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Better or worse!

We are currently in the middle of a nation-wide lockdown. It is a situation equally uncharted for us as it is for any other country at the moment. With nearly five million people infected (as we speak), and 100-plus countries sealed, the magnitude and speed of collapse this pandemic has brought globally, in the last few weeks, has been unforeseen.

Our work lives have changed; the lifestyle and priorities have changed. With the crisis showing no sign of abating, people have been made to acclimatize from home, forcing their collective hands on finding digital solutions to keep work, entertainment, food, workout, and more going, when sheltering at homes.

It has facilitated great opportunities in the work-from-home (WFH) model. As a result, the time spent on smartphones has increased by 1.34 hours per week. The consumption of social media has doubled to 288 minutes per day.

From meetings to lessons, to food, workout, and events, brands are leveraging digital platforms to drive growth. It is a blessing in disguise for our urban infrastructure and nature, which will get a chance to self-heal.

The lockdown has brought us face to face with the pros and cons of everything in life. It has allowed the world to see the possibility of exploring some of the untrodden paths, and continuing with those paths even in a post-COVID situation.

As we move along, a lot of stuff/businesses will get digitized, and the ability to deliver results in the new world will largely rely on the quality of the digital infrastructure. There will be a fundamental shift in the way companies and individuals operate.

The need for office space will see a decline. It will also leave a deep impression on the ways corporates and start-ups build their products and services. Any business or process that involves middlemen would eventually get bypassed; I think, we see that already happening in the broadcasting sector with OTT platforms kicking in.

With OTT gradually gaining share of voice over linear television, the cable and DTH industry is at a high risk. Similar to taxi aggregation, where users and service providers directly interact using something as simple as a mobile app, that is what companies like Uber and Ola have been doing.

More so, in the tough times that we are facing today due to the COVID-19 lockdown, God forbid in case there are any more such incidents in our lifetimes, there will be a lot of social distancing, a lot of gaps in human-to-human interactions, and that is what would bring in more of digital services.

The need to travel to other countries will come down drastically, and get replaced by video conferencing and phone calls. I was recently reading an article on Zoom, how it has exponentially blown up with the world currently interacting on this platform and similar others for video conferencing.

With supply chains and international trade completely disrupted, thanks to these platforms, such collaborations have been made much easier, effective, and inexpensive. So, I think in short, a lot of digitization, a lot of processes reducing the need for middle men is what we will see in the broadcasting sector – India and globally as well, example of which is the emerging OTT platforms.

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