These are the top 6 sectors that you should keep an eye on in 2021

The pandemic may have upended businesses worldwide, but some sectors managed to thrive. As we adapt to the new normal, here’s a look at the top six sectors that will continue to flourish.
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The COVID-19 pandemic has thrown life out of gear, taken a major toll on the global economy, and affected almost every sector, some more than others, over the past few months. 

Factoring in the worst-case scenarios, Morgan Stanley had warned investors that the repercussions of the pandemic were likely to trigger a global recession. 

However, some sectors managed to escape the wrath of the pandemic with little damage and even witnessed a boom in business. As we adapt to the new normal amidst the global crisis, we can envisage a different world in the post-COVID era.

Let’s take a look at six sectors that are most likely to flourish in the post-pandemic world.

Pharma and healthcare

One of the largest in the world, India’s pharma and healthcare industry has been projected to touch $100 billion by 2025, with pharmaceutical exports standing at $20.70 billion in FY20 according to IBEF. The pandemic has undoubtedly brought the pharma and healthcare sectors to the forefront. While the crisis was unprecedented and did put a strain on the industry, it has recovered quickly and is now thriving.

With a surge in demand for healthcare and pharma professionals, the industry is expected to be largely immune to the looming economic slowdown in the near future.

Edtech 

The year 2020 has been a game-changer for the edtech sector. While the industry has been gaining momentum in recent years, the pandemic has facilitated a major increase in the usage of edtech platforms. With educational institutes temporarily shut down, students and teachers turned to ed-tech platforms.

According to a KPMG study, India is currently home to over 3500 edtech startups and the ed-tech industry could be worth well over $1.96 billion by 2021.

Gamification, cloud data storage, and big data and AI are expected to be some of the key trends that the sector will see along with exponential growth in 2021 as education is no longer limited to physical classroom-based learning. 

Retail tech

The retail industry has faced major disruptions in the supply chain since the onset of the pandemic. However, technology has facilitated the industry’s revival, helping the industry get back on its feet. With trends such as the incorporation of AR/VR, and BOPIS (buy online, pick up in-store), retail tech is continuously evolving.

Furthermore, just like other industries, retail tech is expected to gravitate towards analytics and other cutting-edge technologies for efficient inventory management. The sector also needs to make provisions to accommodate new forms of payment, primarily contactless, to fulfil customer demands.

OTT platforms

Over the past few months, online content consumption has risen exponentially, creating a vast user base for OTT platforms. Confined to their homes for months, people turned to OTT platforms to keep themselves occupied.

Heading into 2021, the media and entertainment industry will continue to witness an upward growth trajectory with players venturing into hyper-personalising content for viewers and adopting various new strategies to drive engagement and enable business agility.

HRtech

One of the biggest transformations we have observed this year is the evolution of workplaces. The future of work will be drastically different from what we knew it to be during pre-COVID times. That said, hiring has also undergone a major transformation with employers resorting to digital tools to hire candidates. While there was a slump in hiring for a few months, it is getting back on track once again with business across verticals restarting hiring.

When we look at what 2021 will herald for organisations, it is expected that companies will extensively improve digital tools, focus on upskilling employees, increase virtual collaboration, communication, and engagement, and bring in app-based HR ecosystems to enhance the employees’ experience.

Additionally, novel technologies such as AI and ML will redefine the HR segment and possibly even assist employers during interviews.

Fintech 

An ever-evolving industry, fintech has consistently been one of the fastest growing in the world and the pandemic has only further accelerated this growth. With an increased shift in consumer preferences as well as business strategies towards tech-enabled financial services, the industry is expected to revamp its working model to lean increasingly towards digitisation.

Trends such as Banking as a Service (BaaS), increase in financial literacy, paperless banking, and increased adoption of AI/ML-based assistants such as chatbots by fintech players are likely to be seen in the coming year.

Let’s step into 2021 with an eye on the aforementioned sectors and new opportunities that are likely to offer the best ROI for investors, businesses, and consumers.

Edited by Teja Lele Desai

(Disclaimer: The views and opinions expressed in this article are those of the author and do not necessarily reflect the views of YourStory.)