2020 pulled no punches. As the coronavirus brought the global economy to its knees, many businesses had to lose revenue, lay off workers, or close shop. However, some companies have enjoyed a sudden surge in demand thanks to the pandemic.


With businesses and industries worldwide learning to adjust to the pandemic, some historically underperforming businesses have mustered enough tenacity to exploit this new landscape. Here are five such businesses that are beating the odds despite the pandemic-induced economic turmoil.


Lending Services



The alternative finance industry for personal loans has experienced a phenomenal uptick in the space of one year. Due to record high unemployment rates and business closures, the demand for loan places has skyrocketed in recent months, creating unprecedented pressure for conventional lending institutions like banks.


Traditionally, consumers and SMEs have accessed credit services through banks. However, but with numerous barriers to quick loans, many consumers have turned to alternative lenders. Unlike traditional banks, alternative lenders have less stringent regulations and can even provide loans for personal needs, e.g., paying the bills at reasonable rates.




Although the general business landscape had been slowly tipping towards e-commerce, the pandemic has accelerated this transition tremendously. Due to quarantines, mandatory lockdowns, and governments shutting down non-essential businesses, many previously brick-and-mortar establishments had to find new ways of reaching their customers.


As consumers reduced in-person trips to essential businesses, e.g., grocery stores,online retailers like Instacart, eBay and Amazon reported massive spikes in sales. Essentially, any business that shifted its service/product delivery online set itself up for success amidst the pandemic.


Online Learning


As schools worldwide shut down to curb the spread of the coronavirus, many students suddenly had to become their own teachers. The sudden demand for remote learning accelerated the slow transition to digital education across K-12 schools and higher educational institutions. This initial step towards e-learning was much appreciated by well-positioned institutions, as the demand for online classes, computers, and digital textbooks rose to an all-time high.


According to Pearson Education, the current alterations to traditional learning may remain permanent long after the pandemic passes. In a series of Times Higher Education interviews, over 60% of top university leaders predicted that most higher learning institutions would offer entire university courses online by 2030.


Video Games


While most of the world complains about strict travel restrictions, gamers enjoy all the extra time they spend indoors honing their skills. As expected, the video game industry grew by leaps and bounds as people naturally looked for new entertainment sources.


While the pandemic has proven to be a much-needed break for existing gamers, non-gamers have gotten a glimpse into the world of gaming. In 2020 alone, video game sales across the US rose by 27% to a staggering $56.9 billion, a clear indication of the bright future ahead for gaming businesses during the pandemic and post-COVID.


Personal Cleanliness Products


Early on in the pandemic, packs of tissue paper and bottles of antibacterial hand gel were hard to come by in stores as it became clear that a highly infectious disease was spreading across the world. However, even as things seem to have settled down, personal hygiene practices like handwashing have become deeply entrenched in society. It is perhaps safe to conclude that personal hygiene companies are unlikely to run out of business soon.




Despite many countries’ impressive efforts to roll out covid-19 vaccines, the virus-induced economic downturn is still far from over, especially considering the massive disparity between vaccine supply and demand. Rather than sit back and hope for the best, many business leaders learn to adapt and overcome as the global economy gradually recovers from the pandemic’s effect.