COVID-19: Misfortune for some, a windfall for others

By Abdul Rashid Hasnol


GLOBALLY, COVID-19 has infected over 103 million people, caused 2.2 million deaths and brought untold misery to those who lost loved ones or had problems putting food on the table due to the economic havoc the pandemic has wrought.

In Malaysia, cumulative cases have exceeded 200,000, and climbing. Even if our death toll is at over 700, and is certainly one too many. According to Finance Minister Tengku Datuk Seri Zafrul Tengku Abdul Aziz, the country loses RM600 mil a day during the current movement control order (MCO).

During the first MCO between March and May last year, the country lost RM2.4 bil a day.

Despite the doom-and-gloom COVID-19 has brought to most of us, there are some industries which are cashing in on the worst global pandemic in modern times. Take the bereavement care industry.

The grim reminder about mortality has reportedly revived interests in dignified ways to take one’s final journey as well as to be remembered.

Homegrown bereavement care provider, Nirvana Asia, at one time listed in Hong Kong, wasted no time riding on public sentiments over COVID-19. It came up with an ad, “Stay at home, or stay at Nirvana”, which caught on.

While the group may not have directly increased its profits due to COVID-19, it has become more visible over the past few months.

Other businesses are more lucky. Grab, the regional e-hailing and food delivery giant, has seen its businesses soar as lockdowns resulted in a surge in the number of people ordering food online.

Also a Malaysian company, with its headquarters in Singapore, Grab is reportedly seeking a listing in the United States this year. Grab’s IPO could raise at least US$2 bil, making it the largest overseas share offering by a Southeast Asian company.

Other sectors that have defied the coronavirus-induced slump include will-writing, healthcare and insurance companies. But the one industry that has raked in the most money is the manufacturing of rubber gloves.

Companies like Top Glove, Hartalega and Supermax have had a windfall thanks to a spike in demand for gloves due to the pandemic.

Whether during good times or bad, there is money to be made. It just takes some ingenuity and lots of luck to thrive while others are down on their luck. – Feb 05, 2021


Abdul Rashid Hasnol is a FocusM contributor

The views expressed are solely of the author and do not necessarily reflect those of Focus Malaysia.

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