10 Years Challenge: How Startups Have Changed the Daily Lives of Individuals
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Just like flip phones turned into smartphones, and personal computers turned into tablets, technological intervention over the past 10 years has rendered several industries just about unrecognizable. However, the widespread disruption and transformation have only been for the better, as human life has become simpler and much more convenient since 2009.
The startup industry, which is scaling fast in India, has been the prime disruptor in India’s business landscape. Innovative startups have established their leadership across industries, transforming services and day to day activities. The following is an account of the industries that have transitioned through technology over the past 10 years
According to a recent KPMG and FICCI report - 'Expedition 3.0: Travel and hospitality went digital', the online travel booking industry is set to reach a whopping INR 262.57 crore by 2021. While online hotel booking has been around for a while, the process is more streamlined and technologically advanced in 2019. Through technologies such as Artificial Intelligence (AI) and Machine Learning, hotel booking websites such as Cleartrip and GoIbibo are able to find the most suitable hotels that fall perfectly into the budget preferences of customers in a matter of seconds. Customers can also choose the minutest details pertaining to hotels from their location to the menu before zeroing in on the hotel of their choice. Furthermore, online travel agencies (OTAs) are able to leverage big data analytics to offer tailor-made recommendations to customers searching for hotels online. Leading OTAs also allow instant price comparison, making it easy for customers to make smart decisions.
Sharing economy is a concept that has gained massive scale in the country. As collaborative consumption becomes the new normal, gone are the days when individuals needed to invest loads of money in personal vehicles to get around. In 2019, the new mantra is to rent vehicles and pay only for your total usage. Startups such as Avis and Zoomcar offer convenient mobility options and freedom from the hassles of owning a car. These startups also offer several perks such as free fuel and a wide range of cars to choose from. Individuals can book their preferred vehicle in just a few seconds using their mobile device at affordable prices.
With excessive traffic on the roads and erratic public transport infrastructure in India, employee commute poses as a huge hassle for working professionals as well as organizations. Earlier, corporates ended up paying huge sums of money to unregulated transportation companies with unregistered and unreliable drivers. Today, startups provide seamless transportation options to corporates. Leading employee commute services offer professional drivers with background checks in place. Moreover, using technology such as AI and data analytics, these startups predict the traffic and shortest routes to take in order to chart the quickest journey to and from work. These startups that make for quicker, more efficient commutes boost employee morale and productivity. Furthermore, they also have efficient and streamlined billing services which allow corporates to reduce their employee commute spends.
According to a report by IBEF, the e-commerce sector in India is poised to reach USD 120 billion by 2020. The rapid growth of online shopping can be attributed to the changing lifestyles and heavy discounting offered by leading online shopping portals. E-commerce platforms such as Amazon, Flipkart, Snapdeal, BigBasket and Jabong have ensured ease of shopping across categories including fashion, groceries, electronics and more. Products in mint condition are now delivered to the doorsteps of individuals at discounted prices. Thanks to these online stores, schlepping from store to store and standing in queues is now an outdated method of shopping. Furthermore, e-commerce stores have also given a significant push to digital payment methods, another sign of rapid development of the country’s economy.
An important contributor to this transformation across industries is the rapid rise in the Indian middle class. As lifestyles evolve and purchasing power rises, people are looking for technologies that make their lives easier and more convenient. They are willing to pay a bit extra for services that complement their transitioning lifestyles. It is amazing to compare the picture of technology in 2009 and in 2019. Even more exciting is the transformation that is yet to occur over the next ten years thanks to accelerated technological intervention. To view that picture, will just have to wait with bated breath till 2029!