New India And The Demands Of Its Evolving Customers

Pankaj is an IIM-A alumnus with 8+ years of experience in real estate industry. He has worked with industry leaders at Lodha Group and at Xanadu Realty with exposure across the value chain. He has been a part of the team which has delivered more than INR 20,0000crores of RE business in the last decade.

In Lucknow, Mrs. Banerjee is not carrying her purse as she strolls towards the sabziwala near Chinhut trisection. Her cousin in Thane is neither as he stops at a grocery shop while checking his own outlet's security feed (for alerts). The wife of the cousin is meanwhile testing how a new wardrobe will look in herbedroomon a smartphone app. And, their kid has a personalized test aligned for her at 11 AM dot.

Welcome to a `New India'! With technology, the change around us has become so constant that we barely pay heed to it. We don't realize that oursabziwalas are accepting digital payments, something which was unfathomable less than a decade ago. Our CCTV feed is no longer limited to the DVR (Digital Video Recorder) and is remotely accessible. It can even detect incidents and automatically highlight them for us. We barely notice that technology has even made it possible for us to go beyond the guessing game and make informed decisions as a customer. And, why would we? Such features are no longer an option but an imperative for us.

So, let us have a look at everything that our New India's evolving customers demand and expect from a brand:

With the rise of digital technology, there has been a simultaneous rise in remote experiences. It has made it possible to connect with a prospective buyer or seller without stepping out of our homes

Comfort and Lifestyle: Undoubtedly, comfort is the most desired factor for all of us. Hence, it is quite natural for us to look for an offering that helps in making our lives hassle-free. Mobile-application-based information and control significantly ease things for us. It enhances our productivity and creates room to do the tasks with greater flexibility. What is better than having on-demand services such as concierge and grocery shopping with a simple touch of a button on your smartphone?

Smart Integrations: IoT devices such as Alexa and Siri are making our lives more convenient today. Products that connect to the internet such as smart refrigerators, ovens, air conditioners, etc. can respond to voice command for operational controls. Multiple devices can be controlled via a single interface, which equips a user with higher functionality at all times. It also saves you from the hunt for remote controllers. All you need to do is ask your Alexa to decrease the AC temperature or change the TV channel, after all!
Energy Efficient: Millennials are more conscious and vocal about sustainability. Environment-friendly homes, natural furnishings, chemical-free construction material, LED lighting technology, energy-efficient windows, and a lifestyle that leaves a minimum carbon footprint is what drives this generation. The millennial customer does not wish to `appear swanky' as their predecessors. In reality, they are swankier and sorted with their eco-friendly choices.

Maintenance alerts: Tech enables the resident to receive timely alerts on impending maintenance of appliances, vehicles, and other systems that may need some repair over time. This reduces the need to remember insignificant dates and saves money by fixing regular wear and tear, thereby also increasing the longevity of products.

Remote Experiences: With the rise of digital technology, there has been a simultaneous rise in remote experiences. It has made it possible to connect with a prospective buyer or seller without stepping out of our homes. We might as well have a digital tour of some offering, say a 3BHK flat that we wish to move to, and draw a rough sketch in our mind before we physically visit the property. Some of the latest entrants in the field like Augmented Reality (AR) and Virtual Reality (VR) are gradually changing the game vis-à-vis experiences altogether. Such technologies are extending a more immersive experience to a customer and hence, increasing the purchability of products and services.

Security and privacy: Smart and secure entry systems and information about visitors are some of the features that come along with the new-age tech-enabled homes. One can keep a tab on the entry points while also managing the apartment access remotely when not in town. They no longer have to worry about double-checking their locks while leaving for a vacation. Technology guards the home in the absence of the owner.

Technology is today touching every aspect of our lives. Much like our smartphones, everything from our wristwatch to our TV or fridge is now also becoming smart. It is exponentially increasing the integration of technology in our daily lifestyles ­ only to extend superior personalization to us for across-the-board services. So, as you practice yoga in your drawing room, your Smart Home Assistant might even point out that the bedroom AC is `On' and ask if it should switch it off. One day, it will even be possible to check multiple vacation spots via a VR headset before you finally zero in on one. The same holds for an in-depth tour of residential areas before you physically travel to them.

We can only imagine how the technologies might evolve, and our demands with them!