coronavirus chances – business perspective

There are industries that were heavily hit by novel coronavirus outbreak. I gave some examples in my previous post on coronavirus threats (you can follow this link). However, every downfall for markets opens chances for others. This crisis is no different. There are industries and companies that are thriving or will grow in near future.

To mention first eCommerce, especially marketplaces. As we are forced to stay at home to protect ourselves and others, we shift our shopping experience to internet. Online shopping experience developed for most of the companies in recent years become their main channel of sale with all its limitations. For most of the companies this is not a prime sale channel and currently not able to cover the gap created by lockdown. Nevertheless, companies that offer marketplace solutions allowing to access wider group of consumers will benefit from current situation. Supported by intelligent client targeting they will be able to offer sellers working channel while making their margin over the sale. Online sale now is equally needed for fashion with AI enabled “fitting experience”, car manufacturers with extended virtual reality car setup tools. The question that stands out is if we will move at larger scale or need for shopping experience will be stronger and will wait this all out. Nevertheless, we can expect number of sale & clearances especially in fashion to see companies hoping to turnaround accumulated stock to regain partially cash flow. Amazon expects to hire 100,000 workers to fulfilment centers.

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Movement in eCommerce needs to be supported by logistics and delivery thriving in current market situation. Having in mind that everything now needs to be moved globally between factories and target markets supply chain and logistics become crucial in securing business flow. This is in the situation where both supply and demand were hit by novel coronavirus. Factories mainly located in Asia, China, Vietnam, Cambodia were shut down threatening demand. On top of that demand was hit by change of shopping experience but mainly but refocusing of clients from luxury goods, fashion, entertainment to food and hygiene products. There is a need to grow local delivery teams supporting local food suppliers in direct sale, couriers who will deliver online shopping or even local shopping for those in lockdown.

Companies who are in entertainment business mainly in streaming are expecting increase in viewership. Their main worry is to have enough interesting content and closing on new productions where possible to keep the people interested and online. Nevertheless, longer lockdown may significantly impact production calendars which may be seen in viewers numbers in coming months. Another part of industry that is growing is online gaming. Even F1 racers to keep focused are moving to online tournaments. This business is expected to grow and companies who are enabling players around the world with equipment and access like Sony via PlayStation, Microsoft via Xbox or Google with Stadia premiere are expected to gain from current situation.

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A lot of use noticed the increased demand for online, remote working experience. Microsoft Teams, Cisco WebEx, Google Hangouts and Zoom are seeing increase in usage counted in millions of new users. Solutions that enable companies to make project flows, communication ongoing and teams focused with usage of new tools from Microsoft 365 like Planner or tools from companies like Scoro, Slack, Asana, DocuSign, Salesforce and many others are already experiencing interest in tools available. New clients are expected to stay for longer as new world of remote working is expected to stay with us for longer. Not to forget that this is key place to showcase value of the cloud across companies that were reluctant till now. Microsoft, AWS, Google and Cisco will utilize their strong cloud base to grow their businesses further.

Last but not least in times of health crisis is always pharma. Companies are working to get drugs and vaccines as quickly as possible available globally. Already millions of dollars are coming in funding to secure fast track for coronavirus related research and trials. Number of labs are chasing the time but not as usual we are seeing collaboration across researchers sharing results and discussing potential scenarios and finally sharing work. Some are working to develop new solutions, other are testing to speed up the global effort. Close to pharma would be all the health startups that are offering new telehealth solutions. Connecting patients with doctors regardless of the place. The more it’s related to new equipment the better for the startups. Teladoc gets additional funding from the market. Solutions like HIGO can see bright future ahead with connecting doctors’ availability with personal checkup tools allowing doctors to give well informed diagnosis or recommendations.

As the usage of online is increasing it gives big chance to grow for telecoms, broadband connectivity providers will see increase demand on the services and a lot of pressure to maintain availability and quality of the service. Investment in 5G will allow to secure new demand.

There are industries that are on crossroads. They can see current situation as a chance or as curse.

  • Personal banking – reluctant to invest in digital solutions allowing customers to full online service without unnecessary visits in branch will see quick decrease in customer numbers. Banks that offer fully digitalized solution connecting more even outside from standard banking and offering quicker and safer payment in eCommerce, giving better client experience will be winners.
  • Manufacturing – lockdown is closing factories; this will impact production but also force companies to invest in automation solutions to make them people dependent as little as possible. Question now is what will future proof manufacturing
  • Education – online solutions are posing new chances for education availability but key elements to be successful is quality of the content as well as output tool flexibility and finally ease of connectivity. This may also change in the future the way we see education and how we will validate its quality across future teams.

Time of crisis always possess great threats to jobs. Nevertheless, it always positions chances to win to companies that have wider portfolio and were using more channels to connect to customers. The key questions for all of us is how long the whole situation will last. The shorter the better. Time of crisis is also a chance for innovation.

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Articles that inspired text above:

  1. https://www.impactbnd.com/blog/not-all-is-lost-some-businesses-are-thriving-during-covid-19
  2. https://amp.thenational.ae/business/technology/coronavirus-sectors-thriving-despite-the-economic-gloom-1.997795
  3. https://nocamels.com/2020/03/coronavirus-economy-5-industries-thriving/

Coronavirus threats

There’s been series of articles explaining short-term effects of coronavirus pandemic and predicting its long-term implications. Overall impact globally is estimated at $2 trillion USD. As this sounds disturbing the worst part of this economic crisis is again large number of employees who are losing their jobs at the beginning of fight against pandemic. Number of industries is being hit by lockdowns and fear before virus. The major effort from governments goes to jobs security as number of aspects of the crisis can be fought but tornado of unemployment is the worst that can happen across the globe.

To start with travel where we see it dropping to fractions of normal levels this time of the year. It’s not event partially compensated by massive increase of air freight needs and demand, where especially for shipment of medical equipment passenger planes are being used. Majority of the flight personnel and pilot crews are self employed which makes them also easy to be released when not needed. This impacts all companies working and supporting our air travel across the globe. Not to mention cruise ships. This part of travel industry may be impacted longest by the people hesitant to travel once pandemic is contained and no longer threatening the world. Airlines will be partially supported throughout this travel ban period by governments with some financial aids. They will be quickly getting back on track, especially with the help from business travelers around the world. They will be cutting a lot of cost, but people will come back. We may lose for some time free peanuts and drinks but sooner or later air travel will come back. I wouldn’t be sure of the same for cruises. They seem to be a serious trap for all passengers this day with countries rejecting thousands of people arriving in their ports. This will stay with news readers.

Following travel industry, we need to mention hospitality. Of course, the lockdowns and travel bans were main cause for this situation. Some are fighting offering quarantine rentals or supporting nurses and doctors with the place to stay for the time of pandemic. Giving them much needed protection over families they left at homes, away from potential infection threat. Current crisis poses post-pandemic issues as well with strong demand from travelers on assurance of highest hygienic standards. Coming from already difficult spot owners of venues will need to find additional funding for related investments around new policies or communication on existing one to regain visitors trust in their brands. Hospitality issues are extended to all the service companies supporting businesses from dry cleaners to food suppliers. They are often missing major contributors to their cash flow and face the same issues.

Both industries contribute to issues for tourism all-in-all. This is related to business travels around major cities but mainly to vocational spots that already are being hit by cancellations or face big uncertainty on this year incomes. This is will impact all local governments who heavily rely on tourism related taxes. No or limited tourists numbers can cause long term issues for all the local communities who make best of their efforts to make sure travelers feel most welcome in their cities, villages all around the world.

Entertainment industries are facing slow down from closed cinemas, theatres, sport arenas to cancelled sport events, major conferences. Almost all companies working hard in event organization lost contracts as a lot of events were cancelled. Cinemas are closed and production of new movies or TV series are postponed which as well will impact release calendar for next seasons. Theatres are not inviting viewers to performances. For them is also impossible to organize anything artificial via internet considering limitations over number of people in one place. Global sport is impacted with no games of football, baseball, basketball. It was hard to imagine but even championships being postponed or Olympic games moved to hopefully safer seasons.

It is important to mention retail. Closed stores, limitations of gatherings but mainly in time of crisis shift of customers focus to goods they find essential is causing a lot of issues for retailers. They can find a way to move some of the stock via e-commerce channels but that’s still smaller portions of the overall sale and there is no major increase covering gap from closed stores. Customers are now focused on making sure basic needs are covered and they are more considerate on spending money to aspects that are not essential. We can expect major clearance sale over the internet but even though those seems beneficial for customers retailers will be focused on limiting loss that is already expected.

Drop of consumption on all goods mainly apart from groceries and hygiene related products is causing issues for manufacturers and in longer terms for construction industries. We see big drops in sold cars numbers as well as in sale of all products that in current period of pandemic seem luxury. This includes electronic sale, though big demands on home office and home-schooling needs. Currently you can see reports on construction sites working but ultimately with increasing levels on unemployment and banks resilience to give mortgages construction is facing big threat.

As this show business will be impacted. Economy will suffer. You can read about this all around the news. Media mention that unemployment rates are getting higher every day and will grow to levels not seen in many years. All of that is not focusing, especially from language perspective, that this all is impacting people. Employees, workers, friends, family, colleagues from school, many of those around us. As much as we can do to help local companies and buy in local stores, order food from restaurants, buy some extra flowers or so participate in other initiatives focused on securing that business flow, we will see people losing jobs. Let’s remember to push our governments to make sure that anti-crisis regulations are focusing on jobs security. With all the economy limitation the objective should not be around minimum amounts of support but should be focused on securing as close as possible to current expenditure levels of families. We need to push governments. We should all agree it’s no time to save money but to spend, helping employers and employees because at the end of the day economy is people.

As I want to end this on more hopeful note, I wanted to share a wish that governments will stand to expectations set by citizens and we all be able to go out and catch some breath. I have my three favorite spots I would be more than excited to do with my family and get them to Hel Peninsula, spend few days in Masuria and lastly do the hike in Tatras. What would be yours? While in lockdown let’s dream a little.

 

Articles that inspired text above:

https://www.marketwatch.com/amp/story/guid/3E86F2C6-6319-11EA-9BD8-D956BCAECEEF

https://www.weforum.org/agenda/2020/03/coronavirus-covid-19-cost-economy-2020-un-trade-economics-pandemic/

https://hbr.org/amp/2020/03/understanding-the-economic-shock-of-coronavirus

https://www.cnbc.com/amp/2020/03/12/coronavirus-impact-on-global-economy-financial-markets-in-6-charts.html

https://www.bcg.com/publications/2020/covid-consumer-sentiment-survey-snapshot-4-06-20.aspx

Read more about coronavirus at:

https://www.nationalgeographic.com/science/2020/03/covid-overview-coronavirus/?cmpid=org=ngp::mc=social::src=facebook::cmp=editorial::add=fb20200401science-coronavirus101::rid=&sf232171396=1