Farming, health, platforms: test your business creativity with Edition 45 of our quiz!

This insightful feature from YourStory tests and strengthens your business acumen! Here are 5 questions to kick off this 45th quiz. Ready?
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Lateral Sparks, the weekly quiz from YourStory, tests your domain knowledge, business acumen, and lateral thinking skills (see the previous edition here). In this 45th 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?

Check out YourStory’s Book Review section as well, with takeaways from over 340 titles on creativity and entrepreneurship, and our weekend PhotoSparks section on creativity in the arts.

Q1: Farming

B2B and B2C ecommerce platforms have been some of the prominent ways to connect farmers to their markets. But scaling up and improving farming to tackle issues of food security calls for other tech-driven options as well. What are some of the technologies that come into play here?

Q2: Mental healthcare

The pandemic has ramped up the need to offer mental healthcare solutions to large segments of the population. Digital platforms offer the potential of scale and convenience here. What are other benefits of going the digital route for mental healthcare?

Q3: Generalists or specialists?

As a startup scales, the multi-tasking that the founding team needed to do has to change in order to manage more complex activities. So how should founders balance this mix of generalists and specialists?

Q4: Effective communication

Clear communication, backed up by solid data and evidence, can hold the key to effectively bring employees and customers on board the company’s vision. But there is more to impactful communication than showing value or building on case studies – what is the additional skill leaders must have?

Q5: Pandemic impact on art

The pandemic had an adverse effect on the livelihood of artisans, and the lockdowns deprived artists of exhibition opportunities as well. Government schemes and community support helped some artists survive. What were some other effective solutions for artisans in their time of crisis?

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: Farming

“The security of the food systems is one of the world’s most pressing challenges,” explains Siddharth Bharadwaj, Agritech Lead at Social Alpha. He describes precision farming as an effective solution to this problem.

This includes precision in soil preparation, seeding, crop management, and harvesting. Technology solutions can help in customising soil conditions, seeding with effective distances, efficient use of water, and choosing the best time for harvesting. Read more here about the role of drones, weather forecasts, automated seed planters, and smartphone apps in agriculture.

A2: Mental healthcare

“Digital intervention has made mental healthcare accessible for one and all,” observes Berlin-based clinical psychologist Drishti Jaisingh. Digital platforms for mental healthcare save time and money, and also offer more privacy and safety for patients, adds Gauri Joshi, an employee who experienced career burnout.

Read more here about a range of digital platforms that combine anonymity with accessibility. They offer counselling in areas such as work stress, parenting, and socio-economic empowerment.

A3: Generalists or specialists?

“As an organisation scales, roles get more specialised, versus an early-stage startup where an individual holds a broad-based role, spanning across functions at times,” explains Saahil Goel, Co-founder and CEO at Shiprocket.

“As a business grows and moves from agility to stability, companies start by hiring multitaskers and then seek out domain experts,” adds Jinesh Shah, Managing Partner at Omnivore. Read more here about the generalist-specialist tradeoff in scaling companies, and how this mix can even affect investor decisions.

A4: Effective communication

“Storytelling is a great skill to have. People will listen to concepts and frameworks, but stories have an undeniable power to bring all of it to life,” affirms Janelle Estes, Chief Insights Officer at UserTesting.

“Leaders in customer experience, generally, are focused on both evangelising and showing the value of providing great experiences,” she adds. Read more here about communication, mentorship and sponsorship mandates of effective leadership.

A5: Pandemic impact on art

The pandemic lockdowns caused immense hardship to folk and tribal artists, even driving some of them to live in slums, recalls Dushyant Dangi, Founder of digital platform Tribal Art India. “The platform enables them to get the fair price for their work without any middleman. It also helps preserve and sustain the rich culture of our country,” he adds.

The most challenging part during the lockdown was to continue supporting artisans, says Disha Singh, Founder and CEO of vegan accessories brand Zouk. The company has bounced back and now supports over 300 artisans, with plans to export products as well.

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).