The novel coronavirus is a horrifying human tragedy that is having an unprecedented global impact. Starting in Wuhan, China, and moving across the globe, the pandemic has today affected almost every individual, either directly or indirectly.
People are dying, businesses are going bankrupt, oil and gold prices continue to decline, and the unemployment rate is rising. Nobody has an answer to how long it will last and what would be the recovery time.
But, no matter how tough the situation is, there is some silver lining that brings us hope in these adverse times. Some sectors are particularly flourishing because they are innovating their offerings and offering solutions to meet the current demands.
While it is true that some of these have a strategic placement to thrive during the current situation, their growth is worth noticing. Here is a look at the five industries that are thriving in the current situation.
E-learning or Ed-tech
The e-learning industry is one of the biggest beneficiaries of the pandemic. With educational institutions closed around the world for an indefinite time, online learning has emerged as the best option.
This is ensuring the academic progress of students continues, and they do not risk losing out on a year. Even when the lockdown gets lifted, social distancing norms will prevail, which means that students might have to continue learning from home for a little longer.
Besides learning for students, many e-learning businesses and universities are offering free courses to working professionals. These are great resources to upskill oneself and are becoming increasingly popular as people look forward to making good use of the available time in their hands. Industry experts expected that the e-learning industry will scale up to $18 billion by 2022.
This was before the pandemic, so the industry might have already achieved a good portion of the target. Heavy reliance on e-learning is possible in the coming months and years, as this might just be the beginning of the new norm.
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E-commerce & Online marketplaces
Shopping online from the comfort of one’s home was already popular before the pandemic. Now with new social distancing norms in place and the ongoing threat of virus transmission, e-commerce platforms have gained a lot more prominence.
Even for groceries, people are avoiding the local shops and instead opting for platforms like BigBasket, Grofers, etc. The introduction of JioMart across the 200 towns of India is a testimony to the fact that e-commerce platforms are on the boom.
The grocery platforms are offering big discounts while also limiting the amount of purchase one can make. This is ensuring that the needs of everyone get fulfilled in these tough times. With increasing demands, there is a tremendous upsurge in order values, which is leading to order delays and cancelations.
There is a general mindset shift that is happening at the moment, forcing people to switch to online. It only shows that when people get accustomed to buying essential online, they will continue to follow even when the pandemic is over.
The healthcare industry
Since this is a health crisis, the demand for certain medicines and medical equipment has skyrocketed. Ventilators, testing kits, PPE (personal protective equipment) kits, disinfectants are in tremendous demand. With people following increased hygiene practices, the demand for face masks, sanitizers, and disinfectants are extraordinary.
This trend will continue for longer, as we will continue to live under social distancing norms for quite a while. There is also a steady demand for fitness tracking gadgets and downloads of fitness apps on smartphones is on an all-time high.
Medical equipment and medicine manufacturers are ramping up their production lines to meet global demand. India alone supplied the anti-malarial drug hydroxychloroquine to several countries around the world to battle the virus. Another trend on the rise is the online ordering of medicines and virtual consulting.
Significant investments in healthcare are likely in countries where the healthcare system was already vulnerable and became even worse during this crisis. Besides healthcare facilities becoming more accessible and affordable, employment opportunities will be on the rise.
Social Media Platforms
This does not come as a surprise at all. With people confined to their homes, connecting virtually with their friends, colleagues, or loved ones is the only option. Though people concerned about the usage of social media before the pandemic, the situation has reversed now.
Whether it’s news, entertainment, or leisure, social media has become a primary source of information for people. It is becoming tougher for people to not use social media platforms when there is nothing much to do.
As soon as the lockdown measures began, the number of time people spent on platforms like WhatsApp, Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram increased. According to a Business Today report, Indians spend 87% more time on social media during the first week of lockdown, as compared to the previous week.
When the situation begins to normalize, businesses will turn to social media to attract customers, leading to a continuous surge in usage.
E-sports or Online games
As lockdown measures are in place, the global video game industry is thriving. Video games offer an engaging distraction for people who cannot do much sitting at home. According to a report, the video game industry can be worth $159 billion in 2020.
This would be a 4x more than box office revenues and 3x more than music industry revenues of 2019. Asia-Pacific continues to be the biggest market, accounting for 50% of the gaming market value. Though the revenues depend on consumer spending, business models have grown to become engagement-based.
There are significant in-game monetization opportunities that businesses look to cash on through their engaging games. The improvements in gaming hardware and internet availability have only contributed to making games more accessible and enjoyable. As much as around 48% of the industry revenue gets generated from mobile gaming.
What are businesses doing differently to fuel their growth?
Businesses that are successful at this time are taking several steps to pivot their strategies that match the requirements of the current situation. They are ensuring the safety of everyone involved in the supply chain, including the end customer.
Once the lockdown measures get lifted, we can witness many more success stories of businesses that change their operations strategically. Restaurants and e-commerce businesses that incorporate simple changes like touchless experience will win the trust of their customers more easily.
Businesses like Dominos and other essential goods and services delivery apps are also offering custom drop-off points from where customers can collect their deliveries. Businesses that follow strict hygiene, sanitation, and social distancing measures are not only gaining the trust of their customers but also laying a strong foundation for continued success in the future.
Indeed, some industries like e-learning or e-commerce are better placed given the enormity of the current situation. More disadvantaged industries like travel or sports are completely down and out.
However, it is only a matter of time before the situation begins to improve. Incorporating customer-friendly measures in terms of hygiene and sanitation to gain their trust is the most important factor that will help businesses succeed in the near future, irrespective of their industry.