Ecommerce, security, investments: test your business creativity with Edition 59 of our quiz!
Lateral Sparks, the weekly quiz from YourStory, tests your domain knowledge, business acumen, and lateral thinking skills (see the previous edition here). In the 59th edition of this 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 did. Would you do things differently?
Q1: Locking solutions
Family members often face challenges in unlocking their homes due to a limited number of physical keys. This also applies to business settings like unlocking offices, factories, and rooms. How can digital technology help?
Q2: Customer engagement
Ecommerce providers can engage with customers effectively via well-designed sites and apps, clear communication of offers, and feedback forms for customised follow-ups. What’s another key tech solution than can help such sales interactions at scale?
Q3: AI benefits and risks
AI and ML offer organisations the ability to learn from vast quantities of data in realtime, make predictions, and execute better decisions. However, this also comes with significant costs and risks. What are some of these risks, and how can they be tackled?
Q4: The product experience
Online shoppers can benefit from ecommerce sites that leverage technologies like AI and ML to customise interactions and offers. There is one more group of technologies that enhance the way customers learn about, experience, and choose products – what are they?
Q5: The role of investors
Startups generally need funding at three stages – building products, getting to product-market fit, and scaling them to large markets. Angel and venture capital investors help here. But good investors provide more than money – what else do they do?
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: Locking solutions
Smart locks are a solution to many of the problems relating to multiple user access to locks in business and social settings, according to Sanat Jain, Co-founder of Lavna. Such solutions use techniques like unlocking via fingerprints, cards, and OTP.
Lavna’s clients include Adani Power Plant Group and Air India. “India has a large population of joint families, and the biggest issue they face is managing doors at odd hours,” Sanat adds. Read more here about the product and service aspects of the smart lock industry.
A2: Customer engagement
“Today’s chatbots efficiently conduct sales conversations in multiple languages, thereby reaching more customers and solving their queries,” observes Aakrit Vaish, Co-founder and CEO of Haptik.
Using AI and chatbots, conversational commerce offers real-time personalised support, scalable interactions, 24X7 global access, and engagement across multiple channels. Read more here about how chatbots in ecommerce can also facilitate upselling opportunities.
A3: AI benefits and risks
“Organisations must anticipate AI-related risks and build comprehensive frameworks to pre-emptively mitigate them,” advises Prashanth Kaddi, Partner with Deloitte India’s Data & AI practice.
Risks arise due to limited human ability to follow and troubleshoot AI logic (explainability). Read here about potential risk impacts like reputational damage, revenue losses, and regulatory and litigious consequences.
A4: The product experience
“The arrival of augmented reality and virtual reality in ecommerce has revolutionised the product visualisation experience,” observes Pankaj Sachdeva, Vice President, Data Science & Analytics and Managing Director, India Innovation.
Immersive technologies like AR and VR have the potential to provide realistic in-store experiences. This includes store visit simulations, ‘trying on’ products from different angles, and visualising them in different settings. Read more about immersive tech trends in ecommerce here.
A5: The role of investors
“A good venture capitalist can ensure exponential growth in your networks and find you relevant connections for any business needs. It opens access to an entire ecosystem, often difficult to reach for bootstrapped founders,” affirms Abhishek Goenka, Head and CIO of RPSG Capital Ventures.
This also helps founders take bolder decisions since the business risk is divided between multiple parties. Read more here about how VC investments help manage the business while waiting for cash inflows after large branding campaigns.
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 Akanksha Sarma