Few months ago, if someone would have said we would need to wear masks and gloves just for grocery shopping or better yet, we would be mostly confined to either home or workspace, I wouldn’t have taken them more seriously than I would have the claims of existence of aliens.
However, throughout the world most of the countries are under lockdown now, while in others, citizens are permitted limited navigation in their own countries. This has brought the entire economy to a halt due to both closed businesses and uncertainty experienced by consumers resulting in them restraining from making any huge expenditure on any items that aren’t considered essentials.
However few industries or businesses are doing well even in this situation, rather have seen increase in their demand during this crisis. Covid-19 has created the new normal of minimizing any unnecessary face-to-face dealings whether it is with product or service enablers. Businesses that are thriving and would be thriving in this new normal situation are:
Technologies enabling work from home:
With increased number of people working from home through internet the cybersecurity companies are in high demand to protect the data and information being transmitted as well as for their secured SaaS platforms alongside teleconferencing apps that enable virtual meetings such as WebEx, Zoom etc. Also, apps which enable documents to be digitally signed and mailed efficiently are doing well.
Entertainment at home:
With all outdoor entertainment places closed across the world, people are turning to video games, board games and their sales have spiked hugely. The video on-demand services like Netflix, Amazon prime video have been one of the industries making the most of this situation, seeing spike in their new subscribers. “Netflix adds 15 million subscribers as people stream more than ever” as reported by ‘The Verge’.
In some parts of the world, drive-in theatre have a surge in demand as it is still possible to social distance while experiencing the theatre. There has been increase in direct alcohol orders due to closure of pubs and restaurants.
Relaxation at home:
Increased demand for gardening equipment, gym equipment and baking products such as yeast and flour show people are dealing with this chaos through gardening, focusing on fitness at home and baking breads with all takeaways closed.
Delivery Services & Food:
With people wanting to minimize human contact, delivery services for groceries, meal prep and delivery and fast food delivery enablers like Domino’s have seen a surge in orders in countries like U.S.A. Both global and local delivery services have had their plates full since Covid-19 struck, with people having to wait for minimum 3-5 days in a few parts of the world due to shortage of staff. Also, there is increased demand for canned & frozen food as people are stocking up for worst scenarios. In addition, there has been increased demand for vegetable seeds unlike earlier where demand was similar for both flower and vegetable seeds, as people want to make sure of their food supply in this uncertain situation.
With job situation seeming to be grim for next few months, people are looking forward to upskill and have advantage over others. Also, universities and schools being closed in the pandemic situation has led them to remote learning, thus increasing demand for online learning platforms across all fields.
With everything becoming remote, the most important becomes infrastructure to enable all this remote learning and working. Thus, telecommunications is the most thriving industries now. Thus, would increase demand for 5G.
Pharma companies & Medical equipment producers, suppliers:
This would be obvious as demand for PPE has been on increase, along with demand for immunity boosting vitamins tablets. Also, health care platforms or apps which allow a patient to consult doctor remotely have seen a surge in demand.
Hygiene products and cleaning services:
As Covid-19 has shown the importance of intense hygiene, personal hygiene products like sanitizer, liquid soaps have seen unprecedented rise in demand. Also, requirement for cleansing outdoors, especially public infrastructures, facilities along with corporate structures has created great revenue growth for companies in cleaning services. Demand for chemicals like sodium hypochlorite etc has greatly driven chemical industry in this pandemic situation.
Also, with global supply chains disrupted, consumers and government are looking for domestic suppliers for products like PPE, quick fix ventilators by design start-ups thus boosting domestic economy. With stark difference in demand and supply of PPE and other equipment useful for treating or taking care of covid-19 patients,3D printing companies across the world have stepped up, filling in the gap more efficiently.
Also, in near future, industries will focus to procure inputs like raw material and other non-consumable items for consumable goods locally, thus giving a huge push to domestic manufacturers and suppliers to big industries producing consumable goods. It will lessen our dependability on countries like China and will help local economy. Also, in long run global economy might consider dispersing their supply chains as opposed to concentrating majorly in few countries like China, as continuity of business trumps lower labour costs.
With all kinds of group entertainment restricted, we can see a future where movies might be directly released in apps such as Netflix and Hot star etc. Also, there would be live opera and music concerts directly broadcast over internet through one of the video on-demand apps. Drones are already used for surveillance right now, but could be also used for deliveries in future. Technologies that would enable the virtual style of our earlier way of living either WebEx, Zoom or VR would thrive. As people who once knew the feeling of being out and about might push customers towards VR games for satisfying their nostalgia.
Conclusion: In the near future, all businesses that provide services that enable avoiding direct person to person interactions would thrive.