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    How the world could structurally change post COVID-19 crisis? Wharton University panel shares some insights

    How the world could structurally change post COVID-19 crisis? Wharton University panel shares some insights

    How the world could structurally change post COVID-19 crisis? Wharton University panel shares some insights
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    By Mousumi Paul   IST (Published)

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    Wharton University recently held a virtual press conference speaking widely on the topics that could bring drastic changes to the world we see after the crisis. According to the panelists, the world will see a structural shift in the healthcare, finance and technology businesses. 

    The world has come to a standstill due to the coronavirus pandemic, which continues to affect millions of people. But how the world could change once the crisis ends, is something that plays on everyone's mind. A panel of experts of Wharton University recently said that sectors such as healthcare, finance and technology would see the most structural changes.
    The university held a virtual press conference, where the panel discussed topics that could bring drastic changes to the world after the crisis. According to the panelists, there would be a structural shift in healthcare, finance and technology businesses.
    Alex Gorsky, Chairman and CEO of Johnson & Johnson, said during the conference that he's cautiously optimistic "we’ll begin seeing the impact of a medicine in the coming months and a vaccine at some point in 2021".
    Moreover, pharmaceutical companies are no longer competing against each other as they all know that it would take time to find a permanent solution for the disease. What they are doing right now is to develop a drug in five-seven months, which essentially takes about seven years, Gorsky pointed out.
    "Every business leader in some way is going to be a healthcare leader going forward," he added.
    The panelists briefly spoke about the services industry. Marc Rowan, co-founder of private equity Apollo Global Management said that the world we return to is going to be different and that everyone will have to live with the disease.
    According to Rowan, surprising longer-term trends will emerge as the pandemic makes its way through the economy.  “One is
    He added that most businesses will now have to provide health testing kits and series of other healthcare services along with the government. Old office structures won't return for a long time. Fresh approaches will be required in terms of work shifts, travel and virtual workspace.
    One sector that remains the most severely hit is global economy. While discussing about the red flags in the economy, Rowan said that the current economic downturn is “not a banking problem like in 2008,” where solvency was the issue, but “a capital markets issue".
    He said that the biggest worry right now is tenants missing out their rent payments. According to him, the overall economy comes down only when the liquidity crisis arises in poor and the middle class households.
    Missed rent payments have a cascading effect. “When a tenant does not pay a landlord, the landlord does not pay local real estate tax, local utilities or their mortgage,” Rowan explained. “Those mortgages are held by community banks. The scale of this is really troublesome.”
    He also highlighted that the government is more focused on the healthcare system and employees, "but if we don’t preserve the employers, it’s going to be very difficult to keep paying the employees,” he said.
    The economy will have absolutely nothing to do with the likely long-term impact of a business. As a matter of fact, starting a business in bad economy will lower the cost of doing everything.
    Despite all the circumstances, the panelists believe that the pandemic has accelerated the move to mobile and digital services. Banking sector will become digital now and most companies will follow this trail.
    Technology will come up as the sector-in-demand and most services will be taken up online.
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