Indian brands today are making their way into the new realm of the metaverse, a relatively unexplored platform that experts are hailing as the ‘future of the internet’. The global metaverse economy, which lends itself well to offering immersive virtual experiences, could be worth a whopping $8 trillion – $13 trillion by 2030, according to a Citibank report.
Speaking at a recent MMA India event, Arun Srinivas, director and head, global business group, Meta India, claimed that by the end of this decade, there may be more than a billion people on metaverse. “With metaverse, we will see a transformation in the way things are done, whether it is meetings, shopping, banking, sales training, entertainment, fitness, etc. Consumers will want to shop in a metaverse store aisle as opposed to an e-commerce platform,” he said. Meta, with three-and-a-half billion people on its apps globally, expects to play an important role in the development of the metaverse.
Web 3.0 operates on a philosophy of decentralisation, so consumers can manage their own data. Vishal Jacob, chief digital officer at Wavemaker, offers the example of existing metaverse platforms such as Sandbox, which are created on this premise.
There are three ways for brands to navigate the metaverse, as per Jacob. First comes ‘association’, like the first metaverse wedding which saw brands such as Coca-Cola, Fabelle and Matrimony.com participate. “The idea is to explore how you can make your presence felt in an event that is already happening,” Jacob says. The second way is to make communication more experiential in nature. Brands such as Nike have tried to drive monetisation through digital art or non-fungible tokens (NFTs). They drop these into existing metaverses such as Roblox or Sandbox, and consumers can purchase and use them on their avatars, or even resell them. This also helps glean consumer behaviour data. The third format that brands such as Qatar Airways are already exploring is in the creation of their own metaverse.