We are once again on the throes of the second COVID wave. Do you fear this could once again play spoilsport?
The way cases are rising in India is definitely a concern. But now having seen the movie once, at least we know the movie has an ending in three hours. Of that I am quite confident, especially as the vaccination goes on. My only urge is to know the exact supply of vaccines, etc. But having worked in healthcare for many years prior to Oyo, I know that the segments of population which can get vaccinated at the fastest pace ever seen in human history is something that we can achieve. We are in the middle of elections, and we run the best election process in the whole world. We do not recognize it, but that is true. I think that kind of machinery should be deployed on vaccinations.
What are some of the trends that you would be betting on?
Digitization is a big trend for sure, but let me talk a little about my industry because that is what I understand more than others. We are seeing three or four big trends. One, as soon as COVID comes down, we will see a lot of revenge tourism happen; it is a nice new term coined in southeast Asia. People go out very quickly, so the bounce back is quick and it is very non-seasonal in nature. The second is we will see a number of small vacations; which is people taking two to three days break, 8 to 12 times a year rather than just one or two long breaks. Third is very unique: ‘work from home’ plus ‘school from anywhere’ models allowing vacations while you are living somewhere else.
Those are the trends in our space, but the only other overall trend for the startup ecosystem apart from digitization, which is a massive trend, is ‘work from anywhere’. It has been accepted globally. This will create industries of its own because talent is now borderless in the truest possible sense. This creates a very different labor market globally, which I do not think everybody has grasped yet. Lastly, the amount of climate change data that will get generated during the lockdown, I am sure many scientists and start-up people are starting that for long-term advantages.