By Gopal Krishnan, Chairman, Ninestars
The continued global uncertainty around COVID-19 feels like an elaborate adaptation of a Stephen King novel with the right amount of suspense, horror and drama. By now, we have realized that even the most carefully drafted crisis plans are inadequate. And that there is simply no playbook.
The world is at ‘zero distance’ and our true tenacity is coming to fore.
Work @zero distance: Home is the new office and work-life blend is the new reality. The saved time in commute is going straight into stretched hours at work. Everyone seems to be working 2x.
Family @zero distance: The work pressure combined with challenges at home need to managed. On the bright side, we are spending more time with family. Let’s make the best of it, support each other and come out stronger.
Wellbeing @zero distance: Health, immunity, wellness, spirituality – all are imminent priorities today. Never have I seen such a keen interest in yoga and Ayurveda to tap into inner wellbeing. Wellness sessions streaming live, experts and gurus sharing insights, and a growing digital audience – all at zero distance.
Events @zero distance: With prestigious events and popular shows going virtual, our social and business calendars look very different. Would the zero-distance networking help us keep connected in a world devoid of travel and conversations in person?
Entertainment @zero distance: One of the worst hit industries in the current crisis, the road to survival for entertainment seems digital. Big budget movies are premiering on OTT platforms. The digital content consumption understandably has grown in double digits across channels. The show indeed must go on.
Retail @zero distance: One click to everything on a wishlist. The increasingly seamless, interactive and intuitive experience not just takes the hassle out of shopping but even makes it enjoyable within the comfort of home. Prompted by social distancing, direct to consumers to their doorsteps is growing rapidly even among traditional shoppers.
Home dining @zero distance: Recently I had an exclusive dining experience at home, thanks to a five-star hotel chain in Bangalore. It was an amazing service, from food to hospitality–so signature of the brand–but now served right at my dining table. It was the premium hotel brand’s way of ensuring its valued customer does not miss out on the dining experience. Go where the consumer is, did you say?
Healthcare @zero distance: Your doctor will see you now, online. Telemedicine has been around for a while, but it has pivoted with a new sense of urgency. On-demand healthcare is on the rise and so is the transformation through AI-enabled systems and wearable devices. Add predictive healthcare and blockchain electronic health records, and you start to see the picture.
Sports @zero distance: Stadiums might be empty, but the world of e-sports is buzzing with excitement. We are yet to hear the updates for the year from big-ticket sport event organizers but I’ll not be surprised if they check in to digital arenas.
So, there it is. From work to social life to services we rely on, zero distance is reshaping not just our business but life at large.