Black Swan Effect: 9 Worst to Best affected Tech Businesses due to Coronavirus Pandemic in India

By : |March 24, 2020 0
The Black Swan effect is described as an unforeseen event that rips the financial world. Nassim Nicholas Taleb coined the word in his book explaining it as an unprecedented event carrying an "impact" on the economy.

The Coronavirus Pandemic has ripped the world economy. Governments have taken preventive measures and even Government of India has mandated the “Work-From-Home” gig. 

Malls, gyms, schools, colleges and other public places are shut down. Yet, food delivery apps, on-demand vehicles, online grocery stores and repair and salon services are on and about. While certain workers can take preventive measures but it is not an option for Ola and Uber drivers. Even Urban Company employees have to have direct contact with the customers at home.

Some of these have taken their preventive measures and some have to work due to necessary needs. One thing common between all of them is that they work to keep their heads up during these turning times. But what companies have taken the worst hits? And which companies have flourished in present times? Here is a list of nine tech-based companies that have taken hits from worst to best.

9. OYO

Indian hotel chain OYO has put a brake on its expansion after it suffered a net loss of $335 MN due to the Coronavirus Pandemic. Most of the losses are from China as Social Distancing has become a prevalent practice since the last six months. Although the startup has offered to turn its hotels into quarantine centres, the losses will not be able to be mitigated until 2022. 

The company has suffered personal losses and so have its former employees. OYO Rooms retrenched and laid off five thousand employees amid the losses. The start-up faces a lot of criticism from its partner hotels in the US and Japan who were promised fixed income, a lump-sum of the previous year income, irrespective of the bookings. Backlashes also amounted from angry hoteliers who complained that the OYO technology was a faulty one.

The situation for the hospitality industry is continually declining and the OYO situation is a sad example.

8. MakeMyTrip

Similar to the Hospitality sector, the travel sector has suffered a lot since the pandemic. Due to a compulsory ban on flights, buses and trains and changed Visa policies many people have suffered globally. MakeMyTrip has offered a 100% return or rescheduling of flights and hotel bookings. MMT earlier reported a loss of $11 MN and the shares have been continuously declining. The domestic market has dipped down by approximately 60% in total travel and stay bookings. The domestic market of flight and visa bookings is expected to take a combined hit of $111 MN.

7. Uber and Ola

There has been a 50% decline in the on-demand taxi rides. Cab-pooling services have been entirely shut down until the pandemic. But the effect of lockdown in India till 31st March cannot be ruled out. The on-demand taxi services are a consolidation of services from various taxi drivers. These people already suffer due to loan payment issues and fuel costs, but many have left for their hometowns amidst the lockdown.

The fares on the apps have fallen. The services are also suspended in locked-down cities in India barring essential services. Both the companies combinedly own over 80% of the online taxi service also faced a combined loss of 60% ridership. On average, 2.25 million rides happen every day in India via these apps and thus, the loss is huge.

6. Urban Company

Urban Company provides at-home salon, technicians and repair services. The workers are mandated to wear masks, wash their hands frequently and call in if they are sick. The current reviews though say otherwise. UrbanClap turned into Urban Company has already been in loss and the past week has seen a decline in services by 25-30%.

5. Swiggy and Zomato

As social distancing evolves, the food industry declines. Ordering in or dining out remains a way of revenue for hotels and restaurants. From contact-free food delivery options to driver-eligible sick leave and the dismissal of commission fees, restaurants typically owe certain delivery companies. It is still a wonderment that Swiggy and Zomato are still working. 

Swiggy and Zomato (Uber) have issued mandatory guidelines to the workers. Contractors are advised to wipe down their delivery vehicles with disinfectants, wear masks, wash their hands frequently and stay at home if they feel sick. Swiggy had almost 30% decline in business while Zomato faced a 25% decline. There has been a combined loss of 20% of jobs in the industry.

4. Zoom Cloud Meetings

Zoom app has taken to sudden popularity. This cloud-based video conferencing app gained popularity due to the mandatory WFH guidelines. The app has currently raised itself by 50% of its peak capacity. The app is free but investors see a great opportunity for the future and thus the shares have risen by 74% in this turmoil as well.

3. Grofers and Bigbasket

Due to malls and stores shutdown, Grofers and Bigbasket saw a two-fold increase in their orders. E-tailers have started stocking up and panic buying has increased the demands. Metropolitan cities witnessed a surge of 80% while Tier-II cities’ order raised by 60%. Order values have also increased by 18%.

Grofers and Bigbasket saw hoarding tendencies amongst buyers. The government, in return, has ordered the mandatory opening of general stores and medical stores. This comes in light when the sale of hand sanitizers, soaps and handwashes quadrupled.

2. Amazon Delivery

Amazon announced that it will be hiring another 100,000 workers in the US amidst the pandemic. Jeff Bezos also said to raise the overtime wages. What does this imply?

The simple fact that the delivery services are on demand right now. With contactless deliveries, lockdowns and social isolation people have turned to Amazon for groceries and other necessities. The business is not exactly flourishing, but the losses are very low.

1. Netflix

This is obvious due to self-quarantine, self-isolation and lockdown that people watch movies and TV shows. But Netflix has soared better than most OTTs. It added 7 million customers in the first quarter of the year. The stock of Netflix, priced at $358 rose by 7%. If PlayStore data be closely observed, in South Korea download were 33% more than when the year began; in Italy and Spain, the downloads doubled. Covid-19 has created a vacuum for people that even after completing daily chores, the gap hours are filled with entertainment. Netflix serves as the largest over-the-top security blanket.

That being said, the future for all digital and tech businesses is unforeseeable.

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