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Tuesday, January 26, 2021

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Muhammad Aminul Hoque FCA
Muhammad Aminul Hoque FCA
Partner at ACNABIN, Chartered Accountants; fellow member of the Institute of Chartered Accountants of Bangladesh (ICAB)
22 Jul 2020 22:15:54

Businesses that beckon you to be billionaire after Covid-19 pandemic

Businesses that beckon you to be billionaire after Covid-19 pandemic

Do you want to be a millionaire? Time's up. Grab the opportunity to be a business tycoon. Have you forgotten about the game shows 'Who Wants to Be a Millionaire?' or 'Kaun Banega Crorepati?' Billionaire? In such an international health crisis? Couldn’t you get me? Yes, here some processes rolled out for you to be a billionaire. Throughout history, more billionaires are made after a recession and economic crash than any other time.

As per IMF, the global economy is going to suffer the worst financial crisis of this century due to this pandemic. The World Trade Organization also said that global trade will be reduced by between 13 per cent and 23 per cent this year.

No one knows when the coronavirus pandemic will end for economic activities to return to normal. Even though uncertainty looms large, life-changing opportunities will rear above the international health crisis.

In the past, events such as economic recession and pandemics have changed the pathways of governments, economics and businesses. For example, the SARS pandemic created the scope for catalyzing a dramatic growth of companies like Alibaba and helped establish it as a global giant in the online marketplace. This growth was powered by underlying anxiety around travelling and human contact, similar to what we see today with Covid-19. The financial crisis of 2008 also produced its own disruptive side effects. Airbnb and Uber shoot up in popularity across the west as the crisis forced people to share their assets in the form of spare rooms and car rides in order to cover for the deficit. With Covid-19, we are already seeing early signs of a shift in how consumers and businesses behave.

Some of these changes are direct, short-term responses to the crisis and will revert to regular levels once Covid-19 is contained. However, some of those shifts will drag on, causing a long-term disruption that will reshape businesses in the decades to come.

In my opinion, the following businesses will have a greater chance of booming after the coronavirus pandemic.

Online Education
The Covid-19 outbreak has cost schools i.e. primary, secondary and universities to close down and no one knows how long students will have to stay at home. This reality has forced the crash course for online learning plans and technology for students and faculties. The world is going through a mandatory giant online education experiment. The outcome could accelerate changes in the education industry. There have been predictions of online education going mainstream to rival traditional education.

People are asking themselves what are new knowledge/skills they might need to acquire to cope up with the challenging world after this pandemic. Businessmen are looking for new operational models to excel in their performance. So people are seeking learning opportunities, especially learning opportunities from home.

Investment in Capital Market
Typically, in a pandemic situation or economic recession, market crashes when people start selling off their assets and cutting back on their spending out of fear of losing their money. Stock price goes ridiculously down. This is usually the best time for a smart investment. You can buy stocks at cheap prices and sell at higher prices when the market will recover. However, there are no guarantees that every stock will recover after a recession. But history says that people earned lots of money from the capital market through capitalizing this type of economic recession.

Alibaba, a Chinese online marketplace established in 1999, got its major boost during the SARS outbreak in 2002. People in China had to stay at home and started buying more from online marketplaces.

We are also witnessing the same under the current situation.  People who normally visit stores physically are increasingly shopping online. The uplift in e-commerce may well become permanent if people are wary of mixing with others in real life and go on avoiding shops in a person. After this pandemic and beyond, e-commerce will likely gain more acceptance among the sceptics. Companies and organizations were realized to have less need for expensive physical outlets. We can expect this trend to continue going forward.

This coronavirus pandemic situation created a threat to global food security. And consequently, there is a price hike. Covid-19 is disrupting agricultural activities around the world, from farm harvesting to processing and supply. At the end of this pandemic or lockdown, we may face a risk of low food supply. This will create more opportunities in the agro sector to produce food to feed the surviving population.

The Gig Economy
Companies are experiencing that they might not require full-time employees in many areas of the business operation. After this crisis, there would be tending to reduce the number of full-time employees and fixed costs. This will accelerate the Gig Economy i.e. freelance works and associated startups.

 Medical Products
Anything that is related to curing or preventing the coronavirus, like hand sanitizer/mask/medicine etc., is on high demand now. There is a huge shortage of these products across the world. However, you might think that these demands will drop in the future when this situation will be over when there would be a vaccine when there would be a cure and everything will back to normal. But remember that this will not be the last time we see a virus like this. I hope it is, but we also have to be realistic so understanding that this might come back and there might be other issues in the future. So being in the medical supplies business, not only it is a great business to be in order to make a profit but it's a business that could save a lot of people's lives.

Home Delivery Services
As people are trying to avoid physical contact, they are more prone to order products online and get the products at their door. This changing habit of the consumers is opening a new horizon for home delivery services. So providers of this logistics support should strengthen their capacity so that they can provide more quality and hygienic services to their clients.

Outsourcing of some parts of the business operation, such as IT support services, accountancy services, data entry services, payroll services etc., is already a common phenomenon. This pandemic situation is giving further booming to this sector. Companies and organizations are facing new challenges in terms of business operation models and financial management.

They are looking for new ways to deal with the challenges while addressing the needs of their customers, clients, or employees. Cost optimization is one of the focus areas under the current scenario. Organizations are thinking of outsourcing some of their operational areas to save costs. To grab this opportunity, business houses providing outsourcing support need to build their capacity so that they can fulfil the upcoming demand from within the country and abroad as well.

Accountancy and Consultancy
Business houses will need to be more focused on having good governance and corporate culture. Accountancy and consultancy firms can help the businessman through providing guidelines on minimization of losses, financial management, financial recovery, business process development and implementation. These firms should extend their hands to business houses and create more values for its clients.

Online Communication Software
The novel coronavirus pandemic is prompting companies around the world to adopt different ways of doing business. For example, the widespread use of work from home (WFH) and zoom meetings have become far more common than before the pandemic. So, software that helps people to connect, communicate better or work remotely will be in great demand. 

Demand for software that helps people to start an online business will also increase. So don't overlook, think about how you can serve that particular market because people's behaviours are changing and they are developing new habits. Things won't be the same after the coronavirus is over.

Food Supplements
The food supplement industry is always big but now with the coronavirus pandemic, people are more health-conscious. People are living more fearful. They want to make sure that they have a strong immune system. So they are taking more vitamins and supplements.

Cleaning Industry
Offices, hospitals and homes everywhere people are becoming more cautious about cleanliness. They want a sanitized place. So hiring a high-quality group of professionals to help them clean their places are on great demand.

These are some industries that are booming due to the coronavirus. Now what we need to understand is that either we will struggle with traditional industries we were in or we think about adapting to new emerging industries and redefine our business. Think about how you could change your business model. Because one thing that we do know is that things are never going to be the same. People will buy differently, people will shop differently and people will spend their money differently. So as an entrepreneur, it is your job to see what are some of the problems in the marketplace that you can soften and stay relevant by serving people. Don't get too hung up on your existing business models. We all have to pivot and protect and preserve what we have.