COVID-19 is forcing every business to reconsider their strategies and develop more powerful ways to grow their business! DevX initiated a Webinar on the growth opportunities for any business during COVID-19 where startups & businesses could take the opportunity of grabbing knowledge from the industry experts from various domains.
The webinar focused on the important factors for entrepreneurs and early stage startups! Different sectors are been affected due to this pandemic in different ways. The prospective funding opportunities in the changing scenario and various support activities which could help the businesses to maintain their position in the market were the few key points discussed by the speakers.
Event being moderated by Mr. Faraz Wadhwania, Head of Ops at DevX, the session started with a brief introduction of all the speakers. Following this, Faraz requested everyone to share their experience in terms of how they began their startup and the major struggles faced by them in their respective industries. Mr. Yash Shah, CEO & Co-Founder at Gridle, shared his experience on how they spent years researching & developing the customer life-cycle software. Mr. Lalit Aggarwal, Co-Founder at F5, started off by mentioning how did they conducted a pilot research study for testing their business model. Ms. Sucharita Reddy, Co-founder at MeraCashier, mentioned how the co-founders, including herself, understood the importance of automation for any business owner through their past experiences and thus wanted to create an accounting automation tool for businesses.
During this period, how can young entrepreneurs work on their idea or MVP and kickstart their businesses?
Addressing the question, Yash mentioned that at this point of time, early stage companies should focus on survival rather than focusing on their growth and the importance to validate the assumptions as much as possible. He further mentioned certain factors that would help in growing the business which includes:
- Cost of acquiring the customers or branding have reduced drastically in the market, so the companies can use this opportunity to market their products.
- Position yourself in a way to help your customers grow, understand the situation of crisis, and support them through various activities.
Lastly, he also suggested to take this period as an opportunity to provide a demo of your product/service to your prospective customers which would ultimately help to broaden your funnel as everyone is relatively free at this point of time.
Should businesses adopt new strategies to improvise or change their product during these times or continue with the same product/service which they are currently offering?
On this, Sucharita mentioned that there is no particular formula. It purely depends upon the market & the customer requirements. If a particular company is offering a product that has a synergy with the current situation such as sanitizer manufacturers then it is a great opportunity for them in the market. Timing and opportunity play a major role in any business. It depends upon the company as to how they want to pivot their business to earn more revenue. She also mentioned that it is not necessary to make revolutionary changes for a small period of revenue or growth. She did however recommend getting accustomed to digitalisation, which would be of benefit especially for the local stores.
How is the hospitality, travel & tourism industry perceiving this situation and suggestions on how to bounce back when their businesses have hit hard?
Discussing upon this question, Lalit answered that all together these sectors can be seen very differently. He mentioned that there are many cities where the restrictions will ease off sooner than expected. He also added that consumer preferences and taste are changing and thus the traditional ways may not work any longer. Instead they would have to adopt new and modern styles of working patterns. So, the opportunity in these specific sectors can be catered by thinking out of the box. People might travel from one geography to another for work purposes rather than leisure now, so it could benefit those sectors. He concluded by saying that these companies might have to modern up their ways for a broader picture that is soon to come up.
How do you see WFH as a cost saving strategy for the startups? Suggest some ways how they can do it effectively and grow themselves?
As per Yash, large teams would face a little difficulty to manage work. So, if we want to monitor the tasks of our team mates then first of all we will have to build an internal trust initially. He does believe that productivity and flexibility have improved in a way as compared to when people were working from offices. He pointed out that there are many other benefits like people do not have to pay any miscellaneous costs. Two aspects that needs to be considered are:
- Brainstorming ideas, creating content, developing strategies etc. where you need to connect with people and discuss things.
- All the tasks that people need to do on regular basis, they are predefined and does not need any discussion process.
Lastly, he concluded by saying that people can overcome this is by developing new ways of connecting with each other to increase their productivity while working from home.
How can people leverage the benefits of digital marketing during these times?
Sucharita said that digital marketing has to be the centre of focus during times like these for each and every business out there. She mentioned that companies can use any form of digital marketing method, whether it be SMS, E-Mails, Whatsapp, or Facebook for promoting their business. She also suggested that companies could connect to their customers via Facebook live sessions and address their queries and concerns. For Sucharita, this is the right time to engage with your customers and make them understand your product. Influencer marketing is one such technique to build trust among people. Lastly, making proper content and placing them to the right customer is very important!
How to keep your operation cycle going with limited cash flow during this situation? How effectively can you grow your business with such limited capital?
Answering to this, Lalit mentioned how this can be different for both, startups who have raised as well as not raised their funding. Collaborating with different players in the market can be of great help. He mentioned that businesses should focus on increasing the lifecycle value of the customers. Lastly, he said that companies should be well aware as to when they should focus on profitability and when to work on the expansion!
Summing this up, Faraz quickly highlighted the key points of the entire session by our speakers during the webinar as follows:
- The Team should be chosen wisely
- Startups should research well and choose their idea accordingly
- Build a strong MVP and business model that lasts for a longer period of time
- Brainstorming for new ideas while working from home
- Use various digital marketing strategies to grow your business
- Focus on the core of your business and identify the best for your business
On a hopeful note of resuming to the normal lives soon, all the speakers & participants signed off post the conclusion of the entire session. DevX will make sure to engage the community with another engaging discussion on topics affecting us soon. Until then, Stay Productive! Stay Healthy! Stay Safe!