[YS Learn] 11 things startups must remember in a post-COVID world

Businesses need to reset and refocus amid and after the COVID-19 pandemic. Roopa Kudva, Managing Director, Omidyar Network India, offers key pointers that startups need to keep in mind during this crisis.

The coronavirus pandemic has shuttered businesses and beleaguered the Indian economy. But despite the tough situation, many entrepreneurs are leading from the front and dealing with this difficult situation with fairness and empathy. 

“Our approach has been to be a supportive, caring, and engaged investor during this time,” said Roopa Kudva, Managing Director of Omidyar Network India, an investment firm focussed on social impact.

Roopa tells Shradha Sharma, Founder and CEO, YourStory, that the times may be tough, but this is also a good time for people looking to get into entrepreneurship. 

 “A post-COVID world will see many changes in the way we live and work, and will create several opportunities,” she said, offering entrepreneurs advice for this time. 
  1. Conserve cash, revisit your business plan, test every assumption, and communicate as much as possible. Talk internally to your team, share what you are thinking, and talk to customers. It is important to keep the dialogue going. 
  2. Make sure you surround yourself with people who have seen downturns in the past. Many entrepreneurs are young and experience helps. 
  3. Work on diversifying, look out for concentrations, and try spreading them out. “For example, we had a situation where a lot of players had banking relationships on the payment side with one bank. During the crisis, they had to relook this,” Roopa said. 
  4. Look for deeper engagements. It is a close engagement between investors and entrepreneurs on one hand and entrepreneurs and customers on the other hand.
  5. Focus on your core and on your purpose. This reminds you why you are here despite all the challenges. “All entrepreneurs have a strong vision and a weak sense of purpose. Staying rooted to that is going to be important,” Roopa says. 
  6. Apart from edtech, digital health will be big.  
  7. A crisis is always a time to think differently and look for new business opportunities. 
  8. We will see a greater move towards digital. Anything that looks at getting businesses to the online-and-offline combo is a good place to start. 
  9. Classrooms will change. The way education is imparted and the way students learn has started changing.
  10. Healthcare will see a spike. While COVID-19 is just one set of issues, digital health and telemedicine will become more important.
  11. In a world of increasing physical distancing, platforms that build communities and content will thrive.
Edited by Teja Lele Desai


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