Services, scale, SMEs: Test your business creativity with Edition 78 of our quiz

This insightful feature from YourStory tests and strengthens your business acumen! Here are 5 questions to kick off this 78th quiz. Ready?

Services, scale, SMEs: Test your business creativity with Edition 78 of our quiz

Saturday April 08, 2023,

5 min Read

Lateral Sparks, the weekly quiz from YourStory, tests your domain knowledge, business acumen, and lateral thinking skills (see the previous edition here). In this 78th 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 355 titles on creativity and entrepreneurship, and our weekend PhotoSparks section on creativity in the arts.

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Q1: Onward to Web3

Much has been said about the metaverse and the blockchain universe, but it seems this journey is still in its early stages. There is certainly huge potential, but what can be done to smoothen and hasten this transition from Web2 to Web3?

Q2: Customer engagement

Device buyers typically look for attributes like performance, design, brand value, and affordability. A smooth purchase experience and home delivery are other features to consider. But what else is important in the customer experience of device buyers, and what opportunity lies here?

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Q3: The drive to scale

Much has been said about the need for an entrepreneur to scale quickly and effectively and build insurmountable moats against emerging competitors. Scale opens up new markets and geographies as well. But does scale always have to be the focus of a founder?

Q4: The SME segment

SMEs constitute the bulk of an economy, but they face numerous challenges in ease of doing business, mastering the import-export process, and complying with ever-changing compliance requirements. How can technology help here?

Q5: Pitch tips

In the course of a startup’s journey, pitching to investors is often a key step. It is important to clearly state the problem space, the uniqueness of the solution, and the traction achieved. Customer testimonials also help. What else should founders do for an effective pitch?



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: Onward to Web3

“Web2.5 is an abstraction of the whole experience for novice users, allowing them to do cool things like mint NFTs without having to go through complicated setup procedures,” describes Amartya Hari Pilaka, Senior Growth Lead, Mantle Network.

Speakers at TechSparks Mumbai explain that Web2.5 essentially represents the best of both worlds: the decentralised, trustless nature of Web3 and the user-friendly, intuitive interface of Web 2.

Read more about decentralised technologies and emerging user interfaces here.

A2: Customer engagement

Customer engagement doesn’t end with the purchase of a device.

“Consumers are willing to pay a subscription to keep them up to date—that’s why Servify decided to work with OEMs, or original equipment manufacturers,” explains Sreevathsa Prabhakar, Founder and CEO of Servify.

The startup offers device owners a complete customer experience, not limited to the point of sale. The founder explains that Apple Care is a $16-billion business, the second largest profit pool for Apple.

Read more here about Servify’s presence in 130,000 outlets today, and how the device market is moving from a buying model to a subscription model.

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A3: The drive to scale

“Not every startup ought to scale and scale doesn’t always mean adding people, offices, customers, or even revenues,” observes Dr Pavan Soni, Founder of Inflexion Point and author of Design Your Thinking (see our book review here).

“If you are happy with what you have got and are able to retain the niche with substantial value to the customer, you needn’t worry too much about scaling,” he advises.

Read more here about how some companies like Mast Kalandar were not able to scale successfully, while Aishwarya Departmental Store and Sowbhagya Traders have chosen to stay local.

A4: The SME segment

ERP company TreZix helps SMEs by digitising and automating stakeholder collaboration and compliances, including new schemes and obligations. It is currently working with 15 MSMEs and plans to onboard 250 companies in FY24.

The company currently offers three packages–Basic, Professional, and Advanced. True Colours, one of its clients, saw a 30% increase in the efficiency of operations after adopting its solution.

Read more about the opportunity for digitising SMEs here.

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A5: Pitch tips

“Raising capital isn't a one-way street. It's essential to know your investor and their thesis for investing,” advises Maanav Sagar, Co-Manager of Bharat Founders Fund.

“Research your target investors to understand their core thesis, what sector they invest in, and their average investment amount,” he adds.

Read more here about his six investment mantras and tips for effective pitching.

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 Swetha Kannan