Sectors that withstood the coronavirus storm

The COVID-19 crisis has been a tough time for many economic sectors. But despite the storm, some sectors have emerged stronger.

Aug 28, 2020 08:08 IST India Infoline News Service

2020 started off quite well for most people in the world. But with the coronavirus spreading across countries like wildfire, things quickly went downhill. Lockdowns and restrictions were imposed in nearly every country in the world, and many economic sectors took a severe beating due to the COVID-19 crisis. Travel and tourism, for instance, was one of the worst-hit economic sectors. With international flights being suspended for weeks on end and interstate travel being restricted for months, India’s travel industry may take a while to get back on its feet.

But then, even amid the COVID-19 crisis, there are some economic sectors that withstood this storm. In fact, some of them thrived during this crisis. As an investor, it’s important that you’re aware of these economic sectors, so you can pick and choose your investment options more smartly in uncertain times like these.

So, let’s take a closer look at the economic sectors that weathered this storm.

Pharmaceuticals

This one’s a no-brainer. Given that this pandemic is a health crisis, the pharmaceutical industry has been on an upward trend. The demand for drugs that helps treat the illness, the push to quickly develop a vaccine for COVID-19 and the huge need for testing kits and medical equipment have all given the pharma industry a tremendous boost.

India’s pharmaceutical sector is also well-poised to support major exports. Indian drugs, being more affordably priced, are in demand in both developed and developing nations. So, with all these factors working together, it’s natural that the pharma sector emerged as a clear winner despite the COVID-19 crisis.

FMCG

The FMCG or the fast-moving consumer goods sector is another area of the economy that has been on an upward trend during this crisis. Even in the years before the pandemic, the FMCG space in India was quite dynamic and showed great scope for rapid progress. But pre-COVID, the lull in the economy and a dip in the public purchasing power had slowed down this sector.

This pandemic then came along and caused a surge in the demand for personal hygiene products and food staples. Products that improve immunity and other essential FMCG items have also been in great demand. This gave the FMCG sector an unexpected boost. And given that the novel coronavirus doesn’t seem to be going away any time soon, the FMCG sector will perhaps continue to ride this wave.

Ecommerce

Lockdowns and restrictions meant that physical, in-store purchases became a thing of the past overnight. This, coupled with people’s innate fear of being in crowded spaces and coming into contact with cash and other products in the middle of this pandemic, made a huge section of the Indian populace turn to online shopping to fulfill their retail requirements.

Ecommerce marketplaces saw a steep rise in the number and the volume of transactions. Big Basket, for instance, reported twice as much customer traffic and revenue in March 2020. Even the average amount spent per transaction was up by 20%. Ecommerce stores that sell essentials like grocery and FMCG products have seen a particularly good time during this COVID-19 crisis.

Logistics and delivery

You’d think that with the lockdown in place, logistics and delivery would perhaps be among the badly hit economic sectors. But no, instead, this sector also saw a boom during this crisis, primarily because the movement of goods to warehouses and the delivery of those goods to the homes of people continue to be essential services.

Also, with ecommerce seeing an upward trend, it brought in a corresponding increase in the need for dependable logistics and delivery partners. The pandemic has also fortified the many specialties in the logistics and delivery segment, like e-commerce specialists, consumer service specialists, aggregation specialists and technology specialists.

Conclusion

What do these facts mean for you, as an investor? Well, it can give you a good idea of where to place your money and what investment options to pick for your portfolio. Knowing which economic sectors are poised to ride on a positive wave during this crisis and in its aftermath can be very useful. You can use this information to align your investment options with the right economic sectors, so you can continue to remain on track and fulfill your financial goals as per your plan.

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