A New Global Reality
COVID-19 has forced everyone, including entrepreneurs to adapt to this crisis. Everyone is practicing precautions and hoping for an effective and safe vaccine in the near future. In the meantime, global startups are doing everything they can to adapt and serve their communities.
However, this is not stopping the world from making a global impact. The United States is relying on all essential businesses to survive during the pandemic. However, startups from all over the world are combating the pandemic by staying strong. African startups are zoning in on the food and agriculture sector. Indian startups are focusing on the healthcare sector and European startups are specializing on the foodservice sector. Thanks to mobile e-commerce technology, these global sectors are surviving.
Africa’s startups are standing strong despite the pandemic. Food and agricultural e-commerce platforms Cookshop from Liberia, Bringo Fresh from Uganda, and eMsika from Zambia are flooding with demand. These are three out of the twelve African startups that participated in the Investment Readiness Programme (IRP). The IRP’s mission is to scale the agri-tech and food-tech solutions developed through African startups.
Disrupt Africa says their tasks are to develop the startups through “tailor-made company development measures, facilitating business and investor relations, and the provision of additional services to improve operations of the startups.”
In Europe, online food services such as Deliveroo (UK), Picnic (Netherlands), and HelloFresh (Germany) are delivering food and groceries to the public. HelloFresh had a 13 percent in-app downloads in March 2020. Picnic had 69 percent of app downloads as demand increased. Deliveroo received 21 percent of app downloads.
Some businesses like Picnic are using electric vehicles to deliver food and groceries to customers. Others are still leaving the human element, but taking extra precautions to keep the drivers and customers safe by using hand sanitizer.
India’s Improvisation in Healthcare
India’s healthcare startups are using online solutions and consult for patients in order to make up for restricted hospital areas. A five-year-old platform named BeatO evaluates blood-glucose levels for patients who have diabetes.
Gautam Chopra, co-founder of BeatO says, “People could not go to doctors and specialists. Medicine supplies, sugar test strips were difficult to obtain. During the last couple of weeks, we developed a Virtual Endocrine Clinic platform assisting doctors—GPs, diabetologists, endocrinologists — to video/telecall patients on BeatO App. We also doubled down on interventions through our Intelligent Nudging System to educate users on lifestyle changes, diet, etc. based on the data they were inputting.”
The world may be changing and the flow of businesses will be unique. However, the smartest and strongest businesses will survive. The world is witnessing the evolution of doing business. Businesses, essential or not, have two choices, either adapt or wither away.