3 minute read 7 Apr 2022
Metaverse for business

Metaverse: Building businesses of tomorrow

By Ashish Pherwani

EY India Media & Entertainment Leader

EY India M&E sector leader with more than 20 years of experience, serving companies in all the M&E sub-sectors. A mentor and coach to teams.

3 minute read 7 Apr 2022

Metaverse: soon to emerge as the next computing platform after the internet

In brief

  • India will play a material role in turning the metaverse into a reality
  • Poised to be hugely decentralized and interoperable
  • It will be a huge enabler for businesses

Speaking at the recent EY Digital Convene, on ‘Metaverse: Building Businesses of Tomorrow’, Ajit Mohan, Vice President, and Managing Director, Meta India, explained the need for industries to understand and get familiar with the technology, to build a metaverse strategy, and align it with their business to gain benefits.  

Metaverse, the next computing platform after the mobile internet, will become a huge enabler of doing commerce in the next 10 years.
Ajit Mohan
Vice President, and Managing Director, Meta India

Communication has evolved from books to computers to the mobile internet. The metaverse is the next phase of evolution which will be more immersive and embodied. A lot of experiences that we have built on the mobile internet would be carried on to the metaverse in the future. In the next ten years, the metaverse will reach a billion people, host hundreds of billions of dollars of digital commerce, and provide jobs for millions of creators. Here are few of the many opportunities it will present:

  • The metaverse will be a huge enabler of doing business across industries, providing jobs for millions of creators and developers – and India can play a material role in building for it
  • Scale will be achieved when 5G bandwidth permeates and hardware costs become more accessible – which could take some time, but the time to start building familiarity with the new technology is now
  • It is not about only re-creating existing physical environments in a virtual world (eg, a virtual bank branch), but re-imagining an organization’s purpose and building that out virtually (eg, pharma companies moving into wellness and health)
  • When re-thinking a metaverse-driven future, many of those ideas can apply to today’s business as well
  • The metaverse is poised to be hugely decentralized and interoperable – and will see equal participation from large entities, SMEs and start-ups – basically anyone who will be flexible in thinking through newer use cases

One of the early applications of the metaverse is the seamless collaboration of workspaces.  Thus, for businesses, it could be a very good tool for recruitment or people will be able to collaborate more efficiently and work from anywhere.

Interoperability is another important feature of the metaverse. Things that you build or buy will be able to move between various virtual spaces. There are some early use cases today of how the metaverse will impact industries such as manufacturing, fitness and wellness, fashion, and retail.

We are scratching the surface today. But it is going to impact how people live, interact, and communicate in the future.
Ajit Mohan
Vice President, and Managing Director, Meta India

Innovation in blockchain, the rise of certain kinds of assets, and what it means for each sector will become the enablers for the industry. For instance, a user might get a 24*7 financial advisor on what to buy and where to invest. A pharma company on the other hand could help its customers visualize the impact of a drug on a person’s heart or how a product would improve the wellness of the consumer by engaging him in a more immersive manner. The possibilities are limitless.

Improvements are happening in the space of devices as well. Compared to five years ago, VR headsets have become lighter and are responding better to motion. Eventually, all the computing happening in headsets today may get enabled on devices that are the size of regular sunglasses in the future.

Learnings from the past twenty-five years about the internet could be put into the design of the metaverse to make it bug-free and for that collaborative effort of various stakeholders including government, industry, and policymakers will be required.

This is not a gold rush, where you have to invest immediately, but the power is to understand the fundamental shift in the technology, gain familiarity with the technology, understand the elements that are relevant for your sector and your company, how it is going to influence the sector, plan strategies for adoption and to explore the opportunities to build adjacent to your core business or new opportunities that emerge along with the technology. 

Summary

While the vision for the metaverse will come alive in ten years, for now the primary way people will experience the metaverse is through 2D apps, including social media. And beyond that, the focus will be on transforming 2D screens into more immersive virtual 3D experiences building the fundamental programming blocks, and enabling the works of other creators and builders.

About this article

By Ashish Pherwani

EY India Media & Entertainment Leader

EY India M&E sector leader with more than 20 years of experience, serving companies in all the M&E sub-sectors. A mentor and coach to teams.