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  • Writer's pictureAndrew Wong

Education: A Recession-Resistant Industry

— The education sector in Hong Kong is one of the select few that are highly recession-resistant By moving everything online, from classes to their administration, schools have mitigated the effects of the lockdown

Many schools have successfully transformed their businesses in only a few days by moving them online

When Covid-19 was first becoming globally recognized as a significant threat to public health and safety, governments began preparing for the worst. With this, financial markets began to recoil in anticipation of an economic downturn, and entire industries were crippled. Now, a few months after this all began, entire national economies are falling into recessions and trying to cope with the harsh economic impact caused by this pandemic.

In Hong Kong, nearly every industry has been adversely affected by Covid-19, but some are likely to survive overall, as they are considered recession-resistant. Some more than others, but the education industry in Hong Kong is very likely to survive a national recession. Many organizations within the sector, while perhaps affected by the pandemic, will emerge at the other end appearing to be barely scathed, while others are thriving during this time.

It can be said with a high degree of confidence that even when consumers’ spending power is greatly reduced, they will tend not to compromise on their child’s education, as a high-quality education in Hong Kong is not considered a luxury but a necessity.

So, which schools and learning centers are faring the best? Those that were already operating online, and just behind them are the ones that were able to swiftly move their services online, such as one of our clients—whose company name is only withheld for privacy reasons—who is providing extra-curricular activities.

This was traditionally a brick-and-mortar school that accommodated thousands of students in their many studios across Hong Kong. By immediately reacting to the prolonged social distancing measures and by having moved all of their operational tools online, they were able to immediately switch from in-house lessons to providing remote, high-quality ballet lessons for their students around Hong Kong.

Schools all over Asia are now scrambling to move all of their operations online. At EngagePlus, we are proud of our education operations management system, and we’re very happy to say that we’re growing, even in these challenging times.

By using EngagePlus, our clients have been able to immediately reduce their staff’s physical presence at their premises without missing a beat, as everything, from billing to enrolment, not forgetting managing teachers’ and students’ schedules, was already cloud-based. The bottom line is that while the economy came to a stand-still, many of our clients saw an increase in revenue during this time. With them being able to move their classes and payments online and directly into the hands of their customers through our app, EngagePlusApp, schools continued to run classes, and parents have loved the experience. In fact, EngagePlusApp shot up to #26 in Hong Kong, overtaking the likes of Coursera and was nestled just behind BBC Learning English. We couldn’t believe it!

While many schools and learning centers will surely be hurt or will be forced to cease operations as a result of Covid-19, the industry as a whole is not short of customers. It’s how organizations within the sector adapt themselves to the new norm of social distancing that will determine their ability to remain in business and protect themselves against this economic downturn.


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