COVID-19 & a panoramic view of its impact on future workplace

Team MBAtrek 14 May, 2020 Business Insights

1. Healthcare & pharmaceutical

COVID-19 is undoubtedly is a health emergency. It is has affected almost every nation of the world, shaking them from the very roots. Therefore, healthcare and pharmaceutical are like to witness some revolutionary changes in the time to come.

The government budgetary allocation to this sector is bound to increase exponentially in the coming financial year. Presently, India spends approximately 3.6% of the GDP on health. This figure is likely to witness at least a jump of 2-3% in the near future. Primarily, the reason being that COVID-19 has taken a shape from a health issue to a national security issue.

Investment in an all-round manner in the health sector 'research and development' is a natural outcome of this pandemic. There is a mad rush in every country to find a vaccine. This can give a boost to some new domains of study like microbiology, Virology, gene-editing and also technologies like CRISPR Cas-9.

Added to this the share price of some major pharmaceutical companies like Sun Pharmaceutical Industries Ltd, Dr Reddy Laboratories Ltd and the pharma business from a panoramic view will certainly get a boost.

The future of the workplace in the pharmaceutical and health sector will bank upon creativity, innovation and extensive research and development. This primarily will include the RT-PCR, RT-LAMP, vaccine development and also research on medicine and drugs which can boost the immunity of an individual.

2. Automobile Sector

A major impact on any economy due to external factor is first noticed in the automobile sector. This sector absorbs and employes a large number of job seekers. The repeal effect of this automobile sector has a high magnitude since many other businesses have a direct connection to the automobile sector. The COVID-19 pandemic has impacted this sector very negatively.  Big Companies in this sector like Maruti, Tata Motors, Mahindra & Mahindra had to, unfortunately, gave a halt to their production units. This has caused a loss of jobs to many individuals. The oil price in the world market is likely to get severely affected due to a hard hit which is presently faced by the automobile sector. As the circulation of the money in the economy witnesses, an increase in the next few quarters this sector is likely to revive back to normal with new lucrative offers for their customers as the purchasing power of the customer increases.

The workplace in the automobile sector is likely to shape into a more mechanised form. The human interface will be reduced to its minimum. The use of artificial intelligence will witness its high watermark. The industry will strive to move from a low to zero man to man contact policy which can reduce the risk of spreading the virus.

3. IT & ITES

The world is present to us at a click of the mouse. That’s is the best facility we all can get when a deadly pandemic is around and we are required to stay at home. Thanks to Information technology at large. Gone are the days when the manufacturing sector was considered as the backbone on which every other sector depended directly or indirectly. Presently, the IT sector alone generates about 8% of India’s GDP. This sector is likely to witness a significant jump due to the recent schemes of ‘Digital India’ by the central government. Latest technology like Aadhar enabled payment systems(AEPS), BHIM App, Common Service Centres set up by the government will require robust IT empowerment. BharatNet under the National Optical Fiber Network has a dream to penetrate each and every village of India to provide internet facility. This will provide a great opportunity for private players to capitalise on this segment.

The recent deal of RIL(Reliance Industries Limited) with Facebook for JioMart and other companies like the General Atlantic, KKR have heavily invested in Reliance. This shows the relevance of this sector and the increasing demand and a bright future for the overall IT industry.

WFH(Work From Home) is the latest and the most palpable change which can be noticed in the IT sector. This helps the employee to remain safe and secured. Online meetings and seminars will form the future. Wearing a mask and maintaining sanitary measures along with social distancing will be a must.

4. Tourism & Aviation

Probably, the worst affected sector due to COVID-19 is the tourism sector.  Travel and Tourism are two sides of the same coin. It is saddening to know that big companies like MakeMyTrip had to lay off 350 employee due to the recent rapid developments like lockdown, restriction on movement and the increasing number of cases of COVID -19. Progress in this sector will rather be slow. It is due to the fact that the major countries of the world will open their economy in a phased manner. Due to which the most essential sector will be given the first preferences as they will help to stabilise the macroeconomic fundamentals of the country. However, keeping the recent measures into perspective it is noticed that countries like Spain and France have opened their doors for tourists with high safety and sanitary standards. In India also, Rajasthan and some part of it has also gradually opened for tourist with high safety standards to be maintained.

The aviation sector, unfortunately, had to face a hard blow amid the COVID-19 pandemic. A whopping loss of rupees 25000 crores was noticed in this sector. Both commercial and domestic flights have suffered huge losses due to a complete ban on travel. The proposal to disinvest Air India which is suffering from perpetual loss has been on cards for a while. The rising figure of Non-Performing Assets (NPA) in this sector has been a serious matter of concern, for example, Jet Airways and Spice Jet. This sector is likely to demand a longer span of time for its revival.

The aviation and tourism sector will have to follow the latest Standard operation procedures (SOP) at the workplace. Compulsory usage of Personal Protective Equipments(PPE) kits, temperature checking of the tourist and travellers at the airport and maintenance of social distancing in the waiting room will be required to be followed. Aarogya Setu App will be a sine qua non for anyone using the airlines’ services.

5. E-Commerce & Logistic

The E-commerce sector has witnessed positive changes due to COVID-19. Top business giant Jeff Bezos actually became richer during the pandemic. The online sale of good has seen a significant jump during the lockdown period. E-commerce proves to be the most relevant and amicable solution to purchase products during this pandemic. According to the latest estimates, Jeff Bezos is likely to become the first Trillionaire by 2026. Therefore, online purchase and sale of goods will notice double-digit growth in the near future.

The Logistics sector is also likely to grow because of the fact that major global companies that earlier had an expanded business in China are most likely to shift their base to India. Therefore, a large portion of the money that is generated via the global value chain will flow to India in the near future. The private plays can utilise this opportunity to further expand their business in this sector.

Companies like Amazon have come up with their own procedures and work culture. For example, the delivery boy while delivering the order will place the parcel at the doorsteps of the customer and will take two steps backwards. Also, the WFH is again a recurring theme that will have its relevance for the time to come. The use of centralised air-condition in the office will be temporarily replaced with pedestal fans due to compact air circulation in the office which increases the risk of infection.

6. Real Estate & Construction

The real estate and construction sector is heavily dependent on the labour force and migrant worker who mostly belong to rural areas. Keeping the present condition into perspective there is large scale migration of labours back to their village due to this pandemic which has given a severe blow to this sector. But some additional measures like the relaxation of the labour laws, major changes in the Companies Act, Minimum Wages Act, Industrial Dispute Act has relaxed the norms and other rules and regulations which earlier created a bureaucratic hurdle in the business giving rise to ‘Inspector Raj’. However, under the Pradhan Mantri Awas Yojana (PMAY) this sector will get more support from the government once the economy revives itself on track in the coming 2-3 quarters. So major changes are also expected in the Real estate Regulation Act (RERA) which can further ease the entire sector to give a better kick start to the entire business.

The real estate sector companies will have to extend a helping hand to the migrant workers by providing them with masks and hand gloves. The work is more likely to continue in a phased manner to prevent the construction site from overcrowding. Increase in the number of working hours with higher payments. Temporary accommodation facility must also be imparted for the workers.

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