Lateral Sparks, the weekly quiz from YourStory, tests your domain knowledge, business acumen, and lateral thinking skills (see the previous edition here). In this 66th 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?
Q1: Personalisation in retail
A wide range of shopping options with products at multiple price points can help customise the retail engagement for consumers. Customer experience can be enhanced via fast delivery, easy returns, and responsive customer support. What’s another key factor for personalising the shopping experience?
Digital transformation offers opportunities for business to innovate, scale, and improve productivity. It also opens up risks of cyberattacks, for which a number of tech solutions have emerged. But there is more to cybersecurity than technology – what else should organisations do to minimise security risks?
Q3: Climate change
The UN’s recently-concluded climate change conference COP-27 focused on climate finance and innovative solutions such as alternative materials and green hydrogen. What are some ways in which digital technologies can help in combating climate change?
Q4: Entrepreneurship support
Rural entrepreneurs need better access to digital connectivity, market linkages, and mentorship support. Women entrepreneurs need further support in tackling societal and familial challenges. What’s another key requisite to drive women entrepreneurship in rural areas?
Q5: A successful IPO
A great achievement for an emerging company is to be listed on the stock exchange. It opens up new sources of finance, enhances the brand image, and attracts talent. But what are some challenges founders face in their IPO journey, and how can they be tackled?
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: Personalisation in retail
“Data will play a crucial role in driving hyper-personalised experience,” affirms Gaurav Mangla, CEO and Co-founder of logistics solutions company Pickrr.
“Hyper personalisation is one of the main reasons why consumers prefer to shop from D2C brands today; even if it means choosing small homegrown brands over legacy players,” he adds. Read more here about new players like fintech are also leveraging data to capitalise on the BNPL opportunity in retail.
“Organisations need to always look at combinations of controls at all layers of people processes and technology,” advises Manoj Kuruvanthody, Chief Information Security Officer (CISO), Tredence Analytics Solutions. This requires management support for employees and adequate budget for a cybersecurity programme.
Password protection for employees and customers using methods like two-factor authentication and processes for regular updates are also important, according to Krithika Muthukrishnan, Chief Data Science Officer, Scripbox. Read more about robust and friendly cybersecurity systems here.
A3: Climate change
“The use of IoT and big data can help improve energy efficiency for residential and commercial buildings,” explains Anjali Bansal, Founder, Avaana Capital. Smart solutions can also reduce energy requirements in manufacturing and transportation.
“Improved route mapping and optimisation in logistics will shorten distances and thus reduce emissions, as will increased popularity of alternatives to personal mobility, such as shared mobility and micro-mobility,” she adds. Read more about climate innovation opportunities here.
A4: Entrepreneurship support
“While we have a lot of women entrepreneurs in rural areas, not all of them are in the formal financial system. And that is the gap that we need to address quickly,” observes Kalpana Ajayan, regional head, South Asia, Women’s World Banking.
“Affordable credit is still a distant dream for women,” she cautions. Read more here about how Women’s World Banking designs and invests in financial solutions to create economic stability and prosperity for women and their families.
A5: A successful IPO
“Completing a successful IPO is not a walk in the park even for established startups. It requires clear vision, foresight, strategy, and flawless execution,” cautions CA Jitendra Jain, Director, Tapanshi Finanziell.
“Most importantly, it needs an effective CFO at the helm to drive the entire operation from start to listing on the bourses,” he adds. Read more here about smaller firms can outsource the finance function to professional service providers in their IPO journey.
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).
Edited by Teja Lele