In a span of a couple of months, COVID-19 drastically changed the way we lived our lives. In the lockdown, due to the pandemic, schools, colleges, offices, everything had to operate from home. After almost a year, with people getting vaccinated, things are opening up to a normal pace. Businesses are also getting back to normal functioning. We have a few tips from CEOs around getting back to business and how to build your business in the post-COVID era.
Vikas Chaturvedi, CEO of Xanadu Realty
“In my opinion, the biggest lesson that the COVID-19 outbreak has delivered is the need to remain agile and flexible. During the pandemic, enterprises across all sectors had to transition to a digital-first way of working. Businesses processes, workflows, applications, and communication moved to digital channels to deal with the physical restrictions imposed by the lockdown. As we gradually move towards pre-pandemic normalcy, entrepreneurs must keep that agility at the core of their operations. They must evaluate every development that impacts their business in real-time and be prepared to pivot their approach at any given instant.
Another aspect that emerging entrepreneurs must focus on is building a strong data model. Data-driven insights empower you and your employees to make more accurate, relevant, and contextual decisions, which in turn can lay the foundation of a robust and agile business. As more and more businesses and individuals make the digital leap, the quantum of enterprise data will only increase further. As an entrepreneur, you must ensure that your business is prepared to leverage this imminent data explosion to inform your decision-making processes and drive better business outcomes.”
Xanadu Realty a leading real estate b2b consultancy firm that provides comprehensive institutional sales & marketing solutions for real estate companies.
Narayan Mahadevan, Founder of BridgeLabz
“The COVID-19 outbreak has wreaked financial havoc around the globe, leaving many business owners struggling in its wake. A business needs intense focus and caring. While the short-term outlook for businesses varies greatly by industry, it’s important to consider what recovery mode will look like once the economy begins to return to a state of normalcy—or establishes a new normal. We as an organisation believe team spirit is a key factor that builds transparent communication across the organization to ensure everyone is on board. The team should synchronise all efforts towards the same target and focus on a single-minded target. As an entrepreneur, one must ensure that your team is able to find a gap or need that your business requires at the time of crisis.”
BridgeLabz is an IP-driven incubation lab aimed at nurturing engineering talent and ideas in the emerging technology space at zero cost. BridgeLabz was set up to bridge the impending skill-gap amongst the existing talent pool of Indian engineers by making them job-ready through experiential learning and focused mentorship. Through its Maker Program, the company hires engineers from top institutes and provides them with hands-on training in industry-specific skills, as per the needs of its various partner companies.
Bharath Sastry, CEO of Vistaprint India
Focus: It lets you better connect with potential customers as they are integral to the success of your business. Moreover, it also helps businesses/brands to identify the areas where it can play a critical role in delivering a customer promise in a profitable way. Once this is arrived at, businesses need to rationalize their portfolios accordingly and ensure that the whole organization is rallied around the strategy.
Personalization: It is a strong differentiator that helps your business/brand build a connection with your customers. Personalization induces several emotions including a sense of identity, pride, thoughtfulness, and joy amongst the customers. Therefore, brands stand to gain when they establish such emotional connections with their customers.
Innovation: With customers’ behaviour constantly changing, they are continuously evaluating and reevaluating their choices across categories and brands. This is where innovation comes into the picture. It helps you solve a real consumer issue as a marketer by offering relevant products and services.
Adaptability – The outbreak of the COVID-19 pandemic significantly changed the normal ways of doing business. Businesses have realized more than ever before that change is only constant. Hence, it is imperative that businesses keep reinventing themselves to swiftly sustain through challenging times.
Digitisation – The pandemic has insured that digitisation is not a choice anymore but a necessity. Companies and individuals need to embrace it wholly or partly.
Vistaprint India leading e-commerce platform for customised and personalised services for (SME’s & MSME’s) individuals and small business owners, empowering them to create an identity of their own. Vistaprint is a part of a global company with roots in the Netherlands but in India their target is small businesses; individuals and corporate, and they manufacture all their products locally with the help of local workers and employees. Most of the customers of Vistaprint are businesses; individual or corporate.
Shekhar Rawtani, Founder & CEO of Prescrip
“Due to the coronavirus pandemic, there is an online craze going on at the moment and this is the best time to work on your business’s online presence. Because today a great number of people are spending their free time online, and businesses should take advantage of the situation. So, if good online presence is attained any business can build its brand and get credibility to charm their way into new customers attention. Additionally, the business will be more accessible to customers who will easily get acquainted to your business and its offerings.”
Prescrip is a platform for healthcare professionals & enterprises across medical specialities to simplify and enable e-prescriptions, clinic management, telemedicine, easy access to patient data and discovery of practice. Launched in 2014 to address the lack of adoption of technology across the healthcare delivery chain in India, Prescrip is currently catering to over 7,000+ registered doctors across multiple specialities in 477 cities across India.
Amith Agarwal, Co-founder & CEO, Agribazaar
Ability to handle ambiguity: Post COVID19, organizations will have to build the capacity to handle ambiguity. A new crisis or global scare may hit you tomorrow, but we have to face, navigate and overcome it.
Lean & Capex efficient business model: Every business has to behave in a frugal manner and build a cash conservation mindset. Unnecessary expenses, huge Capex plans, and unplanned spending are unwelcome. The ability to continue your business even during lockdown showcased the need for financial discipline.
Employee health & safety a priority: Businesses can slow down and can be built later. However, what can’t be replaced is human life. Organizations should give utmost importance to ensuring the health and safety of its employees’, including their families. #wfh is a useful discovery that will become the new normal.
Solving a real & genuine problem digitally: The pandemic has demonstrated that businesses solving real problems of customers through a digital business model continued or picked up quickly. Fancy business models or esoteric concepts will no more find acceptance. Genuine, scalable start-ups with internet and digital interventions and practical revenue models will attract growth capital.
4C – Collaboration, Compassion, Courage & Commitment: The post-Covid19 world will have the 4C’s of building a business. Everything can’t be done by itself; hence an ecosystem of collaboration and trust needs to be built. Profits alone cannot define success. Compassion and doing the right thing will be critical for businesses to succeed. Courage and commitment to stay on course even during the worst times would be vital for teams; COVID19 demonstrated how employees acted as frontline workers for their organizations and helped generate revenues.
Founded in 2016, the idea behind AgriBazaar is to deliver tech-enabled future-ready solutions to the farming community and revolutionize the way post-harvest management services are processed across the country. As a full-stack bootstrapped agritech player, AgriBazaar has replicated the physical mandi to an (electronic) e-mandi aggregator model through which once a farmer registers and uploads his produce, buyers can give orders for the purchase. And, once the deal is complete, AgriBazaar facilitates the logistics of picking up the grain from the farmer’s doorstep and delivering it to the buyers’ warehouse.