August 20, 2020: On the occasion of World Entrepreneurs’ Day, Wadhwani Foundation, a not-for-profit with the mission of accelerating economic development in emerging economies by driving large-scale job creation through entrepreneurship, innovation and skills development, salutes the startups and entrepreneurs hit badly by the COVID-19 related business slump and the National lockdown.
The Foundation gives guidance on how startups should ensure liquidity and slow-down the burn rate while diligently planning for an 18-month runway. Also, it strongly recommends that startups should not
waste the crisis, as it provides an unprecedented opportunity to pivot to new businesses and diversify into growth verticals like healthcare, emerging tech, online education, grocery delivery and e-pharmacies.
On the occasion of the World Entrepreneurs’ Day, Dr Ajay Kela, President and CEO, Wadhwani Foundation, has a few words of advice for startups and entrepreneurs – “The COVID-19 disruption has created a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity for entrepreneurs and startups. Behavioural changes of doctors and patients, teachers and students, retailers and consumers, companies and employees, policy evangelists and policymakers, etc., which would have taken years, have changed overnight and will become the new normal. New entrepreneurs should build solutions that align with these new behaviours, and existing entrepreneurs have the advantage of having started the journey to pivot quickly. Data suggests that the best time to start a company is during a crisis. This pandemic is the mother of all crises, hence, also offers the mother of all opportunities. Please don’t waste the crisis, start something new or pivot to the new norm, and I wish you the very best.”
Most of the sectors, barring a few, will struggle due to the declining demand and low consumer sentiment. Hence, this is the time for startup entrepreneurs to preserve cash, get nimble, be ready to pivot to meet new customer needs through change and innovation, and not hesitate to seek help.