By Qosim Suleiman
“I pray that you prosper and people began seeing your worth as they do of Technology during the COVID19 pandemic”. Prayer is a great part of our life in Nigeria, and this might sound like a weird prayer, but it’s not, trust me.
Look at the growth of the tech industry and you will believe.
One of the biggest tech companies on the globe, Amazon, in the Q2 of 2020 recorded a 100% increase in profit. Jeff Bezos recorded $5.2billion as against $2.6billion in the same period of 2019.
What makes this even more interestingly striking is the fact that the company had earlier in the year projected a $1.5billion dollars losses. Then came the paradox. And the company generated even more profits.
In Nigeria, the Financial Technology (Fintech) space grew about 800% during the pandemic. The Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) Director, Payment System Management, Musa Jimoh Itopa, listed it to include the lessons learnt during the pandemic.
Early this year, the future of Jumia looks gloomy. Investors were losing hope in the company. Its stock keeps crashing. In fact, MTN fully exited its 18.9% investment in Jumia.
The pandemic came and boosted Jumia’s reputation and business. Jumia has continued to grow, amidst the pandemic. As is, Jumia is currently trading at $30 –the highest it has traded since the company went public in April 2019.
Still amidst the pandemic, the Zoom video conferencing app became popular and Zoom Video Communications, Inc., (the mother company) recorded a massive increase in profit during the period. Although the company first became profitable in 2019, the year I got to know about it, with an initial public offering reaching about $16billion. It grew more than 72% on its first day of trading that year. A bigger fortune came for Zoom in early 2020 during the quarantine. By September this year, the stock price (a share) of zoom has risen from $15.9billion dollars in 2019 to $129billion –over 500% increase.
Zoom was profitable right from the onset when it went public. But no one saw this level of growth coming. I first came in contact with the Zoom app in 2019. I didn’t know it will be the blockbuster app for video conferencing in 2020.
There is no doubt that technology has continued to grow. Professionals from different fields of life and leveraging it –from teachers to learners, to doctors, engineers and writers. Yet, the pandemic accelerated the growth.
People see more reason to use technology when the pandemic started hitting hard. When the word ‘lockdown’ started becoming popular across the world. When people who will normally work from a cubicle, corporately dressed with ties, now work in undies from their homes. When people are asked to physically stay away from their loved ones. The only antidote was to leverage technology, in connecting with co-workers, friends, families and loved ones.
Video calls, virtual interviews, and home delivery of items became more popular than they were and, of course, brought fortune to tech companies.
We already know that technology is the future. Even so, the pandemic has made it more apparent because it is the only industry that recorded positive growth during the pandemic.