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While the government’s economic package claims to help small industries and startups, what is it that they can really expect to happen in the coming months? As GDP growth rate topples, Motivational Speaker and Life Coach, Sitender Sehrawat attempts to answer questions on startups
The Rise of Startup Culture
2019 saw over 50,000 Registered startups and $14 billion in funding alone. Predictions were that Indian startups by 2025 will contribute substantially to the $5 Trillion GDP aim valuing over $500 billion alone. That was despite their growing losses, keeping the founders up all night, and investors were still signing fat checks. All this sounds terrific till January this year, and then Coronavirus came to shatter ambitions, not just within India but Globally.
Mammoth organisations who dominated the skies and IT are now on the edge of going bankruptcy. It sure does sound scary. Before we know what to fix, let’s do a reality check and see what needs to be fixed.
The Pandemic Effect
The coronavirus pandemic has left many passionate founders pondering and trying to see beyond the clouds. The effect on the consumers is not only economical but also mental. From fashion to consumption of goods, to investment, construction, travel, hotels, restaurants, traditional media –everything and everyone is suffering.
Small-cap startups are finding it difficult to survive since there is no clarity. IMF has already given us a cold shiver saying south Asia’s economy is going to suffer profoundly. Not only startups but big established corporates are also revising their future plans. Big software projects are either canceled or put on indefinite hold. IATA predicts that just in aviation alone about 2 lakh people will lose their jobs.
The catastrophe doesn’t end there, people are going to take time to step out to eat and shop and do other things. A few pieces of research suggest that social distancing might be needed for as long as 2022 or even 2024. Hiring has almost been frozen. Since startups are always on the edge, cashflow is a big concern and it’s resulting in people closing shop. Not just Foodtech, HR, Fintech, logistic but decade-old startups that were profitable are finding polite ways to fire the leadership. It doesn’t happen in India. We are the third fastest startup ecosystem after the US & China. But what does the future look like to and what can we do to stay afloat. Let’s look at how businesses are going to evolve post lockdown.
As per a recent survey, 85 percent of people said they would refrain from eating out and a social gathering. That directly impacts many Businesses. From malls to restaurants, to social gathering events. The impact of COVID-19 isn’t merely on the economy, it’s on the mental health as well. The effects are far more unseen at the moment of uncertainty. Consumer behaviour is expected to be the most affected. There will be an obvious change in people’s lifestyle and spending behaviours. The most impacted are Food, Lifestyle, Luxury, and Travel. But like always we choose to see the positive side of the crisis. Founders must now be in “Bias for action” mode before they reach the end of the runway.
What Can the Startups do to stay in Business?
Go back to the drawing board. We have all had serious discussions about future plans and strategies. But when the future itself is ambiguous, those plans might not prove to be assertive. It’s time we go back to our drawing boards again and put our imaginative & innovative powers to work. Speak with more people and get inside their minds to understand how a customer is re-planning their spending behaviour.
Read the customer’s mind and re-strategise your service.
Can your product or service be more present specific than the future since the future is not certain as of today?
Work from home, a serious consideration?
One of the positive changes that COVID-19 has forced us to realise is that for many job types, work from home can be a serious alternate. Not only startups but larger corporations are considering this option more seriously than ever. It not only saves infrastructural cost but also has a positive environmental effect. A study by American researchers revealed that the most stressful part for people is traveling to work.
Word of caution: Work from home can have a serious mental effect on your employee if not trained properly. Mindfulness and the “Flow” practices are immensely critical before you let your stars work from home.
Can you keep your employees be equally focused even with a disparity in your original vision?
When you interviewed people for this role, they showed a tremendous passion for the vision and the role, that’s why you hired them, right? But what if you have to change your vision to stay afloat? More than trying to woo your customers with huge discounts and lucrative deals, think about your employees’ happiness & wellbeing too. If Founders and employees vow to stand with each other, customers will see the passion in your Company and will most likely stick with you.
Do you really need a fancy Office & Overlapped Roles?
Not all but some startups think of themselves as a miniature version of larger Corporations and end up hiring people in the same fashion. This action creates an overlap in their roles. Startups are as dynamic as the weather in the mountains. What they planned on Monday might not make sense on Friday. A startup needs jugglers. Go over the list of people and see who fits the bill right now. Did your data analyst, developers & other people deliver as efficiently from home as they did from office? Do they need to come to the office? Think again. You might fit in a much smaller office if you need one at all.
Explore online tools that may fill in for expensive business travel and face to face meetings without hampering productivity and revenue. Even your customers will understand the importance of essential social distancing. Larger corporations are encouraging their people to avoid unnecessary travel, we can do it too. Right?
Gearing up for the new Business opportunities
There is news everywhere that the world is looking at India to shift its manufacturing plants. Do you already have the infrastructure and manpower to claim the opportunity? Stay in touch with the government for bigger opportunities. You might want to showcase your resources to take on the next big manufacturing or logistic hub.
Does Your Startup Have Semi- Skilled Workforce?
Many Unicorns and established startups have already tapped the opportunities of the current situation. Food tech startups delivering essential goods, offering the same day, even offering delivery within an hour. Healthcare essentials like medicines, masks, blood tests, and other sorts of “need of the hour” services. It’s the hour of innovation. There is an acute need to work on fundamental issues that have arisen due to the pandemic. If you have a skilled workforce, can you build an online version of the solution? Can you offer online learning, a game, a Virtual meeting tool, an AI robot to support healthcare professionals, the possibilities are enormous? Because the virus didn’t just come alone, it brought the possibilities, can you tap them?
If you are a restaurant, can you offer live streaming of your customer’s food preparation?
Fintech, ed-tech, health tech, e-commerce, and many other types of startups are going to come out stronger and will continue to change the way we live. Startups will not see green cash books, they need to trim their operational costs and innovate in the face of adversity. We all need you to solve real-life problems.
Most Important – Mental Well-being Of Your Employees
Research data from a renowned American University proved that employees who are happy and mindful are more productive. Take care of your employee’s mental health and emotional intelligence. After all, hiring isn’t in your to-do list for months so you’re going to need to get more work done with the same number of people.
Before your roll up your sleeves, ensure you train your employee’s mind to survive the difficult times. What’s most important today is “Mental Health” Emotional Intelligence, and the power of resilience. If you keep them stronger, you will come out as a better person, you will do good for people and your country. Remember the moral obligation of People’s welfare. That’s why you founded your startup, isn’t it? (IANS)
When you become a mother, you tend to forget about your own needs because you are so focused on your child. With the baby keeping you busy all day and night, your skincare takes a backseat. It's not always changes in skin texture and looks post-pregnancy are a bad thing, but not taking care of your skin may lead to acne, melasma, stretch marks, puffy eyes, and even dark circles. Syed Nazim, Dermatologist, Aesthetic and Hair Transplant Surgeon, Royal Lush Skin Clinic Saket, New Delhi, shares simple and easy tips for you to follow, to get a glowing post-pregnancy.
* Cleansing: As you sleep, your skin goes through a renewal cycle, by dispensing toxins and debris. So you only need a light-textured cleanser to wash your face with a face wash that is suitable for your skin type.
* Steam: Take steam for 2-3 days a week, it will help you to open up your clogged pores.
* Scrub & face pack: Use a face scrub, to remove the dead skin cells, scrub your face for like 5 minutes and wash it with normal tap water. It will help you to make your skin softer and radiant, leave the mask until it dries off.
* Toner & moisturizer: Apply toner to your face, look for clarifying toners that rebalance your pH to maintain the pH value of your skin. In the end, you only have to moisturize your face, to give hydration.
* Steal baby products: Baby products are always mild in nature so that the baby's sensitive skin doesn't have to compromise. They are created to lock moisture in babies skin. So, you can also use them. Whether it's a body oil, lotion or cream, apply some on your skin every time you're applying them on your baby. If you do this, you can flaunt your skin, this way, you don't have to dedicate a specific time every day for your skincare.
When you become a mother, you tend to forget about your own needs because you are so focused on your child. | Photo by Jenna Norman on Unsplash
* Keep all skincare needs in one place: Organize all your skincare products in one place, this organization will help you way much better than anything. Make use of your "me time" and devote it properly to pamper yourself.
* Streaming your routine: Make a proper timetable, for your week how many days you are going to deep cleanse your skin in a week.
If we talk about the baby skincare routine this is important too. As the baby's skin is too sensitive and they are interacting with such a harsh environment -- pollution, high temperature etc. Don't worry there are some simple and easy enough tips. Here, what you should know, with regards to bath, diapering, selecting items and that's just the beginning.
* Bath time: Babies need two to three baths a week in warm, not hot water to stay clean. The initial step to an extraordinary child shower is to track down the ideal temperature. Tip: Fill the bath without any more than 2 to 3 creeps of water. To keep your child from getting cold while you wash them, routinely pour cupfuls of water over their shoulders.
* Diaper Basics: There are a lot of things you'll have to do for your little one when they're an infant, like changing your baby's diaper regularly, cleaning tenderly however completely each time with child wipes. Make the surface saturated yet dry simultaneously as well. There are countless myths around diaper rashes that it is caused because of the usage of diapers. But no, it is due to a lack of attention and knowledge about the correct time to change the diaper. Else it will get worse for your child.
* Awareness of Products: Always read the product label before purchasing products for your infant. It's ideal to avoid chemical and alcohol-based products. Use products that are made explicitly for infants.
The baby's skin is too sensitive and they are interacting with such a harsh environment -- pollution, high temperature etc. | Photo by Jill Sauve on Unsplash
Newborn babies are so delicate, requiring a lot of care and attention. A single mistake or slip of mind can make things worse. Keep your infant's skin saturated, as well, so consistently have a stockpile of moisturizers around. But excessive oil can cause cradle caps, and dryness can create painful scenarios. If your child is facing such issues you need to consult a certified dermatologist.
(Article originally published on IANS life) (IANS/MBI)
Keywords: temperature,sensitive,babies, skincare,child,products
A couple of years ago, finding a strand of grey hair meant visiting the parlor to cover it up. Women and men refused to admit their age, and refused to let it show. Be it moustache, eyebrows, or hair on the head, it was dyed a luscious black, or reddish-brown for those who wanted to go natural. Today, the trend of coloring hair has nothing to do with age. Young boys and girls sport bright colors and hairstyles, which is now a marker of how modern one can be.
This notion of modernity associated with neon streaks and an almost gothic look originates from the ancient Egyptian civilization, where it was considered fashionable to look different from the natural features one was born with. Kohl, lipstick, perfume, and makeup were the inventions of those who hoped to live even after death. Likewise, they were the first people to discover hair dye. Initially, they dyed their hair black, to cover the grey. They used compounds that were extracted from plants, but some of them were lethal. So, they took to extracting the color from fermented leeches.
This was when a chemical was discovered to gently lighten hair color instead of completely bleaching it, and since then, there have been varying degrees of blonde and brown hair. Image credit: Photo by Jessie Dee Dabrowski on Unsplash
When bleach was discovered, women used it to achieve a yellow color, which became known as the sign of prostitutes. The focus shifted to naturally red hair when Queen Elizabeth took the throne, as she suffered from a genetic mutation which caused this. Red heads became more common in Scotland and Ireland, and everywhere else, black hair was still the norm.
When William Perkins discovered mauve during an experiment that went wrong, the concept of mixing two or more chemicals together to create a dye became well-known. So colorless chemicals were developed and mixed in varying ratios to dye hair. When the movie Platinum Blonde was released, the trend of having pale hair increased greatly. People began to go blonde everywhere. This was when a chemical was discovered to gently lighten hair color instead of completely bleaching it, and since then, there have been varying degrees of blonde and brown hair.
Youngsters prefer to sport bright, flashy colors, like teal, blue, purple, and even pink. Image credit: Photo by Tom van Kessel on Unsplash
With the arrival of pop-culture and its influence on the world, these mundane colors are reserved for the elderly. Youngsters prefer to sport bright, flashy colors, like teal, blue, purple, and even pink. Every time a new star sports a different color, the trend sparks interest in others, and sweeps across the globe like a wildfire. Hair dye has come a long way since the time of the Egyptians in the first century. Two thousand years hence, it has the potential to grow into so much more.
Keywords: Hair Color, Hair Dye, Egyptians, Perkins, Pop Culture
The history of Daryaganj goes back to the era of Mughal dynasty, and so its history is as old as the old city of Shahjahanabad, now Chandni Chowk. Interestingly, this market was known as Faiz Bazaar in the Mughal era and was considered as an important commercial place.
In fact, at that time this area was very posh, and had beautiful houses on both sides of a stream from a hauz (meaning, water storage tank) flowing down the centre. Not only this, trees were lined up for shade and it looked like a marvellous garden had been turned into a market.
Also, there used to be Lohe ka Pull which used to connect shops lined on both sides of the market starting from Delhi Gate to the Iron Bridge, but now the pull no longer exists. Well, there's no doubt that the old city of Shahjahanabad was beautiful crafted!
One of the most beautiful things about Daryaganj is its famous book market, known as the Sunday Patri Kitaab Bazaar. Sunday is specifically added here because the book market takes place only on Sundays, that, too, from 9am till 6pm.
Booksellers set up their shops on Patri (footpath). Hence, the name is Sunday Patri Kitaab Bazaar. Photo by Flickr.
In this market, you can find all kinds and genres of books at cheapest rates. In fact, some booksellers sell books according to kilos, and this is really astounding to see. From stationery to art supplies, you can find everything here and that, too, in a lot of variety.
It is interesting to see that some of the shopkeepers of Daryaganj book market are selling books from the past 50-60 years. Not only this, Daryaganj book market is also famous for its branded electronic goods and science lab equipments.
Apart from this, you can also find some of the lost traces of British rule, which once existed in India, in this market in the form of coins, photographs, and even their personal belongings. There is absolutely no doubt that Daryaganj book market offers a lot more than books, as it offers glimpses of the past.
So, if you are someone who is not just into books but also colonisation of India, then you must visit Daryaganj book market and experience a mixture of past and present!
Keywords: Daryaganj Book Market, Books, Old Delhi, Chandni Chowk, India, Mughal Dynasty.