In much of the world, commerce has ground to a halt. The COVID-19 pandemic has forced millions of businesses to shut down. Of those that remain open, many have had to scale back their operations, cut costs and drag along on very tight resources.
But a few continue to thrive. In fact, some sectors are witnessing a surge in demand. This is partly because they are helping consumers find ways to work around the restrictions brought on by local lockdowns and health and safety requirements.
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Here, we look at the sort of businesses that are staying steady—and even doing well –in the face of the coronavirus pandemic.
1. Delivery and Logistics
In parts of the country where there’s a lockdown, delivery people are moving food and other essential supplies to homes. They are playing an important role, burning up the miles between vendors and customers who can’t venture into the markets to get the things they need.
The delivery business was growing steadily prior to the current pandemic, fueled by Nigerians’ expanding use of ecommerce. We’re not certain how much more businesses are relying on logistics companies in these times, but it’s clear that more of them will be turning to it post-pandemic.
If you’re not physically interacting with your customers, friends, family or colleagues, you can’t receive hard cash from them. You won’t give them currency notes either.
Many businesses are also choosing to not accept paper money. They’d rather have their customers pay via electronic means. As the public’s concern about the coronavirus strengthens, more stores will make the switch from physical notes, and embrace e-payments.
The companies that build and maintain e-payment channels will come away with more clients, and strengthen their position in Nigeria’s financial system.
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Pharmacies are typically exempted from lockdowns because they provide an essential service. Even if they aren’t experiencing an explosion in demand for the medicines they sell, many will get through the present economic fallout of the coronavirus pandemic, as they still experience steady traffic coming into them.
The manufacturers churning out the drugs are also benefitting from the exemptions. They may receive even an even greater boost if government nudges them to roll out drugs or vaccines for COVID-19 from local factories.
4. Cyber Security and Managed IT
More people are making orders, paying bills and getting entertained on web-based platforms. The businesses that offer these services will do well in the current conditions. But so will the companies that provide and maintain the IT infrastructure they use.
Cyber security firms also have plenty of work on their desks. The Central Bank recently warned that cybercrime had increased in the wake of the coronavirus pandemic. Financial institutions, public sector organizations and other concerns will be consulting with IT security companies to help strengthen their network security systems.
5. Personal Hygiene Products
It’s a good time for companies in the personal hygiene products business. Hand sanitizers are in demand like they’ve rarely been before. There’s also been a bulge in soap purchases, as hands are getting washed more often than usual. Toilet paper has flown off shelves too.
Whether we maintain our elevated levels of hygiene past the pandemic—and keep demand for soaps and sanitizers high –is a different question. The makers of these products can at least enjoy the boom while it lasts.
Featured Image Source: Technext NG
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