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Dawning of a New Era

A person who may have gone into a coma in December 2019 and who has woke up in June 2020 would feel how ‘Rip van Winkle’, the protagonist of the story by the same name written by Washington Irving felt when he woke up after being asleep for 20 years. A world completely changed!

Now on, we could see the rise of the concepts of BC which refers to before Covid, DC i.e. During Covid and AC, After Covid

Everyone would be wearing masks, there are very few vehicles and people on the roads, Shops and shoppers behave differently — people have to clean their hands with sanitiser before being let into shops and supermarkets. There are fewer things to be on shop shelves.

The pandemic has affected nearly every sector and given birth to new business opportunities. It has forced almost every sector to innovate as there’s been a change in the consumer mindset. It’s been a great learning experience for every sector.

The Retailers Association of India (RAI) have seen its members seeing a shift from asset to experience creation for the shoppers. Also, individualisation is a major trend that is being seen across the world and along with it has come hyper-personalisation. Perhaps the scariest bit for retailers would probably be the shift to minimalism, the people buying just what they need and not buying what they want! A development that must be keeping Dr Harish Bhatt, Director-Marketing and Communication, RAI, when speaking at a CII webinar held recently. .

The CoViD-19 pandemic that swept across the world, affecting at least 197 countries, sparing only a few very small innocuous island nations. By the time the pandemic passes over, it would have left in its wake a completely different world.

The CoViD-19 pandemic is a great learning experience. It has accelerated the time taken for business transformation. From a period of five to ten years it took for businesses and the economy to transform, businesses have transformed within just two-three months of the onset of the pandemic.

An interesting change in sentiments is that of pre-conceived notions and paranoia impacting people’s behaviour. One sphere that has seen a big impact is in the business sentiment. “What can improve our lives post-CoViD-19 is expectations.” believes V Rajesh, a Retail and Shopping Behaviour Expert.
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We can understand how subjective aspects affect our behaviours. “We are aspiration-driven, says Ke Ranganathan, Managing Director, Roca Bathroom Products Pvt Ltd, the world’s largest bathroom solutions maker, “We are aspirations-driven and expectation that will improve our lives.”

Consumers are driven by uncertainty and fear, while they are looking for convenience and a desire for privacy. Today people want to be trendy.

Satyakam Arya, Managing Director & Chief Executive Officer, Daimler India Commercial Vehicles Ltd, expects vengeance buying once the situation normalises. That’s probably the warning about the Irrational Exuberance that could take over once the consumers return and with them the spending. Reboot, Resilience, Reimagine and Reform are the buzzwords that would bring the economy out of the rut.

Every sector would go through the process.

As an example, the supposedly recession-proof Healthcare sector is being transformed, it has seen a paradigm shift. Telemedicine has now taken centre stage and there’s a change in the mindset of the patient today. Clinical examination is being replaced by investigative examination!.

All fixed costs have moved into variables now, across sectors.