Since the mid of March 2020, the world has been experiencing the largest global pandemic in the last 100 years caused by the contagious outbreak of COVID-19 in China. To this day, the virus hasn’t been eradicated completely. It’s been well over 10 months, and we are hearing about some new strains of COVID-19 as well. However, that doesn’t mean that the world will remain standstill and cause the world economy to collapse even further.
It’s a fact that the world economy has been heavily affected due to this pandemic, but it has also evolved and adapted with the unavoidable circumstances. It adopted new and improved means of conducting business and maintaining the economic balance. COVID-19 has accomplished to bring out some of the best business trends of the modern era such as:
Acceleration of Technology
From Rich Karlgaard’s Silicon Valley perspective, the biggest global business story prior to Covid-19 was a brisk acceleration of the rate of technology evolution, and it is still undergoing a transformation that ensures the industry’s continued growth. Tech leaders from VMware’s Pat Gelsinger to Microsoft Azure head, Scott Guthrie, believe that the underlying pace of digital evolution is 2-3x faster than even five years ago. Relatively new companies such as “ServiceNow” and “Atlassian” have rapidly emerged as digital platforms, the holy grail of any tech company. Big tech was strongly heading into the COVID-19 crisis and has only grown mightier. Customers of enterprise tech are not slowing their investments. CEOs have put a premium on agility. The biggest ask of tech by CEOs and CFOs is a faster return on investment—weeks, not years.
Markets are Looking at the Bigger Picture
Stocks have held up more than one would have expected, given the Great Depression-like collapse of commerce in the second quarter, technology has surged. What markets see is a reasonably fast recovery—not a V-shape, but a “skinny U” as Campbell Harvey, a professor at Duke’s Fuqua School of Business, put it recently. Still, it may take 18 to 24 months to return to January 2020 levels of global GDP. But by the third quarter, barring a second Covid-19 shutdown, the growth rate is assumed to be impressive compared with the basement of March 2020. Moreover, the market is adopting digital marketing methods to attract consumers and customers with catchy advertisements and attractive promos.
Acceleration of Entrepreneurship
While some sectors like technology, telecom and shipping were stable, small family businesses have been hit hard, and there are disastrously high unemployment rates among youth. These factors will lead to a boom in “survival entrepreneurship.” History shows that this kind of entrepreneurship, a traditional path of immigrants is more durable than startups created by entrepreneurs who are affluent and have good PowerPoints. In the U.S., the 1970s was a lousy decade for business—petrol prices quadrupled, a president and vice president resigned, and the stock market lost 45% from peak to trough. Yet Apple, Charles Schwab, FedEx, Microsoft and Oracle were born in that dicey decade. Apart from all these, people are bringing out more innovative ideas to expand and create their own businesses. Be it small businesses or collaborating with enthusiastic entrepreneurs to form a more profitable business, new and better ideas and entrepreneurship plans are being brought up now and then during the COVID-19 pandemic.
Supply Chains Will be Shorter and More Regional
We all know what Supply Chain is. Supply chain is the system of organizations, people, activities, information, and resources involved in supplying products and services to various kinds of consumers. China’s emergence as the hub of global supply is perhaps this young century’s biggest story. However, China’s global command peaked in 2017. Then came COVID-19.
“The disruption unleashed by the new coronavirus is different. It has highlighted country risk at an unprecedented scale. Nobody could have foreseen what would happen (and happened in early 2020) when the world’s second-largest economy went offline and completely shut down external logistics connections. Many companies are only now coming to grips with the depth of their China dependencies,” writes Harvard Business School professor Willy Shih in a recent issue of MIT Sloan Management Review.
Bringing Out Virtual Means of Conducting Business
COVID-19 has put on restrictions in literally everything, be it normal academic education or office work in an organization, shopping, restaurants, sports etc. But we have seen the emergence of new softwares that is helping to conduct almost all of these virtually. For example, In our country, for online classes for students of school, college and university, we have “Zoom”, “Microsoft Teams” and “Google Meet” that let every teacher take classes sitting and staying at home. They can also show presentations, assign tasks to the students, take lessons from students instantly and virtually using Zoom, Microsoft Teams and Google Meet. In terms of online shopping and buying groceries, we have apps like “Daraz”, “E-valy”, “Chal Dal”, “AliExpress BD” etc. Even many restaurants are entirely providing their services via online deliveries using “Foodpanda”, “UberEats”, “Pathao”, “E-food” and many more. Even money transportations are done through online means like “Bkash”, “Nogod” etc and all of these are actually competing with one another with the best services possible to keep on doing business despite a global pandemic. New ideas and methods like this must emerge in order to keep the economy of our country.
So, the COVID-19 global pandemic is not all that bad. It has stopped many things, but it also started many new things. Lastly, we can say that COVID-19 has been a necessary evil to business and economy.