Has Southeast Asia recovered from the business impact of Covid-19? This index shows you the truth

Dashboard launched by ADA provides data-driven insights on how consumer behaviour, mobility, and digital consumption are evolving due to COVID-19.

Have businesses in Southeast Asia recovered from the impact of Covid-19? Is there a way to get a peep into the situation with real-time data?

According to ADA, well, yes. The data and artificial intelligence company has launched a new dashboard that offers data-driven insights for businesses in Southeast Asia as they navigate major disruptions to consumer behaviour caused by the COVID-19 pandemic.

Announcing this on 29 September, the company said that The Recovery Index leverages ADA’s in-house data management platform, XACT, and was built with anonymised data sourced from millions of mobile devices and apps.

While not a traditional economic indicator, businesses can use the dashboard to guide their decision-making by observing consumers’ mobility and digital consumption in near real-time, the company said in its media release.

Users of the dashboard, which is free to access, can drill down from the regional view to the national and state-level in eight countries, namely Singapore, Malaysia, Indonesia, Thailand, Philippines, Cambodia, Sri Lanka, and Bangladesh.

Some notable insights from the dashboard (as of September 22) include:

  • Indonesia and Cambodia are around 90% back to normal having rebounded strongly from a low point in August caused by the Delta variant.
  • Bangladesh has exceeded its pre-pandemic normal, while Indonesia and Cambodia are next in line to reach the “old normal”.
  • Thailand, which was relatively unscathed by COVID-19 last year, lost its early gains and is now the furthest from normal in Southeast Asia. Mobility in most regions has dropped to 50% of pre-pandemic levels with only Rayong, Songkhla and some areas around Bangkok bucking the trend.
  • In Indonesia, mobility has recovered more quickly in Java where Jakarta is located compared to surrounding islands. Footfall at F&B outlets has climbed to 110% of pre-COVID levels while footfall at malls has fully recovered. Usage of business and productivity apps, however, has collapsed to 60% of pre-COVID levels, even as usage of fitness apps has surged to 140%.
  • In Malaysia, the main economic hub of Klang Valley is leading the recovery vis-a-vis other corridors in the Peninsula and the Bornean states. The recent easing of lockdown measures has seen footfall in malls jump to 130% of pre-COVID levels, even as road density and other mobility indicators are yet to fully recover.
  • In the Philippines, footfall at malls and F&B outlets had recovered fully in June before declining to 70% of pre-COVID levels currently following a recent shift in lockdown policies in Manila.

“The COVID-19 pandemic has caused, and is still causing, major disruptions to consumers affecting how they shop, where they go, and what they do on a daily basis,” said Srinivas Gattamneni, Chief Executive Officer of ADA. “We created this dashboard as a resource for businesses to make sense of and respond to the ‘new normal’ in consumer behaviour. The dashboard can serve as a guide to what has changed pre- and post-pandemic in terms of shopping, app usage, and mobility, allowing marketers to pivot their customer acquisition and retention strategies in an environment that continues to be volatile.”