The coronavirus outbreak originated in China has infected thousands of people worldwide. With more than 737,532 confirmed cases across 177 countries, it has officially been declared a pandemic by the World Health Organization (WHO).
As there is no vaccine so far to prevent the spread of coronavirus (COVID-19), the only option people have is to reduce exposure to the virus. That is attempted to accomplish by social distancing, personal hygiene measures, and avoiding interaction with the infected individual. In order to reduce the risks associated with the contagiousness of the disease, many countries and their cities are shut down, and quarantine measures are imposed on the entire population. This has confined people to their homes unless they are required to buy food, medication, or receive medical attention.
Other than that, global and small businesses all over the world have developed mandatory work-from-home policies amid COVID-19 spreading. To avoid further spread of the disease, people are advised to avoid social gatherings and travel to different countries/cities. These limitations have led to a slowdown of business in some industries while there are some which are least affected by the pandemic. Entertainment, finance, tech, the hyper-local marketplace, tourism, retail, and hospitality are some of the sectors which are getting affected by the COVID-2019.
This year, due to the coronavirus outbreak, 10 big tech conferences have been canceled, including Google I/O, Mobile World Congress, Facebook F8, SXSW, Electronic Entertainment Expo (E3), etc. Coronavirus has a mixed influence on tech enterprises. Despite the strategy of work-in-isolation being a rule for workers, some companies making the most of it in terms of income. For instance:
- Slack Technologies Inc. states that there is a rise in interest in workplace-collaboration technologies due to the global effects of COVID-19.
- Zoom, an enterprise video chat system in the 2nd week of March 2020 (according to App Annie), is one of the most downloaded business applications in the US on the Apple Store.
As technology companies have closed their offices and stores, forcing their executives not to travel to the affected areas, the supply chains have been adversely affected. Manufacturers in China, for example, are the leading suppliers to the global technology firms. Manufacturers are impacted by coronavirus struggle to deliver on time, thus affecting multiple tech firms.
On the other hand, IT organizations are recognizing the advantages of outsourcing more than ever. Remote work has been given preference in the COVID-19, and therefore functions such as development and maintenance of software are least affected by the coronavirus.
The increase in cases of coronavirus can end up requiring some forms of insurance. While the COVID-19 virus continues to dominate the media, there is an increase in demand and recognition of health and life coverage insurance policies. Demand for life and health insurance policies saw a 35-40 percent rise in online insurance platforms. On the other hand, because of travel restrictions, travel insurers have seen a fall in the amount of insurances. Depending on the form of the insurance business is involved with, the insurance sector has positive and negative consequences of the Coronavirus pandemic.
Sports & Entertainment Industry
The coronavirus outbreak has adversely affected the film industry. However, as more people stay at home, in self, and are taking quarantine steps, the use of digital entertainment platforms such as gaming, video-on-demand, etc. is growing. According to the Financial Times, after the national isolation steps were taken, the number of apps downloads in China soared. Video streaming companies such as Netflix, Amazon are projected to see an increase in the number of subscribers on COVID-19’s effect.
- Disney and Universal Studios have decided to shut down many theme parks because large gatherings could trigger coronavirus spread.
- The NBA has suspended its season following a positive COVID-19 check for a player. Also, because of coronavirus, Arsenal Football Club has put its players in self-isolation and postponed the Manchester City game.
- Movie theaters are temporarily locked up in parts of India, following the spread of COVID-19.
Although there is a market downturn, and people are isolated to reduce COVID-19’s effects, hyperlocal delivery services make the most of that. Doorstep delivery services are gaining ground for food, medication, pharmacy, packages, etc. To make it easier for users and riders, food delivery companies such as Deliveroo, Postmates, Instacart, Zomato offered options for choosing contactless delivery where the rider drops off the package outside the house.
Travel & Tourism Industry
The coronavirus outbreak has severely affected the travel & tourism industry. With COVID-19 being a pandemic, people are avoiding travel to various countries and cities, which has adversely affected the travel industry and impacted the tourism benefits of the countries affected. Airlines are slashing frequencies and travel prices significantly, as more customers choose not to fly during the outbreak. Global airlines could lose $113 billion in revenue if the coronavirus continues to spread at this pace, according to the International Air Transport Association (IATA). At the end of the year, according to IATA, airlines may experience an 11-19 percent decline in global passenger revenue.
Retail & eCommerce
Malls, shopping centers are shut down temporarily due to COVID-19. Often, when people are distancing themselves from social events and crowded rooms, they tend to order their favorites or online needs. The same is true in the retail industry. On the contrary, digital companies are seeking to leverage this situation to the full. But surviving in such an outbreak remains a daunting task for eCommerce businesses.
The spread of COVID-19 has proven to be the biggest threat to the global economy and the financial markets. If we look at the effect in the short term, we might see investors making healthier business investments. This means that there are fewer capital market transactions, a negative impact on VC funding from both current and new fintech firms. The Fintech industry has seen a decline in transactions at all rates. Because people are self-isolated to shield themselves from the spread of COVID-19, they spend less than average, resulting in a low transaction rate. In reality, cryptocurrencies such as Bitcoin, Ethereum experienced a significant dip amid the impact of coronavirus.
However, in the end, policies, wellbeing, and our own life are largely beyond our control. Scenarios and job excitement can be valuable ways of imagining a potential future. We need to make a strategy that avoids and plans for those futures that we don’t like, wherever possible.