There is no doubt that the current pandemic has impacted how we live our lives. A shift back to normalcy is a phrase often uttered these days. However, when that should occur is unavailable information as the world lingers in limbo.
The emergence of the virus and subsequent lockdowns have been largely disruptive to Indian society and the country’s economy. According to some economists (an MRD report), over 40 million people have lost jobs in India, mainly in unorganized sectors. Psychologists will spend the years to come researching how these lockdowns and more-or-less the shutdown of our entire society affected people during these troubling times.
In March, it seemed like every business came to a halt in metro areas. Local and inter-state buses slowed down as restaurants, gyms, schools, and cultural venues closed. Thus, left in a state of uncertainty and panic, Indians had to adjust by limiting non-essential spending. With limited entertainment options, interest in those available through the internet grew. Below we note a few examples of how routine disruption led to pattern changes and new habits.
People Shift to Playing Online Lotteries
Traditional lotteries are one sector that took a massive hit at the onset of the pandemic in India. In May, two months after lotto shops closed, Finance Minister Thomas Isaac announced that lottery distribution in Kerala could resume. Though the sector is now slowly rising back up, many players abandoned lotto shops as they discovered how to play online lottery in India.
Playing online lotto games can lead to wins of hundreds of crores, legally, without any worry that you may be breaking any laws. Even if the lottery is illegal in your state, you can still play at off-shore sites, and the government will not confiscate your winnings. Thus, once lotto enthusiasts found out the convenience of playing online and the access of international lotteries, as well as ones at popular casino sites, many have not looked back since.
Streaming Subscriptions Rise as Cinema Visits Are Non-Existent
Movie-goers expecting major blockbusters in the coming year will have to settle for old movies or contained thrillers. Big new releases are extremely unlikely any time soon as the industry shuffles its feet, figuring out the path forward.
Once the lockdowns started, movie productions went haywire, and cinemas resorted to showing films that everyone has seen. With a cut content pipe-line, multiplexes are now struggling to fill both screens and seats. Bollywood companies had to ask for government aid, seeing as film-trade analyst Komal Nahat claims that the industry will suffer losses of up to $330 in lost box office revenues.
Streaming services are taking advantage of this situation, as 40% of people that participated in one survey said that they have no plans on going back to a movie theater soon. Additionally, a FLYX customer survey stated that over 50% of respondents purchased a streaming subscription during the virus outbreak. Stats say that Indians most subscribe to Amazon Prime, with Netflix and Hotstar trailing behind.
Local Travel Increases as Airlines and the Hospitality Industries Suffer
In August, Prime Minister Narendra Modi urged Indians to travel within the country in the next two years to help the domestic tourism sector. India is vast, and it is home to numerous destinations worth exploring. Thus, some residents are heeding his advice and doing just that, laying down foundations that should help build back the economy.
While the local hospitality and travel industry is looking to survive, airlines are suffering, and according to some, at death’s door. Civil Aviation Minister, Hardeep Singh Puri, said in September that revenues of Indian airlines fell by 85.7%, between April and June 2020, due to the pandemic. Hotels in India are afraid that events such as conferences won’t return for a long time, thus sending their revenues plummeting as well.