Covid-19: Will The Digital Transformation In India Stay? Education, Offices, Payments, Marriages Too?

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The pandemic has led to the starting of a whole new digital era and has broadened the horizon for the virtual sphere. From office meetings to school classes to socialising to even getting married, everything is happening over the internet. The fact is that not all, but a small chunk of the society is able to go ahead with the digital transformation. A lot of money must be invested so that all the people can go ahead with being digital. This mode might stay as it is more feasible but it won’t stick with all people.

  • E-Offices Instead Of The Traditional Ones

Many Indians are working from their homes at the moment and are fully on their own. Workplaces are now coming to terms with the fact that hundreds of people together isn’t really necessary for team efficiency. Work can be done from homes also when the situation arises for people who can operate at home.  It ultimately cuts down the cost of fixed capital and reduces the overall operational cost of the business. Meetings are being replaced by calls to save time. People are learning to make decisions more quickly and in a very subtle way.

Employers can also benefit in another way where their employees would not be spending a lot of time for travel and the same time can be used for training and rejuvenation of the mind. Employees will also be able to manage multiple roles of a parent, helper and a corporate employee.

“People are stripping out all the non-essentials and learning that you can move quickly—there’s no massive repercussions of not having 32 governance meetings and 50,000 emails,” says Andrea Brimmer, chief marketing and PR officer at Ally Financial. “You can make decisions on the spot and go because everyone’s doing these things out of necessity.”

  • Contact-less payments are on a surge

Paytm, one of the biggest caterer of digital payments has seen a 20% jump in the number of digital transactions over the lockdown period. Currency notes can be a breeding ground for the virus so must be avoided.

“There is a 15% increase in incoming requests from offline merchants to partner with Paytm. We are seeing a trend that merchants are offering home deliveries in their neighbourhood and suggesting their customers to Paytm as they fear the transfer of the virus from hands and cash,” a Paytm spokesperson said. The small kiryana shops are willing to go digital during this time so that they can increase their consumer base and function on a better note.

Another digital payment giant, PhonePe, has seen a drastic rise in the number of digital transactions since the past 40 days. “We are seeing an uptick in our switch partners from whom our users can buy essentials/staples such as groceries, medicine and food. This is happening across all locations (tier-1/2/3 and beyond),” a PhonePe spokesperson told Mint.

The whole situation going on at the moment can be the tipping point for digital payments and can fully change it. Consumers are shifting to digital modes of payment to reduce the risk of the infection from the covid-19 infection.

Companies who are delivering essentials during this time like Amazon, BigBasket, Swiggy, 1MG, Zomato, Grofers and FirstCry have actually stopped the use of cash on delivery facility altogether. COD accounted for 40% of their business volumes earlier.

  • Bye-Bye to classroom education

Due to the lockdown, the schools, colleges and other educational institutions are shut. But this doesn’t mean that the doors of education are shut. This has impacted over 91% of the world’s student population. All around the globe, teachers and school admin are told to continue with the basic duties using the online training apps. Virtual lessons are being taken up through Google Classroom, Blackboard, Zoom and Microsoft Teams. Another method which has been adopted is to change the fundamental part of the course altogether. Massive Open Online Course (MOOC)-styled educational packages are started.

All this is in the reach of a few in India and not all. Students who are in the rural districts of India and belong to the lower sections of the society do not have the privilege of using internet. In the coming years, the student population in India skyrocket and it is the governments duty to fulfil the need of the hour. There should be a way by which the students who don’t have all the luxuries are being taught and are given equal treatment.

Online education may seem like a logical and preventive solution during times like now but we really don’t think it is possible in India. The government of India, for the first time, is allowing Indian universities to offer online degrees which previously was limited to foreign universities. Now, to encourage and widen the access to higher education, this restriction has been lifted from 20% to offer 100% courses online.

The sudden change in the mode of learning has proved that the educational sector of India isn’t that well developed and needs a lot of improvement.

But, the major question is that in the annual budget, wasn’t the educational budget slashed by a huge number?

Right infrastructure is needed so that the whole country can move together and not just move ahead with a particular section of the society.

  • Change In Conventional Ways Of Getting Married

According to a published report by KPMG, the Indian wedding industry was estimated to be around $50 billion in size. This is said to go down in the next year and possibly in this year too.

Since the start of this virus and imposition of the lockdown, Indians who were supposed to get married have been in tears. Covid-19 has forced the people to re-do their whole wedding situation and plan something in the future about the same. According to a research survey done by WedMeGood.com, almost all the people have actually cancelled or postponed their weddings. But unlike huge cities, nearly two-thirds of the respondents in smaller cities would still go ahead and exchange their vows.

About 55% of the couples who were to get married in the second quarter of the year are still in hopes of a better future and the best execution of their plans.  And quite a handful, about 45% have postponed or cancelled their wedding for now.

After the wedding industry, the dating industry has seen a spike. Online dating platforms have seen a rapid rise in the number of users and their stocks are up high. People are looking for some fun and entertainment online.

Maybe this new change will prevail in India later on since the online dating is considered a taboo here. We feel that the marriage sector will be on a boom after the lockdown because Indians are known for having lavish marriages. While the online dating sector might not go up because people who go ahead with the traditional dating.

After this whole trivia, the only thing which should prosper is an equal mode of digitisation for all and not just for few. 

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