2022 has been the year of great adjustment. Employers and employees have made peace to work in an office that swings between physical and digital. People have become comfortable enough to step out and work and party in the pandemic era. Some reinvented themselves for the better after spending the lockdown time introspecting, while many continued to battle procrastination and exhaustion from the increasing workload. Organisations, on the other hand, continued to find ways to become more digital-first, adopting newer technologies in the hope of become more successful. Some also became more invested in the mental well-being of their workers.
As the new year comes to an end, we reached out to some individuals from different walks to life and asked them what change do they want and expect to see in their industry, and in general, in 2023? This is what they had to say.
Fitness and nutritional scientist and co-founder, Food Darzee
Siddhant Bhargava wants people to focus more on their health and food habits in the new year. While the pandemic did bring a lot of attention to physical and mental well-being, many people are still not investing as much when it comes to the body, he says. Talking about the fitness industry in general, he explains, “The recession has greatly affected the fitness and nutrition space this year and people have not been spending discretionary income on good-to-have things, including gym memberships and nutritionists.” Even regular fitness junkies are looking outside the regular gym options. For instance, many new apartments come with gyms, and people are opting for boot camps, group classes or outdoor activities like cycling and personal training. “Conventional gyms are not doing well,” he says. Wellness-based products, on the other hand, have continued to do well, with people still willing to purchase health supplements, he says. He predicts these trends will continue in 2023. “It is going to be tough for the first two quarters for the fitness industry.”
Co-founder, Bangalore Creative Circus
Manisha Vinod predicts more innovation and creativity in the space of art, technology and climate. According to her, climate resilience, community building and collaboration were the key buzzwords of 2022. “This year everyone had reprioritized. And I think in the new year, there will be more collaborations and emergence of new communities that will work towards building a better world,” she believes.
Founder and artistic director, Theatre Nisha
V. Balakrishnan wants more people to return to physical performance spaces. While the covid years have forced the performing arts to find different ways to reach the audience, Balakrishnan has reservations about, what he calls, “an island way of living”. Audiences are slowly coming to watch live shows, but it is a fraction of what it used to be, he says, something he hopes will change soon. “Participating in a shared theatrical experience helps encourage dialogue," he says.
Managing director, Melissa India
Ruchi Sally, the head of shoe brand Melissa India, hopes to see more use of tech innovation and collaborations in her industry and beyond. “Brands, whether from fashion or some other industry, need to think of collaborations as more than just a commercial transaction. It is getting fusty now,” she says. “I would love to see the brands collaborating for supporting a social cause or adding some value to society.”
Radio personality and DJ
One of the best things about 2022, according to DJ Rohit Barker, is the shift from techno music to house music in clubs. He is also enjoying the resurgence of the party circuit.
Come 2023, he hopes to see more people experiment with music. “I know everyone enjoys the top 40 hits; that is why they are the top 40 hits,” he says. But experimenting with other music isn’t a bad idea too. “You never know what will grab you and become a passion.”
Creative director and founder, Shanti Banaras
Khushi Shah, the head of designer label Shanti Banaras, hopes more people invest in learning about India’s traditional textile heritage, buying garments that speak of its rich past, instead of running after fast-fashion trends. “Be it the history of our handloom, how every garment is made, the weaver behind it, and the number of days/months it took to create it, is something that’s going to be a foreign concept 10 years down the line,” she says. “We need to change that.” Over the past decade, there’s been a drastic decline in the production of handloom saris and the weavers who make them. “They don’t want to work because it is a meticulous job and the earnings are very little,” she explains. We need more initiatives from within the industry and the government to support the weavers, she insists. “Consumers also need to show more interest. What makes me hopeful is that more young people want to know about crafts like resham, zardozi. I hope this interest only grows in 2023.”
Co-founder, Atta Galatta
Subodh Sankar hopes to see more literature books for children, written by Indian authors. “The next Harry Potter has to come from India,” he says. At a personal level, 2022 has been an eventful year for him. The Bengaluru-based bookstore, bakery and culture hub, Atta Galatta, which was shut down in 2020 at the start of the pandemic, reopened in a new location in the city this year. “It has been a year of rebirth in that sense,” says Sankar. At an industry level, he says, the year saw the publishing industry undergo a massive shake-up, with Amazon shutting down Westland and a proposed merger between Penguin Random House and Simon & Schuster getting scrapped, he adds. “It has been a strange year in the world of books,” he says, adding that the year saw an unprecedented dip in the number of published fiction titles and a big increase in the number of non-fiction ones. History, especially, seems to have become popular among readers, with historians going beyond staid facts and employing the tools of storytelling to bring the past alive, he adds.