Madanmohan Rao ( )
Lateral Sparks, the weekly quiz from YourStory, tests your domain knowledge, business acumen, and lateral thinking skills (see the previous edition here). In this 81st 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: Data and analytics
Data of high quality and in high volumes can help businesses make accurate decisions and predict market variations. However, there is one more aspect of data availability that is key for success in a fast-changing world–what is that desired feature, and how does it help?
Prompt delivery of products to customers is key for ecommerce companies and traders. However, bulky goods throw up new challenges in this sector. How can they be tackled, and what is the scale of opportunity here?
Q3: Skilling and branding
Rural artisans and aspiring women entrepreneurs from lower-income groups face challenges in skilling, employment, and compensation. What opportunities can social entrepreneurs tap into here, in areas like photography services and brand identity?
Q4: Environmental impact
Reduce, reuse and recycle are mantras for sustainability in an era of climate change and increasing pollution. There is one more process in this loop that is becoming not just vital, but also viable: upcycling. What are some business opportunities in this space?
Q5: Fintech success
Real-time data, effective algorithms and detailed behavioral profiles are core components of a successful fintech. But getting new users to start activities like investing requires one more step–what is that?
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: Data and analytics
“Analysing real-time data is critical to stay ahead of the competition. It allows businesses to respond quickly to ever-changing market demands and customer needs,” explains Aveekshith Bushan, Vice President for the Asia Pacific and Japan region at Aerospike.
Real-time data helps respond quickly to customer behaviour, market trends, and risk factors. Read more here about how data availability in real-time can help tackle issues like fraud prevention without causing customer friction or inconvenience.
Founded by Gangadhar Reddy, Logicarts handles the last-mile delivery of bulky and semi-bulky shipments, ensuring that they are delivered to the customer without any wear and tear. “Our job is not to only deliver a packet or a shipment, but to give a smooth service and a great experience,” Gangadhar explains.
The company’s express logistics division operates in eight states in India. Read more here about the startup’s use of automation to help manage and improve the multiple steps involved, from unloading to installation.
A3: Skilling and branding
Studio A and CPB Foundation’s Kanavu Fellowship have created documentary and wedding photographers out of homemakers and fresh graduates. Beneficiaries of its one-year programmes are mostly from low and lower-middle class homes in Tamil Nadu’s smaller towns (read more about founder-photographer Amar Ramesh’s future plans here).
Founded by Noopur Kumari and Nilesh Priyadarshi in 2019, the Kaarigar Clinic gives artisans their rightful due by helping them establish their own brand identity. Read more here about its current cohort of artisan entrepreneurs in textile weaving, pattachitra, and plastic weaving, and its plans for broader impact via capacity-building and marketplaces.
A4: Environmental impact
Vapasee, a Kochi-based startup founded by Renjini Thampi, has upcycled 21,000 glass bottles, 5,000 coconut shells, over 800 kg of wood, and more than 500 kg of metal waste into home decor items and art pieces.
Upcycled glass bottles are converted into lamps, side table decorations, wall hangings, platters, and clocks. Read more here about how Thampi collects scrap materials from clean-up drives, and forms tie-ups with local waste management organisations and scrap dealers.
A5: Fintech success
Founded by Rohit Pande, financial literacy startup MahaMoney offers content in bite-sized, formats to empower people to take control of their finances. The next steps after awareness are actual tips on how to invest money.
“Whether you are a student, working professional, or retiree, our goal is to help you understand and manage your money better,” he explains. Read more here about how digital technologies can help make financial management solutions accessible and user-friendly.
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).