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 82nd 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: Logistics and perishables
Many countries are plagued with in-transit wastage of perishables. Better route planning, speedy transportation, and demand forecasting can meet some of these challenges. What’s another compelling solution to this problem?
Q2: SaaS success
Countries like India have an advantage in the global SaaS (software-as-a-service) market thanks to talent in engineering and customer support. More business and tech training can help scale this advantage. What’s another approach to strengthen such competitive positioning?
Q3: User needs
Many products and services have failed because they did not properly address user needs and expectations. How can companies ensure that employee creativity is channeled in the right direction so that user needs are addressed?
Q4: Organisational learning
In today’s fast-paced world, training and knowledge processes need to be transformed in order for companies to remain competitive and relevant. High churn rates and changing customer needs are other challenges to be met. How can such learning issues be tackled?
Q5: Third-party delivery
Many companies work with third-party logistics providers for their delivery services. However, such arrangements can suffer from reduced visibility and low flexibility to account for last-minute changes. How can technology help here?
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: Logistics and perishables
“Our goal is to work towards a sustainable future, by taking steps to reduce the wastage of perishables through innovative tech solutions and create a meaningful impact on the ecosystem,” explains Swarup Bose, Co-founder of Celcius Logistics.
Effective cold chain solutions can ensure speed, quality, and agility in transportation of goods of varying volumes. Read more about the startup’s solutions here, as well as its ecosystem initiatives to enable new asset manages and local entrepreneurs to collaborate.
A2: SaaS success
SaaS Central is an initiative that supports Indian SaaS startups in accelerating their growth journeys. The three-day programme helps startups tap expert guidance from a team of AWS experts, Prime Venture Partners and established SaaS founders.
These experts have shared learnings that can help Indian SaaS companies scale globally, according to Amit Somani, Managing Partner, Prime Venture Partners. The industry leaders are from India and the US, adds Amitabh Nagpal, Head of Startup Ecosystem, AWS, India. Read more about this initiative here.
A3: User needs
“By prioritizing ideation and encouraging collaboration and creativity among team members, digital leaders can create products and services that meet user needs and drive business growth,” explains Gokul Krishnan, VP of UI/UX and Design at SaaS company Near.
The field of design thinking is a powerful discipline in this regard, thanks to its emphasis on prototyping, testing and iteration. Read more about design thinking here, and check out our d.Zen (‘Design Zen’) section for more related resources.
A4: Organisational learning
RapL, a startup in the latest cohort of NetApp Excellerator, helps organisations build next-gen workforces through a number of effective approaches. Microlearning on mobile devices and personalised reinforcement are a part of its framework.
It also promotes self-awareness of knowledge gaps, and creates a culture of continuous learning and upskilling in the company. These are all delivered via an easy-to-use, secure, and scalable SaaS platform. Read more about this startup’s offerings here.
A5: Third-party delivery
“Technologically equipped third-party logistics providers allow brands to enhance last mile delivery experience with route optimisation, live tracking, and efficient resource utilisation across multiple fulfillment channels and models,” explains Nishith Rastogi, Founder and CEO at Locus.
Tech-enabled solutions can contribute via capacity planning and smart routing engines. Read more here about how the digital edge also drives automated exception handling and fleet tracking.
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).