Where are we after one year since lockdown
Wednesday March 24th, 2021, has completed one year of nationwide Lockdown in India. Many industries witnessed transformation during this one year. With COVID-19 induced lockdown in India, Digital transformation had become the mantra and crisis resistant strategy for all BFSI companies. Organisations have created separate teams, taken quicker decisions and become bolder than before. The country has faced an economic and social crisis like never before. Many individuals and business owners experienced an “income shock” with job and salary cuts becoming the norm.
In the last one year, the industries have seen faster adoption of digitally enabled products. Few industries have witnessed a positive impact on their business and some have lost their business big time. Some focused their energies on crafting solutions such as Video KYC, Remote Assisted digital journeys, using lead & activity management systems etc., which became the need of the hour due to increased demand for digital financial services by businesses and end users alike. At the same time the banking industry saw adoption of Straight Through Processing (STP) for account opening and retail loan products during the lockdown. The nation-wide lockdown put the spotlight on Cloud. Overall, with some hiccups here and there, and learnings, we have come out stronger from the global crisis. COVID-19 pushed us to think differently. Digital will continue to remain the mantra of the post-COVID economy.
A year after the lockdown, the total number of deaths in India has been about 1.6 lakh, with the death rate remaining one of the lowest in the world.
For many industries, this was a transformative year. The entrepreneurial spirit truly came through - with many small, medium and big industries finding their own way to pivot and carve a niche. Healthtech, edtech, fintech, OTT, and foodtech are some of the core sectors to grow at an accelerated pace in the digital startup ecosystem. Whereas travel, tourism, hospitality and related sectors took a direct hit from the chaos that was unleashed globally.
Each one of us would remember the sight of over 10 million migrant workers having to leave their livelihood in urban areas and return to their hometowns and native villages, when the government declared a nation-wide lockdown. While urban India easily switched to teleworking, digital payments, food delivery, e-learning, India’s rural working class was struggling to make ends meet. Rural Fintech and banking correspondents came to the rescue with financial empowerment of the underserved communities during this time. From a developmental perspective, this fast-tracked digitalization of financial services has been an unanticipated blessing for financial inclusion inspite of the disruptions brought about by the pandemic. Moreover, the government has recognised fintech as a critical enabler that can bridge the gap between urban and rural India.
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