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10 Most Profitable Business Industries

Jan 11

Across the globe, many industries were accelerating at a normal pace until early 2020. Then a global pandemic caused everything to come to a complete standstill. As governments around the world offered direct payments to citizens and businesses, there has been a global flood of capital supply. With the most recent Covid relief package of nearly $2 trillion, G-20 countries will have deployed an astonishing $13 trillion in just 12 months. With this influx of money, many of the most profitable business industries around the world will be able to recover and reshape. This opens up great opportunities for entrepreneurs to build multiple billion-dollar companies across industry sectors. As a serial entrepreneur myself across multiple sectors, I’ve been studying a variety of industries closely. Here are the top 10 industries that will potentially shape the future:

  1. Technology. The technology industry will be the first and direct beneficiary of this influx of capital. Multiple tech companies are at all-time highs in terms of valuation. New companies are forming at astronomical valuations, including startups like Stripe, which is already reached nearly $100 billion in market capitalization. This type of value creation will likely lead to more startups rushing to create newer technologies and valuations.
  2. Healthcare. Another industry that I anticipate will benefit from the post-Covid money flow will be healthcare and pharma companies. As public respect for the healthcare industry increases due to the incredible efforts and eventual success of discovering vaccines, it is likely this will route a lot of new money into this sector. A record $80 billion was invested in 2020 alone in the healthcare sector. This new VC money will likely spawn dozens of billion-dollar companies in the healthcare sector around the world.
  3. Automotive. One industry that I predict will become one of the most profitable business industries is the automobile industry. Tesla alone is reaching a stratospheric valuation almost rushing toward a valuation of $1 trillion. A series of new electric vehicle companies are rushing toward listing on public markets, which will lead to both successes and failures, driving the creation of the next dozens of startups that will attempt to reach unicorn status.
  4. Sustainable Energy. The hydrogen economy may be a new winner in the next wave of innovations. A Bank of America analyst predicts that the hydrogen economy can reach $11 trillion globally. It’s still unclear how so much new wealth will be generated in these new sectors as many countries like Saudi Arabia and India have started heavily investing in this economy as the peak petrol is being predicted.
  5. Internet. I believe telecom and the internet will boom post-5G roll-out around the world. As 2 billion new users enter the digital age and log onto the internet for the first time, it will lead to the unprecedented creation of content and applications in multiple languages. India’s Reliance Jio achieved an incredible 400 million users in just four years. This success could lead to new startups and usage of data that will lead to a wave of new unicorns built on this infrastructure.
  6. Retail. The retail industry is coming under the constant onslaught of e-commerce companies around the world. Currently, the global retail industry comprises millions of companies generating $25 trillion collectively. New companies are emerging in every corner of this massive industry, disrupting decades-old companies. This sector is spawning new ecosystems which were unthinkable even just 10 years back.
  7. Agriculture. Another industry that will massively transform is agriculture as we aim to feed the ever-growing population. With the global population expected to cross 9.2 billion in 2040, there is an urgent and critical need to innovate food production. With hydroponics, vertical farming and various other innovations, producing much larger quantities of higher quality foods will likely lead to the creation of multiple billion-dollar companies in this multi-trillion dollar industry.
  8. Space Exploration. This industry represents a truly new frontier. There is still no playbook for this industry and we can have no specific idea as to how it will emerge and mature. There are many unknown companies in their infancy yet that will emerge as winners of this new sector. Perhaps the most well-known is Elon Musk’s SpaceX, which recently achieved a $74 billion valuation benchmark. Companies like SpaceX and Jeff Bezo’s Blue Origin are blazing a new path. Once they go public, a new wave of companies will write the new rules of a new industry, just as other technology waves created companies like Apple, Google and Microsoft, which are already at trillion-dollar valuations.
  9. Digital Hospitality. As people change their travel patterns and their accommodation preferences, I’m predicting digital hospitality will become one of the most profitable business industries. Despite the obvious headwinds caused by Covid-19, Airbnb achieved a spectacular IPO toward the end of 2020 and hit a $100 billion market capitalization. Per Airbnb’s SEC filing, the short-term-rental market will reach $1.2 trillion globally and is expected to eat into the traditional hotel industry. This presents a unique opportunity for those interested in property investments and generating passive income as this market continues to evolve and rewrite the status quo.
  10. Real Estate. Yet another industry that will significantly benefit from the deluge of capital will be real estate. Even though commercial real estate took a significant hit from the Covid-19 pandemic, retail home investors represent the resurgence of real estate investor interest as a conduit for alternative investment. According to one report, ‘the professionally managed global real estate investment market increased from $8.9 trillion in 2018 to $9.6 trillion in 2019.’ This entire industry is being chipped away by new emerging companies and new models are being formed.

The next 10 years will be the age of technology, speed and massive disruptions. As each of these 10 sectors undergoes changes, they may become unrecognizable and there’s no telling who will rise to the very top of the most profitable business industries.

Published first in Forbes

How is AI Impacting These Industrial Sectors?

Artificial intelligence (AI) is significantly impacting various industrial sectors, driving revolutionary changes and innovation. 

  • In healthcare, AI is advancing personalized medicine, medical imaging, and predictive analytics to improve patient outcomes.
     
  • The automotive industry is leveraging AI for self-driving vehicles, traffic optimization, and smarter manufacturing.
     
  • Sustainable energy is utilizing AI to create intelligent grids, optimize renewable sources, and improve weather forecasting. AI-powered innovations in internet technology include intelligent search, customized content curation, and predictive analytics.
  • Retail is enhanced by AI chatbots, recommendation engines, and hyper-personalization of the shopping experience.
  • Agriculture leverages AI for precision farming, crop management, and weather prediction to boost yields.
  • AI also guides space exploration through the analysis of astronomical data and control of robotic probes.
  • The hospitality industry provides personalized guest experiences via AI concierges and predictive analytics.
  • Lastly, real estate applies AI for property valuations, virtual tours, and data-driven management. Across every sector, common AI applications focus on personalization, predictive insights, process automation, and customized human-machine interfaces.
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