Strategies That Helped China’s Robotics Industry Move Forward from COVID-19 

China’s USD 8.6 billion-valued robotics industry has learned valuable business insights on how to adapt to the new normal.

June 2021 , by Alexandra Santiago

No industry is immune to the effects of the COVID-19 pandemic—including China’s robotics industry, which has been severely impacted by the country’s changing venture capital funding landscape. Following the COVID-19 outbreak in early 2020 the number of deals and deal volume contracted by 50-57%, and investors are slated to remain risk-averse moving forward.  

However, the industry is subverting expectations by leaning into the “new normal” and incorporating robotics technology into the different areas affected by the pandemic. Many robotics start-ups pivoted by apply these strategies to show the value of their cutting-edge technology: 

Be Customer-Centric in Identifying New Revenue Streams and Capturing them with Existing Resources 
In this approach, robotics start-ups need to be more attuned to the changed needs of their customers by adapting their business’ core competencies to address these issues quickly and through high-quality solutions.  

Be Sensitive to Co-Creation Opportunities with Other Corporations 
Robotics start-ups should be receptive to co-creation opportunities with other corporations that align with their values, principles, and overall work strategy. Corporations value the agile and innovative thinking of start-ups and can provide them with the needed resources and network to implement positive transformation. 

A good example is DBS’ partnership with food service start-ups Oddle and FirstCom to set up online food ordering and delivery systems during the national lockdown. This allowed F&B players to reach a larger network of consumers via DBS’ extensive network. Oddle established a branded e-menu, order management, and payment system for DBS clients while FirstCom handled social media services. All three players were able to create an efficient network that allowed them to benefit from each other’s strengths and core competencies.  

Be Socially Responsible 
As the world slowly but surely recovers from the pandemic, being socially responsible is now more important for businesses. They can choose to offer their resources, lower compensation, or select strategic partners to not only help their own bottom line, but the state of the country’s economy.   

Traditional funding may have declined, but robotics players are now enjoying expansion to new markets by utilizing their strengths to help curb the effects of COVID-19 as the world slowly reopens. To learn more about the different areas of the robotics industry and how they are driving post-pandemic growth, download the full white paper here

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