Tectonic Shifts Expected As Digital Expands

Prognosticators continue to point to massive shifts in the aftermath of COVID-19. In this recent Article, author Bhaskar Majumdar explores an aggressive convergence of the physical and digital worlds. Pointing to the domains that have already converged – education and entertainment – Mr. Majumdar sees this phenomenon overwhelming all aspects of our lives. In the near future, he sees it impacting banking, medicine, trade, shopping, dining and sports. As we come to terms with social distancing in a post-COVID world, some level of change is inevitable.

As a Managing Partner at Unicorn India Ventures, he states that the venture community and the startup world can already see big shifts in our daily existence. As I described in my post on a Contactless Future, Mr. Majumdar sees changes in the way businesses are run and how humans are likely to interface in a light touch and contact-free way. He echoes the belief that we are likely to see a reduction in business travel, physical meetings, conferences, and tourism, logical conclusions, but speculative in nature. Remember, most post-crisis predictions of the past have been dead wrong. We must continually tell ourselves that as we look to the future.

For instance, Mr. Majumdar expects commercial real estate to see heavy losses, as working from home becomes the new normal. With comfort levels rising regarding working from anywhere scenarios, this is a scenario to watch closely. But human nature is a funny thing. We are social beings, and as such, many are likely to want to get back to an office setting. Regardless, even a modest increase in remote work percentages is impactful. He provides an example of the far-reaching consequences in India, specifically, the impact on the way households with growing children employ domestic help.

Mr Majumdar goes on to describe other areas of change across banking, healthcare, and food. Specifically, digital banking is set to explode, creating an inflection point for Blockchain. He sees telemedicine and telehealth going mainstream, a preference for food delivery versus eating out, entertainment via the home versus other venues, and a move towards e-sports and e-gaming. The article concludes with the description of the pandemic as an epoch changing event. An event so impactful that it forces us back to basics. All these thoughts are plausible paths for society given what has transpired. But to ignore history is dangerous. History tells us that post-crisis events have rarely gone the way people expected. Let us prepare for the possibility of these scenarios – and understand that different scenarios are just as likely.

Explore more about COVID-19 via these earlier posts.

FEATUREDA Post Pandemic Society

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