☕ Which is eternal

Good morning, New Delhi has put a curb on all celebrations this festive season and Haryana is making full vaccination compulsory if you want to, say, go to your bank or down a plate of upma at your favourite joint. 

Just 30 days ago, we had never heard the name - Omicron but today, it has the world sweating and on edge. 

Can we afford another national lockdown? Not likely. Can we take every precaution to stop Omicron from spreading? We must. 

Stay calm and follow protocol. We will get over this. 


Retail Stores Emerge Fitter Through Lockdowns

With tanking sales and numerous stores shutting down for good, the pandemic has been unforgiving to the retail sector. 

Experts predicted things to get much worse but thankfully they did not. In fact, a whole new tribe of retail stores seem to be emerging leaner and fitter through the storm.

Early To Rise

The freeze-all lockdowns forced many retailers to lose inertia and finally adopt technology, provide faster deliveries, and improve customer connectivity - stuff they had been delaying for years.

Moreover, they had to find a way to thrive on a stage with a fixed backdrop of e-commerce giants like Flipkart and Amazon.

Pre Workout Preps

Retailers who didn't perish created an 'omnichannel', nothing intergalactic, in simple words they connected their brick and mortar stores and warehouses to the internet.

Although some retailers had such a system in place earlier, it was either gathering bad sectors on server hard drives or never deployed on this scale.

Shedding Weight

British departmental store chain, Marks & Spencer, which had been performing poorly for years used the pandemic to shut down ailing stores and divert resources to online activities instead.

This led to the chain recording huge profits in a long time.

Sustaining The Gains With Technology

In times to come, we can expect more retailers to push for integration of ecommerce with their locations.

Stores across China and the US are adopting easy to use software to serve customers in a number of ways. 

For instance, in-store employees can now video chat, share pictures and product information online with customers - increasing trust and making big sales. 


Ending The Housing Crisis Needs A Fresh Perspective

Considering the homeless, non-slum and slum dwelling families, the estimated number of the inadequately housed in 2018 is around 47.3 million or 41% of all urban families living in India, per ICRIER's study. 

And we are not alone. Every corner of the planet tells a similar tale of a housing crisis that refuses to end, no matter what policy makers throw at it. 

Perhaps the very basis of the solutions are flawed.

Is Housing A Human Right?

For many, housing is in a state of crisis. However, for other folks, the housing market is doing exactly what it should be doing: making money.

The epicentre of the housing crisis is that it is both a basic human right as well as a commodity from which to extract wealth.

Ignorance Is Not Bliss

Most housing crisis debates ignore this contradiction. Those who oppose density increasing projects and those who believe we need more housing both focus on numbers, design, zoning and density.

These perspectives miss critical considerations about housing - for whom, against whom, who profits and who is excluded.

Demand And Supply

Is building more and more housing the answer to the global crisis? Probably not. 

In Canada, some of the biggest price increases on record have been in Q3, 2021, when 18 homes were completed for every new person. 

How then does one use the most basic economic principle to ensure affordability?

The answers to the housing problem are far more complex, and require a deeper understanding of what type of supply gets built, what does not and what is lost as cities grow and redevelop.

Share Your Thoughts

Is the PMAY programme going to fix it then? It will certainly make a dent in the numbers but not in the urban centres where a solution is most needed.

This is a big debate and we are in no position to offer a solution. However, we want to keep this conversation going, so please hit reply and tell us what you think, or know.

📝 Our notepads are out. 


Around The World Solo

Say hello to teen pilot - Zara Rutherford. 

In August, the 19-year-old British-Belgian departed from Kortrijk-Wevelgem Airport in western Belgium on her 51,000-km journey, which is to span five continents and 52 countries - essentially, around the world, solo. 

"It has been challenging," Rutherford told CNN at Gimpo International Airport after arriving from Vladivostok in her bespoke Shark ultralight plane, the world's fastest microlight. 

Follow her journey on FlyZolo


WFH Not Everlasting, The Office Is.

If you're an office space developer wondering whether work from home is here for good, let us tell you on good authority that it's not, and that workers will be back at the office sooner or later.  

A Large Survey Yields Answers

Recently, CBRE asked 100 Indian office occupiers with a combined employee base of over 100,000, the big question - is work from home permanent?

The respondents, comprising global and domestic corporates from key sectors including technology, BFSI, engineering & manufacturing, infrastructure, real estate etc., provided some solid insights

📌 Nearly 80% are prioritising physical offices while being open to offer a greater degree of flexibility and choice to employees. 

📌 58% of respondents in India plan to implement policies to enable office-based working. 

📌 Hybrid working practices have a limited downside impact on future office demand in the medium to long term - more so because space planning is undertaken based on long-term peak occupancy rate forecasts, and... 

📌 Even with the adoption of hybrid work, most companies expect employees to work mostly from the office. 

In One Sip

🎙 "Despite increased adoption of hybrid working during the pandemic, a wider adoption in the long-run seems unlikely." - Anshuman Magazine, CBRE. 


To make housing more affordable, we need to confront its roles as both shelter and commodity. 

Housing supply needs to grow with our population, but it must address need, and not investor demand.

We await your thoughts to build this conversation. 

Good day. See you tomorrow. 💚

☕ The Crew@Ginger Chai

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