The country, from today, is officially in lockdown as the confirmed Coronavirus cases in India cross 400. As most offices have ordered employees to work from home to prevent the virus from spreading, apprehensions are being raised on the kind of impact this crisis will have on businesses across sectors. However, in the midst of all negative news that surrounds the Coronavirus pandemic, some sectors could invariably benefit from the situation.
Online education platforms have reported a sudden surge in the number of subscribers as professionals and students are forced to stay at home during these perilous times. The hours saved on commuting to office has apparently enabled professionals to look up to online education platforms to upskill themselves. Online career marketplace Shine Learning.com has reportedly seen a surge by XX% for online course takers. These professionals are upskilling themselves in new age courses like data science, blockchain, machine learning, and artificial intelligence to name a few.
“This is an opportune time for people to upskill themselves as they have more time and fewer entertainment options, I expect more people will eventually start signing up for online professional courses. This should give a boost to the online education and training sector,” says Zairus Master, CEO, Shine Learning.
What has helped the sector is the fact that most players in the industry are offering free courses and online video counseling services, which have turned out to be a boon for students and professionals stuck at home. Recently, Great Learning announced that they were providing their online courses in career critical skills like data science, artificial intelligence, machine learning and cybersecurity for free until 30 April 2020. A similar announcement was made by Simplilearn as well. The company announced that they were offering 13 comprehensive foundational programs for free on their Android mobile app.
Furthermore, Yocket, a Mumbai edtech startup that provides counseling to students who want to study abroad, has announced that from this week they were going to provide their services free of cost through free webinar services to International universities. The company is also setting up a dedicated helpline wherein students can schedule a call with their advisors on any kind of issues they may have.
“We have seen panic among students looking to study abroad. Many of the students were in the middle of their applications for the Fall 2020 season which would start in Sept 2020. If the students aren’t able to complete their process they would end up wasting a year. We don’t want that to happen. Even if the term starts online or a bit late, they would need to be prepared. We want to be sure that students don’t waste this time in panic,” said Sumeet Jain, co-founder, Yocket.
The company says that they have done a survey with the students wherein 69.9% of the students who have initiated the process want to go ahead with preparation and wanted to get funds ready, around 19.48% students said it is too early to decide, 9% students want to defer the admission, and 1% wants to go ahead and study in India.
Apart from the education sector, ecommerce and online delivery portals are also expected to see an increase in demand. “There will be some sectors that are likely to witness an uptick in hiring due to COVID-19. Healthcare, of course, will lead but as people are staying indoors, e-commerce and online delivery portals should also see a gradual increase in demand,” says Zairus Master, CEO, Shine Learning.
In addition to that, as more and more people work from home across the globe, video conferencing solutions and software that enables remote working will be highly sought after as well. “With remote working becoming the norm, it is likely that we will see more demand for specific talent in this field whether it is IT professionals to develop software and apps for remote working or customer support executives to guide people on how to use them,” adds Zairus Master.
However, Neha Bagaria, Founder and CEO, JobsforHer, says that the hiring process continues to be done as planned unlike what is being expected. “We are witnessing a higher footfall of women candidates registering and applying for jobs on our platform. The hiring and onboarding processes are continuing as-planned during this work-from-home period, the only difference is that it’s being done virtually instead of physically with our clients who are continuing interviewing via video conferencing tools in order to achieve their hiring goals. Major of the hiring is happening in the IT sector during this season,” she says.
Nevertheless, considering the fact that it has only been a couple of weeks since the world has gone into lockdown, the lasting impact the Coronavirus pandemic will have on businesses has just begun to unfold, and a clearer picture on the same will only be available in the days to come.