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How has COVID-19 affected our trends of the 2020’s?

In January this year we had looked at the trends that will shape and define the 2020’s.

At that time, while the cases of COVID-19 were starting to pile up in China, there was no global contagion and it was far from becoming a pandemic. Now that we are faced with a pandemic and the rules of engagement as far as business organizations as far as business organizations are concerned have changed, we decided to take a re-look at the trends we had published earlier in the year and see if there is any material change in any of them due to the current COVID-19 pandemic. In this article we will examine the first 4 trends, which are:

1. Automation will go beyond just simple machines (RPA)

2. Nature is going to find its way back in our lives (Bioeconomy)

3. and 4. Our consumption patterns are changing to ensure we take care of mind and bodies (Plant-based-eating and Self-care)

We feel that the impact on most of the above trends is going to be minimal. While there will be temporary shocks, they will not be able to displace the mega-trends. Below is our opinion on whether the pandemic can catalyze these trends or halt them.

Trend 1 – Automation will go beyond just simple machines: This trend will strengthen now since organizations are already starting to look at ways to optimize their operating models. All organizations, large or small are having a relook at their structures and processes in order to eliminate inefficiencies. There are various organizations that have let go of astounding number of employees in order to reduce the financial burden in times when revenues have more or less stagnated or dried up. As social distancing at the workplace becomes a necessity and rotating of work force is the norm, RPA based reduction in production times can go a long way to match production demands with a leaner workforce thereby minimizing supply shocks.

Trend 2 – Nature is going to find its way back in our lives: The bioeconomy is here to stay. It is resistant to the pandemic since the underlying fundamentals do not change. The impact of the bioeconomy on the world does not diminish due to the current pandemic, if anything it makes it more important to find environment-friendly alternatives to the materials that have slowly been consuming the earth. However, the pandemic has led to a cut in all R&D expenses not related to things directly related to the cure and prevention of the coronavirus. This is definitely going to lead to delays and slow-downs on the research being done in the bio-materials space and thereby delaying their commercial application and adoption.

Trend 3 and 4 – Our consumption patterns are changing to ensure we take care of our minds and bodies: These trends are already getting a positive push during the pandemic. Being socially isolated and focusing on the internal while working or being at home has led to everyone focusing on their health and well-being. Boosting personal immunity is high on everyone’s priority list at the moment and that has catalyzed this trend significantly. There is greater focus on consuming higher quality and better ingredients, there is a lot of interest in alternate ways to stay fit and overall well-being. A lot of literature on the internet has been dedicated to mental as well as physical well-being and it is being consumed at a much higher rate now than ever before. Even social media is filled with influencers who are focusing on how to stay well. Thus, there is a stronger push for plant-based eating and self-care.

Our opinion on the impact of the COVID-19 pandemic on the other 4 trends will be highlighted in a separate article.

Thanks for reading and reach out to us so that we can help your business transform to survive the current situation and strive in the post pandemic world.

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