The coronavirus outbreak is a human tragedy that has affected and continues to affect thousands of lives, with a growing impact on the global economy. Whilst global markets are crashing on account of COVID, there are several companies that have also benefited from the outbreak. The following sectors are expected to thrive post-COVID by aggressively investing in opportunities and growth.

Video conferencing and business
collaboration platforms:
Work-from-home policies, social
distancing, and government lockdowns have augmented the demand for video
conferencing apps, for both business and personal use. As a result, business
conferencing apps are experiencing record growth of downloads. Applications such
as Zoom, Skype, and Webex are seeing increased usage along with an increase in
the company’s sales and share prices. The world’s commitment to remote working
has made these companies more valuable than ever.

Healthcare sector: The
healthcare sector, which is a vital sector, has had to rapidly add capacities in
the wake of COVID-19, in terms of acute-care capacity, ventilators, and other
critical medical supplies. Countries with strong and adequate healthcare
infrastructure have been able to handle the resultant strain caused by the
virus, as compared to those with poor and inadequate healthcare infrastructure.
The pandemic has brought to attention the importance of healthcare
infrastructure, which will lead to continued investments in the sector going
forward.

Telemedicine services: Opportunities
have also emerged in telemedicine due to the unprecedented and forced social
distancing, which ranges from physical therapy to mental health, and also
reduces the risk of healthcare workers.

Pharmaceuticals: In the context
of the current situation, the pharma sector has gained prominence. The
challenges faced by pharma companies are hindrances in supply chains, delayed
clinical trials and disrupted ability to communicate with physicians and other
medical forums. The incremental innovation essential for premium-price drugs
will continue to rise, as will pricing pressure on commodity products such as
generics and biosimilars. Given the scope of the current pandemic, pharma
companies will be exploring new opportunities in anti-viral and anti-infective
medications, which is likely to increase the funding/ investments in new
research, pharma and biotech companies. 

Ecommerce: Due to
restrictions in movements in various parts across the world, products and
services will need to be delivered. There has been a significant rise in demand
for delivery of medical supplies and protective clothing, groceries, and food
deliveries. The
demand for online shopping has increased significantly which has led ecommerce companies
to add more jobs and increase capacities to manage the surge in demand.

Entertainment, gaming, and
online media:
As more
people stay home, self-isolation and quarantine measures have increased media
consumption and use of entertainment services such as video-on-demand and
gaming. Increased viewership of entertainment streaming platforms like NetflixAmazon Prime Video, and Disney+ has been reported.

Fitness applications: As physical
gyms appears to be no longer an option currently, there has been growing
interest in home workouts. Home workout applications and fitness-tracking
gadgets sales have experienced increased demand, given the popularity of home
exercise.

Cyber Security:  The
demand for cyber-security has increased significantly in recent times as a
result of Covid, as more businesses conduct operations in a digital environment
and there is a shift towards focusing on security operations, risk management,
intrusion detection and network monitoring. As more individuals and businesses
cope with doing business online, cyber-security will become a core technology
that will help in keeping online users and transactions secure. Post-Covid,
investments in digital technologies are likely to increase as businesses will
look at innovative ways to improve their digital offerings across a wide range
of sectors.

Conclusion: How should
we navigate this crisis? The answer is to act across five stages to return to
the next normal after winning the battle with coronavirus.

Resolve: Taking
care of the immediate challenges presented to the stakeholders

Resilience:
Addressing the near-term challenges like cash management and other resiliency
issues

Return: Device
a plan to return to normal business operations quickly as the after-effects
become clearer

Reimagination:
Come up with post-pandemic reinvestment plans

Reform:
Have clarity about how regulatory and competitive environments may change

The
importance to observe leading indicators, of how and where the pandemic is growing,
and conduct scenario planning using both epidemiological and economic inputs,
is crucial at this stage. In the wake of the new reality, we will see a
dramatic restructuring of the economic and social order moving towards the next
normal.

PKF
has a team of highly experienced professionals who have several years
of expertise in evaluating investments across a wide range of sectors, undertaking market and financial
feasibility studies for new projects, and undertaking business valuations across
diverse sectors. We would
be happy to discuss any of your requirements. Please feel free to get
in touch with us on difc@pkfuae.com