[YS Learn] What should startups solving for COVID-19 focus on during different stages of the pandemic?

The Indian startup ecosystem has rallied like never before in the past few months. From investors working together to invest in new ideas, to founders, startup employees, and executives working together, there have been multiple solutions to combat COVID.
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Roopa Kudva, Managing Director of Omidyar Network India, an investment firm focussed on social impact, believes everything related to the COVID-19 pandemic - prevention of the spread of the coronavirus, contact tracing, critical care, and home care - played a crucial role during the initial days. 

Speaking to Shradha Sharma, Founder and CEO, YourStory, Roopa revealed that there were a few things that entrepreneurs looking to build for the longer term would need to focus on. 

  1. We are facing a crisis in the MSME sector, the engine of growth of the economy and employment. Creating a tech digital ecosystem for MSMEs is crucial. Entrepreneurs who can find solutions to take our MSME sector digital will play an important role.  
  2. The pandemic is going to change the way we live and the way we work, and the requirement for physical distancing will be there for some time. So, the question is, can we reimagine business models to be successful in this era? Roopa said the form and shape they might take is something entrepreneurs would need to focus on. 
  3. Building solutions that can complement the government’s efforts is important. Roopa believes management of citizen data for formulating health responses for the government. Data will be used in a very different manner after this crisis, and entrepreneurs can step in to build interesting solutions,  
  4. The focus will also be on conventional things like rebuilding the supply chain and logistics efforts. 

Edited by Teja Lele Desai

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