Today’s companies experience huge losses during the economic crisis caused by pandemic virus COVID-19, startups lose their financing, many commercial enterprises are under threat of being shut down. However, following the age-old formula “Any crisis is just a new opportunity”, IT startups have free rein of action. Rustam Gilfanov, an IT businessman and investor, shares his expert opinion on which startups and in which spheres are bound to success even if launched during hard economic times.
Rustam Gilfanov believes that the future belongs to those who can understand the present and predict trends. “We need to draw our minds from the hype and panic around the coronavirus and focus on new opportunities and new directions as well as on the development and search for new horizons for our business – and the perfect time for this is right now,” Gilfanov believes.
FoodTech, video game development, 3D-construction, podcasts – these are considered one of the most relevant spheres for launching startups. However, the overwhelming switch to remote work has revealed new promising directions. For example, services for online conferences. Shares of Zoom Video Communications Inc. have been demonstrating a remarkable growth for three consecutive months. Investors believe that Zoom will be one of the few companies that managed to win amid the spread of coronavirus. The same growth can be observed in the sector of online services such as food delivery, shopping, education, entertainment, and, most important, in the sphere of health.
According to the predictions of Rustam Gilfanov, companies that will help people to maintain and improve their physical and emotional state will receive high customer loyalty when the crisis is over.
The coronavirus taught people to be highly health and hygiene-minded so that they will diligently take care of their health even when the pandemic subsides. Not only online services, but offline venues and establishments will adopt new features to protect and promote the health of their clients. Therefore, startups in the field of biotechnology, in particular, smart devices that kill viruses in cars and public transport, will be more than relevant. “Think about how your premises and physical objects will help users take care of their health now and after the pandemic,” advises Gilfanov.
Another important trend is seen in eСommerce. The development of artificial intelligence and social distancing gives a new push to the sphere of automated purchases. A perfect example of this is Amazon’s Dash Smart Shelf, which automatically orders out-of-stock items. “Surely, automated solutions are a promising yet slightly risky, niche, because you always need to consider, at which stage automation will be most effective and necessary for the end-user in the long term,” Rustam Gilfanov comments.
Another flourishing area is the development of virtual assistants. People are used to voice assistants and chatbots, but they need a new, more sophisticated level of interaction with their “virtual partners”, more lively emotions and a better understanding of their needs and pains. “I would recommend you to focus on the elaboration of the personality of the virtual assistant, it’s useful additional functions, tailored to the user – this will definitely be appreciated,” Rustam Gilfanov says.
The world will not be the same after the pandemic – startups should instantly respond to new trends and offer unique solutions that will help users feel healthier, happier, and, most important, safer.
Rustam Gilfanov is a co-founder of an IT-company, an IT-businessman, an international investor.
Rustam Gilfanov was born on January 6, 1983, in the small village of Basim in Perm Region, in the family of a military officer and a teacher.
In 2006, together with partners, Gilfanov Rustam opened an international outsourcing IT company in Kyiv. Today, this company is the largest software developer for the industries of gaming, marketing, and finance.
Gilfanov stepped down from operational activities in IT companies several years ago to engage in international investment in promising IT projects in the sphere of financial technology, gaming, and video streaming. It is also important for Rustam Gilfanov to develop and support goodwill projects in Ukraine, the most ambitious of which are LuckyBooks and Libraries of the Future.
Gilfanov Rustam is married and has a daughter.