Updated: Apr 19
While no one can say with absolute certainty what the world will look like after Corona Virus is done with us, here's where we would place our chips if we were a betting company:
*E-commerce: Especially in Africa. The continent will look back and thank Covid-19 for leapfrogging us to the age of virtual supermarkets being a lot more mainstream. Kenya’s Safaricom may have tried that with Masoko two years ahead of this schedule, perhaps now is the time to double down on it? Will Amazon make its debut in Africa setting up base in major cities like Johannesburg and Nairobi? We’ll see. This then in essence will lead us to:
*Logistics: Sendy, Glovo and UberEats may be leading the way now in East Africa. Now that shopping from the sofa is getting a bit more mainstream in Africa, we foresee a couple more last mile logistics companies coming up to get their slice of this market, especially with an Uber-like model serviced by locals who own motorbikes. This will then trigger this…
*CyberSec: With everyone using their mobile money and banking cards in all these newer shopping apps, schools with underaged learners hosting their classes virtually and companies holding critical meetings online, there’s a lot of sensitive information being passed over the airwaves and children that have to be kept safe. CyberSec firms are likely to see a beautiful uptick in demand for their services. Speaking of companies and meetings…
*Remote Video Conferencing: Zoom, Skype for Business and Ms Teams have been dancing through this season. A huge majority of people globally are working from home. Post-COVID, we foresee most companies deciding to either go work-from-home exclusively or provide more opportunities for remote roles. We foresee a few more companies coming up with either apps or gadgets that can support remote conferencing. Like detachable cameras, extra mics etc for those who perpetually block the cameras on their home computers or have faulty mics. Now that we’re working from home….
*Team Building Industry: Organizations will want to get to catch up from time to time; team morale and cohesion and all that. We foresee an ambitious, well-executed professional development cum team-building company going to IPO over the next 5 years. Again, we don’t (actually) have a crystal ball, but if we were betting...
*Home Office Industry: Anything from home printers, office accessories like staplers and printing paper and chairs that match with most home decor, and smaller tables and chairs for all the kids who will be homeschooling and attending virtual schools. Speaking of which….
*Exclusively Virtual Schools: From Kindergarten to College. Now that it has been seen to be feasible, it is possible that some jurisdictions and parents would be more open to schools that are 100% virtual to complete the work-from-home picture. This could then lead to..
*The freelance teacher/home-tuition industry: When your kid is struggling with a particular area of learning and you’re incapable of helping, you could just Uber in a teacher to your house, pay them per hour to handle it and call it a class. Perhaps babysitters who can also homeschool (while you’re in the next room working) will be in higher demand? We’ll see. To get the kids some social skills…
*The rise of the Play Group Industry: Maybe people will want to only move to neighborhoods that have an established play-group program? Maybe.
*Pay-per hour offices: Now that companies are open to remote workers, they may decide to completely do away with their offices and only rent meeting rooms per hour if it’s necessary to bring people in, or meet with a client. Co-working spaces may also decide to focus most of their offering on per-use renting, but their current model may still be feasible for growing economies where home Wifi is still unavailable or too pricey.
In Africa: More out-of-town community centers with wifi and computers. Or Telkom companies will offer products specifically targeting work-from-home users. This could include a laptop-and-bundles combo paid monthly.
While there are still some present opportunities during this season, if you had a crystal ball, what do you think it might say about the future?