1. Dick Bussiere, Technical Director, Tenable APAC
“5G roll-outs in APAC will bring with them an exponential increase in our ability to interconnect intelligent devices reliably and at high speed. This will lead to a rapid acceleration of e-commerce and the emergence of intelligent cities and infrastructures. Within Australia, we also see intelligent devices being connected to utilities – for example, solar cells reporting to the operator how much power they are injecting into the grid. The benefits are very tangible, as are the enhanced risks. 5G increases our dependence on our digital infrastructures, amplifying the negative impact on society when this infrastructure malfunctions or is the victim of a cyberattack. As we embrace 5G, we must also carefully consider the resilience and security of the systems that will utilise this game-changing technology.”
2. Piyush Sharrma, CEO & Co-Founder, Accurics by Tenable
“If a vulnerability is detected while infrastructure is running, that organization is already exposed – even if a patch is applied right away. Now that cloud adoption has rapidly increased and organizations are embracing the flexibility that cloud-native provides, it is vital to find and fix every bug before deployment. By the time software reaches run-time, it’s already too late. That’s why detection will move from reactive to proactive in 2022, as CISOs increasingly recognize that security teams don’t have to wait for infrastructure to be created to discover and mitigate vulnerabilities in code.”
3. Aayur Kaul, Market Head, Skillshare India
“2021 changed the course of education across the world, but it has especially been a year of change for online learning. This year proved that blended learning, video classes, and upskilling are not just temporary trends but will continue to grow and evolve in the years to come. The online learning industry in India is expected to reach US$ 4 billion by 2025. This growth will largely be driven by the rising demand for non-academic classes from tier II & III cities in India. The Indian government’s National Education Policy to calls for mandatory skill development training starting at school level and online learning platforms have a huge opportunity to work towards creating top-of-the-line content for upskilling.
Heading into 2022, community-based learning is expected to grow exponentially as new learners are looking for a sense of community since most people have remained indoors over the last two years. Learners are looking for platforms that help them form a network of peers they can learn from. Besides, thoughtful, creative video-based content and micro-learning are likely to become more popular as millennials and Gen Z are forging the gig economy, making it important to discover inspiration, learn new skills, and put their talents to work in ways they care about. In India particularly, mobile-friendly online learning platforms are expected to grow due to the fast-paced smartphone and internet penetration. The drastic changes over the last two years taught us that lifelong learning and upskilling is crucial, making online learning platforms pivotal to young professionals looking to harness their creativity.”
4. Swarup Bose, Co-Founder and CEO, Celcius
“2021 provided the cold chain industry with the opportunity to grow at a significantly high rate. The APAC cold chain market is predicted to be valued at US$254.90 Billion by 2026 and the Indian cold chain market is predicted to grow 20% each year until 2025. This rapid transformation has enabled cold chain entities to expand their services and to invest in advanced cold chain technologies. In 2022, much of the industry’s efforts and resources will continue to go towards facilitating safe and successful vaccination drives across the country. This will further nudge cold chain businesses to adopt a technology-forward approach, enabling a wider reach of vaccines and other cold chain products across the country. Steady growth of the industry will also invite more investments towards the segment which could go towards curbing the shortage of infrastructures like reefer trucks, cold storage units, and GDP compliant warehouses. The industry could also look into investing in electric vehicles and venturing further in imports and exports to operate on an international level if investments continue to trickle in. At Celcius, we are looking to expand our cold chain network on a larger scale in 2022 and we look forward to teaming up with budding entrepreneurs looking to venture into the cold supply chain sector.”
5. Mr. Subodh Parulekar, CEO & CO-Founder, AFour Technologies
“As the world adjusts to the new normal, businesses are considering digital transformation as a strategic tool to evolve, scale, and adopt agile practices. In the post-COVID era, a significant acceleration of digitalization has been observed, which results in favorable tailwinds for revenue in the current fiscal year and the years to come. A recent study stated that the global digital transformation market size is expected to grow from USD 499.8 billion in 2020 to USD 1009.9 billion by 2025.
This is quite a staggering number, and it shows just how important digitalization is for businesses of all sizes. The next few years will witness emerging technologies – such as 5G, the Internet of Things (IoT), and artificial intelligence – that will play a significant role in shaping our future. At AFour Technologies, we aim to establish dominance in cloud platforms, big data, data analytics, artificial intelligence, machine learning, and next-gen data center technologies. In order to deliver a greater range of offshore services to our clients, we are also focusing on drawing talent from Indian metros and non-metro cities.”
6. Padmakumar Nair, CEO & Co-founder of Ennoventure
“In today’s one-click digital world, consumer behaviour has changed drastically. The vast majority shop online now, even for basic necessities like food and medicines, and brands have amped up their e-commerce presence to meet this need. Consumers themselves are much more savvy, and research products in detail before choosing what to buy. The best way to combat the mounting wave of counterfeiting, therefore, is to empower consumers with the technology they need to check the authenticity of a product at the time of purchase.
At Ennoventure, we help businesses ensure the authenticity of their products. We employ technologies like blockchain, AI, and cryptography to create an encrypted signature on products that are invisible to the naked eye and can only be retrieved using a smartphone. This way, consumers need not worry about fraudulent and potentially harmful products, and brands can rest assured about their market reputation as providers of genuine goods. Measures like these, in addition to stricter guidelines for consumer protection, will rout out counterfeiters and enable brands to compete and flourish in an ethical manner.”
7. Naman Shah, Founder & CEO, NowPurchase
“Since Covid, small businesses have been navigating challenges such as the shipping container crisis, coal shortages, rising raw material prices across industries. Meanwhile, domestic manufacturers are struggling due to skyrocketing steel prices. Although the government’s credit schemes have provided relief to some MSMEs, small businesses are anticipating the Centre to strike a balance on import duties on steel products in the upcoming budget. This will offer some more relief to the sector.
As MSMEs are looking forward to boost their recovery beyond pre-pandemic levels, they are having high hopes from the Union Budget 2022. Out of the many important considerations, one of the most important one for MSMEs is tax compliance, as due to the complexities of regulation, entrepreneurs invariably face delays and lapses in compliance. My suggestion to the government is to rationalise and simplify the rules that have already been agreed upon by industry representatives.
Another important consideration for MSMEs is the restoration of the tax credit for R&D expenditures, as the benefit was 200 percent until 2016-17, when it was reduced to 150 percent. This was valid until April 1, 2020, so we are requesting that it be restored to 200%. Furthermore, given that we are optimising and, in some ways, preparing factories for the future, I believe that any legislation assisting or encouraging factories to invest in technology, as well as government subsidies and incentives, would be extremely beneficial.”
8. Shashank Vashishtha, Executive Director, eXp India
“Despite being a tumultuous year, Indian real estate has witnessed growth in both the residential and commercial segments. With lockdown restrictions easing, and the festival season gaining some sense of normalcy, real estate investments have also seen an increase of over 20% in some cities. This is also spurred on by the low home loan rates, coupled with festival season and year end offers. NRI Investments have also seen an uptick, with Bangalore being the most favoured region, followed by Ahmedabad, Pune, Chennai, Goa, and Delhi.
Year 2022 promises to bring in heightened growth to the sector with the worst of the pandemic behind us. Thanks to PropTech becoming more widely used during the pandemic, investors have discovered the ease and convenience of digital house hunting. This is sure to act as a precedent for a number of new trends in 2022. For instance, we can see an increase in flexible working arrangements, such as hybrid models and hot desks. Real estate agents will also evolve into a more tech savvy workforce, by expanding their skill sets and embracing technology.
eXp Realty met with a warm welcome during our first year of India Operations in India. We have on-boarded over a 1000 agents in less than a year, and this shows that both agents and customers are more open to adopting our virtual and transparent method of transacting. With covid making it difficult for investors to physically see properties and interact with their agents, our virtual office where agents are available anytime and anywhere has accelerated our growth in the market. Not to mention with Facebook announcing it’s Metaverse, virtual reality in professional environments will lead to work models similar to ours becoming more mainstream. Moreover, as one of the most technologically progressive agencies in the country, we are also looking forward to implementing many new PropTech solutions to support our agents with their business in 2022.”
9. Prem Kumar, Founder & CEO, SnapBizz
“2021 has been a year of significant transformation in consumers’ tastes, preferences and buying patterns. With the Coronavirus seemingly under control, thanks to lockdowns and vaccination efforts, this year’s festive season saw some sense of “normalcy”. Shops had an increase in footfall, as compared to the same time last year. There was an increase of 36% in the FMCG sales this year as compared to the last two years. Online shopping continues to be preferred, due to the convenience of shopping and ease of payment.
Approximately, 10 million small kiranas serve the entire population of the country and are the backbone of the retail ecosystem. With consumers having a median basket size of less than ₹200 and shopping for up to 3 to 5 times per week, it has become very important to help these small businesses survive the digitisation era.
The government continues to discourage large gatherings, and festivals as a preemptive measure, so we can expect this trend to carry on well into 2022. On the business front, this has paved the way for even small businesses to make the switch to online payments to limit social contact. This trend will only flourish with digital payments being adopted increasingly by rural sectors, and leading to the “millennial mindset” becoming more prevalent. Furthermore, value based buying will see an increase in 2022.
The financial inclusion of small and medium businesses is led by various fintech companies. Digitising Kiranas have led these small entrepreneurs to be able to reach their customers in a more streamlined and safe manner. SnapBizz, for example, maps store performance indicators like median basket size, footfall, merchandise, stock turnover ratios, profile of shoppers and much more. Tools like this can make it easy for these businesses to strategize and make the most of their transactions. In my opinion, 2022 is sure to see the role of online and digital payments play a crucial role in the marketing success of brands.”
10. Gaurav Burman- VP & APAC President, 75F, India
“As 75F specialises in Smart Building Technology, our IoT solutions focus on employees’ health and safety. This has become a hot topic no doubt in recent times, with the entire world slowly emerging from the pandemic. There is also the need to maintain ambient conditions, most conducive to work, including air, lighting and temperature. Looking back, we see that the entire HVAC industry is undergoing a technological revolution to keep up with the evolving demands of home buyers and builders. New, eco-friendly buildings are being designed to use minimal energy to balance the heat and cold inside the building.
Indoor air quality has become a priority in the Covid era as the risk of catching viruses is particularly high in an enclosed space shared by multiple people. And hence, businesses that are planning to bring back their employees have a clear obligation to safeguard employee well-being by ensuring that indoor air is both clean and optimally balanced for productivity.
Also, this pandemic emerged as the year giving rise to digital transformation across functions including facility management services, regardless of the nature and size of businesses. The main objective of any facility manager is to ensure that the employees are able to work efficiently within the office environment. Tenants are expecting an office environment that gives a connected workplace experience to collaborate with multiple teams. I think Facility management in 2022 will witness trends such as an increased number of shared workplaces and increased adoption of technology to optimize operations and to increase energy efficiency.”
11. Mr. Jose Ramapuram, Director of Marketing, Evolve Back Luxury Resorts
“With the majority of the population being vaccinated and industries returning to normalcy, the hospitality, travel and tourism industries are well equipped for a period of revival. Bringing in the new year, we believe that the worst is behind us, and the sector will witness heightened growth and activity. We have observed that revenge travel and work-from-anywhere culture due to remote work opportunities were emerging trends during the pandemic. Longer stays, a preference for private experiences and an emphasis on sustainable tourism were also more commonplace this year. We foresee these trends to continue into 2022, with rising demand for immersive cultural experiences, a strong focus on wellness during holidays and sustainable tourism. Travel bookings are bound to increase, and we are optimistic that the upcoming years will usher in needed growth and stability. And as always, our team will continue to follow government mandates and guidelines with stringency for the safety of customers and our staff.”
12. Mrs Priya Naik, Founder, Samhita-CGF
“We’ve spent 2021 crafting pathways to prosperity for workers & micro-entrepreneurs by collaborating with companies, multilateral and bi-lateral agencies, foundations, and civil society organisations. We have also been focused on protecting the protectors — healthcare, sanitation and frontline workers. While an immediate need to respond to the crisis brought these diverse partners together, they are now deeply committed to ensuring the recovery, resilience and prosperity of their vulnerable stakeholders. Together, we are all creating a “Better Normal” for our citizens.”- Mrs Priya Naik, Founder, Samhita-CGF
13. Shashank Jain & Rajat Jain, founders of Strawfit (Bourgeon Foods, LLP)
“2021 was certainly a year like never before, but the FMCG sector has seen a significant amount of growth. As compared to the last two years, there was a 36% increase in FMCG sales in 2021. With people becoming more health conscious, products that are easy to prepare, but still healthy saw an increase in demand.
The Food & Beverage industry in 2022 is expected to see a number of positive twists and turns, especially with plant based and immunity boosting foods. “Functional foods” will see a surge, with consumers consciously choosing foods that possess an additional function. This projection is a reason why we, at Strawfit, are optimistic and excited about the months ahead. Our product, with added colostrum, will be considered not just functional, but also a healthy and fun way to drink milk for children.
In this age where transparency in food labels is paramount, the F&B industry is working hard to show consumers they produced the food sustainably and humanely. With industry leaders now more experienced with the customers’ tastes and preferences during the pandemic, the 2022 focus is anticipated to shift towards products that are healthy not just for the consumers, but also for the earth.”