icon_hacks_b Created with Sketch. Garage Blog

Is There A Winner In This Anti-Coronavirus Battle?

New cases every day, the market slowing down, masks all out of stock and the fear gnawing at you every time you leave the house - The coronavirus outbreak is challenging Hong Kongers every day. This new public health emergency of international concern is a crisis to many of us, but some companies and industries are emerging out of this trial by fire and grasping at the newfound opportunity. 

Continue reading to find out how these companies are making our life under the impact of the outbreak less miserable:

The New Essentials - Medical Products 

Even before the virus spread to Hong Kong and the rest of the world, medical products such as facial masks, medical protections and disinfectant products had become the most popular things in town. When was the last time you saw a medical mask on the shelf? 


From manufacturing, logistics to retail, the entire supply chain has benefited from the high demand in this anti-virus war. In addition to medical product manufacturers, certain health and medical relevant sectors will enjoy increased high demand from the epidemic in an indirect or long term scenario, such as insurance, vaccine company, medical education, MedTech development, just to name a few. 


Remote work/ study enabler - Zoom 

2020 has now become the year of working from home. 


In late-January, the HK Government announced its new working from home (WFH) policy. This act was followed by many in the private sector, and working from home has become a new norm in Hong Kong over the past month, especially to companies in the knowledge economy, from investment firms to marketing agencies, e-commerce platforms and more.


Zoom Video is a global leading video communication company that provides remote conferencing services using cloud computing. Since 31 Dec, 2019, Zoom has tripled its stock price in the US in less than two months, it’s no doubt that the coronavirus outbreak has contributed to the rapid growth, as agreed by CNBC.


According to Zoom’s CEO Eric Yuan, the company has seen “record usage” since the pandemic struck and acquired more users thus far in 2020 than it had in the whole year of 2019! (Many companies are joining the ranks of Zoom users like Garage to host team meetings remotely. We’ve always been fans here at Garage in using Zoom to #workthenewway!)


From the restaurant to your home - Foodpanda and Deliveroo

School is suspended, working from home is the new norm and travelling is no longer an option. All this means that Hong Kongers have been cooped up in our (traditionally) tiny flats for weeks now - much to the detriment of our favourite dim sum spots! According to Simon Wong, Head of a Restaurant Industry Association, over 100 restaurants have closed down since the coronavirus outbreak.


Meanwhile, food delivery operators are enjoying the significant boost in demand and purchase order as Hong Kongers choose to order in rather than brave the supermarkets for a bag of rice.


The month-on-month order volume of Deliveroo has increased by 60% in January. Meanwhile, Foodpanda has also seen “a higher demand in areas outside the central business district, such as Kowloon and New Territories, in line with the increased cases of people working from home,” said Arun Makhija, chief executive of Foodpanda Hong Kong (find out more). 


Staying entertained at home - Netflix

With the constant threat of contamination out on the streets, staying entertained at home has become the new obsession of Hong Kongers. For many life can become miserable after a few days trapped at home, heating up cup noodles, checking your email and watching TVB soap operas on dreadful loops. 


Thanks to services like Netflix, we now have access to an endless stream of content, an entertainment lifeline to many at times like these, and a living proof to how tech can often be pandemic proof. Its rising popularity is reflected in its stock price in the US, which has been going strong since late 2019 (as of 18 Feb, 2020). With all the content in the world tailored personally to you at the tips of your fingers, who needs to go out to the cinemas again? 


Final Paragraph

A glass half empty and a glass half full - through the pandemic is struck down many businesses, but on the flip side, it is breathing new life into many others.


Under difficult times, the importance of tech in breaking geographical barriers have been even more prominent. Here at Garage Society we're also striving to provide networking opportunities inside and outside the physical space. Sign up on Garage Commons to tap into our global network of talents & aspiring entrepreneurs - in the comfort of your home, or wherever you are!


Published on 9 March 2020 | Written by Charlie Chan

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