While every major global/national crisis creates problems that take a toll on some industries if not whole sectors, it also presents opportunities that savvy and shrewd individuals can tap into. Here are a few potentially lucrative post-Coronavirus prospects:
1. Financial Advisory Services
The abrupt locking down of breadwinners indoors has meant that the Coronavirus pandemic has been an eye-opener. It has been a wakeup call for many of those who were taking financial literacy and personal finance management principles for granted. At the end of it all, this information and advisory services will be on very high demand.
2. Microfinance services
In addition to many previously employed people losing their formal jobs (thus opting to be self-employed) and many small businesses going under, small loans will be on high demand. Those who are positioned to provide microfinance credit to people to capitalize their businesses will make money.
3. Sanitation and respiratory health supplies
While there has always been a latent demand for materials such as masks, gloves, sanitisers etc, many people who had never even thought of buying these materials for personal use are now ardent consumers. This trend is likely to continue and those who produce and supply these materials will make money.
4. Ethanol production
Ethanol is emerging as one of the sugarcane industry’s most important products and could potentially supplant crystalline sugar as the premier product from the industry in many countries. The high demand for ethanol and alcohol could spur the prices of these products to very lucrative levels.
5. Food packaging
Many people who had never appreciated the value of packaged food stuffs have all of a sudden seen how important such foods are. In countries such as Kenya and Tanzania, food packaging has always been a big industry and will only get more entrenched even in agrarian countries like Uganda.
6. Condo housing
Many people who had built homes or are renting expensive bungalows outside the city have woken up to the reality of how that can be a liability should public transport systems be disrupted. Many will open their eyes to the benefits of renting smaller houses/condos within the city. Those who will invest in building such houses quickly will make good money. Indeed, don’t be surprised to see some office buildings being turned into condos.
7. Buying off cheap assets
Many people will be short on cash after this crisis, having used up their savings and business capital. Consequently, there will be many valuable movable assets (even immovable ones like plots of land) floating around for a quick sale. This will present opportunities to those who will be liquid enough to acquire valuable assets on the cheap.
8. Skills training
With many employees losing their jobs and new employment opportunities being at a premium, those who can offer skills training will make money from people who will seek to learn new skills that can earn them a living.
Given the battering that the local currency will get from the pandemic, the Government will be desperate to have as many dollars as possible coming into the economy. Those who will position themselves to be exporters could potentially enjoy, not only a hungry export market, but very lucrative government incentives as well.
The author is a seasoned business journalist.