Learnings from the Pandemic and the road ahead for the entrepreneurs

For many industries, last one year has been avery transformative year. In a sink or swim situation, the entrepreneurial spirit really came through—with many small and medium enterprises finding their own way to pivot and carve a niche. The Pandemic has challenged the predominant notion about the need for a  physical office space .Several start-ups are operating sans an official headquarter today without it affecting their performance and growth.With countries wanting to increasingly become more self-dependent, it has opened up many opportunities for young start-up entrepreneurs to ideate and bring forth innovative, disruptive solutions for local and regional supply chain that will strengthen the self-dependence of nations.

Pandemic has taught entrepreneurs to:

  • Align, adapt and amend businesses as well as reinforce the strategies so as make the most of the ongoing situation.
  • Understand the value of empathy and the need to trust employees.
  • Pushed to go an extra mile and push.
  • Taught businesses to become more tech intensive and process driven while doing away with redundant time-consuming tasks which require physical intervention.

Few other changes that would become a mainstay:

  • Work from home will continue and e-commerce will grow manifold.
  • Accelerated digitisation in all aspects of our life.The most successful start-ups in 2020 have been those that built digital strategies into their DNA.
  • There has been increased collaboration between banks and fintech’s—there has been a huge demand from banks to move from an onsite product to cloud based implementation so that banks can give 24*7 digital products.
  • Pandemic has created new trends in the digital realm,and audio as a content format has grown rapidly specially via audiobooks and Podcasts.People have reconnected with listening habit and this will pave the way for adoption of audio as a mainstream choice for entertainment and knowledge.
  • Neo banking found its relevance the most when COVID 19 Pandemic struck. Despite continued scepticism on the regulation front, worldwide the acceptance of cryptocurrency as a hedge against uncertain economic times has been established and in the coming months, its adoption amongst millennials as a SIP will only grow.
  • What demonetisation did for digital payments, the Pandemic has done the same for D2C brands. It has created a new trend of mass audience relying on online marketplaces for essential goods and FMCG products and the future looks very promising as the online audience is ever-growing.
  • E-health industry took centre stage during Pandemic

The major takeaway from the upheaval caused by 2020 was to build a resilient organisation that can thrive under chaos and uncertainties.The biggest lesson has been to always factor in a variable which is not in our control and build systems in a way that the impact can be handledand the silver lining in these dark times has been the acceptance and success of remote work .It is in fact an excellent opportunity for the government to build new start-up hubs in Tier 11 cities in India.Last year helped create a strong foundation for further growth.

There is a need to build a lean and capex efficient business model. Every business has to behave in a frugal manner and build a cash conservation mindset.Focus should be on the 4C’s— Collaboration,Compassion,Courage and Commitment.The post Covid 19 world will need to have the 4 C’s for building business.

It’s time for start-ups to think like camels.Camels are a very fitting mascot. They are able to survive for long periods without sustenance, withstand the scorching desert heat, and adapt to extreme variations in climate.They survive and thrive in some of earth’s harshest regions.The camel start-ups can offer valuable lessons on how to survive in crisis and sustain and grow in adverse conditions.They are ambitious but take a more balanced path.Survival is often the primary strategy .This allows time to build the business model ,find a product that resonates with the market and develop an operation that can scale. Competition will exist,but the race is about who will survive the longest,not about who goes to market fast.

By prioritising balanced growth, building for the long term, as well as deepening and diversifying for resilience, camels can not only survive market shocks, but can also grow and thrive in good times and bad. In short, they turn an adversity into advantage.

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