This weekly quiz from YourStory tests your domain knowledge, business acumen, and lateral thinking skills (see last week’s quiz here). In this eighteenth edition of the quiz, we present five 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 themselves actually did.
Would you do things differently?
Q1: Expertise and beyond
Much has been said about the innovative achievements of domain experts. However, many successful startups have also been launched by industry outsiders. But even for such mavericks, the initial idea is not enough. What do they need to have other than an original idea, a great product, and a winning team?
Q2: Lifelong skills
Beyond the curriculum, educators have realised the need to impart a range of other skills to young students. These include problem-spotting and solving ability, communication skills, and creativity. What’s another crucial skill for children?
Q3: New frontiers of upcycling
Agricultural waste is sometimes simply burnt off, leading to pollution and other problems. Some of it can of course be composted and used to make fertiliser. What’s another creative use of agricultural waste? Can this be used in the fashion sector as well?
Q4: Smart transport
Uber, Ola, Grab and a range of other ride-sharing apps have driven new efficiencies in the mobility market, while also delivering value to rider and driver. Electric vehicles in connected ecosystems are also promoted by a range of startups. What’s a form of public transport that, however, is not being addressed enough in terms of optimisation?
Q5: Beyond the product
Coming up with a unique idea is quite a challenge for many aspiring entrepreneurs. Building a team that can convert this idea into a compelling product that meets customer needs is the next crucial step. But many startups fail in the next stage – why 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: Expertise and beyond
“One of the things I find in some of the best founders is tremendous learning agility. So, they’re constantly learning, taking cues from their environment, and able to make an agile shift in a thoughtful way,” explains Anjali Bansal, Founder of Avaana Capital.
Successful founders do not randomly pivot all the time – they are actually using data and analysing the situation very rapidly. “There are many ideas but it’s ultimately about execution,” Anali adds. Read more about startups and investor approaches here.
A2: New frontiers of upcycling
Entrepreneur Bhavna Belani, founder of Bagatella, is gearing up to launch a line of accessories made from vegan leather produced from paddy waste. India is reportedly ranked at the top in the world for emissions related to crop burning – all the more reason to find a sustainable solution.
Bhavna earlier read about people in Mexico making leather out of plants and even cactus. “We would initially need around 15,000 kg waste every month to begin production in a small way,” the founder explains. Read more of her journey here.
A3: Lifelong skills
“Fintech apps, specifically designed for children, not only teach them beneficial financial skills such as savings, investment techniques and compound interest rates, but also help them keep track of their pocket money and expenditures by setting limits and goals,” explains Navneet Gupta, Founder of YPay.
Children need to be more financial aware, and their tech savviness makes them a ready audience for fintech startups. It’s not just about making money but becoming financially independent. In India, an estimated 41 percent of the population is below the age of 18. Read more about the compelling case and investment opportunity for tech-enabled financial literacy here.
A4: Smart transport
“The Indian bus industry remains one of the most neglected parts of our mobility ecosystem,” laments Amit Gupta, Co-founder and CEO of GoGo Bus. More than 50 percent of Indians reportedly travel by intracity or intercity bus.
Fortunately, a range of transportation platforms are working with bus operators-partners to build a connected bus network. This spans digital booking, contactless payments, and contactless boarding features in the post-COVID world. Read more about this exciting business opportunity here.
A5: Beyond the product
For most startups, the biggest challenge remains selling the product and creating a sustainable revenue stream, observes Neeraj Saxena, Founding and Managing Partner, Xscale Accelerator. They need a clear and sustainable strategy to go to market (GTM).
A robust GTM should address core strengths and external competitive landscapes. “It should cover the geographical coverage, target customer segment, sales channel selection, positioning, and product pricing,” he explains. Technology-driven sales and digital-first sales are also a necessity. Read more on the GTM mandate 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).