This weekly quiz from YourStory tests your domain knowledge, business acumen, and lateral thinking skills (see the previous edition here). In this 39th 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: Consumer needs and aspirations
It is assumed that many consumers value basic functionality and cost above other considerations. But how are their needs, aspirations and desires changing today? How can brands respond and thrive in this changed context?
Q2: Travel and beyond
The pandemic has given a big boost to online education, retail and fintech. As the new normal arrives, tourism traffic is picking up. But what’s new about tourism this time, and how can this new trend be harnessed?
Q3: Crises and customers
Companies sometimes make mistakes, or go through tough situations where they have little control over their circumstances. But a crisis can also be an opportunity to deepen customer trust–how can this be situation tackled?
Q4: Hired, fired
Hiring and retaining talent are key priorities for effective leaders. But sometimes, for a number of reasons, it may be necessary to lay off some employees as well. How can these issues be handled in a way that could be amicable for all?
Q5: Paint and more
Technologies like IoT, AR and VR are transforming the industrial workplace. They are also used extensively in the construction industry for real-time visibility, training, and maintenance. But how can these technologies be used in a relatively straightforward task like painting a home?
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: Consumer needs and aspirations
“Consumers are hyper-aware, and they demand convenience, relevance, and agility, from the brands they purchase from,” explains Sachin Parikh, Co-founder, Pratech Brands. The startup focuses on the DD2C health and wellness sector.
“Millennials and Gen-Z are coming into purchasing power, and these new-age consumers do not just want to buy things that work well but also want aesthetic products which are elegant. It is not just about functionality or robustness anymore,” he adds. Read more about the D2C potential in this space here.
A2: Travel and beyond
“Just as ecommerce and fintech have seen a huge rise, we believe that TourismTech will be a strong sector that will see immense growth over the next five years, given the fact that responsible, sustainable and universally accessible tourism is the global need of the hour,” according to DS Prashant and Thejus Joseph.
They head the Forum for Incubation, Innovation, Research, and Entrepreneurship (FiiRE) in Goa, which runs the Goa Tourism Accelerator programme. “There are also innovations in this sector in areas like mobility, customer experiences, and cleantech,” they add. Read more about solutions to future-proof the travel, tourism and hospitality industry here.
A3: Crises and customers
“It is only the difficult times that present an opportunity to build a relationship with your customers, based on mutual trust,” explains Adelia Castelino, Co-founder and Managing Director, ISG.
“Companies must be transparent, admit to the mistakes they commit and strive to improve their service by solving customer challenges. But they must not lose the trust of their customers in the process,” she adds. Read more tips on business resilience and customer engagement here.
A4: Hired, fired
“It is difficult to keep a balance between being employee-centric and the demands of performance and delivering value,” explains Anshul Rustaggi, Founder of Totality Corp. “Laying off employees should be an entrepreneur’s last resort,” adds Lakshmi M Kodali, Founder and CEO of OptimHire.
Layoffs mean anxiety and loss of income for employees, and could create fear and mistrust among others. Rules of engagement and fairness should be clearly spelt out, and employees should be given a chance for improvement. Read here about how giving them recommendation letters and finding new opportunities for them can also help.
A5: Paint and more
Digital solutions can enhance the home painting experience across the consumer’s painting journey – from planning and painting to post-care, according to Vandana Krishnia, Head, Marketing – Paints, AkzoNobel India.
Examples include immersive digital experiences to visualise and inspire homeowners, smart image processing to track the progress of painting projects, and IoT solutions for assessing wall health and maintenance needs. Read more about how AkzoNobel engages with startups for such digital solutions through its Paint the Future initiative.
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).