Power of Tech in times of Pandemic disruption

Mr. Pratik Adani, CTO, Samco Group

Waking up at 8 AM, brushing your teeth, taking a bath, getting ready and going from your bedroom to a corner set in your living room and at 9AM your office starts with a video call to your team. Throughout the day you use Laptop to conduct all your office work from calls to presentations, emails to chats. In the evening your kids take their online schools. Later in the evening your wife refers to a recipe on you tube and makes dinner for all of you. At night the full family watches a fun series on Netflix and goes to sleep. Sounds like a typical day in a Pandemic, isn’t it?

Now imagine the above scenario without use of technology, well can you? I think we under appreciate what technology, gadgets and internet has done for us in today’s time. It is very easy to start blaming the over use of gadgets to latest apps and their creators but we are very well aware of how much dependent we are for our daily needs.

To give you an idea of how technology has impacted our current lives, I would like to imagine a scenario where the same COVID-19 pandemic hitting us let’s say in 2010 instead of 2020. So you would think what’s the big deal? Well let’s see!

The average internet speed in India in 2010, was a whopping 0.8 Mbps. Yes you read it right it was only 0.8 Mbps. Can you imagine what would have happened to work from home back then? It would have been impossible. Thanks to Jio, Vodafone, idea, Airtel and other telcos our average mobile internet speed today is around 11.46 Mbps.

Let’s say for some reason that you found access to good internet still you would not have been able to ZOOM your colleagues because Zoom was founded in 2011. And Whatsapp would have just launched in services in India in May 2010, most of us would have not even heard of it. Also forget about watching OTT series on your SMART TVs as both were unheard of at that point of time. The closest you could get was to watch a movie on CD/DVD on a TV. Oh yes, owning a smartphone with good internet speed became a reality for a normal man only close to 2012-13 before that both smartphones and good 3G internet was too expensive.

While at it let’s talk about some other launch dates, Amazon India was launched in 2012 by acquiring Junglee. Netflix India was launched in 2016. Swiggy was launched in 2014. In fact almost all the Top online ecommerce stores, Media Streaming platforms and Food/Grocery delivery platforms have been greatly established only in past 5 years. So NO online shopping, NO online serials and movies and NO online food delivery. I think by now you would safely say that we are really lucky to have this pandemic hit us in 2020 and not in 2010.

I would now also like to talk a little bit about other things that technology has helped us make simple. It has become so easy to transfer money to a vendor be it a fruit seller or grocery store or online shopping all thanks to UPI, online banking, debit/credit cards and other wallet apps. These were non-existent back in 2010. The another thing that has really helped our government in these times of distress is Jan Dhan Yojana launched only in 2014 all thanks to tech. Crores of people have benefited due to this. Not only this, but a lot of government benefits and schemes announced as a measure of stimulus package has been possible only due to investment and innovation in technology which were not there in 2010 and have taken almost a decade to set it up.

Technology was always a backbone for Large companies but when it came to small businesses it was still a very low adaptation. But now in these times everyone has been forced to quickly reinvent themselves. Adopt to technology and Survive has become the prime motto for the most businesses. Those who have not been able to are already struggling and will have a very difficult situation in the coming year.

Even for companies like us at Samco, who were already technology backed before COVID were also forced to quickly adapt to newer technologies in order to support our growth in customers. A quick example would be how we integrated Digital signature on our platform to smoothen out account opening and onboarding process so as to open accounts instantly. As more and more people wanted to open their accounts to start Trading in Stock exchanges by sitting at their home and make some money we had to make sure there are no hassle in terms of money transfers and no hiccups on our trading platforms like Stocknote, all this meant more tech innovation! Even our entire support and call and trade teams who were in a call centre are now remotely connected and helping thousands of customers from all across India all thanks to our tech first approach.

With everything too gloomy and sad all around in year 2020. I would like to just end on a really positive note. I think as a country, India has benefited greatly in terms of adaptation of new tech, gadgets and platforms due to this pandemic. People right from young to old, poor to rich were pushed to start using technology while sitting at their homes during these times to become more productive. This will only help us grow better and stronger in years to come.