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The New Era of Consumer Culture How D2C Founders Are Adapting Their Business To Meet Customers Where They Are Now and Where They Will Be Tomorrow

By Ritu Marya

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Nir Ayal has said "People don't want something truly new. They want the familiar done differently." New-age consumer brands have disrupted the retail market on this very mindset packaged with an omnichannel equation and combined with their unique blend of price, product innovation, and consumer experience. The inclusion of data on the whole — from anywhere and in real-time — has helped the brands make better, more informed judgments.

The culmination of technology and commerce with advanced systems such as artificial intelligence and machine learning, which can detect patterns that human logic may miss, has brought faster decisionmaking across the entire value chain. Additionally, the increasing focus on a contentfirst approach for customer engagement has brought more control over output. If consumer data is the new oil, the consumer is the ecosystem's North Star and then retail, no matter how you slice it, revolves around the consumer.

Our Makers Co issue is focused on new-age brands, showcasing decisionmakers who are growing, transforming, innovating, and therefore tilting the brand ecosystem in India. They are young, hyper-focused, and with their intellectual energy are gunning for the TAM of 759 million Indian active Internet users to shift towards new-age commerce. The founders are brandobsessed from day 0 and are always looking at the bigger picture, both qualitatively by enabling a real impact on lives, and quantitatively, in terms of scale. Whether it is a revolutionary subscription model or social commerce, video-based selling, storytelling, or memorable branded experience, the Makers are one step up from their industrial counterparts who are also fast catching on to the D2C moment.

The D2C opportunity is so lucrative as we also share in this issue how traditional FMCG companies such as Dabur, ITC, Marico, Wipro and Parle Agro are also trying their luck in the space either by acquisitions or starting their own digital-first brands.

Sustainbility has become paramount in today's world. The outright need to adopt sustainable practices and products has become a priority for all size of businessess. And in recent times, seaweed has emerged as a strong candidate to make our daily products more sustainable and eco-friendly. We look into various use cases of seaweed.

The issue also looks at new regulations brought in by the Government for the online gaming sector. Under these regulations, online real money games that involve betting or wagering have been prohibited. And the government will be notifying three new self-regulatory organisations (SROs) to approve the games that can operate in the country.

Does it indicate a new dawn for real money games? The issue dives deeper to find out what steps companies are taking up besides news rules to protect consumer interest in the wake of reports of people getting addicted to such games and losing their financial savings. What are the Markets telling you today? We turn our focus toward the amended Finance Bill that has taken away the indexation benefit enjoyed by debt mutual funds for quite a long time. The story evaluates if they are still a good investment option in the debt category.

Ritu Marya

Editor-in-Chief, Entrepreneur Media (APAC & India)

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