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5 Business Trends for 2021 That Will Continue in the Future

Debayan Ganguly (Dev Ayan) is an MBA with 2 years of experience in B2B sales. He likes to share his learnings through blogs and videos.

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Introduction

The coronavirus pandemic is going to leave a lasting impression on the way the world functions and behaves. In the Business Ecosystem, too, we have seen many trends emerge, and some die down. At the same time, medical and personal hygiene grew their market, the travel and tourism industry suffered a low turnover.

As humans, we have become aware of our health, realised the importance of spending time with families, had time to explore ourselves, and undertaken many personal development activities. These changes will now impact the way we think and behave in a particular environment and how these changes have changed the economy and markets. Many studies have shown that a few of these business trends seen in 2021 are going to stay.

Now, like me, if you are wondering where the opportunities may lie for you and what you should expect from these trends, here are the trends you need to be aware of:

  • 1. Online and Remote Work will Continue
  • 2. Many Small Businesses and Startups will Emerge.
  • 3. Employment in Tier II and III Cities will Increase
  • 4. Education will Diversify from Common Degrees to Need-Based Learning
  • 5. Faster Technology Adoption Across Domains Will be Seen


Online and Remote Work will Continue

Even as the economy opens up and the restrictions are getting eased, the workers would still prefer working from home. A May study conducted in the US with 1000 respondents revealed that 39% would rather quit their job than move back to the office. Another report by McKinsey states that in future, remote or hybrid working would continue. A detailed summary of the report is linked at the bottom.

People have learnt the comfort of working from home and would like to continue, thus saving time from commuting to and fro the workplace. Working remotely has also helped people spend time with their family, and with the time they saved, they can spend on learning and developing themselves.

The companies, too, saw increased productivity from employees working from home. As most office communications, meetings, and delegation can be done online with convenience; these trends will be the most proffered options for both the companies and employees.

Jobs that require physical proximity like warehousing, delivery, manufacturing, beauty and personal care, nursing would have employees present on the field. But the data collection, monitoring, and support could be provided online. So even in places where personnel need to be present physically, the entire business operation will not be offline. There will be hybrid working with a mix of inline and in-office working.

The trend of working from home will continue.

Many Small Businesses and Start-ups will Emerge

Adversity opens doors for Introspection - APJ Abdul Kalam.

As pandemic closed doors for many businesses, it created avenues in sectors with slow or no growth earlier. Many small and local businesses had emerged seeing this opportunity, and even the existing ones have been slowly shifting their offering to the more attractive ones.

In 2020, start-ups like Unacademy, RazorPay, Pine Labs, Nykaa, Zerodha etc., became unicorns. Their success gives a positive outlook about the investors' willingness to invest and the potential market for successful startups, and budding entrepreneurs are now more than ever encouraged to take the start-up route.

Historically, every economic crash and recession have led to the emergence of new businesses. We can expect the same from the 2020 pandemic too. We have seen many start-ups and entrepreneurship coaches come to the forefront and teach doing business. This means there is a market for bussing entrepreneurs. Even if a fraction of them succeed, the number of new businesses will be huge.

So, the startup ecosystem, especially in an unexplored market like India's, will rise in volume and value with more investments pushed into it. The business trend of rising and growth of startups is likely to continue with people taking up entrepreneurship experiments and some even tasting success.

Employment in Tier II and III Cities will Increase

McKinsey Global Institute's report in February 2020 states that the world will see a 'reverse migration' into tier I and II cities.

With more and more people doing their jobs online, it doesn't make sense for them to live away from their hometown in a costly metro city. The cost of living is higher, and because they no longer need to stay near the office, they would prefer to reside in places where the rents and property rates are cheaper.

The reverse migration will boost the local economy with an increase in demand and a rise in population. Technology and advancement would no longer be restricted to the big towns. Opportunites will grow in previously ignored locations, leading to an inclusive economy for everyone.

Education will Diversify from Common Degrees to Need Based Learning

Conventional Education, which was considered the backbone of a secured career, is now being questioned. With many EdTechs exploring untapped markets in the education sector, many need-based and job-specific courses have seen a rise in demand. Today any expert in any field can share their knowledge with the people willing to learn.

Learning platforms like Udemu, Unacademy, Skillshare, Masterclass have seen a rise in the numbers of both teachers and students. They teach from coding to acting, data analytics to sports. Everything can be learnt online. Many knowledge sharing YouTubers, too, have come up spreading knowledge.

Education or certification has never been this accessible before. Now that professionals have a lot of free time, they are willing to expand themselves in the career of their choice. Some are even taking up skill development courses like painting and stand-up comedy to pursue their passion.

Education is a growing sector. Educators and students are coming forward and taking courses to fulfil their personal and professional needs. The entry barriers in the market are shattered. Anyone willing to learn can learn. Experts have become more approachable now. I have been taking up courses in the digital marketing domain and have had the opportunity to learn from experts and successful digital marketers.

This trend democratises education will increase in the future with more and more people coming in.



Faster Technology Adoption Across Domains Will be Seen

Companies have been investing in developing their IT infrastructure to support remote working. Also, companies across domains have been exploring futuristic technologies of Augmented and Mixed Reality for their manufacturing and marketing processes. Artificial Intelligence and Machine Learning have been well threaded into the strategic decision of businesses.

With the development of IT infrastructures, employees will be able to function remotely without any significant adjustments. Also, keeping track of the progress, conduct meetings, etc., will be done seamlessly.

Artificial Intelligence and Machine Learning give an edge and surety to business decisions, and people can have a clear picture of the future based on past data. With the data in hand, the employees can now focus on their decision-making skills instead of spending time on analyses.

Augmented Reality and Mixed Reality can be exploited in many ways from warehousing, quality control, remote monitoring, training and development, marketing, enhancing consumer experience through ramifications and much more.

These tech adoptions have penetrated businesses faster and will likely see an upward trend in the future.

Conclusion

I have tried to identify a few of the key trends and gave my opinion on them. One thing is common in all the trends - they make human lives better and leads to an inclusive economy.

Online work gives more flexibility and comfort to the employees, and they can develop themselves, locations based restrictions will not come in the way of their successes. People will be encouraged to begin their ventures towards financial liberty and explore their entrepreneurial side. The local economy in Tier I and Tier II cities will increase, and the employable youth will no longer have to migrate to bigger cities and burn their pockets trying to adjust to an alien environment. Education will become more accessible for everyone, and college entrances will not define the students' skill set. They can take up any courses of their liking and at any time. Technology adoption has always resulted in the benefit of humankind. With faster technology adoption, the workers will significantly impact the businesses than doing mundane work.

There could be many more trends that will sprout in the coming years. However, businesses and leaders have to take care of certain things for their employees and ensure the transitions are done smoothly without collateral damage. I will address this issue in my next article.


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Continue reading: What Leaders Must Focus on For a Better Economy

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This content reflects the personal opinions of the author. It is accurate and true to the best of the author’s knowledge and should not be substituted for impartial fact or advice in legal, political, or personal matters.

© 2021 Debayan Ganguly

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