Lateral Sparks, the weekly quiz from YourStory, tests your domain knowledge, business acumen, and lateral thinking skills (see the previous edition here). In this 86th 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: The D2C playbook
Having an attractive website and coming up with viral marketing campaigns can help emerging brands go the direct online route to consumers. But there is more to D2C than stickiness and outreach–what are other core essentials that brands need to focus on?
Q2: Data and governance
Promoting widespread internet access and affordable digital devices is one way for governments to streamline workflow and become more effective in administrative tasks. But what can be done to make the resulting data explosion more manageable and actionable?
Q3: Solutions for seniors
For those who have emigrated for better opportunities, a big challenge is looking after elder family members back in their home countries. What entrepreneurial opportunities lie in managing and delivering services remotely, and how can technology assist here?
Q4: The SaaS approach
Software-as-a-service (SaaS) applications have enabled modular design and collaborative activities at an unprecedented global scale. However, this is not without its risks. What are some of these risks, and how can they be managed?
Q5: Rural healthcare
Delivering affordable and high-quality healthcare access remains a challenge in many rural areas. Telemedicine platforms, low-cost medical equipment, and effective supply chain management are some solutions here. What’s another business model that could work 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: The D2C playbook
“Having a website that never goes down – that kind of stability is what brands look for,” explains Bharati Balakrishnan, Country Head and Director, Shopify India. D2C firms should also be able to execute as many orders as necessary without worrying about tech issues.
“Understanding your customers is a critical part, which is why a lot of brands are investing in data warehouses to understand them better,” adds Mohammed Ali, SVP and Head, SME and Direct, Delhivery. Read more here about other D2C playbook recommendations like social media integration and reliable payments.
A2: Data and governance
The open data movement is becoming an increasingly accepted solution for effective governance, particularly in large and diverse countries. “Over time, technology has provided us with additional tools that can be leveraged to ease the drudgery of data collection, storage, and analysis,” observes Anna Roy, Senior Advisor, NITI Aayog.
Standardisation is the key to make data more intelligent and make sense out of large data sets. This can help datasets “speak to each other” at the village, town, sub-district, and district level, according to Sam Asher, Co-founder, Development Data Lab (DDL). Read more about the National Data and Analytics Platform (NDAP) here.
A3: Solutions for seniors
Arasi Arul, Oli Arul, and Vivek Raja launched 60Plus India in 2021 as an end-to-end parent management technology platform. Its target is the 40 million senior citizens in India who are living away from their children.
The online aggregator platform enables NRIs to book services and buy products for their parents in India while managing their medical and personal data. Read more here about the startup’s app which includes features to book a doctor, nurse, physiotherapist visits, and other services.
A4: The SaaS approach
“While SaaS applications make it easy to share information, the booming number of applications creates a sticky situation that puts corporate confidential data at risk,” cautions Manish Mradul, Director of Engineering at Palo Alto Networks.
SaaS enables enhanced mobility and portability of collaboration but can also spawn critical data security risks. Read more here about mitigation approaches like controlling and managing user access, information security programmes, and initiatives for training and awareness.
A5: Rural healthcare
“Through social entrepreneurship, Indian healthtech startups are at the forefront of pushing change in rural healthcare delivery,” explains Priyadarshi Mohapatra, Founder and CEO of CureBay
Social entrepreneurs combine business outcomes with social impact to creatively deliver healthcare services for millions of people in underserved rural areas. Read more here about their offerings such as applications and content in local languages, and education campaigns about hygiene, nutrition, and disease prevention.
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).