of East Brunswick FIRST Inc., a non-profit based in New Jersey, USA. Trained as an interdisciplinary researcher at IIT, Bombay, she also holds professional certifications from MIT in Data Science, Smart Cities, and Equitable Education, along with a certification in project management from Cornell University. Her expertise is in the fields of education, public policy, and conceptualising solutions for digital and STEM education and workforce skills. 

Pratyusha Basu is Associate Professor of Geography in the Department of Sociology and Anthropology, and Director of Asian Studies Program at the University of Texas at El Paso, USA. She has an MPhil from IIT-Bombay, a PhD from the University of Iowa, Iowa City (USA). Her research broadly focuses on economic development and social identities in the Global South. She conducts ethnographic fieldwork on rural-urban intersections and has published a book on gender and cooperative dairying in India. 

Omkumar Krishnan is Professor in Marketing Management at Indian Institute of Management, Kozhikode (IIMK), India. A PhD and MPhil from IIT, Bombay, his research focuses on destination branding and consumer well-being. Among courses that he teaches are Consumer Behaviour, Services Marketing and Sociology for Management. He has earlier worked with Drishti Services and Lowe Lintas in Mumbai, and also undertakes consultancies and training assignments. He has edited two books on branding and has travelled in 55 cities across 30 countries. 

Bhavani R.V. is Consultant with the Food and Agricultural Organization of the U.N. in Bangladesh. She has an MPhil from IIT, Bombay and a PhD from University of Madras. An economist by training, she started her career as an officer in State Bank of India. She then worked on development issues with the M.S. Swaminathan Research Foundation in India. The core domain areas of her work are livelihood, food and nutrition security. She has published several papers and co-edited a volume on the agrarian crisis in India.


Emerging Work Trends in India: COVID-19 and Beyond is a brilliantly written book capturing the changing dynamics of the workspace in India. It critically and objectively describes the challenges during and after this public health crisis and how it is going to change the landscape in time to come in one of the world's most culturally diverse and vibrant countries. It is a very insightful groundwork that explains the complex interplay of the social, political, and economic factors and their impact on society at large in the given situation.” 

Ranjeet S Ajmani, Chief Executive Officer, PlasmaGen BioSciences, Bangalore, India


“A much-needed recipe to learn the changing trends of work towards automation. It spans the entire gamut of manufacturing to services and the need for digitalisation while addressing the socio-political and cultural barriers.”

Bhavik Kumar, Founder & CEO, Medibox, India


“The Covid-19 pandemic has intersected with ongoing digital technology led economic transformations to bring about serious disruptions to work, livelihoods, incomes, and inequalities across rural and urban India. This book offers a comprehensive and inter-disciplinary overview of the precarity, fissures, and exclusions brought about by these ongoing changes. Focusing on the formal and informal sectors, on issues related to skills, gender nature of impacts, and rural-urban divides, and the "the digitalisation of the urban", the volume thoroughly analyses impacts of technology on work and work force to yield significant policy recommendations that address the future of work, and the way forward for reducing inequalities.”

D. Parthasarathy, Professor, Department of Humanities and Social Sciences, Indian Institute of Technology Bombay, Mumbai, India