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Easy workplace travel business and economy 2024

workplace travel business and economy

Changes coming in workplace travel business and economy Looking ahead to 2024, the year saw a significant shift from the pandemic-free environment of the previous year, with the emergence of concerns reminiscent of early 2023. The era of working from home has come to an end, giving way to a resurgence of office-based work. Short travel trips and a trend towards shorter shorts are becoming popular.

Many startups are working hard to establish their presence in the market. The regulation of AI is becoming a focal point. In the crypto world, hope is emerging as a new form of currency. Being untrendy might ironically become the latest trend.

WORKPLACE IN: Work From Office

Changes coming in workplace travel business and economy Initially, employers offered incentives, but now they are resorting to more forceful measures. In the ongoing struggle between employers and employees to return to the office amidst the pandemic, it seems that 2024 will be the year when employers assert their dominance.

The indications are clear. In 2021, IT giant TCS announced its intention to have only 25% of its staff present in the office at any given time. By the end of 2023, the company aimed to have most of its employees back in the office. Infosys is also planning to mandate at least three days of in-office work. This trend is mirrored across various sectors. With more companies urging employees to return to the office, occupancy levels are expected to rise, according to real estate consultancy Anarock. It anticipates increased activity in office leasing in the latter half of 2024.

OUT: Remote Working, Attrition

 

Changes coming in workplace travel business and economy If you had aspirations of utilising a nomad visa and embracing the “work from anywhere” lifestyle, 2024 might not be the ideal time to embark on that journey. As employers compete to bring their staff back to the office, it appears that remote working, as we previously knew it, may be nearing its end. In 2023, even Google made a firm statement about discontinuing its remote work policy.

While some companies may adopt hybrid work models requiring employees to be present in the office for at least a few days a week, the days of working for extended periods from exotic locations like the beaches of Bali or the hills of Kumaon, or even one’s hometown, seem unlikely to return. With the job market shifting in favor of employers, attrition rates are also expected to be low as employees hold onto their current positions.

TRAVEL

IN: Visa-Free Countries, Multiple Short Vacations

Changes coming in workplace travel business and economy In response to the increased interest in travel to visa-free countries and multiple short vacations, travel companies have noted a surge in trips to destinations like Malaysia, Thailand, Sri Lanka, and now Kenya, which has announced visa-free entry for all international visitors starting January 2024. There’s also a growing trend of travelers exploring unique destinations such as Antarctica, the Arctic, and Greenland, facilitated by direct flights and the removal of visa-related barriers.

Additionally, leading travel agents anticipate a rise in demand for higher value packages to destinations like Europe and the US. This increase in travel interest has led to a significant growth in travel loans, with volumes on loans applied/disbursed experiencing a surge of over 200% post-pandemic, according to Thomas Cook and SOTC Travel.

Changes coming in workplace travel business and economy
Changes coming in workplace travel business and economy

OUT: Low Fares, Big Annual Holiday

 

The traditional concept of one big annual holiday is fading away, along with the era of consistently low airfares. Instead, families are now opting to travel together to capture unique experiences in unconventional locations. Both domestic and international travel are expected to thrive, according to travel operators, as the Indian traveler’s mindset has shifted from saving to spending. This change in consumer behaviour is supported by the easy availability of travel loans.

 

STARTUP FUNDING

IN: Business Fundamentals, Profitability

 

Investment in Indian startups dropped to approximately $9 billion in 2023, marking a seven-year low. This slowdown in deal activity is anticipated to continue into the early months of 2024 due to a global macroeconomic correction taking place. As startups face dwindling reserves, many are likely to experience valuation markdowns, a scenario that was largely avoided in 2023.

The year saw a notable number of startups either shutting down operations or being acquired. This trend of correction is expected to amplify in 2024, leading to an increase in fire sales and distressed deals. Amidst these shifts, there will be a heightened focus on business fundamentals, profitability, and corporate governance. This emphasis is particularly crucial in light of several incidents of financial mismanagement in the startup sector.

 

OUT: High-Burn Businesses, SaaS Valuations

 

According to a senior executive at an investment bank, 2024 could mark the end of extravagant valuations for SaaS startups. The appetite among venture funds for high-burn businesses to drive growth may also diminish. Notably, key supporters of the Indian tech ecosystem, such as Tiger Global and SoftBank, were inactive in 2023. A senior investor at a venture fund finds it intriguing to see if and how they stage a comeback.

 

AUTO IN: Hybrid Supremacy

 

Despite the ongoing popularity of SUVs, 2024 is shaping up to be the year of hybrids, surpassing electric vehicles in consumer interest. As a result, several car manufacturers are preparing to introduce new hybrid models to the market. Key features that consumers will prioritise include navigation systems, in-car entertainment, and safety alerts. Safety features such as airbags, ABS, and stability control are also in high demand.

Many buyers are now prioritising the overall experience over price, showing a willingness to pay a premium for features, reliability, and after-sales service. According to consultancy firm Jato Dynamics, new players with innovative offerings are poised to disrupt the market. Passenger vehicle sales in India have been steadily growing since FY22, and this trend is expected to continue, with projected growth rates of 6-8% for the current fiscal year. This growth is driven by increasing disposable incomes and a low penetration ratio in the market.

 

OUT: Compact Cars

 

The once-dominant segments of hatchbacks and sedans are now encountering challenges, with their sales on a downward trend. Previously, hatchbacks played a pivotal role in driving the passenger vehicle industry, but factors such as unfavorable rural sentiments, increasing manufacturing costs, lower profit margins, and regulatory changes have deterred automakers from focusing on them.

Additionally, stricter emission norms have led to a decline in demand for diesel vehicles, with the market for used diesel cars expected to further decrease. Manual car variants are becoming less common, catering primarily to budget-conscious buyers, while automatic transmissions are gaining broader acceptance among consumers.

 

ECONOMY IN: Electronics Exports

 

Fueled by the widespread adoption of smartphones, India’s electronics exports experienced a significant upsurge in 2023, a trend expected to solidify in 2024. The coming year may showcase how India’s manufacturing resurgence could be spearheaded by unexpected contenders, such as Make-in-India iPhones and other high-end electronic products. Moreover, there is a noticeable trend of declining imports of electronic items.

While the production-linked incentive scheme remains an attractive proposition for global investors, there is also a push factor as multinational corporations seek resilient supply chains. Both these factors are poised to bolster India’s manufacturing sector, particularly in high-tech segments like electronics.

OUT: Supply Chain Stability

Amidst ongoing global geopolitical uncertainties, it’s unlikely that the turbulence will subside in 2024. The most optimistic outlook for businesses is that volatility will stabilise at today’s elevated levels. Supply chain stability is becoming a thing of the past, with the focus shifting towards supply chain resilience and intelligent sourcing.

India, heavily reliant on imports for 85% of its crude oil needs, has showcased resilience by seizing discounted Russian crude following the Ukraine attack. Additionally, India, the US, and 12 other nations in the Indo-Pacific Economic Framework bloc recently signed a supply chain resilience agreement, aimed at reducing dependence on China. In 2024, success will favour nations and businesses capable and willing to absorb shocks, rather than those resistant to change.

RETAIL

IN: High-end Buys

Whether you’ll shop till you drop in 2024 depends on your income category. The trend of high demand for premium items is expected to persist, while inflation may dampen demand in other segments.

Consumer goods companies anticipate a rebound in demand only in the April-June quarter of 2024. Premium smartphones, particularly those priced at Rs 1 lakh or more, are likely to continue performing well, especially with iPhone upgraders in the spotlight.

Brands will target Gen Z customers with dedicated online categories, campaigns, and other initiatives. Additionally, brands are also considering Gen Alpha, although it may be some time before they have their own spending power; however, these digital natives could influence their parents’ purchasing decisions. Live commerce will also continue to be an area of experimentation for brands.

OUT: Rural Booster

In offline retail, the focus on Bharat vs India will likely be delayed until rural and semi-urban markets recover and inflation subsides. Changes coming in workplace travel business and economy It will also hinge on the success of the rabi season and whether adverse weather conditions impact it. In online retail, the enthusiasm for quick commerce may be slightly dampened with Dunzo facing financial difficulties.

The sustainability of ecommerce rollup firms will be closely monitored, especially after category pioneer Thrasio filed for bankruptcy. While one might hope for a shift away from fast fashion and conspicuous consumption due to climate change concerns, it’s unlikely to materialise.

FASHION

IN: Shorter Shorts, Thinner Ties

In 2024, men’s fashion is all about thigh-skimming shorts, with big names like Louis Vuitton, Prada, and Burberry embracing the trend. On the other hand, women’s shorts are pushing boundaries with bedazzled knickers, reflecting the rise of innerwear as outerwear, a trend first seen on the Miu Miu runway. Fashion from the 70s, 90s, and Y2K era will remain prevalent, with baggy jeans and chunky shoes leading the way.

Despite the pandemic prompting a shift away from overly formal wear, ties are making a comeback for both men and women, particularly slim, preppy, black ties. Gender-bending fashion trends will also make a splash in 2024, emphasizing equal opportunities in fashion. Expect to see animal prints, crochet, sequins, and sleeveless vests making waves in men’s wear.

OUT: Uncomfortable Everything

Say goodbye to the ubiquitous khaki three-fourths worn by dads everywhere. Changes coming in workplace travel business and economy Instead, opt to pack them away or better yet, give them away. In formal wear for men, super slim suits will be replaced by double-breasted jackets and loose silhouettes, prioritising comfort with a sophisticated edge.

Bold prints showcasing individual personalities are no longer in vogue (apologies to sailboat aficionados). Uncomfortable footwear and nonfunctional bags are also on their way out.

STOCK MARKETS

In 2024, three sectors are likely to outperform in the stock markets:

Capital Goods: Positive momentum is anticipated in the capital goods segment, propelled by government efforts to boost capital expenditure. This will drive growth in an economy where existing capacities are beginning to reach their limits.

Financial: The financial sector is poised for substantial growth, primarily due to the significant expansion of the savings pool. This growth will benefit various entities including banks, mutual funds, broking firms, asset management companies, and insurance providers.

Automobile: The Indian automotive industry is expected to experience growth driven by favourable government policies, increasing incomes, and rising customer demand. These factors will contribute to the sector’s outperformance in the stock markets.

In 2024, three sectors are likely to underperform in the stock markets:

  • FMCG (Fast Moving Consumer Goods): The FMCG sector may see underperformance due to slower-than-expected growth in the rural economy, leading to a lack of visible volume growth. Additionally, input costs have not decreased significantly, maintaining pressure on margins.
  • Consumer Durables: Margins in the consumer durables sector are subdued, despite channel incentives aimed at boosting sales. However, volumes have not seen substantial growth, and some stocks in this space are still trading at higher multiples, indicating potential challenges ahead.
  • Chemicals: Competition from China is expected to constrain the growth of players in the chemicals manufacturing industry in the near term. This competitive pressure may lead to underperformance in the sector.

SPORTS IN: Anticipation

Changes coming in workplace travel business and economy As we enter 2024, there are significant questions looming over Indian wrestling. The sport faced turmoil in 2023 with wrestlers demanding an investigation into alleged sexual harassment by the then Wrestling Federation of India (WFI) chief, Brij Bhushan Singh. After Sanjay Singh, believed to be a close aide of the former chief, was elected as the new president of WFI, Olympic medallist Sakshi Malik announced her retirement from the sport, and Bajrang Punia relinquished his Padma Shri. Although the sports ministry has suspended WFI, uncertainties persist.

The key questions revolve around how sexual harassment will be addressed in sports and whether Malik will return to wrestling. Changes coming in workplace travel business and economy Additionally, 2024 marks the year of the Paris Olympics, with over 40 Indians having already qualified. In August, we will discover if they can surpass India’s medal tally from Tokyo 2020, which was the country’s best yet.

OUT: Male Skew in Cricket

The success of the inaugural Women’s Premier League (WPL) has challenged the traditional male-dominated image of cricket. Changes coming in workplace travel business and economy With giant outdoor ads featuring top female cricketers and impressive turnout for matches, even on weekdays, the league has made significant strides.

A recent Deloitte Insights report highlights the financial impact, noting that for the first season of WPL, five teams were sold for $572 million, averaging $114 million per team. Additionally, the 2023 Women’s Ashes experienced a remarkable 450% increase in ticket sales compared to the 2019 series. Changes coming in workplace travel business and economy These developments underscore the shifting dynamics within the sport, indicating a departure from its historical association as the “gentleman’s game.”

WEB3 IN: Crypto Optimism

In 2024,Two major events could impact the direction of the crypto market: the Bitcoin halving, which will decrease the rate at which new bitcoins are generated, and the potential approval of spot Bitcoin exchange-traded funds (ETFs) in the United States.

These developments have infused the crypto space with optimism, signalling a bullish sentiment after a tumultuous 2023 characterised by the collapse of major crypto institutions, legal issues involving prominent figures in the crypto sphere, and substantial financial penalties.

Despite the regulatory uncertainties surrounding cryptocurrencies, the possibility of BlackRock, a major financial institution, entering the ETF market for cryptocurrencies suggests a potential path toward broader acceptance and integration of digital assets into traditional investment portfolios.

Looking ahead to 2024, an emerging trend is the tokenization of real-world assets, as predicted by early-stage investors. This involves converting ownership rights of various assets such as real estate, artwork, or gold into digital tokens using blockchain technology. The International Financial Services Centre in Gandhinagar’s GIFT City is reportedly poised to introduce this service, according to a news report.

OUT: Non-Practical NFTs

In the upcoming year, non-fungible tokens (NFTs) without a practical purpose or clear use case are expected to lose favour. Additionally, the advancement of the metaverse, a virtual reality realm where users can interact with computer-generated environments and each other, has experienced a slowdown. Changes coming in workplace travel business and economy A founder in the sector suggests that progress in augmented and virtual reality hardware will significantly influence the pace of development in the metaverse.

ARTIFICIAL INTELLIGENCE

IN: Indian LLMs

Despite potential funding challenges in various sectors, the field of artificial intelligence (AI) appears poised for continued investment. Indian entrepreneurs are actively involved in developing large language models (LLMs) tailored to support Indian languages and trained on locally sourced datasets. In 2024, we anticipate the fruition of some of these projects. Changes coming in workplace travel business and economy However, the question remains whether they can compete with established players like Google’s Bard Gemini and ChatGPT.

Another notable trend on the horizon is the integration of AI with everyday gadgets such as smartphones and wearables. Major players like OpenAI, Meta, and Microsoft are all vigorously pursuing advancements in this area.

OUT: Untrammeled Freedom

The AI boom, largely driven by innovations like ChatGPT, occurred without significant regulatory oversight in 2023. However, this landscape is likely to shift. Following the European Union’s groundbreaking passage of the first AI law, other countries may follow suit in crafting their own policies to govern AI technologies. Changes coming in workplace travel business and economy These regulations aim to address concerns regarding potential misuse of AI, including the proliferation of deepfake content, threats to privacy, and the rise of automated cyberattacks.

MEDIA & ENTERTAINMENT IN: Duopoly

Changes coming in workplace travel business and economy The potential mega mergers, such as Zee Entertainment merging with Sony India and Disney India joining forces with Reliance, could result in the emergence of a duopoly in the media and entertainment industry. This consolidation may have significant implications for advertisers, particularly brands competing directly with the Ambaniverse conglomerate. Changes coming in workplace travel business and economy With Jio’s dominant presence on a third of Hindi general entertainment TV channels and a similar percentage of streaming subscribers, advertisers will face considerable challenges.

Changes coming in workplace travel business and economy Regardless of the outcome of these mergers, advertisers will experience substantial impacts as they navigate the evolving landscape of media plans. This includes adjusting strategies in response to challenges posed by Amazon and other retail networks, which are increasingly challenging the dominance of Google and Meta in Indian digital advertising.

OUT: Bollywood’s Bad Juju

Changes coming in workplace travel business and economy The Hindi film industry experienced a decline in prominence amid the pandemic, with Tamil and Telugu cinema gaining dominance. However, a significant shift occurred in 2023, marked by the success of Shah Rukh Khan’s action thrillers, “Jawan” and “Pathaan,” each earning over Rs 1,000 crore in global box office collections. Additionally, eight other Hindi films achieved substantial box office success, ranging from Rs 200 crore to Rs 800 crore.

Contrary to the perception that streaming content enjoys greater creative freedom, instances of self-regulation and self-censorship have surfaced across various OTT platforms due to fear of political repercussions. Several projects have been shelved as a result. Changes coming in workplace travel business and economy The draft broadcasting bill also proposes regulatory guidelines for OTT channels, indicating potential changes ahead in the industry.

SOCIAL MEDIA IN: Messaging

Changes coming in workplace travel business and economy Do you remember when we used to share pictures on our social media accounts, like and comment on friends’ posts, or tag them in relatable content? It feels like ages ago, doesn’t it?

In 2024, we’re witnessing the dawn of a social media era without much “social” interaction. Now, content creators and personal brand builders dominate our feeds, while the rest of us primarily share updates and algorithmically suggested memes and clips within our WhatsApp and Instagram groups.

It’s no surprise that social media companies and consumer internet firms alike are investing in or improving their messaging interfaces. Digital communities have become the new focal point of social interaction.

OUT: Freebies

The phrase “If you’re not paying for the product, you are the product” used to define our relationship with social media. Changes coming in workplace travel business and economy These platforms were free to use because they generated revenue by charging brands to display ads to us. However, that dynamic is changing. Social media companies have found a way to make users pay as well.

Meta, for instance, offers verified badges to regular users for a monthly fee of Rs 700, while Twitter requires legacy blue tick users to pay Rs 1,000 to Rs 1,300 monthly to retain their verification. Changes coming in workplace travel business and economy This shift has turned the verification feature into a paid service, with users paying for online validation.

Changes coming in workplace travel business and economy In Europe, users can even pay for an ad-free experience on Facebook and Instagram, although privacy groups criticize the high fee, which ranges from €10 to €18 per month. The underlying message is clear: everything comes with a price tag, whether it’s privacy or prestige.

TECH

IN: New Telecom Law

The New Telecommunications Act of 2023 gives the government temporary authority over telecommunications services for national security purposes and permits control over networks during public emergencies. This enables the government to halt or intercept messages as needed.

Changes coming in workplace travel business and economy Additionally, obtaining a SIM card will now necessitate verifiable biometric data. Penalties for telecom operators have been reduced from Rs 50 crore to Rs 5 crore per circle. Furthermore, spectrum allocation to satellite broadband services will now be administratively assigned instead of through traditional auctions.

OUT: FOMO for Apple Fans

Changes coming in workplace travel business and economy For nearly 15 years, Indian Apple fans watched as thousands lined up for new iPhones in the West, while Apple products were only accessible in India through licensed third-party stores or online. However, Indian Apple enthusiasts can finally shake off this feeling of neglect. In April 2023, Apple established its first official retail stores in Mumbai and Delhi.

Changes coming in workplace travel business and economy Furthermore, Apple has been enhancing its manufacturing capabilities in India, collaborating with electronics manufacturer Foxconn, to ensure that its products are available for purchase in India on the first day of their global release. Changes coming in workplace travel business and economy This was evident in September 2023 when ‘made-in-India’ iPhone 15 and 15 Plus devices were Changes coming in workplace travel business and economy launched for sale globally alongside the models manufactured in China. Changes coming in workplace travel business and economy This marks the beginning of the end of FOMO (fear of missing out) for Apple enthusiasts in India.

CONSPICUOUS SPENDING IN: Coolcationers

It’s all about unique experiences. Changes coming in workplace travel business and economy The elite are veering off the traditional path, embracing a YOLO (You Only Live Once) mindset and seeking exclusive and experiential travel, according to luxury travel firms. “We are striving to unveil palaces inaccessible to the public,” states a Delhi-based luxury firm. Changes coming in workplace travel business and economy The trend of ‘coolcationers’—those opting for trips to colder climates—is also on the rise. They jet off to destinations like Finland or opt for Arctic igloos, which can cost between $2,000 to $5,000 per night.

Ski resorts in Courchevel, Megeve, Val d ‘Isere, Zermatt, Chamonix, and St. Moritz are expected to attract a significant influx of visitors. Changes coming in workplace travel business and economy Winter destinations are predicted to be the hot spots for the super-rich, according to luxury travel firm Welgrow Travels.

OUT: Hot Destinations

Changes coming in workplace travel business and economy Hot-sun holiday destinations are losing their appeal among the wealthy, Changes coming in workplace travel business and economy who are seeking respite from soaring temperatures and heatwaves. Climate change has influenced the travel preferences of the super-rich, who now prefer cooler climates. Changes coming in workplace travel business and economy Countries such as Hong Kong, China, Egypt, and South America experienced a decline in tourist arrivals in 2023, and this trend is expected to persist in 2024.

GAMING IN: Gamefluencers

In 2024, there’s a significant shift expected as gamers transition into gaming content creators or ‘gamefluencers’. The gaming industry is facing challenges amidst global economic pressures, Changes coming in workplace travel business and economy with giants like Epic Games laying off thousands, making 2023 a tough year for game developers. Funding constraints, decreasing game-streaming revenues, and flawed business models are compelling gamers to explore influencer routes to generate income by creating gaming content.

OUT:RMG’s Gold Rush

It’s impossible to discuss online gaming without acknowledging the presence of real-money gaming (RMG) companies. According to an EY report, RMG accounted for nearly 83% of India’s online gaming revenue in FY23. However, RMG startups are now facing tax notices totaling roughly Rs 55,000 crore due to a 28% GST imposed on the full face value of user deposits. Changes coming in workplace travel business and economy This taxation has led to a shift in investor interest away from RMG towards non-RMG segments like casual to mid-core gaming. Meanwhile, RMG companies are reportedly exploring additional revenue sources to offset the funds allocated to taxes.

FITNESS IN: Personalised Fitness

In 2024, the fitness industry is expected to increasingly integrate technology to provide Changes coming in workplace travel business and economy personalised and data-driven fitness experiences. A startup founder specialising in wearable technology predicts the rise of trends like bio wearables, Changes coming in workplace travel business and economy which track biomarkers such as ketones and glucose levels, precision supplements tailored to individual health needs, Changes coming in workplace travel business and economy and recovery tools like ice baths, saunas, and red light therapy. By leveraging biometric data to customise exercise plans and nutritional strategies, technology will play a crucial role in personalising wellness programs.

OUT: Strict Diets

A trend expected to decline in the coming year is the strict adherence to diets like keto and intermittent fasting. Instead, there will likely be a rise in the popularity of healthier, more flexible eating plans, with nutritionists highlighting the link between mental and physical wellbeing. Changes coming in workplace travel business and economy The trend toward making mindful and informed dietary choices is steadily gaining momentum.

FOOD

IN: Being Untrendy is the Ultimate Trend

Changes coming in workplace travel business and economy On Christmas Day, there was nearly a riot outside K Rustom, an ice-cream parlor on Marine Drive in Mumbai. Mumbaikars utilised skills learned from crowded local trains to push to the front and grab thick slabs of ice cream and wafers, which combine in K Rustom’s iconic ice-cream sandwiches.

K Rustom, over 70 years old, offers a wide range of flavours, from the classic walnut crunch to recent innovations like choco-marmalade. However, the firm texture of the ice cream can be overwhelming, leading to a tooth-aching experience. Changes coming in workplace travel business and economy This may explain why ice-cream sandwiches have largely been replaced by cones. Just when the ice cream begins to soften enough to be enjoyed properly, it starts melting all over one’s hands.

Changes coming in workplace travel business and economy Nostalgia may contribute to its appeal, but most of the crowd at K Rustom’s ice-cream parlour is too young to have experienced it firsthand. So, what explains its enduring popularity? It could be authenticity, a quality that K Rustom embodies. This authenticity is evident in its minimalistic décor, efficient service, reasonable prices, and steadfast commitment to its traditional offerings. Changes coming in workplace travel business and economy K Rustom stands apart from passing trends, which ironically positions it as one of Mumbai’s most current brands.

Changes coming in workplace travel business and economy Changes coming in workplace travel business and economy This authenticity likely explains why social media users love K Rustom, despite the establishment’s avoidance of publicity, especially the influencer-driven kind. In a digital landscape filled with deep fakes, exaggerated claims, and relentless self-promotion, authenticity serves as a refreshing contrast. Changes coming in workplace travel business and economy As we navigate through a challenging year filled with conflicting narratives and Changes coming in workplace travel business and economy stretched realities, authenticity retains an unparalleled allure, even if only found in the simple pleasure of enjoying a cold, sweet, and messy ice-cream sandwich.

 

Sources : https://financesonline.com/workplace-trends/

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