Methods or Business Techniques used by famous Indian Start-Ups
To quote Albus Dumbledore:
“It’s not our abilities, but the choices we make that define us”
In the evolution of mankind, no one has ever imagined the fact that the world is going to get so much digitally revolutionised. Who would have thought that one day they would be able to buy grocery online, would be able to book a hotel online, interacting with neighbours online through electronic devices, and many other unimaginable things? But, it’s all happening. With the advent of the internet and supportive technology, all these functions have become quite accessible.
We have promoted a world of digital entrepreneurs, who through their Start-Ups have turned out to be the pioneers in their respective field as they have altered the perception of the people, to look at the world differently and they should carry out their ordinary activities in an effective and inefficient manner. Digital entrepreneurs picked their established business models and ported them online which helped them in broadening the market for their users.
Examples -: Flipkart has made it easy for their users by providing the facility of Cash on delivery in the form of payment mode when they order products online. Big Basket has used technology at its best by using temperature control vans while delivering grocery to the desired customer.
So, before elaborating the business methods or techniques used by some giant Start-Ups, one should keep in mind the following steps before commencing a business or startup -
· Write a business plan — a business should state its vision, mission, objectives and expectations before commencing it.
· Market research — it’s related to what kind of problem a Start-Up is going to solve? What will be its target market and segmentation?
· Budget — How much cost business is ready to ascertain or incur?
· Legal entity or Intellectual Property — how a business will be formed and how the business can get ownership rights? Will it be a sole proprietor, partnership firm or any other form?
· Picking up a workplace — should be in reach to the desired target market segment.
· Raising capital — through venture capital or public funds.
· Co-founder — finding someone whose style or personality complement to your work or profession.
· Branding — how the business is going to market itself in the customer’s mind?
These are some crucial steps that an entrepreneur has to look at before commencing his/ her business or startup. Now, look at the lifecycle of a business –
There are 5 stages in this lifecycle:
Stage 1 — Start-up — At this stage, the business needs boosting. So basically, it looks out for venture capital, angel investors or may also go for public funding, to raise their capital. The business also focuses on establishing a customer base.
Stage 2 — Rapid Growth — Now, the business with the help of successive marketing strategy, market orientation and also by attaining profits has achieved a good amount of growth. But, as and when a business starts to establish its root in the market competition arises.
Stage 3 — Maturity — At the maturity stage, the business is stable and gradually growing. Though it requires intermediate funding, to grab more market share.
Stage 4 — Decline — a reduction in sales and business experience negative growth. At this point, the business takes a crucial decision of whether to stay in or take an exit.
Stage 5 — Rebirth or Death — at this point, the owner completely dissolves the business or milk the business in a new way.
The Digital Entrepreneurs have laid creativity and innovation in their business practices in a manner such that it could solve the problem at the mass level. We will understand this principle of creativity and innovation by looking at the business methods of Flipkart, Big Basket, Zomato and Images Baazar
Cash on Delivery (CoD)
Figuring out the mode of payment is very crucial for e-commerce businesses. The success rate for an online business is quite low and is not secure. Another problem that has been associated with the proportion of Indian consumers is that not having credit cards. Along with these Indian consumers stay quite sceptical when it comes to online payment. This puts a large proportion of Indian consumers out of reach from an online portal.
Flipkart in that scenario has introduced Cash on Delivery system very effectively and has made a big impact. They have made the transaction process quite flexible and simple. Customers just have to order the product and have to pay in cash when it arrives. Flipkart has covered a large market area, where people who don’t have credit cards can use CoD method to pay for the purchased product. In this way, they won the trust of people from the upper class as well as lower middle class and have built confidence in them. According to statistics in the last few years, the Cash on Delivery business has scaled from 50 to 80% in the Indian market.
So how does Flipkart keep a check on every CoD transaction? By putting a proprietary cash management technology in place to ensure minimum pilferage and losses associated with every CoD transaction.
Also for Flipkart, the CoD works effectively. The partners who tie-up with logistics and collection agencies, CoD adds a fixed cost per transaction. This payment mode also gives them financial returns as well as saves the transaction fee, which is associated with credit card companies.
And today by introducing this innovative payment technique, Flipkart has witnessed 60–70% growth in their business, which is a sign of their ultimate growth.
Temperature controlled vans
The problem associated with delivering grocery products is that, if not kept in set temperature, there are chances that you may end up delivering ripe grocery products to a customer, which in the end will ruin his/her mood.
So, to provide fresh and perky grocery to a customer, Big Basket has an embedded temperature control system in their delivery vans. In these vans, they can set temperature which suits best for the grocery products. Also, for route planning the company has used GPS technology. The company has a reputation for delivering the products in one day and with the help of GPS technology, they can calculate the delivery time for each order placed.
Online menu charts of restaurants
Long back people have to wait in queues, just to have a look in menu charts. Which indeed required time and energy. Then Zomato entered into the market with a very innovative solution. By utilising the digital resources quite efficiently, they designed a new mechanism of uploading menu charts of various restaurants on the online portal of their website. Through which lots of people have got the facility to browse through many menu charts of the various number of restaurants. Also, Zomato offers authentic reviews of various restaurants according to the customer’s experience, means it’s on a customer to rate a particular restaurant.
A typical review has a standardized rating on a 9 point scale. The customers can add photos of restaurants or the food served, which indeed provides lots of information to other consumers at the same point of time. Zomato only does moderation in the content to ensure no spamming tactics or no false information has been added to the content.
Providing a platform for selling commercial and non-commercial images
A study on social media shows that images are far more interesting than any other type of content. Images bazaar is one of the pioneers in digital photography in India. It has provided a platform for Indian consumers to upload ready-to-use images online. It also helps photographers to showcase their talent and sell their work to their prospective clients. The creative professional can also browse through Indian videos and images through this website. This website also provides a platform for companies to use creative images for marketing and advertisement.
Although it’s a very popular website, it generally accepts images from professional photographers, also there is a Microstock Company under Images Bazaar named as ShotIndia, which provides an opportunity to amateurs, hobbyist photographers to share and promote their images on their ShotIndia website.
The basic motive of Images Bazaar is to provide a glance to the world about India, it is like letting India communicate the world through its images.
So basically, all the main objective of digital entrepreneurs make an effort to generate traffic on their respective website or online portal. Traffic means how attractive is your website for other business to advertise. Along with advertisements, the revenue model for digital entrepreneurs is subscription. Digital Entrepreneurs also practices Search Engine Optimization (SEO)for better ranking of their businesses on Google. Technology architecture and design also play a crucial role in an online business. As all the features of an online business like how the interface of a website will look? How the business can protect itself from malicious activities? How flexible and the simple interface does the business have for the users? All these things depend upon the efficient usage of the technology by the business. Many of the digital entrepreneurs are technology innovators as well. Though, they perform most of the technological functions in-house only rather outsourcing them. Over the few years as many of the major e-commerce companies are showing good signs of growth, which has lured many of the venture capitals to invest in such companies. So, the scope and horizon of digitalisation will get more widened in the nearby future and we could expect more ordinary services extraordinarily rendered to us.