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 80th 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: Traffic solutions
Technology has been deployed in a number of ways to ensure a smooth flow of traffic, such as modelling, simulations, and prediction solutions. How can technology be used to address another traffic issue: tracking violations?
Q2: Innovating at scale
The creative edge is generally alive and well in early-stage startups. But how can this innovation capability be retained even after the company reaches the growth stage?
Q3: The local edge
Global brands in categories like wearables try to bring the same global portfolio to many local markets, which may not always connect to local consumers. What are some local flavours and variations that can succeed in the wearables category?
Q4: Parking solutions
Many urban drivers and commuters face challenges in finding the right place to park: without violating regulations and quickly and conveniently. How can wireless solutions help here?
Q5: Startup success
Entrepreneurs need to have a clear product-market fit to succeed and a distinct positioning in the market. A talented team and investor support help as well. What else is needed for a startup to scale and succeed today?
Congratulations on having come this far! But there’s more to come—answers to these five questions (below) and links to articles with more details on the entrepreneurs’ solutions. Happy reading, happy learning, and happy creating!
A1: Traffic solutions
The Kerala Motor Vehicle Department has set up 726 AI cameras to monitor and flag traffic infractions. The ‘Safe Kerala’ initiative will use AI to detect violations such as riding a two-wheeler without a helmet or carrying more than two passengers on a two-wheeler.
Other infractions include using a mobile phone while driving and running red lights. Read more here about the AI camera solution, including solar energy and 4G SIM cards.
A2: Innovating at scale
“At work, I challenge people across all hierarchies to solve problems and give some kind of solution,” explains Deep Ganatra, CTO, Good Glamm Group. “The biggest roadblock for innovation is the fear of failure,” he cautions.
Founders must work towards creating a culture of experimentation and tolerance. Read more here about the importance of never giving in to the fear of failure, which can thus lead to more agility.
A3: The local edge
Many urban environments in India are noisy. “If I’m outdoors trying to listen to music, I may not be able to enjoy it because the ambient sound is so much,” observes Vikas Jain, Co-founder of consumer wearables brand World of Play.
“Our devices give a certain bass and loudness that makes the audio experience better than other global devices,” he adds. Read more here about other local customisations, such as watch faces and mood boards based on cricket to cash in on IPL fever.
A4: Parking solutions
Co-founded by Dhananjaya Bharadwaj in 2021, ParkMate is an app-based solution for smart, hyperlocal, and on-demand parking. If the parking slots at one location are all full, it automatically extends the geo-circle to track the availability of parking in the next location.
The app reports over 75,000 downloads. Read more here about how ParkMate competes with other apps like Secure Parking, Park+, ParkSmart, and MyParkings.
A5: Startup success
“It’s very important for us to understand that the whole ecosystem must come together to nurture a particular startup,” urges Neel Bhatia, General Manager of Intel India Technology.
Open innovation platforms, incubators, accelerators, and mentor networks are key in this regard. Read more here about the Plugin Alliance, with corporates, investors, industry bodies, and startups exploring validated solutions.
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).
Edited by Suman Singh