COVID-19 has been cruel to humanity. We have been through numerous lockdowns, experienced first or secondhand anxiety, and been cordoned off from our peers and family. Despite these challenges, we’ve all adapted.
Faced with a unique situation, technology has played a massive role in ensuring that we continue our lives with a certain degree of normalcy. Zoom, Amazon, Dunzo, Google, and several others became part of our day-to-day life. Though these businesses were growing at a rapid clip pre-pandemic, the pandemic fueled their growth trajectory.
Let’s take a look at a few such sectors that we believe are likely to thrive in the post-COVID world.
1) Virtual Collaboration services
Lockdowns taught us that remote work is entirely possible. Organizations worldwide adopted a remote-working model and were able to go about business as usual thanks to applications that enabled collaboration in a virtual environment such as Dropbox, Slack, Microsoft Teams, and Google Meet.
With a whopping 2900% increase in users, Zoom was one of the fastest-growing apps during the pandemic. Today, the company boasts a $100 billion+ valuation, a 383% increase since January 2020. The number of daily active users on Microsoft Teams also grew by 476% in 2020 vis-a-vis 2019.
It’s pretty likely that remote work is here to stay. Several companies are considering moving permanently to a hybrid working model. With this shift in the way we work underway, remote work-enabling apps are poised for growth even in a post-pandemic world.
2) E-commerce and D2C
The pandemic and lockdowns that followed necessitated that traditional retailers shift to an omnichannel approach for survival. E-commerce volume grew by 36% and value by 30% year on year.
Early in the lockdown, Nike, which is primarily an offline retailer, managed to increase the share of its sales online to 30%, a target that had originally been set for 2023. Additionally, there are early signs that this changed channel mix is here to stay with over 70 million new members, bringing the total members to 250 million.
The increasing popularity of e-commerce and D2C is likely to translate to a higher growth rate for brands that jump on the bandwagon in the coming years.
The pandemic forced us to rethink the way we work with money. Physical cash transactions were discouraged and as a result, the number of contactless payments grew. Globally, the total transaction value of digital payments increased from $4.1 trillion in 2019 to $5.2 trillion in 2020.
Further, with lockdowns restricting movement, it became difficult for people to visit physical bank branches. Consequently, digital banking services started taking over. Today, over 46% of people exclusively use digital services to manage their finances.
India has the third-largest fintech ecosystem and the highest fintech adoption rate in the world. Since the pandemic, the volume of UPI transactions has doubled from $1.25 billion in March 2020 to $2.29 billion in March 2021.
Despite this wave of adoption, a recent survey by the Reserve Bank of India revealed that physical cash is still the preferred mode of transaction thereby revealing that there is massive scope for digitization of commerce in a post-COVID world.
The pandemic severely burdened the healthcare industry in several parts of the world. Telehealth services stepped in and provided an effective solution to this problem. According to a survey, around 71% of physical visits are unnecessary and can be addressed effectively over a call or video. Unsurprisingly, close to 75% of millennials prefer telehealth services over in-person checks.
Teladoc, the leading telehealth company in the States, experienced massive traction during the pandemic. Its annual revenue in 2020 of $1.09 billion showed a massive increase of 98% over 2019. Total visits to the platform increased by 156%, while paid memberships grew by 41%.
Currently, the doctor-to-patient ratio in India is 1:1000, which is below the recommended ratio by the World Health Organization. Clearly, there is tremendous scope for the telehealth industry to blossom in India.
The pandemic pushed over 1.2 billion children across 186 countries out of their classrooms. Schools and universities have had to equip their educators with digital infrastructure that can be used to impart education.
As people have gained comfort with digital channels being the primary source of education, several institutions have started offering massive open online courses (MOOC). Edtech startups such as Coursera, upGrad, and BYJU’s have experienced exponential growth. Coursera, for example, had 19 million users in 2019; this number increased to 76 million in 2020. The number of courses and degrees offered on the platform also increased by 1.5x-2x.
Globally, over 3 million students are enrolled in full-time online courses for higher education. Studies show that online learners may retain 25-60% of material as opposed to just 8-10% in classroom interactions. Going by these numbers, edtech seems set for massive growth in the near future.
We hope you found this article useful. If there’s any topic that you would like us to talk about, let us know in the comments below.
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