Amid the pandemic, businesses around the world are surrounded by a whole new set of uncertainties. Co-Founder of Jabong and serial entrepreneur talks about how to sail through such difficult times .
Praveen Sinha, as the co-founder and ex-MD of one of India’s first e-commerce platforms, navigated Jabong through an arduous journey to immense success. Today, as an angel investor, he has been actively guiding startups to not only survive these testing times but also maneuvering them towards triumph.
Perhaps, the spread of coronavirus has almost impacted every business cutting across international boundaries to unprecedented levels. In India, multiples waves of Covid-19, the imposition of series of lockdowns, and restriction on movements have put several industries on the brink of collapse, leaving only a few exceptions.
Startups, especially at the early levels are finding it difficult to run their businesses amid such uncertainties. Here, Praveen Sinha said that the entrepreneurs will have to evolve different strategies and execution at different points in time. “There are multiple aspects that have to be taken care of,” he says.
“First is the customers and the environment, second is the product and the solution it is catering, what customizations and tweaking are required. The third is if it is still not profitable, either you start raising funds and in parallel finding ways to reduce costs, move it to a flexible model, given the uncertain time where lockdowns and curfew keep happening. The model needs to be dynamic, you cannot have fixed costs. And then the fourth is a team that understands if there are no sufficient funds, then the team also needs to move on,” adds Praveen Sinha Jabong Co-Founder.
He also said that the focus of the startups at an early stage “is more towards product and customer, the mid-stage is about your growth, the satisfaction of the customers, and building the momentum on what you have already achieved. The next is while raising funds, making it more profitable by reducing the cost while ensuring the building up of processes so that scaling up is stable and not unreliable in terms of performance and delivery.”
For entrepreneurs finding it difficult to run their operations during lockdowns and are anxious about the future, Praveen Sinha suggested they be more flexible while inculcating strategies. He says, “Many entrepreneurs are anxious about the revolving uncertainties in reference to Covid-19. Sometimes the lockdowns are imposed and the team has to work from home, sometimes the team is infected with coronavirus and they can’t work and such similar problems are appearing regularly these days.”
“Here, you will have to be more flexible, for instance, you can cut down the cost by making your team a combination of freelancers and full-time employees. Amid such uncertainties, adopt a flexible work model, that is going to help you a lot in reducing fixed costs, eventually making your business run successfully,” adds Praveen Sinha.