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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)
Divorce is a hard fact in someone's life because it can affect all aspects of life like social, economic, and living status. Conditions become tougher if you have children. Recovering from divorce is also a painful process but good thing is that it is possible to get through it and place better in terms of both finances and emotions. The impact of divorce on finances can be life-lasting but taking precautions and thorough investigations of options can help a lot not only to save unnecessary costs but also some other hidden areas where you weren't aware. Following are some tips to save money during a divorce.
1.Avoid advice from everyone
People like your friends, family members, colleagues, neighbors, etc. will start giving unsolicited advice during the divorce process when you discuss it with them. They will share their own experiences and horror stories and advice on how to handle financial issues during the divorce process. Get advice only from those you trust. In this regard, attorneys or financial experts are the best options to save money during the divorce process.
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2.Consider your spouse
It can be challenging for someone who has started the divorce process to think about the soon-to-be ex-spouse's best interests and financial wellbeing. While making decisions about assets and finances, considering not only your interests but also your spouse's interests can help you to reduce divorce process time. You can save your own and your spouse's money if you spend less time in such negotiations because times spend with the attorney will also be shortened.
3.Goodbye to the joint bank account
You should close all joint bank accounts which were in use of you and your spouse especially credit base account. Block major and supplementary credit and debit cards. Your spouse can use it and you can suffer heavy financial loss. Closing of all joint accounts should be the first step to cut down financial loss during divorce proceedings.
4.Open a new checking account
In continuation of the previous point, open your new checking account. This will help you in terms of not only building up of financial history but also your credit record. Credit history will be helpful if you apply for a loan or any other credit facility. This financial history will let you control your money during the divorce process. If your bank account is not a joint account but you own it, then make sure that your spouse was not using supplementary debit or credit cards. If the spouse was using then block it immediately.
Divorce can include many additional and sometimes hidden costs along with routine costs. This can bring more stress and worries to your life. Saving money can help you to fight such financial status. Force savings every month in this regard can help a lot. You can do this by opening a savings account and setting up a debit order from your checking account.
Recovering from divorce is also a painful process but good thing is that it is possible to get through it and place better in terms of both finances and emotions.Getty pictures
6.Keeping track record of the expense
You may not be interested in maintaining a record sheet of your expenses during your married life. If so, then you should start now. Analyze your bank statement critically because expenses can be out of control now. Review your daily cost of things and make critical decisions to cut down unnecessary costs.
7.Chalk out budget
Ideally, a proper budget should be chalked out to control expenses and save money during the divorce process. Select important segments/areas of your lifestyle and allocate a budget to each of them. After allocation of budget, stick to it strictly every month. This can be problematic in the beginning but become easy when you become used to it. By doing this, you will also be able to manage your savings account by allocating money.
8.Own health insurance
Medical emergencies and different health issues can be sudden or without any notice. So, it is necessary to have a health insurance plan in order to not only pay bills of medicines and lab tests but also an unexpected expensive hospital stay. If your health insurance has previously been covering your spouse then it is advisable to set up your own health insurance plan. This can help you to save money.
9.Amendments in your will and beneficiaries
If you have already decided about your will beneficiaries then it is the right time to update it. Now your divorce is under process, so, the content of your will and beneficiaries should also be significantly changed. This is much needed because it is possible that now you have children and who you like to allocate your property and saving especially if the children were not present when you drew up the will.
10.Change power of attorney
Many people assign power of attorney to their spouses during the marriage. Now it is essential to update and end the power of attorney and signing authority given to the spouse. This will help you in terms of legal and financial matters.
11.Apply for online divorce
Advancement in technology has made it easy for everyone to save time and money. Now in the United States, it is easy to apply for a divorce online. You can save time and attorney fees by downloading all the required divorce documents online. You should not worry about which document and how downloaded because many local court websites can give detailed information about how to file divorce online and which documents are needed.
12.Make use of the mediator
It is extremely helpful to use the mediator to decide terms and conditions between you and your spouse. Although an attorney is needed in certain matters of divorce use of a mediator will help you in saving attorney fee
Many spouses are very conscious about expensive assets and luxuries that are going to be distributed among spouses after the divorce. So, they make decisions to splurge on these luxuries. It is advisable not to splurge as the cost of divorce proves may be past your expectation.
14.Do it yourself (DIY) divorce
Many people are unable to afford the cost of attorney and mediator, so, they now try to handle things by themselves as much as possible. The rate of divorce and its cost is increasing day by day. This factor making "do it yourself (DIY) divorce" popular. DIY spouses are using information given by some attorneys who are offering free consultation on their first meeting.
Disclaimer: ( The article is sponsored and hence promotes some commercial links)
Gone are those days when people, sports enthusiasts, and governments lined up to host the Olympics. Hosting the Olympics, once seemed to be an immensely prideful event, but it has now transformed into an economic burden. Host cities grapple with a plethora of problems which mainly include construction delays, cost overruns, security issues, and environmental concerns.
The ongoing Covid-19 pandemic has more or less aggravated the problems. The Winter Olympic Games are scheduled for 2022 in Bejing, China. Furthermore, Paris and Los Angeles have been recently nominated as the hosts for the 2024 and 2028 Olympics Games respectively. Both cities have held the Games on two occasions previously, with Los Angeles hosting as recently as 1984. Simply submitting a bid to the International Olympics Committee (IOC) costs up to millions of dollars. Host cities typically have to spend $50 million to $100 million in fees to a slew of consultancy agencies, event management companies, etc.
Hosting the Olympics is more costly than the bidding process. For instance, London spent $14.6 billion for hosting the Games in 2012. On the other side, Beijing spent a lavish $42 billion for the Games in 2008. Meanwhile, the Russians spent $51 billion dollars on the 2014 Sochi Winter Olympics. Making, it the costliest Olympic Games in the history of the Olympics.
Governments of host cities and bid teams love to brag about the legacy of hosting the Games. But the hidden costs of such a massive project is too evident to hide. Such megaprojects require additional employment, as well as subsequent improvement of the pre-existing facilities and public infrastructure. Most of these projects are fraught with costs overruns, shoddy work and a lack of long term vision.
According to a study conducted at the prestigious Oxford University In England, by Danish geographer Bent Flyvbjerg and American journalist Allison Stewart, which looked into the individual economic parameters of hosting the Summer Olympic Games between 1960 and 2012. The findings were astonishing, they found out that the Olympic Games overrun the initial cost estimate with 100 per cent consistency. No other megaproject is this consistent regarding cost overruns.
Athens, in particular, seems to have been the tipping point. The city pridefully hosted the Games in 2004, which ended up costing them €9 billion (a whopping $11 billion at today's exchange rate). The offset of the Games was in disguise the onset of Greece's tumultuous years. The country now is in total disarray, with sky-high unemployment rates, failing economic apparatus, record levels of homelessness, all among the grandiose venues built for the Games.
The conclusion is simple, hosting the Olympics is an extravagant affair. If not planned properly, it tends to result in a severe economic crisis for the host city. If the host city lacks facilities and public infrastructure to support the excess crowds pouring in, not hosting the Olympics may be the best option.
Indian wrestler Ravi Kumar (57kg) and Deepak Punia (86kg) enjoyed fruitful outings at the Tokyo Olympic Games as they secured semifinal berths in their respective weight categories at the Makuhari Messe on Wednesday.
On the opening day of the wrestling competition, Ravi Kumar defeated Bulgaria's Georgi Vangelov 14-4 on technical superiority to reach the last-four in the men's 57kg category, while compatriot Deepak Punia overcame China's Zushen Lin 6-3 on points to advance to the semifinals.
Ravi Kumar will take on Nurislam Sanayev of Kazakhstan in the last-four, while Punia will be up against David Morris Taylor of the USA.
Earlier, Ravi Kumar had won his opening-round bout by technical superiority against Colombia's Oscar Tigreros to secure a quarterfinal spot. Competing in the Round-of-16 bout against the Colombian wrestler, the 23-year-old Ravi Kumar, who is making his Olympic debut, showed no nerves as he dominated the bout to win by technical superiority (13-2).
Ravi Kumar landed attack after attack and went 13-2 up, winning the bout by technical superiority with minutes to spare. In wrestling, building up a 10-point lead over the opponent results in a victory by technical superiority.
India's 86kg freestyle wrestler Deepak Punia showed no signs of the niggle that had forced him to pull out of the Poland Open Ranking Series in Warsaw in June, as he defeated Nigeria's Ekerekeme Agiomor on technical superiority to secure a quarterfinal berth.
He got his Olympic campaign to a fine start as he was in control from the start of the bout and hardly ever allowed his Nigerian opponent any room to maneuver his moves, finally winning with a 12-1 on technical superiority.
Punia, who had also suffered an elbow injury just before the Games, was slow at the start but came into his own as the bout progressed, inflicting takedowns at regular intervals to earn points.
The Indian wrestler eased into a 4-1 lead at the break and extended his lead comfortably in the second period.
Punia, the silver medallist from the 2019 world wrestling championships, then set up a clash with China's Lin Zushen in the quarterfinals and defeated him 6-3.