Beyond the Curve – opportunity beyond the pandemic

The global COVID-19 statistics can be overwhelming and they reinforce the fact that we all need to take COVID-19 seriously. However, with new reports that the curve is flattening and Prime Minister Scott Morrison’s recent affirmation that Australia is “better placed than most nations around the world” to ride out the pandemic, the future is looking hopeful.

Mr Morrison also said, “Through the actions we have taken to date, we have bought Australia valuable time.”

Indeed, Economists have suggested a gradual reopening of business may take place as early as July/August this year.

Australia has put itself in a “position of strength” in the fight against the coronavirus but must keep up the pressure to beat the disease, says Chief Medical Officer Brendan Murphy.

“There is no place in the world I would rather be than Australia at the moment,” he added.

COVID-19 could be transformative for the future

Resilium Insurance Broking CEO and Managing Director, Mr Adrian Kitchin, believes that Australia is in a unique position to seize the opportunities that will inevitably present ‘beyond the curve’.

“The Coronavirus outbreak could accelerate long-term, positive changes in the way we do business, the workplace and the performance of the economy,” says Mr Kitchin.

“While past major pandemics resulted in human tragedy, take the Black Death plague for instance, which killed as much as a third of Europe’s population during the 14th century, that grim state of affairs eventually led to positive outcomes,” explains Mr Kitchin.

“The ensuing severe labour shortage after the plague led to higher wages, helped erode feudalism and occasioned the invention of whole new industries.”

“I believe the Coronavirus outbreak may actually speed up the evolution of work and ultimately retool multiple industries,” says Mr Kitchin.

Here are just a few potential positive outcomes that may come beyond the curve.

1. Business travel expenses should fall. Once enterprises realize you can survive with a lot fewer face-to-face interactions, travel expenses will be questioned more. Many experts believe business leaders will come to see that central offices and face-to-face meetings are less vital than they thought.

2. Manufacturing opportunities. After the travel industry, the companies that have suffered most from COVID-19 are those with just-in-time supply chains highly dependent on China. As a result, the coronavirus has already “prompted a re-examination of the world’s central reliance on China as ground zero for manufacturing,” as Peter Goodman wrote in the New York Times.

3. Faster science. Scientists are making the most of new tools to track and potentially counter the virus. Scientists at Stanford University have developed a diagnostic test for the Coronavirus that can deliver tests in as little as 12 hours, much faster than current models. Australian government scientists have also already begun the first stages of testing for a potential vaccine against the SARS CoV-2 coronavirus, which causes the disease COVID-19.

4. Video conferencing will continue to explode. At the Association for the Advancement of Artificial Intelligence conference in New York in early February, Chinese researchers mostly delivered their talks via video conferencing or canned presentations due to travel bans.

5. Consumer behavior is being altered and may not revert. Alibaba CEO Yong Zhang has said, “Seventeen years ago, the e-commerce business experienced tremendous growth after SARS. We believe that adversity will be followed by change in behavior among consumers and enterprises and bring ensuing opportunities.”

“Ultimately, the Coronavirus is likely to lead to more efficient business operations, better work practices and as a result company profitability,” concludes Mr Kitchin.

“We have to think ‘beyond the curve’ and focus on the positives that could come from the Coronavirus outbreak – that sometimes from tragedy comes re-birth and new beginnings.”

The information provided in this article is of a general nature only and has been prepared without taking into account your individual objectives, financial situation or needs. If you require advice that is tailored to your specific business or individual circumstances, please contact Resilium directly.