Lateral Sparks, the weekly quiz from YourStory, tests your domain knowledge, business acumen, and lateral thinking skills (see the previous edition here). In this 69th edition of the quiz, we present issues tackled by real-life entrepreneurs in their startup journeys.
What would you do if you were in their shoes? At the end of the quiz, you will find out what the entrepreneurs and innovators themselves actually did. Would you do things differently?
Check out YourStory’s Book Review section as well, with takeaways from over 355 titles on creativity and entrepreneurship, and our weekend PhotoSparks section on creativity in the arts.
Q1: Tech for restaurants
The pandemic has accelerated the use of digital technology for restaurants, particularly for ordering of meals online. Coupled with digitally-enabled delivery services, this is a win-win combination for customers. What are other digital benefits that restaurants can harness?
Q2: Edtech and data
Success in the edtech sector comes from factors like effective support for teachers, students, institutions, and content publishers. Data advantages open up if AI and ML can be harnessed for analytics and prediction. What are other key data considerations in the edtech sector?
Q3: Founder success
Successful founders combine creative and evidence-based approaches in their entrepreneurial journeys. They also mobilise and inspire teams, and bring customers and investors on board. What are other qualities of a successful entrepreneur?
Q4: Enabling food delivery
For agricultural firms, restaurants, supermarkets, and other food-chain players, last-mile delivery of products in an effective and secure manner is key. Technologies like IoT, AI and ML can help make such supply chains efficient. What other technology is crucial for modern supply and delivery chains?
Q5: The creative edge
Surrounding oneself with a community of creative people is one way of becoming creative oneself. There are also numerous resources and tools available for lateral thinking skills. What’s another way of honing the creative edge, and how can this be improved?
Congratulations on having come this far! But there’s more to come – answers to these five questions (below), as well as links to articles with more details on the entrepreneurs’ solutions. Happy reading, happy learning – and happy creating!
A1: Tech for restaurants
“Raw material procurement accounts for 35% of a restaurant’s cost structure and presents a host of challenges from SKU management, quality and delivery consistency, and cash flow management. There is immense potential for a data-driven platform to disrupt the market,” explains Munish Bhatia, Co-founder of India Accelerator.
The accelerator has invested in the startup Badhaan, founded by Vishnu Vikyath G and Manoj Mareedu. Read more here about its raw material procurement and inventory management platform for restaurants, which impacts the bottom line, inventory position, and cash flow.
A2: Edtech and data
“Children and teenagers who are the prime digital citizens should get special protection as they may be less aware of the risks, consequences, and their rights regarding personal data processing,” explains Nishant Chandra, Co-founder, Newton School.
He advises edtech organisations to create systems that protect the interests of users in addition to establishing data ethics. Read more about citizen and learner expectations of transparency, safety, trust, and accountability here.
A3: Founder success
“Great founders are always on top of their numbers. They focus on the right metrics,” affirms Abhiroop Medhekar, Founder and CEO, Velocity. “Instead of getting lost in details, it’s important to be religious about tracking a few numbers daily, which will help you course-correct as soon as possible,” he adds.
As examples of metrics, he suggests Return On Ad Spend (ROAS), repeat percentage, revenue growth and cash on delivery percent. Read more here about how focusing on such metrics can help prioritisation of the right initiatives.
A4: Enabling food delivery
“The cold-chain market globally and especially in India is rapidly growing backed by the unprecedented demand for last-mile food delivery,” observes Niranjana Neelakantan, Co-founder and COO, Tessol.
The cold-chain solutions startup has clients who are steadily moving away from dry ice and adopting more sustainable solutions. Read more here about how such solutions have helped prevent three million tons of food wastage, and reduce operating costs by over 45 percent.
A5: The creative edge
“To keep oneself open to curiosity is in itself a craft, which can be supported by reading, travelling, visiting exhibitions, attending concerts, and conferences—any social interactions,” advises Alok Nandi, Creative Director at Architempo, and Past President of the Interaction Design Association (IxDA).
Creativity, curiosity, and confidence are important requirements to succeed in our fast-paced competitive world. “Anyone is creative. But maybe not everywhere or at any time. The challenge is to get the right context,” he adds. Read more of this designer-entrepreneur’s insights here.
YourStory has also published the pocketbook ‘Proverbs and Quotes for Entrepreneurs: A World of Inspiration for Startups’ as a creative and motivational guide for innovators (downloadable as apps here: Apple, Android).