This weekly quiz from YS tests your domain knowledge, business acumen, and lateral thinking skills (see the previous edition here). In this 37th 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: Tech talent
For startups with a heavy focus on a tech-enabled product or service, it is key that they get the right talent in place for development as well as scaling of the offering. Two key roles in this regard are product manager and technical architect. What is the third key role?
Q2: Livelihood and empowerment
Many homemakers and mothers are highly skilled in making food items for family consumption. For those who are interested in selling these products, and to broader audiences, how can technology help—beyond channels like D2C?
Q3: Tech in healthcare
Digital technology is making significant contributions to the healthcare sector. Impact areas include telehealth, predictive analytics, and genomics. What are some key tech contributions in the domain of drugs?
Q4: Marketing efficiency
Thanks to opportunities for gathering consumer contact information such as email ids and phone numbers, marketers can send out messages in real-time to their customers, at much lower costs than earlier channels. But efficiency is not enough—how can tech enhance engagement and experience as well?
A unicorn refers to a startup with a valuation of $1 billion and above. Unicorns can bring massive returns to early investors, while also spurring more innovative activity in the respective domains. What other impacts do unicorns have?
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 talent
“The most important hires will be in your product or solution space. Focus on the three Gods of your technology team—product manager, industrial designer/user experience leader, and technical architect,” advises tech expert Vivek Mansingh, author of Achieving Meaningful Success.
He advises founders to ensure these three roles are handled by A-class people. “These three people will define the potential success of your venture, especially if your venture is in the technology area,” Vivek adds. Read more about other aspects such as external partnerships here.
A2: Livelihood and empowerment
Founded by Aman Porwal in 2021, MomsKart leverages the platform model to create an ecommerce marketplace for homemade food items made by mothers. Offerings include products like pickles, jams, and snacks.
“The aim is to connect regional authentic products on a single platform while empowering women in smaller regions,” Aman Porwal describes. MomsKart has sellers from across India, with 1,000+ homemade food products made by over 500 women sellers and a community of 5,000 bloggers. Read more about its MRR of $2,000-3,000 and other growth metrics here.
A3: Tech in healthcare
“AI is also contributing towards reducing the cost of new drug discovery,” explains Ram Kishan Agrawal, Senior Director, Technology, Optum Global Solutions (India).
Furthermore, digital tools that utilise AI-based algorithms can come up with alternative drugs. “They constitute the same base substitute but are relatively cheaper and deliver the same value as the prescribed drug,” he adds. Read more about tech trends reducing healthcare costs here.
A4: Marketing efficiency
“The advent of technology and digital accessibility means we are no longer in an era of one size fits all. With the amount of data made available to brands, consumers expect hyper-personalised experiences,” affirms Avlesh Singh, Co-founder and CEO, WebEngage.
“Companies that created customer delight and stood the test of time in the last two to three years were the ones that focused on the most crucial business metric—customer retention,” he adds. Founded in 2011, WebEngage offers a full-stack marketing automation suite. Read more here about their recent report, Omni Channel User Engagement – A Winner’s Playbook.
Many VCs in India are now focusing on areas where technology can make a difference—such as SaaS startups, exemplified by Freshworks’ successful IPO. “Once these valuations turn to real values, more people get rewarded, which in turn creates deeper talent in the ecosystem. This opens the path for more people joining startups,” explains GV Ravishankar, Managing Director, Sequoia Capital India.
“India today has the third-highest number of unicorns after the US and China, and the Indian startup ecosystem is a high priority for almost all global investors,” adds Varun Laul, Partner, Private Equity, Investcorp. Many unicorns are creating white- and blue-collar employment while also actively innovating for consumer needs, according to Abhay Hanjura, Co-founder of D2C unicorn Licious. Read more about unicorn dynamics here.
YS 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).