Sectors booming during Covid
The coronavirus outbreak has impacted businesses worldwide and wiped more than $20 trillion off the value of global equity markets.
Businesses across various industries have been forced to readjust their strategies in response to the social distancing measures put in place to contain the spread of Covid-19.
Sectors such as aviation, tourism and hospitality are among the worst-hit.
However, there are businesses that are thriving during the pandemic as they experience a spike in demand for their products and services.
Healthcare technology firms that offer home diagnostics and telemedicine services are witnessing a rush in the number of customers and queries.
The drone industry has seen an increase in business over the past two months and industry analysts predict the trend to continue.
Drone technology that had previously been used to spray pesticides in agricultural fields was effectively used by China to spray disinfectants in public places and on prevention vehicles travelling across affected areas.
Delivering medical samples by drone can significantly reduce unnecessary human contact throughout the transport cycle, according to a World Economic Forum report.
“It can also speed feedback for critical tests needed by patients and medical workers,” it added.
E-commerce companies are witnessing an overwhelming demand from customers placing online orders for packed foods and household goods as they avoid congested supermarkets and stores.
Global technology giant Amazon recently announced plans to hire 100,000 more staff at its fulfillment centres and across its delivery network to meet rising demand.
“Due to mobility restrictions and fear of going to public places, consumers are turning to e-commerce for their daily needs,” said Arif Saiyad, chief executive of Dubai-based platform Zon.
However, one of the main challenges faced by the sector is supply chain disruption as they struggle to meet increasing demand.
Instashop, an online grocery delivery company, said its orders have risen more than 53 per cent month-on-month, with a significant increase from the end of February.
Saudi home maintenance services start-up, Fanni App, has reported a 30 per cent increase in orders since people in the kingdom were asked to stay at home.
“There has been a good increase in the number of orders in March than the previous month,” Rita Huang, founder of iMile, a Dubai-based last mile delivery company told The National.
“We are also in the process of approaching local pharmaceutical firms and health authorities in case they need our help. We are well-equipped in the movement of such items.”
Remote online work platforms
As a greater number of people work remotely, they are turning to videoconferencing and other real-time communication tools to stay in touch with colleagues.
In China, downloads of home-grown work apps like Alibaba’s DingTalk and Tencent’s WeChat Work shot up significantly over the past two months.