Lateral Sparks, the weekly quiz from YourStory, tests your domain knowledge, business acumen, and lateral thinking skills (see the previous edition here). In this 60th 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: Ecommerce drivers
Well-designed and efficient sites or apps are key for ensuring a smooth ecommerce experience. Frictionless payment and responsive customer service are also important e-retail enablers. What’s another emerging trend driving ecommerce these days?
Q2: Water quality
Particularly in the post-pandemic era, concerns about food and water safety have skyrocketed around the world. Large water bottles, cans and cannisters are generally used in residential and office settings. How can technology assist in ensuring good quality of water and water containers?
Q3: Engagement channels
The pandemic has accelerated the ecommerce route for many brands, and even become the sole channel for many D2C (direct-to-consumer) brands. But it is still important for brands to engage customers through both physical and virtual channels where possible–why so, and how can this be done?
Q4: Mobility solutions
Electric vehicles (EVs) are emerging as a viable mobility solution for four-wheeler and two-wheeler mass-market consumers. However, an effective EV solution is about more than the vehicle itself–what else must fall in place for mass adoption?
Q5: HR efficiency
Hiring new employees can be a time-consuming process, particularly due to the repetitive nature of many tasks that are executed manually. How can technology help HR managers become more efficient?
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: Ecommerce drivers
“Content driven ecommerce is the fastest growing segment of online sales across Asia,” observes William Bao Bean, Managing Director Orbit Startups and General Partner SOSV.
“Consumers love watching video content before making transactions. That’s why content-led commerce is the future of ecommerce,” adds Saurabh Singh, Co-founder, Flickstree. Read more here about how the startup uses the power of AI to create compelling branded video content at scale.
A2: Water quality
Chennai-based BookWater has developed an IoT-powered platform for quality-based water assessment. It allows users to scan the QR code on a water cannister and get all relevant details about the quality of water it holds.
It also records the number of times the can has been recycled. “Sensors installed in the station won’t allow any water to be filled into the cans if there is any kind of contamination,” says Sameer Bharat Ram, Co-founder, BookWater. Read more here about its water solutions here.
A3: Engagement channels
“Customers have more convenient channels available to them now. As a brand, you have to be where the customer is and not expect them to come to your doorstep,” advises Armaan Sood, Founder, Sleepy Owl Coffee.
“Every channel powers the other channel. It’s important to focus on the whole business rather than just one medium. If you are truly omnichannel, you can maybe acquire a customer in the store and make sure he shops online in a seamless process,” adds Vedang Patel, Co-founder, The Souled Store. Read more about D2C omnichannel strategies here.
A4: Mobility solutions
“EV mass adoption is not a product story but an ecosystem story,” explains Peeyush Asati, Cofounder and CEO of deeptech EV solutions company Vecmocon.
“Robustness, reliability, and service are at the core of this story,” he adds. EV ecosystems include stations for charging or battery swaps. Read more here about Vecmocon, which has raised $5.2M in funding from Tiger Global and Blume Ventures.
A5: HR efficiency
“By automating the recruitment process, talent managers can spend more time analysing the candidates’ data and finding people with the requisite skills,” explains Yogita Tulsiani, Director, IXCEED.
She urges talent managers to adopt an automated approach for efficient hiring. “Embedding technology tools can replace repetitive mundane tasks without wasting valuable time and skills on manual execution,” she adds. Read more about improving HR strategy 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).