January without a holy trip to Las Vegas is something that I am not used to for the last 14 years. Holy because of CES and for a tech addict like me, there can’t be a better pilgrimage than to be at CES – the hotbed of all innovation. The city of Las Vegas is just the cherry on the “Prasada”. But we all know the world has changed and 2020 has been a catastrophic year taking away all the sunshine. The clouds are now beginning to break and with 2021 we can see that ray of sunlight in the shape of the vaccine. Vaccine or no vaccine, life has resumed. Covid-19 has already pushed the human race to the wall and it is bound to rebound. There is no other way but to move forward and swapping places with Covid and plastering it to the wall now.
This is our Exhibit Tech Awards 2020 special. Again, we could not host all the stakeholders of the Indian Consumer Tech Industry, but we followed the process of public voting and for the first time had a virtual jury meet where Rakesh Biyani joined from London, Siddharth Sharma joined from Toronto and rest of us including Mr Brian Bade, Dj Aqueel, Nucelya, Avinash Gowarikar all through their screens “zoomed” in and together we picked the winners that you can meet in the following pages. Just to add some flamboyance in the Exhibit way, we booked the 38th-floor lounge of St Regis and laid out all the winning gadgets against the beaming Mumbai skyline and
a pompous setup and did a walkaround video that is now live on our Youtube channel. Next year hopefully, we will revert to the meeting, greeting and awarding in person and have perhaps a high decibel gala awards night as always.
It’s the start of 2021 and already from the automotive industry, invitations are trickling in for launch events and hopefully, the tech industry will follow suit and we will all get back to business as usual, perhaps with the masks on. Did you know that the face mask market is projected to grow from USD 737 million in 2019 to a whopping USD 22143 million in 2021 [Source: markets and markets research Pvt ltd]? No one could have anticipated that. We are waiting to see some interesting tech innovations coming for the masks and sanitization market, which will become a way of life even after the pandemic is gone. Don’t believe me? Ask anyone who has visited Japan anytime in 2019 or earlier, and they will tell you that people with masks on was a common sight in Japan even then and it just got more layered up in 2020.
There is plenty of anticipation and expectation from the year ahead, but don’t forget to take away all the learnings from 2020 which is to survive you need basics and we have to be there for each other because we are all in this together.