As global health becomes threatened, so do business community. Normal business flow has been disrupted; the public health crisis has become rampant, and the unemployment rate has been climbing sharply and continuously. There is no doubt that some industries took a harder hit from the pandemic than others.
Some industries that were greatly hit are (in no particular order):
Airlines or Travel – The minute Corona Virus became a pandemic, global travel was brought to a standstill to mitigate or stop the spread of the virus from one place to another. BBC news published early this May that one of the largest global airlines, Virgin Atlantic, was set to cut more than 3,000 employees, or 30% of jobs in the company.
Casino and Gaming – Any activity that places people together in a congested manner and a public place is now prohibited for the sole purpose of not spreading the virus.
Sports Facilities – Normally if games are stopped, leisure activities are put on hold, facilities, where these events take place will almost automatically lose their income.
Auto Parts and Accessories – To most people, this is a necessity, but as soon as an unprecedented pandemic hit, the purchase of these things became less of a priority as food and vitamins raised to the top.
Oil and Gas Drilling – No matter how essential gas and oil is, the demand for them reduced significantly the moment Covid-19 spread. The Organisation of the Petroleum Exporting Countries (OPEC) countries agreed during a summit early this year, to cut 1.5 million barrels per day from production due to the decrease of demand in the market.
Restaurant/Dine-in Stores – The implementation of social distancing in public places plummeted the rate of customers that dine per day in most restaurants.
Events – Weddings, Debut, Parties and, any other celebrations that entail a great human interaction and public gathering were postponed; punching the event business in the face.
These are just a few of the listed industries that were greatly affected by the Pandemic, and the occurrences thereafter. The employees from the list above are the ones who were forced to stay home, jobless.
However, as Filipinos are resilient, so are other companies and industries that managed to continue to operate, to finance their business and, to even open opportunities for employment. Let’s take a peek at a few of them (in no particular order):
Banking – For a very obvious reason, people still need to continue to purchase goods and services. Banks have been actually rushing to transform their business transaction to a more digital approach in order to cater to the needs of safety and staying at home.
IT/Information Security Companies – Since quarantine has been implemented, the rate of internet users has skyrocketed and the need for IT support has also risen. What can also be seen is the widespread use of online educational platforms as well as live streaming and connectivity platforms.
Food Delivery Services – People love to eat good food and the downfall of dine-ins has significantly contributed to the rise of people’s needs for their cravings to be delivered on their doorsteps.
Insurance – Whether life or non-life, the recent threat to many lives and properties has contributed to the heightened awareness of the need to protect their health and property.
How did these industries manage to survive and thrive?
First: the use of technology. A good example here is the Banking industry. Banks needed to shift their regular operations and provide their customers with online banking services in order for them to continue their purchase of goods and services at the comforts of their home.
Second: pivoting the business model. Another example would be, some restaurants shifted from a dine-in service and transformed themselves to a full-service commissary. From serving to a seated customer they are now packaging and delivering to their customers at home.
Third: they were simply at the right place at the right time. Healthcare, Logistics, Online IT companies saw a rise in demand which they had to cater to or give way to their competitors. Quite fortunately, their diligence and choice of industry to build their businesses on just paid off during this time.
This is what resilient companies do.
As for those that have been affected, we can only hope that things soon settle and we can return to some form of normalcy. In the meantime, let us do what the President of the European Central Bank Christine Lagarde said in a forum early this year “Given the nature of the crisis, all hands should be on deck; all available tools should be used,”.