In 2008 when Lehman Brothers had just collapsed and the market looked like it would not recover, the world economy came to what seemed like a standstill. The realisation that there was no safety net forced larger institutions to remodel age old business departments. Given the harsh reality of the situation there was no way that industry
pundits could have foreseen the rapid recovery that followed, breaking financial simulation models and leaving analysts dumbfounded at the absurdity of the events they have come to witness.
Covid-19 has been a crisis in a different order of magnitude. This is a once in a generation pandemic, forecasted by some far-sighted observers, and yet ignored by most governments and industries. It has torn through sectors, testing businesses to the utmost limits of their agility and adaptability, and has greatly impacted Small to Medium
Enterprises (SMEs). The businesses that were lucky enough to weather the waves of lockdowns have been permanently changed; Changed in ways that senior analysts or risk departments could never have calculated, resulting in very differing fortunes – some companies not surviving while others achieving once in a lifetime growth that has propelled them into new leadership positions among their peers e.g. Zoom, and BYJU (the online education platform). Other ever-growing high performers have continued to do well, e.g. Amazon whose net sales for 2020 grew by 38% to $386bn and operating income rose to $22.9 billion, up 50.8% year over year1. Netflix2 reported that it added a record 37m memberships in 2020. Consequently, its revenue grew to $25bn up 24% year over year, and operating profit was $4.6 billion up 76% year over year.
As we welcome a new year, energised with the expectation of vaccines eradicating the threat of Covid-19 globally, it is worth looking back at the year and exploring how industries were affected by it and just how differently they responded. We also examine the role of technology in the pandemic and how businesses in different sectors are
leveraging to survive and thrive in the age of the pandemic. Finally, we will capture lessons learnt to help you with planning for resilience in the future.