I left my job and decided to take a sabbatical in the month of January. Even though we were in the middle of an economic slowdown, I wasn't a bit worried. Although the news of a virus outbreak in China was making its rounds in the news, I never expected the whole world to be tied down in a short span of 3-4 months.
Things have drastically changed in the last couple of months for India and the whole world. Lives have been uprooted, jobs lost, economies tumbled, even the IMF has declared that we are in a global recession now.
Disney, Google, Slack, HP etc are companies which were formed right before, after or during an economic setback. And they are some of the biggest companies in the world right now. What does that mean? Even during the worst of times there are OPPORTUNITIES. Opportunities to be conquered if you make the right move.
Even during these hard times I want people to be optimistic, see the silver lining and start working towards it. To try and motivate some of you here are some sectors which have thrived during the lockdown and some opportunities which I think are right there. These industries are not on a temporary high, because they will hold their ground even after the Lockdown and the pandemic, simply because "people are used to it now".
Health & Fitness
Health is definitely one sector where growth is expected after a pandemic. Even though hospitals and clinics see a reduction in non-corona patients right now, they have an opportunity in hand by using this time to experiment new setups. Some major players are already pushing on patient at home programs by providing all hospital like treatments at anybody's home.
Medicine delivery platforms have gotten a sudden boost due to the lockdown. The lockdown has forced a lot of people to go online for their medicines which will definitely help increase the adaption rates.
Virtual hospitals are also being set up, even though the practicality is limited it is definitely a new avenue for the industry to explore. Virtual fitness training centres (Yoga, Zumba etc) is definitely something which will see a rise in users. The number of viewers attending random influencers' "health" tips is the proof to show the inclination towards virtual fitness centres.
One thing which we have been hearing from the beginning is that Corona is less lethal to people with high immunity. That in itself is a huge opportunity for FMCG companies – An everyday product which will enhance our immunity. Even after corona is long gone, people will want to increase their immunity and what will the consumer need? A normal can of juice or a can of juice that can enhance their immunity? Think.
Schools are shut, most exams are postponed. Some schools have started online classes on their own. The adaption rate of the whole sector has gone up. Rather than going to a class and listening to their teacher, a huge chunk of the population has been exposed to the ease of online classes. What are you waiting for? Capitalize, now!
Virtual classes are definitely an area which is bound to explode. There is scope for building a holistic SAAS product for schools and coaching centres. Even after the pandemic ,it's going to be an add on for the schools and different revenue stream for coaching centres.
We have an e-Learning Unicorn in India - Byju's. There are other major players like Vedantu, Doubtnut, Toppr who are doing good as well. But the pie is huge and has room for more players. Is there a lot of content in vernacular language? An app for EVERYONE in India, teachers taking classes in your mother tongue. E learning is booming and this is one sector for anyone to take advantage of.
I read somewhere that most of the Indian population is aged between 20-30. What do they want when the lockdown is over? Jobs. What if you could equip them with strong skills to tackle the world. Let's face it, a college degree is not going to give them the bump they need, they need some handy skills whether it be digital marketing, data science, even communication skills for that matter. What if you could empower them with all this. During this lockdown there is an exponential rise in people I know doing courses online. Mostly Udemy, Unacademy and Coursera are their preferred platforms. What if we had vernacular content to penetrate into the "Bharat" population? More than the economical benefits, the scale at which it will help people is huge.
P.S - I keep going back to the vernacular/Bharat touch point repeatedly because I think that's one area which hasn't been explore much. And the potential is huge. As a marketer I've seen vernacular content sore much higher than just English.
The owners also got hit pretty bad, most of the companies in India didn't know how to handle the situation. Work from home is a culture which is still being introduced in India and when the pandemic struck, the companies had no option than to start working from homes.
But now companies are going to be ready to start investing in productivity tools which will enable work from home. The beauty of working from home is that it helps in increasing the work-life balance and productivity, if executed well. It will also help companies to cut down on infrastructure costs. New tools for the Indian market will definitely be something which will pick up after the pandemic along with existing ones.
With Zoom out of the picture, Indians will need something of that sort, remote conferences are something which we should get used to.
P.S - I'm not a fan of work from home. I used to give my team work from home and be at the office myself. I always thought my productivity went down while working from home. Although, I've been learning to improve it during the course of this lockdown.
Swiggy and Zomato aggressively ramped up their grocery delivery system to make the most of this lockdown period. That shows the demand, the corona pandemic is the one event that has shot up the adaption rate for several industries and online retail is one sector which has benefited the most.
People are understanding the ease of such delivery services and are using it on their own. The truth is that most of the major players haven't been able to deliver according to the demand. Hyperlocal services will be welcomed by more people now and India has space for more players. A lot of small players are trying their hand at it, even relatively smaller supermarket chains are trying to be a part of it. With the current adaption rates this is the best time to try and make your forte in this sector.
At a glance these are some of the opportunities out there. This is the time to take the leap. Use this crisis and come out of it with something better. Make the best of this lockdown and make it a blessing.
Are there more opportunities, definitely! I hope you figure out much more that I have and start working towards it. And if you ever think you need help with anything you can feel free to DM me. Happy to help.