There is a crisis on, and businesses worldwide are having to adapt in at warp speed. But the shift to full digital will also claim many victims. Image Credit: AP

The integral part in understanding a business pattern is that it is never static.

Market and technological forces continually pressurize business patterns to change. Disruptions have become rampant, more so in the last decade, and have forced increased take up of tech by business peers.

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All of which have significantly changed the traditional way of doing business. However, disruption is a more glorified term for change. Change is more gradual in the way it brings about transformation, while disruption is rapid and unpredictable.

Generation Y and Generation Z are the future for most businesses — those that do not cater to their tastes are staring at a painful disintegration.

The process of disruption follows a pattern that repeats pretty much in every industry, where solutions improve so rapidly that they at times kill off the competition, especially the older entities among them. Such elimination of incumbents can be witnessed in the following sectors.

Fashion watches

Smartwatches having the attributes of a mobile phone and an accessory are preferred by the new generation, and downsized wrist watches that had been ruling for more than a century. In such a scenario, high-end brands with status symbols may survive this particular transition, but other brands adapting traditional patterns of wristwatch making may see this as a huge challenge.

These businesses would need to realign accordingly.


Apart from offering social status for some nationalities, gold has always been a reliable medium of savings. But the Gen-Z does not rely much on gold in terms of savings and would rather prefer less expensive options available to be trendy. Thus such business houses overweight on gold jewellery for sales will face a tough time.

Higher education

Traditional employment has been done on the basis of the qualification one holds. With the advent of online teaching courses, the traditional education system will face a mammoth challenge, as more emphasis will be given by the recruiter on the knowledge the person possesses.

Traditional brick-and-mortar university degree certificates are possibly going to lose ground. Self-learning is the buzz word, and with a little help from online courses, a person can possibly find a suitable job. Institutes that teach social skills might actually gain as physical interaction depletes. Hence, the traditional higher education institutes would need to adjust their sails to get over the tide.

Though disruptions can prove fatal for some businesses, they certainly are a source of good fortune for others. With changing preferences, some business sectors are reinventing themselves to entice Generation Y and Z customers. This optimism is reflected in the following sectors.


Films, games, television and sports delivered on digital platforms have kept the individual engaged during recent lockdowns Interactive digital entertainment will become more prominent and would let a user engage in lifelike experiences from his/her room.


With the gradual erosion of trust, values and faith, security is becoming essential in nearly all aspects of one’s life. Physical and cyber security are here to stay. Private entities and government organisations in the business of providing physical security too are expected to see an upward trend as people become more vulnerable. Entities providing such services could possibly do well.


Doorstep delivery is the name of the game and this trend is most certainly expected to hang on as consumers become more individualistic. Fear and angst about future pandemics, accidents and attacks would only catapult the go-it-alone trend.

Companies providing warehousing and logistics services would prosper. Moreover, such entities will rely on technology to make the best and efficient use of available resources. Hence, the very essence of any business pattern relies on its characteristic and parameters.

Some businesses might resonate with a need for change. Strategic planning for documenting and establishing a direction for any business is the need of the hour to sustain, endure and earn profits.

- Atik Munshi is Senior Partner at Crowe.