27 July 2020
Emergence of the Phygital world

    In this Article, we are going to talk about the emergence of a new realm: the ‘Phygital’ world and its repercussions on business and our daily lives. With the pandemic ravaging, a new world order has emerged out of redundant practices as we come to terms with augmenting digital attributes to our daily lives. The ‘phygital’ world is being embraced by everyone.

    The mishmash of the digital and the physical realm has already been established in various sectors such as education- where classes are being held via an online platform or OTT platforms for entertainment like Amazon Prime and Netflix where movies are being released. However, it can be projected that the impact of augmentation of the digital world and the physical realm will be widespread. Banking, trade, medicine, retail, dining and even sports have come to terms with the emergence of this new world order.

    Venture capitalists and the entire startup ecosystem is already witnessing a tectonic shift in operating procedures and business models.It can be said with strong affirmation that the world will become more digital over the coming years. The way businesses run and human beings connect with each other will be more light-touch based and contact-free. There will be lesser business travels, settings and conferences. The travel and tourism industry is slated to be hit the most. For the foreseeable future, travel will only be done out of need.

    As working from home has emerged to be the new normal, commercial real estate is expected to witness huge losses. A lot of companies have claimed that productivity has seen an increase amidst the lockdown situation. They will continue this concept for the majority of their staff. There will be a vacuum composed of empty offices which will heavily impact the commercial real estate.

    Banking will also go digital as blockchain will find itself at an inflection point. Consumers are already well averse with digital payments in India. With the current situation at hand, it can be said without a single doubt that the banking sector will witness more digitisation. E-signatures linked to Aadhar will emerge as an accepted legal tender and will become the norm. KYC form fill-up procedure will also undergo a systemic change as the Government is slowly transitioning its proceedings to a portable digital platform. Documentation will become increasingly digital. Loopholes will be plugged and banking operations will come with a high degree of transparency.

    Telemedicine and telehealth will emerge as the norm. The government and the Medical Council of India is pulling all stops to push the enablers of virtual healthcare and health-tech companies as a measure of ensuring that services can be provided to even the most remote corners of our country. With e-prescriptions being legalised and e-pharmacy gaining traction in our country, healthcare solutions are slated to go digital in our country in the near future. This will bring about two major consequences: doing away with the concept of a family doctor and deeper penetration into the country’s demography.

    Food delivery will be preferred over dining out. Until and unless a vaccine comes to the forefront, people will try to avoid public places such as malls and restaurants. It is safe to say that fine dining will be a rare occurrence now as online takeaways come to the forefront. Food delivery has become an integral part of our lives and it will slowly emerge to be a norm rather than an exception.

    The prospect of it has been reaffirmed by the mammoth INR 14k crore deal which was signed between Facebook and Jio which will essentially be used as a capital to develop a medium, a last-mile solution where consumers can connect to the local grocery shops and get their items delivered to doorstep.

    OTT Platforms will rise to become a prospective frontier for the entertainment sector. The current situation created major repercussions in the way people entertain themselves. More and more content will be delivered via digital platforms like Netflix and other major streaming applications. The impact on the movie industry will be huge and films are already being released on digital platforms. Sporting events, upon resumption, will take place in empty stadiums and fans will resort to streaming softwares to watch their favorite matches live. Even pub quizzes and trivia nights are being held over video chat platforms.

    In conclusion, it can be said that eventually, the world will become less tactile. A world without handshakes and pats on the back. This pandemic has been an epoch-changing event in all our lives. All of us throughout the length and breadth of the world are surviving a life which can only be paralleled by a dreary sci-fi movie. Thermal checking will be an integral part in the screening process for the foreseeable future, just the way security checks were tightened post the 9/11 tragedy. We have become used to a life of living with basic necessities. Given the current situation and the economic turmoil on a global basis, basic living will be the new normal- a drastic contrast from the hedonistic days of the last two decades.

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