The year 2021 is all set to conclude. This year have shown us some insightful and game-changing trends and experiences. Industry leaders expressed their observations from 2021 and hopes, expectations from 2022.
Mr Prem Kumar, Founder & CEO, SnapBizz
“2021 has been a year of significant transformation in consumers’ tastes, preferences and buying patterns. With the Coronavirus seemingly under control, thanks to lockdowns and vaccination efforts, this year’s festive season saw some sense of “normalcy”. Shops had an increase in footfall, as compared to the same time last year. There was an increase of 36% in the FMCG sales this year as compared to the last two years. Online shopping continues to be preferred, due to the convenience of shopping and ease of payment.
Approximately, 10 million small kiranas serve the entire population of the country and are the backbone of the retail ecosystem. With consumers having a median basket size of less than ₹200 and shopping for up to 3 to 5 times per week, it has become very important to help these small businesses survive the digitisation era.
The government continues to discourage large gatherings, and festivals as a preemptive measure, so we can expect this trend to carry on well into 2022. On the business front, this has paved the way for even small businesses to make the switch to online payments to limit social contact. This trend will only flourish with digital payments being adopted increasingly by rural sectors and leading to the “millennial mindset” becoming more prevalent. Furthermore, value-based buying will see an increase in 2022.
The financial inclusion of small and medium businesses is led by various fintech companies. Digitising Kiranas have led these small entrepreneurs to be able to reach their customers in a more streamlined and safe manner. SnapBizz, for example, maps store performance indicators like median basket size, footfall, merchandise, stock turnover ratios, profile of shoppers and much more. Tools like this can make it easy for these businesses to strategize and make the most of their transactions. In my opinion, 2022 is sure to see the role of online and digital payments play a crucial role in the marketing success of brands.”
Mr Gaurav Burman- VP & APAC President, 75F, India
“As 75F specialises in Smart Building Technology, our IoT solutions focus on employees’ health and safety. This has become a hot topic no doubt in recent times, with the entire world slowly emerging from the pandemic. There is also the need to maintain ambient conditions, most conducive to work, including air, lighting and temperature. Looking back, we see that the entire HVAC industry is undergoing a technological revolution to keep up with the evolving demands of home buyers and builders. New, eco-friendly buildings are being designed to use minimal energy to balance the heat and cold inside the building.
Indoor air quality has become a priority in the Covid era as the risk of catching viruses is particularly high in an enclosed space shared by multiple people. And hence, businesses that are planning to bring back their employees have a clear obligation to safeguard employee well-being by ensuring that indoor air is both clean and optimally balanced for productivity.
Also, this pandemic emerged as the year giving rise to digital transformation across functions including facility management services, regardless of the nature and size of businesses. The main objective of any facility manager is to ensure that the employees are able to work efficiently within the office environment. Tenants are expecting an office environment that gives a connected workplace experience to collaborate with multiple teams. I think Facility management in 2022 will witness trends such as an increased number of shared workplaces and increased adoption of technology to optimize operations and to increase energy efficiency.”
Mr Shashank Vashishtha, Executive Director, eXp India
Despite being a tumultuous year, Indian real estate has witnessed growth in both the residential and commercial segments. With lockdown restrictions easing, and the festival season gaining some sense of normalcy, real estate investments have also seen an increase of over 20% in some cities. This is also spurred on by the low home loan rates, coupled with festival season and year end offers. NRI Investments have also seen an uptick, with Bangalore being the most favoured region, followed by Ahmedabad, Pune, Chennai, Goa, and Delhi.
Year 2022 promises to bring in heightened growth to the sector with the worst of the pandemic behind us. Thanks to PropTech becoming more widely used during the pandemic, investors have discovered the ease and convenience of digital house hunting. This is sure to act as a precedent for a number of new trends in 2022. For instance, we can see an increase in flexible working arrangements, such as hybrid models and hot desks. Real estate agents will also evolve into a more tech savvy workforce, by expanding their skill sets and embracing technology.
eXp Realty met with a warm welcome during our first year of India Operations in India. We have on-boarded over 1000 agents in less than a year, and this shows that both agents and customers are more open to adopting our virtual and transparent method of transacting. With covid making it difficult for investors to physically see properties and interact with their agents, our virtual office where agents are available anytime and anywhere has accelerated our growth in the market. Not to mention with Facebook announcing its Metaverse, virtual reality in professional environments will lead to work models similar to ours becoming more mainstream. Moreover, as one of the most technologically progressive agencies in the country, we are also looking forward to implementing many new PropTech solutions to support our agents with their business in 2022.
Mr Jose Ramapuram, Director of Marketing, Evolve Back Luxury Resorts
“With the majority of the population being vaccinated and industries returning to normalcy, the hospitality, travel and tourism industries are well equipped for a period of revival. Bringing in the new year, we believe that the worst is behind us, and the sector will witness heightened growth and activity. We have observed that revenge travel and work-from-anywhere culture due to remote work opportunities were emerging trends during the pandemic. Longer stays, a preference for private experiences and an emphasis on sustainable tourism were also more commonplace this year. We foresee these trends to continue into 2022, with rising demand for immersive cultural experiences, a strong focus on wellness during holidays and sustainable tourism. Travel bookings are bound to increase, and we are optimistic that the upcoming years will usher in needed growth and stability. And as always, our team will continue to follow government mandates and guidelines with stringency for the safety of customers and our staff.”
Mrs Priya Naik, Founder, Samhita-CGF
“We’ve spent 2021 crafting pathways to prosperity for workers & micro-entrepreneurs by collaborating with companies, multilateral and bi-lateral agencies, foundations, and civil society organisations. We have also been focused on protecting the protectors — healthcare, sanitation and frontline workers. While an immediate need to respond to the crisis brought these diverse partners together, they are now deeply committed to ensuring the recovery, resilience and prosperity of their vulnerable stakeholders. Together, we are all creating a “Better Normal” for our citizens.”
Mr Shashank Jain & Mr Rajat Jain, Founders of Strawfit (Bourgeon Foods, LLP)
“2021 was certainly a year like never before, but the FMCG sector has seen a significant amount of growth. As compared to the last two years, there was a 36% increase in FMCG sales in 2021. With people becoming more health conscious, products that are easy to prepare, but still healthy saw an increase in demand.
The Food & Beverage industry in 2022 is expected to see a number of positive twists and turns, especially with plant based and immunity boosting foods. “Functional foods” will see a surge, with consumers consciously choosing foods that possess an additional function. This projection is a reason why we, at Strawfit, are optimistic and excited about the months ahead. Our product, with added colostrum, will be considered not just functional, but also a healthy and fun way to drink milk for children.
In this age where transparency in food labels is paramount, the F&B industry is working hard to show consumers they produced the food sustainably and humanely. With industry leaders now more experienced with the customers’ tastes and preferences during the pandemic, the 2022 focus is anticipated to shift towards products that are healthy not just for the consumers, but also for the earth.”