Which sectors are likely to experience a boom in the future?
Answer by Nikolaus Franke, head of the Institute for Entrepreneurship & Innovation.
Felix P.: Which sectors are likely to experience a boom in the future, and are there business sectors that will eventually cease to exist completely?
Nikolaus Franke, head of the Institute for Entrepreneurship & Innovation:
The coronavirus pandemic will certainly open up new business opportunities and pose severe problems for other industries. The extent of this “creative destruction” will depend on the extent of the changes the virus forces us to make. This is very difficult to predict with any accuracy. What is clear, however, is that the lockdown has strengthened some sectors. Besides obvious things like mask production and disinfectants, these include video games, mail order retail, and of course communications software. Other sectors, however, such as restaurants and many services, are struggling with a total breakdown in demand. It is quite conceivable that the “social distancing” we are currently experiencing is the start of a longer-term trend, i.e., a permanent shift in demand. This would mean that there is probably a lot of money to be made from efficiently digitalizing tasks, products, and services and offering them independently of location, or responding to the problems caused or intensified by the pandemic by offering solutions.
In addition to the changed industry focus, however, it will be particularly important to find the right answers and to react quickly and entrepreneurially within the existing business areas. For example, the way some restaurants have already reacted: Instead of welcoming guests to their location, they are bringing meals to their customers’ homes. It works. Or take masks: Currently, they are still “medical” products. When will fashion labels react and start offering elegant, funny, or fashionable masks for sale? Flexibility and innovation skills are essential in an age that is clearly characterized by change and dynamism, even without the corona pandemic. Entrepreneurial thinking and action, i.e., the proactive approach to change, is the most important success factor in the 21st century. This applies to individual careers, it applies to companies, it applies to educational institutions, it applies to government, it applies to society. We are living in an age of entrepreneurship and innovation.