Like every other sector, the pandemic has provided a harsh reality check to entrepreneurs across the globe. With consumer demand falling and many products and services now deemed unnecessary, the consumer post the pandemic will have a unique set of demands and requirements and businesses will have to adjust according to this new dynamic. Speaking on the new emerging trends in the market, Praveen Sinha Jabong Co Founder said, “We are seeing the market go through a shock like no other. While doors are closing swiftly for some, others are identifying new opportunities and making hay even when the chips are down. Sectors such as Edtech, Gaming, Hyper local deliveries and Healthcare have grown exponentially since the lockdowns and this is likely to continue in the years ahead.“
Demand will come back but the medium will change
“Going through the news recently, I learnt that the Smaash Gaming and Entertainment centers are closing down across India because of lockdown inflicted losses and now, lack of demand due to the fear of the pandemic. During the same period, we have seen online gaming grow like never before with developers picking up venture capital and scrambling for new servers to be able to serve their ever growing user bases. With theatres shut, films which one would never imagine releasing directly on OTT have been snapped up by the likes of Hotstar. The longer the pandemic runs, the more adoption and acceptance online products and services continue to get, which could in turn usher in a new normal where demand returns but the medium changes”, opined Praveen Sinha.
Time for introspection and patience
The pandemic and the Indo China border dispute has created uncertainty in the startup ecosystem who heavily depend on Chinese investors for funds. While there are exceptions to the game such as the likes of Byju’s which continue to rack up investments, many other start-ups are now facing a liquidity crunch and being forced to downsize operations and employees.
“With funds drying out, many entrepreneurs have been forced to shut down or roll back ambitious expansion plans till the pandemic runs its course. Praveen Sinha feels that taking a step back and waiting for the market corrections to run their course, would be a wise move both for the investors and entrepreneurs. “This is a time for introspection and investing resources in gauging demand, fixing problems within the business model, rolling back on unnecessary hiring and marketing spends and preparing for the next wave of opportunity” adds Praveen Sinha Pincap MD.
Segments that will do well post the pandemic
Whilst segments like edtech, healthtech, online gaming, OTT platforms are taking off, Sinha expects outdoor entertainment, food and sport to make a significant comeback once things get better. “I expect health insurance to take off alongwith insurance aggregation. There will be a lot of demand for direct to home concierge services (hair stylist, electricians, physios etc.) and hyper local delivery of groceries and essentials. Logistics will also see disruptive innovations and demand surges. I am expecting consumers to be more conscious about the source of products they purchase/consume so we may see the adoption of blockchain technology to assist in storing huge amounts of supply chain data and make it available for stakeholders to assess and analyse when needed.” Sinha added.
“The rebound will come and till then it will be a game of patience for veteran and budding entrepreneurs to take advantage of the opportunities on offer. However, I expect the next phase of entrepreneurs and investors to not go overboard with huge marketing spends and costly acquisitions and diversifications. Creating value will take the lead over hype and a new breed of mature, conscious entrepreneurs will emerge”, concludes Sinha.