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Business Trends after the COVID-19 Crisis: Who Will Rise and Who Will Fall?

The outbreak of COVID-19 is a shocking situation in every corner of the world. Though it happened only in limited areas at first, this virus has spread quickly in a very short period of time. The death toll is still rising at a fast pace. Unprepared countries are seeing an uncontrollable increase in the total infected population, while better-prepared countries with monitoring scheme and countermeasures can somewhat control the spread of this disease. However, one of the consequences is economic recession. People are being cautious, staying at home, avoiding travelling, and meeting others, wearing masks, washing hands frequently, and using alcohol gel for disinfection. In fact, their lifestyle has changed, resulting in reduce overall spending and thus damaging economy at an unprecedented scale.

Organisations, institutes, as well as businesses of all sizes cooperate with precautionary measures by allowing their employees to work from home. The government has announced temporary closure of certain businesses, while others have decided to close their businesses including gyms, boxing venues, cinemas, restaurants, shopping malls, schools, universities, etc. in order to mitigate the risk of disease spreading. Public transportation such as airlines, trains, buses, and other transport have ceased their services.

Fallen industry during the COVID-19 Crisis

Nobody knew that a situation like COVID-19 crisis would have happened. The major effects on corporate sector are a business stagnation and a decline in consumers’ purchasing power. Definite list of industries that are directly affected by COVID-19 are as follows.
  • Airline Industry    The most impacted industry is airline industry. For example, Thai Airways have filed for bankruptcy rehabilitation plan. International flights are generally banned. It is not possible to travel abroad during this challenging time. Those who wished to return to their home countries had to self-quarantine for 14 days. Many workers in this industry including flight attendants, pilots, and other airlines employees have either lost their jobs, been paid less, or been uncertain how their future might turn out.
  • Hotel Industry    Hotel is another business facing difficulties during the COVID-19 outbreak because tourism has declined to zero. Everyone chooses to stay at home. Several hotels adjust their policy and open rooms for medical personnel. Some hotels allow their employees to cook and sell food via online channel or offer cleaning and home maintenance service through online platform, so that they can generate revenue. This is nothing but to help keeping up their business and supporting their employees. It is hoped that eventually the COVID-19 situation will ease up and tourism will return to normal, then the hotel industry would be able to flourish once again.
  • Tourism Industry    Obviously people do not want to travel at this time of COVID-19. They must comply social distancing rules for most of the time and go out only when it is necessary. Hence, tourism industry is hugely affected by this outbreak.
  • Industrial Property Industry    COVID-19 crisis has lowered the total sales, such as land for factory and industrial property. Foreign entrepreneurs cannot fly in to examine land and discuss business on site. It is believed that after the crisis has ended, those entrepreneurs who held off their decision due to economic recession of COVID-19 outbreak will reconsider establishing their new factory in Thailand, as well as purchasing industrial property in Thailand.
Rising industry during the COVID-19 Crisis

During this challenging COVID-19 time, we might think that all types of businesses are deteriorated. However, it is surprising that many businesses are performing magnificently with higher sales and more customers. These businesses include:
  •  Food Delivery Industry    It is obvious that COVID-19 crisis has turned into opportunity for food delivery industry such as Grab Food, Lineman, Food Panda, as well as many others. Almost everyone orders food delivery. Many restaurants have switched to sell their foods online through food delivery service. It is believed that the consumer behaviour of ordering food online will be the new normal, despite the end of a COVID-19 outbreak.
  • Courier Service Industry    During the self-quarantine, besides ordering food online, people also shop online more than before. We cannot go to shopping malls like we used to, but we still need to access basic amenities. That is why we shop online and use courier service like Kerry Express, Flash Express, or Lalamove. At the beginning of COVID-19 outbreak, we have heard on the news about employee shortage in this industry, thus affecting and delaying their management and operation. Then the situation got better since they hired more employees. Like ordering food online, people tend to get used to access amenities online. Although online shopping did exist before the COVID-19 emerged, but this crisis has accelerating a change in consumer behaviour. This is likely to be a new normal as well.
  • Life Insurance Industry    Almost every life insurance company have been launching a new product which is COVID-19 insurance that is perfectly suitable during this time. People are afraid of not only getting sick, but also of taking long time to recover. Medical expenses can be high, while they earn less income in this time. This disease also spreads fast and we all have possibility to be infected. Buying COVID-19 insurance allows us peace of mind and the insurance premium is not high—roughly hundreds of Baht. Some companies even offer to pay hundreds thousand of Baht if the assured is tested COVID-19 positive. That is why many people bought insurance online and their websites even went down due to overwhelming use.
  • Industrial Property Industry    According to statistics, there is a sign that foreign entrepreneurs have moved their manufacturing base to Southeast Asia. It is not only because of the US-China trade war, but COVID-19 outbreak also caused China to be placed on lockdown. Many entrepreneurs mitigated the risk by moving their manufacturing base and property out of China. This is a gold opportunity for industrial property provider in Thailand where entrepreneurs can choose whether to buy land and invest in constructing their own factories, or to rent ready-to-use factories and property.
It is undeniable to say that luck does not on the side of all business that now undergoing through the crisis of COVID-19. Every business must adjust themselves and cope with this situation by searching for the strengths of their businesses. Sit-in restaurants have shifted to online delivery. Buffet restaurants have to figure their way. For example, Sushi Bars have turned to sell their frozen ingredients online. Courier service providers facing operational shutdown from labour shortage and need to hired taxi drivers to be their temporary couriers. Even tourism industry also shifts their strategy and offers rooms for medical personnel.

Adaptive businesses will continue to rise, while merely adaptive or non-adaptive business will fall, unfortunately.