By Hiranmay Mallick
While the pandemic disrupted a lot of lives as well as businesses, it created a massive disruption in the entire country for not considering people’s basic requirements and needs as their first priority. It made people understand to be self-reliant “Atmanirbhar”and to satisfy their own needs. However, this concept has undergone drastic changes since the time of pandemic, in terms of stores, transport, payments, food, e-commerce and a lot more that shifted to digital. The Government, too, came up with various schemes since then to support the ‘Vocal for Local’ drive which was announced by our Prime Minister Narendra Modi in 2020. However, the common aspect was transportation. In these unprecedented times, it became highly difficult for employees like daily commuters, who were left with no other option rather than using their private vehicles.
It won’t be wrong if we say lockdown has given a push to digital transportation channels and consumption has increased. Brands and retailers have finally started to get a better ROI on their spending on digital as they have a larger base of audience excessing, shopping it online with extra offers, benefits and a lot more. Organizations/agencies have now started focusing on local audiences, strategizing their brand on the basis of demographic and geographic requirements by building applications especially for public transport.
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It is well-said, India is a country where daily commuters have always preferred public transport over their private or public transport which made it a bit easier for them to travel without complicating their lives to remember routes and numbers, hassle-free booking, trip planning, budget-friendly buses and trains, and daily-weekly-monthly bookings passes/ticket in advance.
Reasons are many but the main is the speed and fare of the transport which is cheap and easily accessible. Though, not everyone is aware about this. While working from home was a scenario for a long time, it won’t be the same case anymore. Things are changing and offices have started reopening. Events are taking place on a daily basis and so are business outings. Keeping health and safety concerns of people in mind, many transit applications have come up with special offers and discounts for daily commuters to travel. It is not only a four-wheeler ride like uber or ola anymore but also two-wheeler bike rides that are cheap at cost, three-wheeler auto-rickshaw rides which are more than comfortable for city commuters. Coupons, discounts, codes and cashbacks on these applications have made transportation a game changer amid the pandemic.
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The common aim for all the applications is “commuters’ convenience”. These smart mobility services and a few clicks on the phone have led to a transformational industry and a particular recognition of not only getting information from anywhere and everywhere but also being provided with required services as and where the commuters need it. Shaping the whole new digital transformational transport industry has not only led the passengers experience to widened digital experience but also engaged them through their brands’ campaigns. Since last five years, the mobile industry has already created major changes and we have never been this app-inclined like ever before and now after the pandemic, digital has been the new boom. These unprecedented times have made the whole nation aware of the ‘self-importance’ that is a must to take care of.
Spending no time waiting in the line for tickets, cashless payments, discounted rates/referral codes, paperless passes, advance bookings, on door service are some of the steps taken by the transport industry not only in the urban but also in the rural areas where connectivity is the major problem and so is traveling. This is one of the most relevant examples of being self-reliant and going vocal for local in this new (post) covid world. According to McKinsey Global Institute’s study back in 2019, the transportation and logistics industry in India was set to expand at a CAGR of over 10%, from $200 billion in early 2020 to nearly $320 billion by 2025 which might not be the same case due to the pandemic but with these innovations and additions of digital transportation, India is set to have a bright future in terms of the transport industry or if I say digital transport industry.
(The author is Co-founder & CEO, Tummoc – India’s First Patented Multi-Modal Public Transport App. Views expressed are personal and do not reflect the official position or policy of the FinancialExpress.com.)