The general statement, as being heard from experts all across the world, says that sectors that depend on peoples' behavior and management would take the longest time to recover after the end of the lockdown period, and immediately after the restrictions are removed, the government totally curbed to contain the spread of coronavirus are set for a bounce-back. So, firstly I give the picture as suggested by the experts:-
IT world, companies connected with the digital world, telecommunication sector are under those sectors which did not really see the downfall in real sense. So, companies coming in this category are those connected with an online platform that provides services through digital media.
- Work and office systems like video conferencing software
- Entertainment like Netflix, Amazon Prime, etc
- Logistics supply chain etc.
Expected Growing Sectors Post COVID-19:
- There will be a high jump in the medical sectors, by improving the health equipment and inventing new technology in the healthcare sectors following the COVID-19 pandemic.
- Physiotherapy and Indian medicine like Ayurveda will see a big rise, as existing health infrastructure is overloaded due to the current pandemic and it will take some time for allopathic doctors and hospitals which provide conventional treatments to bounce back to their pre-pandemic efficiency.
- E-commerce and home delivery, both by normal retail and by e-commerce companies, would see a further uptick, as people will prefer to move out the minimum and have the orders delivered at home mostly.
- Warehousing, transportation system, storage facilities, would come back to the previous scale quickly once the lockdown is lifted.
Now, the interesting thing is that, for these sectors to continue doing good, IT support is needed. So it is expected that IT will keep on doing good and better, most noticeably.
Sectors which will need time to revive:
Under this category, those sectors are involved which depend on people's behavior like tours and travels, Hospitality sector, Shopping malls, etc. Even after the lockdown, People will not travel unnecessarily, they won’t stay in hotels. Tourism and Hospitality industries may take time to revive as activities of tourism will slow down dramatically.
Now, all these mentioned above, are the general notion of the experts, but as they say, you cannot pluck the future out of the crystal ball, so things might not work exactly as per our expectations.
Who thought that people will jump to the liquor shops creating big queues over there? and this one example of liquor industry might justify my thought process on the seven sectors I talk about below:
- Construction Field: First of all, Real estate tends to dip during the monsoon season. There is doubt if the builders will be in a position to repay their loans. So, predictably it is expected that the construction sector will go down. There might be a rush amongst the builders after lockdown to complete the pending projects, and acquire the money from the investors, which may lead to jobs in the construction sector, Civil Engineering, and Structural Engineering, etc.
- Agriculture: Farmers are farming bumper rabi crop, although there are indications of a 15-20 percent loss in wheat production due to untimely and random rainfall. However is not this a consideration too, that a portion of migrant families, who go back to their villages and do odd jobs during this season, are available as farm laborers? Now, the farmers cannot do those odd jobs that they do in normal times, they are willing to work at those lesser rates, which may lead to jobs in the decision-making sector of the agriculture industry to make it flourish with the help of availability of cheap labor.
- Travel and Tourism: In the present scenario, there is no hope for the travel and hospitality segments. Evidently there will be job losses, shutdowns, and that leads to bankruptcies. But when we see the positive sides, there are tens of thousands of people stranded across the globe who all are away from their home or somewhere midway. People may be scared of travel, but they may also want to move as if freedom from prison. Post lockdown, the sales of air tickets will rise exponentially, as their prices; in demand may shore up the hospitality sector too.
- Restaurant Services: As people might not prefer going to restaurants so eventually the restaurant services are going down. But instead of the barrier people still order food online for food delivery which is indeed driving the sales of the business. But after lockdown, there will be a certain portion of people who will not miss an opportunity to rush to their preferred restaurant post-pandemic, which might drive the sales of the restaurant business.
- Retail and Multiplex: In the present scenario retail and the multiplex sector is having a massive loss. And the loss will continue even after the lockdown gets over.
- Automobile: In the present scenario people are not willing to purchase cars, or any vehicles owing to the expected less intent of people on moving out. However, it is to be remembered that at the moment, the emotion of people is going strongly against China. Then the intent of the world on moving towards electric cars gives a huge opportunity to the Indian market to produce and capitalize on electric cars, for which we were dependent mostly on China. That may *lead to a big number of jobs in the automobile industry too and for the Mechanical and Electrical Engineers. Also, there might be a demand for two-wheelers as people will prefer to shun public travel, and in India, the middle class can afford to purchase bikes and scooters. That also gives a chance of boosting up the Automobile Industry.
- Banking: By keeping in a view of a number of possible bad debts due to the bankruptcy declaration of many reputed companies, the banking sector has also been predicted to face the heat. There are a number of banks which already cancel the loan offer for the time being. However, for the banks with high provision coverage, there is a chance for them for more loan disbursement to the big investors, wanting to invest in some new portions to come out post-COVID-19, and consequent bigger profits over time, subject to no similar situation in near future. But after lockdown, it is most likely to higher returns in the banking sectors.
All said and done, the IT sector will flourish due to its essential needs and will grab the market with ease especially Artificial Intelligence or "AI” which is an imitation of the human intellect, exercised by machines. The world has stepped into the modern technologies that would evidently reduce human efforts and enables Artificial Intelligence is the way that can show a new way through which the quality and authenticity will improve. Airlines, Railways, telecom industries, and Corporate, etc have started to adopt this change with the invention of modern technologies and that will continue to do so at a more rapid pace. The medical sector will try to impose this technology to avoid contagious outrage as “work from home” might be a new work culture for the corporate folks. There will be a market for medical robots that can screen patients before sending them over to specific doctors who put them in isolation wards if required and those bots will be helpful in many sectors.
All these would mean more scope for robotics and AI techniques. Even machine learning and data analysis will come to the forefront to allow remote control from anywhere like different types of machinery of the factories and will lead the industry, which will clearly lead to a lot of job opportunities in these fields for Computer Science and Electronics Engineers.
What is the Right Direction?
The students and their parents should think multiple times for the higher education options and it should always be driven towards the sector of the industry, which is flourishing every time. Whatever be the situation of the world and it's economy, the best place to go for anybody now is a University, the best use of time is learning. So, for you also, considering that the nature of jobs is going to change the big way, 30% reshuffling of jobs is inevitable, higher education at the moment in the right direction is a mandate.
If you are interested to know about the upcoming status of all the sectors over time, the growth and fall of job opportunities as time progresses, you may call at 9887313330.
Stay Safe, hoping for bright sunshine in the coming days.
Prof. Dr. Biswajoy Chatterjee
University of Engineering & Management (UEM), Jaipur