We are at the cusp of change. The Covid-19 pandemic changed everything—how we live, eat, keep ourselves safe, entertained, interact with other people and the world around us. It changed how business is done, and how countries and even states liaison with each other. For millions, it also meant losing livelihoods and a basic meal and access to healthcare in the middle of a pandemic.
The thing about change is—it humbles you. It may seem trivial or even impossible to imagine a future from the eye of the storm when every new day brings with it unimaginable uncertainties beyond our control. But people are inherently resilient and imagination is meant to run wild—even if it’s only to find hope.
For Forbes India’s 12th Anniversary Special, our team shortlisted 12 sectors that impact our lives and invited experts to imagine a future—whether that means living on with the virus or moving ahead after destroying it. These essays range across mobility, healthcare, money, luxury, innovation, entertainment, food, sustainable living, and a lot more. The experts for each subject vary—there are CEOs, entrepreneurs, innovators, investors, economists, and philanthropists.
One common theme that emerged while experts were postulating the future across sectors is technology. And how it will bring to reality realms only relegated to sci-fi. Technology has allowed the business to continue when the world came to a halt, kept us close to far-off loved ones; entertainment, sports, food and essentials delivery, and everything else in between has been thanks to what technology could enable.
Viren Shetty, Executive Director and Group COO, Narayana Health, for example, takes a realistic dig at the future of healthcare with technology underpinning it but focuses on preventative and holistic care for all especially those who cannot afford it.
Siddharth Roy Kapur, founder and managing director of Roy Kapur Films and NP Singh, managing director and CEO, Sony Pictures Networks talk about entertainment and sports, and how over-the-top and video-on-demand will continue to redefine the landscape while watching films on the big screen and watching live sports remains a distant possibility.
15-year-old aspiring scientist and innovator Gitanjali Rao talks about why innovation will become something that everyone does, especially the youth, and not just experts in lab coats. Why the young should be empowered, and how innovation should be to solve the most pertinent challenges that people and the planet face.
Then there’s Ather Energy’s Tarun Mehta writing about the EV-charged future, and Larsen & Toubro’s SN Subrahmanyan on smart highways and cities, and neural networks connecting everything around us, that will make the future smart and also sustainable.
The technology future is incomplete without delving into the future of data privacy. Saket Modi, the cofounder and CEO of Safe Security, throws light on the crucial debate.
While we talk about the future, it is imperative to talk about jobs and how the gig economy is evolving in India, inequality amongst the rich and the poor, and how philanthropy has changed during the pandemic with more rupees going to health and Covid-19 (what happens to other issues that need attention?)
As editor Brian Carvalho says, Forbes India’s 12th anniversary issue comes at a time that calls for more introspection and retrospection than celebration. Subscribe to Forbes India
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(This story appears in the 21 May, 2021 issue of Forbes India. To visit our Archives, click here.)