side sparks, the weekly quiz Your story, tests your domain knowledge, business acumen and lateral thinking skills (see previous edition here). In this 50th edition of the quiz, we present the issues addressed by real entrepreneurs in their startup journey.
What would you do if you were in their place? At the end of the quiz, you will find out what the entrepreneurs and innovators themselves have actually done. Would you do things differently?
Discover YourStory book review section too, with takeaways of over 340 titles on creativity and entrepreneurship, and our weekend PhotoSparks section on creativity in the arts.
Q1: The advantage of the incubator
Startup incubators in academic institutes or government labs play an important role for founders. They help move from idea to implementation, provide infrastructural support and connect to investors. What is another gap that incubators can fill?
Q2: Customer Analysis and Beyond
Customer analysis helps to develop detailed, longitudinal profiles of behavior and aspirations. Such profiles can be constructed consistently across interaction channels. What’s next after profiling, in terms of technology-enabled engagement and transaction?
Q3: Leadership, knowledge and success
It is important that leaders master the knowledge and skills in their field and stay the course even in times of difficult change. They should also systematically share tips for success. However, there are many twists and turns in the leadership journey – what mindsets and practices are needed here?
Q4: Inclusion, investment, impact
Having more women in the workforce, especially at leadership levels, sets an effective tone for diversity and inclusion in an organization. It also helps to develop better offers for customers, especially for women. How can such business impacts be amplified by female investors?
Q5: CSR and change
Corporate social responsibility is a way for the business sector to increase its contribution to socio-economic impact and environmental protection. It must go beyond lip service to genuine concern and sustained commitment. But social change is not limited to CSR: what else needs to be transformed?
Congratulations on getting this far! But there’s more to come – answers to these five questions (below), plus links to articles with more details on entrepreneur solutions. Happy reading, happy learning and happy creating!
A1: The advantage of the incubator
“I think the biggest challenge startups face in India is getting access to the right mentors. A collaborative ecosystem with technology and business mentorship, as well as access to explore markets outside the country, is not easy to find”, observes Saumya Kumar, Director, I-Venture @ ISB.
Read more here on how this Indian School of Business incubator targets these gaps. This includes obtaining his 13,000+ alumni in 60 countries to act as mentors, investors and co-founders.
A2: Customer Analysis and Beyond
“When ‘conversational AI’ is complemented with omnichannel analytics, it helps any industry sector deliver detailed, unambiguous, and trusted insights,” says Tanmay Ayare, Global Head of Marketing and Communications, Route Mobile.
Customer analytics offers valuable business intelligence to optimize workflows and improve business communications. Read more here on how technology can help customers connect with brands that care about them, listen to them, and personalize communications and products.
A3: Leadership, knowledge and success
“You never know everything, you can never know everything, and understanding how to adapt to change is a key trait leaders should surely learn,” advises Megha Tata, former Managing Director of Discovery Communications India.
“It is a moral responsibility of women who are in a position of power to speak out and share their stories. It is essential that they share their failures and their struggles, both in personal and professional space, so that others can be inspired,” she says. Discover more leadership tips on learning and resilience here.
A4: Inclusion, investment, impact
“Every female investor inspires many more women to become entrepreneurs and create their own path to success,” observes Padmaja Ruparel, Co-founder, Indian Angel Network. “When women invest, they tend to have a better average annual return on their investments than men,” adds Marc McGregor, Managing Director and Senior Investment Strategist at Bank of America Merrill Lynch.
Gender disparity on investor side negatively affects type of startups funded, says Shrishti Sahu, Managing Partner/Angel Investor, SSV. “VC women can offer a nuanced understanding of demographics and make a difference by adding a deeper perspective,” says Vineta Singh, Founder and CEO of SUGAR Cosmetics. Read more here on how female angels are playing a growing role in the startup ecosystem.
A5: CSR and change
“We don’t think CSR alone can make a difference. Two percent of profits is all they have to spend on CSR. But that alone cannot change or create an impact in the world. For this to happen, the core business must change, new business models must be created, which can help generate profits and create value for society,” explains Rishi Agarwal, Managing Director and Head, FSG Asia.
The more such strategies are discussed in the book, Be an Impact Champion: Embrace Corporate Social Consciousnessby Priya Nair Rajeev and Simon Joy. See our book review here.
YourStory 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).