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Starting a Business in the Coronavirus (COVID-19) Era

Starting A Business in Coronavirus (Covid-19) Era
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COVID-19 Shaping the Job Market and the Consumer Behavior

With every crisis, some opportunities arise with it. During the Coronavirus pandemic, the world is facing a huge wave of uncertainty of how tomorrow will look like. Will I have a job? Will my company go bankrupt? How long this will last? Will the world be normal again? Or that the new norm? and a lot more of these questions every one of us is asking but no one can answer exactly what’s going to happen to each one of us. What is certain is that change is coming and the world that we know today won’t be the same.

The United States of America has reported the highest unemployment rate (+6M) in decades hitting the top sectors of tourism Hotels, airlines, restaurants, malls, and department stores. ( )

On the other hand, some sectors in the economy are booming and growing in double digits. Just to name a few like healthcare business, on-line stores (Amazon for example), pharmacies, Doctors on-line, On-line Video calls apps (like Zoom, and Microsoft Teams), food delivery businesses (Deliveroo, Uber eats) and logistics (Aramex, DHL).

Business Growth Post Coronavirus:

In UAE for example according to top hiring sites like and social media like LinkedIn certain sectors are expected to grow in the next few months. The jobs posted during February 2020 by internet companies have increased by 18% compared to November 2019, +60% for distribution and 13% in the development sector.

If we look at China’s data post easing up on public movement March 16, 2020, we notice that 99% of the businesses have resumed, 50% recovery in the metro passengers, +135% growth in restaurants transactions, 70% recovery of apparel daily average sales versus the same period last year and 700% increase in beauty salons transactions. We understand the logic of these results and they will come back to the normal levels in the next couple of months. However, e-commerce has shown a solid 200% increase versus last year as of March 8. The trend of e-commerce business will continue building up and growing post the COVID-crisis and will be the norm of shopping for most consumers.

What’s intriguing in this study conducted by BCG covering China, Italy, US, UK, and France that most of the respondents have prioritized their spending on preventive health care, vitamins/supplements, organic food and a trend of saving is rising mainly in France, US, and the UK in the top 3 categories. Moreover, the categories that will get affected the most (less spending, not a priority) number one will be travel, Luxury, and fashion respectively. (Source: BCG COVID-19, Consumer Sentiment Survey, March 13-16, 2020 (N = 1,831 China; 2,345 US; 2,787 UK; 2,521 France; 2,206 Italy).

The world is going to recover but we won’t be going back to do the things we used to do in the same way. New opportunities will emerge, new jobs and titles will come to life and we will keep on changing and adapting but faster than ever.

What Business to Start in COVID-19 Era?

No doubt the business confidence has taken a considerable hit due to the current global pandemic. However, resourceful businessmen and women are pivoting their existing businesses or launching new ones to meet the shifting demands of consumers. The goal of this article is to provide you with ideas on how you can pursue your business dreams in the era of coronavirus (COVID-19).

Logistics Consultancy Services

With supply chain disruptions due to travel and border restrictions, the demand for logistics consultancy services is at an all-time high. You will need previous experience in the sector and an extensive network of contacts to launch a consultancy service in this industry.

Logistics consultants are experts at connecting buyers and sellers as well as navigating bureaucratic hurdles across multiple continents. With Dubai’s prominent role in global trade, experienced consultants are in demand locally and globally. We work with many free zone jurisdictions that can supply you with a consultancy license in a matter of days!

Meal Kits

With the growth of ready to eat meal kits for busy professionals over the last few years, the demand for these kits as people sequester at home is also on the rise. These kits come with all the essential ingredients and easy to make recipes. Parents, as well as single people, enjoy the variety that these kits can bring to their daily meal routines. Commercial kitchens are a trend to stay as more and more demand for food deliveries and less on-site eating.

E-Trading (Online store)

As we go through unprecedented upheaval, one of the ways to stay ahead of the curve is to get an e-trading license. With such a license, you will be able to import and export a wide range of products. You can pivot to things that are in demand and switch to products that have higher profit margins. Some of the most successful companies in the UAE have an e-trading license which, even in normal times allows them to move with consumer needs, unlike other business licenses.


E-Learning is not new to the world or the UAE, the trend has been gaining more and more track in the past decade and now it’s 100% certified by all governments and institutions. In the COVID-19 era, many of us are experiencing hands-on e-learning with their kids or some family member. It is the future and we will see more and more people will be opting for that. It’s a good opportunity to get ahead of the curve before e-learning becomes the norm.


No Gym, no problem. The new gym is your living room, balcony or garden. With technology, millions of fitness enthusiasts are taking on-line virtual classes with trainers compensating their usual go-to “Gym”. The trainers are getting more creative with bodyweight exercises, using home tools as equipment (Water bottles instead of dumbbells, chair as a bench etc…). Personal trainers are creating fitness programs customized to each individual where they can track their progress and monitor their fitness level. This activity is becoming very popular.

IT Developer/ Consultancy:

Today more than ever, app developers, coders, cloud solutions are in high demand to transform traditional companies into the new age of digitalization. Every single business today needs a kind of IT solution to upgrade from the website to cloud solutions or Kubernetes. This segment is on the rise during and post the COVID era.

Para Pharmaceutical Trading:

The para-pharmaceutical field is exploding currently due to the high demand for masks, sanitizers, gloves, thermostats and other items that COVID-19 has created. The hygienic trend and precautionary measures will continue living with us for a while after COVID 19 has scared our liberal and social way of life. Having a license of para-pharmaceutical is an answer to the current and future market needs.

Other Trending Business Ideas:

i) Exercise Equipment and Accessories:

With a large portion of the world in lockdown and with closures of gyms, the demand to stay fit is higher than ever in a crisis with no end date. From home treadmills, weightlifting equipment to yoga mats, businesses across the globe are reporting a surge in consumer demand. As factories in China that manufacture these items surge to 100% capacity, successful entrepreneurs are enhancing their supply chain as well as using the power of digital marketing to target clients who are sequestered at home.

ii) Home and Garden Items:

With people staying at home, they have more time than ever to engage in projects around the house and enhance the state of their gardens. Household projects that were ignored continuously, take front and center stage when you are confined within your premises for an unknown period. Traditional and online retailers are reporting a massive surge in the sale of household paint, drills, tools, and supplies. Some people are even planting fruits and vegetables as a backup food source in case of scarcity of fresh items in the supermarkets. With households with kids, it can be an educational experience to teach them about how to nourish and take care of plants.

iii) Electrical Goods:

The term “electrical goods” covers a wide range of items. With a surge in working and learning from home, some people have realized that their home laptop or PC is not suitable for the daily demand for these tasks or a matter that each child needs a computer due to simultaneous online classes. Working from home and learning online are trends that will undoubtedly continue in the post COVID era. White goods as well are witnessing a surge in demand in this era. With technological improvements in these items and a constant stream of ex-pats in the UAE, starting a business in the electrical goods sector can lead to great success.

We have just provided a few of the sectors that will experience growth during and post this crisis. The most important tip is to stay tuned to the continually changing environment and pivot accordingly. Speed and flexibility are critical, nevertheless, it is equally important to plan for a post-COVID world. Start preparing now for digitalization of solutions, transformation in work habits and norms, payments, services, and goods.

For the latest advice and tips from our consultants, feel free to reach out so we can have a free consultation and discuss the merits of your business ideas.

Gilbert Sakr

Do you need help in business setup or looking to start a business in Dubai? Here you will find all the information and business ideas you need for starting your own company in Dubai.

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