Fourth Industrial revolution, Advantages &Perils

Our future according to Yuval Noah Harari, a lecturer at the Hebrew University in Jerusalem, in his new book “Homo Deus” says ” more of us will be pushed out of employment by intelligent robots and on to the economic scrap heap”. Yes, we are on the cusp of imminent change with the advent of fourth industrial revolution catching momentum in the most advanced economies. Preceding to this we as human beings had traversed three successive revolutions each one was better than the later, because of our quest to better our lives by increasing the production commensurates with the ever increase in demand. The First industrial revolution took place between 18th and 19th century which marked the beginning of agrarian society becoming industrial and Urban along with invention of steam engine, The second industrial revolution between (1870 and 1940) characterised by steel, oil, electricity & internal combustion engine had helped in mass production and followed by Third industrial revolution started in 1980’s which was significant in many ways using the power of technology, internet and achievements in the sphere of  information technology space.

Fourth Industrial revolution

In the fourth industrial revolution is going to surpass everything that we could ever think of. It represents a fundamental change in the way we live, works and relates to one another. The beginning of new chapter enabled by extraordinary advances in technology. These advances merge the capabilities of the physical, digital and biological world. The immense potential throws out the huge promise and its potential peril. Perhaps in future, we can look beyond it as not just technology per se but an opportunity to improve the conditions of everyone with an inclusive approach.

Disruption to jobs and Skills.

The disruptions to existing models will create a huge impact on jobs ie means opportunity for new kind of jobs as well as the displacement of existing jobs. It could create a positive impact on gender parity, use of AI and Robotics and also has the potential to make the mobility more robust.

Innovation and productivity

The traditional models failed in measuring the capabilities hence cannot be actually measured. At present more than two billion remains disconnected from the global economy, But once the Fourth Industrial starts running in its full steam these disparities and gaps could be narrowed by increasing the productivity in an equitable manner.


As per the Global Wealth Report published by Swiss bank Credit Suisse in 2015, Richest 1% of the global population controls half of all of the assets in the world. while the bottom half of the population held less than 1% of all wealth. Even those regions in the world were economic growth picked up has seen increased stress and inequality. So it remains to be seen how far fourth industrial revolution could usher rapid change in the society.

Agile Governance

The power of fourth Industrial revolution can be harnessed by governance for delivering better governance which is more accessible and helps in increasing transparency and trust. On the flipside, it can also threaten the social contract between the government and citizens.

Security and conflict

The Fourth Industrial Revolution can affect the scale and nature of conflicts. Meanwhile, new technologies are making the battlefield increasingly local and as well as global. Terrorist groups use the social media to recruit fighters to fight against the state. The combination of traditional battlefield techniques with technology is making modern conflicts more hybrid in nature. So future wars can disrupt the communication systems and narrow the line between war and peace.

Business disruption

Future disruptions in the existing business models will be a shift towards new kind of relationship between customer and business models. The new kind relationship is going to be nothing but all time connected model leveraging the power of mobile communications.WhatsApp mobile messaging service reported that its users were sending 42 billion messages every day. The Alibaba Chinese internet commerce giant Alibaba completed $14 billion online transactions on a single day through Mobile device.

Fusing Technologies

The Fourth Industrial Revolution marks the beginning of the fusion of technologies and growing harmonisation of different disciplines, The technologies like Virtual Augmented reality, 3d Printing, sensors, Biotechnology, Blockchain, Artificial Intelligence and robotics etc.

Ethics and Identity

Fouth industrial revolution triggered new changes in disciplines like biotechnology and AI, also redefining the limits of lifespan, health, cognition and other capabilities which were once considered as a fiction. In 2010 University of Michigan Institute for Social Research identified that nearly 40% decline in empathy among college students compared with their counterparts 20 or 30 years before.



Is Digital Commerce going to be the next big thing in India?

The likes of Bansals , founder of Flipkart has already found their place in Forbe’s list of billionaires , So is the digital commerce going to be  next big thing in India?, Has our  consumer’s buying pattern a reason to feel confident that , digital commerce is going to flourish in the coming years? , For all this questions the answer is a confident “Yes”.

Digital commerce or mobile commerce or it is commonly called e-commerce business models found favor among the population  who uses internet or Mobile, I believe their sense of exuberance which is their in the air, If you look the total size of India’s present e commerce industry, it is full of hopes, dreams & aspiration which is built around the prospect of capturing the market potential of retailing the products through online. Every time when you see advertisement in the television roughly more 30 to 40 % represents the e-commerce company’s ads, be it in finance, apparels, furniture, groceries, travel, and hotels etc.

Today every one who has a dream ,idea to start a venture generally prefers to build a value proposition by leveraging the online platforms to promote their products & services . The reasons to prefer the online model of business is very simple.

  • The requirements of setting up go downs, over head costs are less compared to traditional business models.
  • The cost of setting up an online business is very less compared to brick and mortar business models.
  • The idea of  providing a digital platform for all retailers to come together under one roof , so they gets the edge and reach to market their products & services by  with out any geographic constraints.
  •  E-commerce or Digital platforms could rein the opportunity to drive in volume by offering deals, or mega sales in a short notice as when required with minimum time frame& cost.

Digital Buyers in India from 2011 to 2016

The number of digital buyers in India shows a positive trend as per the data in 2011 it was just 15 million and over period of four years it has reached 35 million users or it has grown 2.5 times , in 2016 the figure is expected to reach above 40 million , but assume with a population of 1.2 billion , with growing penetration of mobile & internet , the potential turns out to be huge . I feel surprised to hear that even present generation cricketers has shown interest to get their hands soaked   via investment in e-commerce ventures.

number of digital buyersRetail E-commerce sales in India from 2012 to 2018

It is no surprise that founders of established e-retailers has grown fast  , became billionaires with in a very short span of time , If they were in to traditional form of business I  think they would have taken more time to be in billionaires club , of course established one’s in no time is able to attract the eyes of venture capitalists & investors than any other business in the near future. As per the data, sales in 2015 is going to be 7.69 billion and it would touch 17.52 billion in 2018. So it means every person out of the 1.2 billion would be prefer using the digital route or more prone to use this growing medium.

Retail e-commerce salesPenetration of digital buyer in Asia Pacific

The penetration of digital buyer in Asia Pacific region shows a very encouraging trend ie, is by 2018 buying through digital platforms would be roughly 50.9% of the total population.

Digital Buyer penetration

Retail E-commerce sales in India from 2012 to 2018

As per the data top 10 e-commerce companies holds their share of pie in this sector . E-retailer, Jabong e- retailer tops the chart with 26.26 % , followed by multinational company Amazon holds the second with 24.16% , third position is held by Flipkart with 22.39% and snap deal holds the fourth position with 20.99% and rest of them holds the remaining % in terms of the total sales by e retailers in India.

Retail e commerce sales

So e-commerce sector India is still in its early stage of growth, in terms of scale ability and reach it has long way to go, but growth in this sector would catch much faster than any other sectors .More new millionaires and billionaires are going to be from e-commerce sector.  India as a  market is considered widely potential, I believe our market is  the best fertile ground for new e-commerce  startups to sprout and find their feet on the ground  in the  coming future.