Reactions to Year 2019 by Industry Leaders 

Some say 2019 saw a great rise in the new-age start-ups

Reactions to Year 2019 by Industry Leaders 

The year 2019 is about to end. It was full of happenings and developments on every aspect. Industry leaders from various segments have their own opinion about the outgoing year. For an example some say that 2019 saw a great rise in the new-age startups. Here are the detailed views from some of the industry leaders:

Dipali Mathur Dayal, Co-Founder of Super Smelly - India’s first 100% toxin-free personal care brand for GenZ
“The year 2019 has witnessed customers grow more aware of what their beauty products are made of. They’re no longer buying things off the shelf with a blind eye to the ingredients or to animal and environmental concerns. Thankfully, this consciousness is expanding and evolving in the world of beauty and skincare. The coming year, 2020 already stretches before us against this backdrop. I believe that the trends that will gain unprecedented popularity are anti-pollution skincare, gender-neutral brands, plant-based diets, vegan skincare, sheet masks and Korean skincare regimes and ingredients. Most of these trends are inspired by current needs and the challenges of everyday life, taking skincare to a very real level. And not to forget, responsible.”

Gautam Raj Anand, Founder and CEO of Hubhopper - India's largest podcasting and audio-on-demand platform
"When we look back at the podcast industry in India, 2019 would have been a year that goes down in history. Hubhopper is proud to be a fundamental part of this growth. With the entrance of big players in the market, awareness has finally started growing. Traditional organizations have started building their audio verticals and brands are looking at how to leverage the audio space for marketing and advertising. Individual creators and artists are now able to launch their own audio channels and shows with creator platforms like Hubhopper Studio. In 2019, Hubhopper has integrated with a diverse set of platforms like OEMs, smart speakers, utility apps, AI assistants, in-car entertainment, in-home entertainment, smart TVs, and many more -- bringing a personalized and localized audio experience to all sets of audiences across the nation. 2019 has made it clear that India is rediscovering its love for audio content.
In 2020, the podcast space in India will see the real meaning of the scale. There is going to be an explosion of audio content supply, right from big organizations, enterprises, and brands, down to individual creators and artists. Consumption is going to soar -- with awareness continuing to grow and listeners not just in metro cities, but across Tier 2 and Tier 3 finding localized vernacular content which they can relate to and which is easy to consume. 2020 will democratize audio for all."

Akhand Swaroop Pandit, CEO & Founder, Catalyst Group, Online Learning Platform
“Personalized Learning has been in the education sector for many years now and its popularity keeps growing. But in 2020, we will see increased integration across the globe of personalized learning. EdTech and AI technology has evolved more to cater to personalized learning styles and diverse individual needs. Just in time assessment will assist teachers to intervene at appropriate stages and tailor lesson plans accordingly. Cost Management: With the increased adoption of EdTech in schools, universities and institutes across the world, the administration will have to strategize and plan their investments accordingly. The next few years from 2020 will see significant integration of below technologies:
●             Cloud Based Technologies: Education organisations will aim to leverage benefits of cloud based technologies to drive cost savings and operational efficiencies through shared services initiatives.
●             BlockChain Technology: Education sector will look towards utilizing blockchain technology to cut paper and printing costs by digitally storing student certificates and diplomas, cost and labour savings by transferring the control of storing personal data to the applicants, litigation cost savings due to loss of documents and damage.
Online Education: According to KPMG and Google study, it is predicted that online education in India is likely to be 2 Billion USD industry by 2021. Students are now focusing more on online learning sitting at their home and as quality education at an affordable cost is made available to them through e learning platforms like Catalyst, it is making education accessible to everyone at anywhere, anytime.”

Amol Arora, Vice Chairman and MD, Shemford Group of Futuristic Schools
“The year 2019 saw some major and promising changes in the education sector. Starting from the establishment of the National Research Foundation (NRF), which is helping in creating the right ecosystem for R&D in the country with greater focus on innovation, to the introduction of New National Education Policy, which is transforming India’s higher education system to one of the best around the world, it has been great to see the government taking steps to strengthen the education sector. A humble yet notable announcement was the ‘Study in India’ Programme, which I think holds the potential to put India on the world map. However, we still need a series of fundamental structural reforms that need to be implemented. To cater to the evolving needs of the future workforce, education startups need to be encouraged, especially EdTech. With 2020 just around the corner, we are ready to welcome the New Year with new hopes, new outlook and a new zeal. We are looking forward to create opportunities for budding entrepreneurs to increase the supply of quality schools so that parents have a choice. Our endeavour is to make learning creative, interesting, interactive and engaging in the coming times, through a system of education which is constructive, comprehensive, practical and futuristic.”

Beas Dev Ralhan, Co-founder and CEO, Next Education India Pvt. Ltd
“Technology is one of the biggest factors impacting the Indian education scenario today. We see it in the form of digital content and classrooms, online assessments and cloud-based platforms, augmented by the exponentially growing Internet and smartphone penetration. This integration of technology in education, which is giving impetus to initiatives such as online teacher training and integrated learning, is expected to continue at a fast pace throughout the country.  These initiatives have facilitated the popularity of new-age pedagogies, empowering students with self-learning abilities through e-learning tools as well as the adoption of experiential learning solutions for a holistic learning experience. Some of the practices that are revolutionizing the Indian education system currently and will continue to do so are as follows. Experiential learning techniques: Experiential learning is being implemented in India in the form of virtual labs, social media platforms, virtual and augmented reality tools, and gamification of learning. This form of learning enables students to be actively involved in defining problems, asking questions, experimenting, analyzing results and constructing meaning. Furthermore, it provides an immersive, real-life experience, and is effective in maximizing student motivation and engagement while developing and instilling in them 21st-century skills, such as communication, collaboration, and creativity. Artificial intelligence and cloud computing: AI has made considerable inroads in education across the world, and India, as one of the leading developing nations, is no exception. Some of the key challenges faced in the education sector in India is the all-round management of schools, streamlining of assessments and implementation of personalized learning. AI, along with cloud technology, is helping overcome these challenges with online data management and adaptive learning techniques, providing means to successfully personalize education in the country.”

Surajit Das, CEO, Routematic , one-stop automated solution for employee commute
“Over the last decade we have seen rapid adoption of urban mobility technologies in the daily office commute market. From simple GPS based vehicle tracking systems, corporates graduated to workflow-based transport management systems which offer transport process digitization and automation and then to sophisticated AI based transport management systems like Routematic which deliver route optimization, accurate travel time predictions and commuter safety shields. Office commuters today carry feature rich apps like Routematic to manage their daily commute. The transport management systems which came up in the last decade focussed largely on the demand i.e. technologies which focussed primarily on catering to the needs of the corporate and its employees but stopped short of innovating for the supply chain which is the most crucial component of the ecosystem. The supply chain in the daily office commute market continues to be fragmented and relatively non-tech. The only bits of technology introduced into the supply chain are basic GPS tracking and at best a mobile app for digital display of trips.  In 2020 we expect supply chain technologies to play a big role in changing the face of the daily office commute market where Routematic is expected to lead the way. The supply chain innovations around predictive vehicle positioning, automated dispatch will be based on a city planning model and will deliver the benefits of better vehicle utilization, city decongestion and reduction of our carbon footprint. We also expect that the daily office commute market will lead the adoption of Electric vehicles in the country and this will be made possible by deep learning algorithms which take vehicle dispatch decisions based on range, charging infrastructure availability and expected future demand into the day. “

Ravinder Singh, Founding Director, 1-India Family Mart (India’s fastest growing value retail chain)
“Retailing in India has emerged as one of the most vigorous and fast-paced industries after travelling through different phases over the years. In fact, the country today is the fifth largest preferred retail destination globally and embraces a very strong position as far as its market potential is concerned. Retailers are consistently trying to tap the gravity of this potential by using the latest technologies along with new generation tools like data analytics, social commerce, CRM solutions, etc. which form the backbone of modern retailing. Bolstered by healthy economic growth, changing demographics, increasing disposable incomes, urbanisation, changing consumer tastes and preferences, and higher consumer confidence, year 2019 experienced strong retail sales. While traditional and unorganised retail formats continue to dominate the retail market, organized retail is growing at a faster pace driven by technology intervention. The industry is now expected to reach US$ 1400 billion by FY 2024 from US$ 790 billion in FY 2019, growing at a CAGR of 12 percent.”

Hitesh Rathi, Founder, Aadvik Foods - India's first camel milk brand
"Dairy industry in 2019 saw a great rise in the new-age startups. A lot of new concepts and technologies were introduced this year. A lot of startups selling fresh cow milk to goat milk to camel milk have been revolutionizing the dairy industry for the past few years, 2019 is the epitome of the same. Milk delivery startups also had a roller coaster ride this year. There is a lot of hope for the dairy industry for the next year as consumers are becoming more quality-sensitive and tech-savvy with every passing day and with the advent of new technologies and more internet penetration across the country, even the dairy companies will improve to match up the consumers' expectations."


Khetsi Barot, Director, The Guardians Real Estate Advisory

‘’The larger challenge facing the economy today is demand creation. We are observing that the high transaction and borrowing cost for homebuyers has continued to pinch the developers in under-construction properties, especially the premium and luxury housing segment. A temporary suspension of GST or introduction of 1% GST for under-construction properties across product classes would help reduce the transaction cost for the homebuyers and would boost the much-needed demand in the market. The real estate market of India in 2020, will see a multifold increase in the number of residential projects in the affordable, small & mid-size home segments. These projects will deliver well both in terms of price realisation as well as the sales velocity. The focus for all developers and the community at large needs to be on project completion and timely delivery. It has become imperative for all developers to consolidate their project portfolios before eyeing further expansion.’’

Ketan Musale, Director, Dotom Realty
‘’With a large number of global and domestic institutional investors, India is moving closer towards becoming an organized sector. The real estate segment was backed by several government initiatives to promote housing, leading to a marginal increase in supply. Today, the customers are willing to opt for residences with a wide range of luxury amenities at affordable prices. Also, the developers are altering their business strategy by looking to clear the inventories rather than hanging in and waiting for the prices to increase. The growing demand for 1 BHK studio apartments will continue to capture the market in 2020. Developers are expected to invest in the latest construction technology in the coming years to ensure timely completion of their projects that will meet international standards.’’    


Deepak Nair, Head-Marketing, JP Infra Mumbai Pvt. Ltd
“Trends seen in 2019: One of the starkest trends has been the gradual shift towards integrated residential properties in gated communities that offer an array of lifestyle amenities. This has happened because of a couple of reasons, primarily the increasing level of exclusivity and convenience these projects offer. This, combined with the prevalent affordable housing movement, has made available to customers a growing inventory of homes that combine the advantages of affordable homes and gated living. The trend has entered a virtuous cycle, where rising demand has fuelled more residential projects, which in turn keep the trend alive. 
The other dominant trend has been the liquidity crunch in non-banking finance (NBFC) and housing finance (HFC) sectors, which is putting stress on the supply side dynamics. The 25000 crore fund the government has established is a part of the remedy, and should infuse badly-needed liquidity in the industry and restart stalled housing projects. 
Way Forward:
I believe developers can aid the situation by providing timely and honest appraisals of the market conditions. The government too can help, by providing incentives to corporates venturing out into peripheral areas, where the majority of the affordable housing stock is required. Not only would this improve productivity, but also would renew the industry’s appetite for investment and risk thereby creating myriad opportunities along the way. The Real Estate sector is one of the biggest contributors to GDP and certainly one of the biggest employment generators. All it needs is a little positive momentum!
All our professional credibility is linked to the quality of the final delivery. Developers should focus on delivering projects within the stipulated time frame. The moment they fail to do that, whether it is because of legal challenges or financial obstacles, consumer trust is irretrievably lost. This doesn’t just affect the guilty brand, but spoils the reputation of the entire industry. We have to do all we can to retain our consumers’ trust, which also involves regular and clear communication.”

Anuj Khetan, Director, Vijay Khetan Group
‘’The year 2019 has been a roller coaster ride for the realty sector with the developers understanding the preferences of the homebuyers and altering the supply accordingly. The metropolitan and large cities in India have several real estate micro-markets that are reasonably priced and offer good returns for end-users and investors alike. The Co-living and rental apartment in Mumbai is in demand for evolved housing solutions coming from millennials, students and young working professionals. Therefore, such trends will remain the flavour of the season for next few years to come. Speaking of Mumbai MMR, extended Western Suburbs such as Andheri, Jogeshwari, Dahisar, Kandivali, and Borivali saw the maximum influx of new projects. While in H1 2019, ready-to-move-in units ruled the sector, the second half of the year saw under-construction units driving the market. However, homebuyers’ preference experienced a significant shift in Mumbai. However, we expect 2020 to be more stable and propel real estate growth. We anticipate that gradual recovery will speed up with more fence-sitters converting into actual buyers.’’