The SME sector is all over the news – often cited in statistics showcasing their ability to contribute to India’s development. However, when it comes to funding for SME’s they are deemed by investors to be “too small, too early, too risky”. The appeal of SME’s is unique – they solve very specific problems, they also have the agility to pivot and re-invent themselves and their stakeholder focus is deep.
The ‘demographic dividend’ is a bedrock of India’s continued growth. However, there is a flipside – the large number of young people that enter the every year are ill-prepared for the available jobs. Preparing the young for and connecting them to the opportunities which exist and are emerging is key.
The raging pandemic has shown us that creative destruction is inevitable but growth is possible with the right policies to support entrepreneurs. There are key questions and concerns that need to be addressed to create a space for a healthy debate – and consensus on the way forward to create an environment of constructive destruction followed by sustainable recovery.
Gaming is increasingly becoming mainstream and in today’s digital landscape, the eSports industry garners large viewership. The complexity of the production, competitive element and team dynamics of these multiplayer games mimics that of traditional sport. Being culture and country agnostic, the industry is thriving globally and has the potential to continue growing and rival traditional sport.
In spite of the pandemic, we have seen continued innovation and investments in Indian companies. Profitability is an up-hill climb for startups and even more so in a pandemic but there have been multiple Indian startups looking to do IPO’s in 2021. What stands out is – the resilience of people, regulations and policy amendments catering to global investors and the digital elements of consumer behaviour.
Sustainability has become a buzzword in all industries but it can be quite challenging to
actually make the shift to sustainable practices and consumption. There is an intention-
action gap in consumer behaviour that doesn’t always prioritise sustainability. There is a
sustainability reporting gap that doesn’t reflect positive financial indicators that seem
attractive to mainstream investors, thus making them weary of sustainability metrics in
business. Sustainability in practice can be profitable and is attainable when the right
representation and motivations are engaged.
Millennial parenting comes with a novel set of challenges. Privacy and convenience are
two sides of the same coin in the digital age. While technology provides much needed
convenience to parents raising young children in the absence of help, it comes at the
cost of safety and privacy. The breach of privacy is a two-way street – the online sharing
of data on the one hand and the data that children consume on the other. Somewhere
between enjoying the convenience that we cannot afford to lose and fighting for the
regulations that protect our privacy, a balance needs to be reached.
A good working relationship between investors and entrepreneurs is paramount for the
smooth functioning of business. However, this relationship is often riddled with
elements of friction and conflict. Being that the intention for success is mutual, it is
important for them to find alignment on objectives and operations of the business.
However, nuances exist because of different goals at different times, such as
'operational health' for the entrepreneurs and 'valuation' for the investors. To work
better together, investors and entrepreneurs need to ensure that they are aligned, have
trust and employ objective counsel from time to time.
To keep entrepreneurship afloat during Covid-19, there needs to be an innovative approach to access funding. Traditional venture capitalists are wary of funding in these uncertain times. The non-profit sector has taken to grants and donations from foundations and individuals with the need outweighing the demand. For start-ups its debt, revenue share, convertible notes and SAFE’s.
Social enterprises cannot thrive with a few photos of happy customers. With an increased emphasis on metrics, there has been a focus on ‘increasing the average’ – income, yield etc. However, resilience is equally important. With low savings and almost no insurance social enterprises need to ensure that their solutions do not make people more vulnerable when things go wrong. In fact, they must strive hard to reduce the probability of adverse events and make people more resilient when these do happen.