The Covid-19 pandemic altered the way people used to perceive the idea of a home. Home became the place where people had to be 24×7. Stepping out of our homes without any crucial purpose was and is still frowned upon. Earlier, homes had a different meaning in our lives. Apart from the emotional factor attached to the place, the home was a place that signified the end of the day as people used to go back to it after work. Now, the home has become the haven where people do their jobs, rest after work, and do their jobs again the next day.

Creaticity, biggest furniture and home decor mall based in Pune entailed a diverse panel of four industry captains. The panelists included Mahesh. M, Session Convener, and CEO, Creaticity; Gita Ramanan, CEO and C0-founder, Design Café; Mahesh Shah, Managing Director, Paraxis Home Retail Ltd. and Rajat Wahi, Partner, Deloitte Consulting.

The discussion at length talked how the idea of home has changed post the pandemic. With the compulsion to stay at home to stay safe, the home has become the hub of all activities. Earlier, where only one-third of the entire house was in use, every space and corner is now being experimented with for utilization. The topics of discussion also included the changing behavior of the consumers and home-dwellers in the pandemic era and the role of technology and digitization in the shift.

The session convener, Mr Manish M while setting the agenda for the discussion, talked about how there can be seen a shift from “Home Sweet Home” to “Home Flexi Home”. Mahesh M also spoke about how the home, post pandemic, has accommodated many tasks apart from the conventional ones. He mentioned how the priorities of the home-dwellers are evolving in somewhat non-linear and unconventional ways.

Gita Ramanan, CEO and C0-founder, Design Café talked about how people have re-developed the idea of home being the centre of life. Ms Gita discussed the five categories of generally seen homes – Started/Fresher Homes, Compact Homes, Spacious Homes, Semi-Urban Homes, and Home-town Homes. Gita asserted that having a varied service basket rather than being exclusive is the new way to go. She discussed the latest trends here to stay, in which hygiene is on the topmost position in the list. As Gita Ramanan is in the ‘Home-Tech’ business, she briefly discussed the possibilities of technology such as AR, VR, and MR in the field of home décor and designing.

Mahesh Shah, Managing Director, Paraxis Home Retail Ltd. said “The definition of homes has changed and if this will remain forever or not, we do not know.” Shah talked about how a home can mean different things for people in various phases of life. Shah rightly believes that home depicts, almost accurately, the personality of the home-maker. He said, “Earlier it used to be one single personality being depicted, but now, post the pandemic, it is a mix of different personalities since everybody is staying indoors, under one roof.” He also talked about how people, including home-dwellers, builders, and designers, have embraced digitization in a big way.

Rajat Wahi, Partner, Deloitte Consulting began by quoted his uncle and throwing light on a fascinating perspective that “the current situation is like a train journey, we eat, sleep, spend time, go to sleep, and repeat the same next day, but are not able to get off this train”. Rajat Wahi discussed the new ways that the consumers and the service providers connect and how technology has immensely facilitated it. He talked about the new spaces in homes being discovered and old spaces losing their importance. For Example, Dining Rooms and Living Rooms are slowly converging, and the usage of balconies is being found for various purposes. Rajat also discussed the concept of blended commerce and how the consumer is interacting with that concept. He also mentioned the efficient functioning of e-commerce in areas like consumer data-mining and delivery of the product. “There is clearly a change in consumer behaviour but we do not know how long we are in this journey.” added Wahi.

The discussion helped viewers uncovered some fascinating thoughts and perspectives about homes. The industry experts insights were essential to understand the changing face of homes and the process behind making a collection of things a place where we connect with ourselves and our loved ones.

Watch the full discussion here: