Lateral Sparks: Test your business creativity with Edition 7 of our quiz!

This fresh feature from YourStory tests and strengthens your business acumen! Here are 5 questions to kick off this seventh edition. Are you ready?
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This weekly quiz from YourStory tests your domain knowledge, business acumen, and lateral thinking skills (see last week’s quiz here). In this seventh 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: Ecommerce success

UX, UI, and service design are effective approaches to improve the ecommerce experience. Much attention has been paid to the quality of the products on sale, ratings and reviews, and even video experiences to improve product assessment. Addressing one more process can lift ecommerce volumes, but is often overlooked – what is that process?

Q2: Sustainable packaging

Waste from packaging materials is a serious cause of pollution and damage to health. Several alternative approaches have been proposed, such as paper or biodegradable plastic. But there is another solution, which is a great example of circular packaging, it can be recycled infinitely. What is this material?

Q3: Rural commerce

Ecommerce has been an effective channel for a wide range of products, particularly during the pandemic era. For categories like consumer electronics, however, rural areas do not have large electronics stores, and ecommerce delivery may take as long as a week. What’s a better way to sell electronics goods in rural India?

Q4: Foundational technologies

The convergence of analytics, AI, ML, and IoT is foundational to a range of business sectors. It provides a wide set of capabilities in operational efficiency, personalisation, and customer experience. There is one more cross-cutting technology emerging slowly but surely – what is that?

Q5: The challenge of success

It is commonly said that "Nothing succeeds like success," and large firms are well poised for future success based on their accumulation of best practices. However, being successful also comes with its own set of challenges, as seen in the demise of previously dominant companies and products. What is the problem with success, and how can it be overcome?

Answers!

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: Ecommerce success

“As many as 95 percent of customers tend to buy again from the brand if their return process is easier,” advises Gaurav Gupta, Co-founder of Shipway. “Provide your customers with the self-service portal, an easier and efficient way to return their orders,” he adds. Read more here.

In fact, factoring in returns due to dissatisfied customers should be done right at the start of ecommerce and D2C businesses. “Sellers must build some percentage of returns in the cost structure,” suggests Sugam Jain, Founder and CEO, Shyplite. Find more tips here.

A2: Sustainable packaging

“Aluminium beverage cans are the perfect example of a circular packaging solution as they can be recycled infinitely without any loss of quality,” observes Amit Lahoti, VP and GM, Ball Beverage Packaging, India. “A great proof of this is the fact that around 75 percent of all aluminium ever produced in the world is still in use today," he adds. In such “real recycling,” materials retain their economic value and function. Read more here.

A3: Rural commerce

The practice of “stores on wheels” has been around for quite some time, but was adopted in the consumer electronics space in rural India by KS Bhatia, Founder of aptly-named Figgital (‘phygital’). It uses a combination of stores in smaller towns and vans to bring the retail experience to consumer doors in rural areas. Read more here.

A4: Foundational technologies

Augmented reality (AR) is finding a wide range of applications in organisational L&D and product visualisation. “India is witnessing disruptive possibilities using AR for industries ranging from real estate to automotive, healthcare to education and more,” observes Vaideeswaran Sethuraman, Founder, Divum Corporate Services. The Indian XR market was estimated by TechSci Research at $1.83 billion in FY2020. Read more here.

A5: The challenge of success

“One of the negative consequences of success is arrogance,” cautions Nitin Seth, CEO of Incedo, and author of Winning in the Digital Age: The Seven Building Blocks of Successful Digital Transformation (see my book review here).

A major learning challenge is hubris, the overconfidence in past knowledge, he warns. Humility, grounded circles, and ethics can be corrective factors.

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).

Edited by Suman Singh

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