As the world goes through difficult times due to COVID 19 outbreak,as a News portal,it is our duty to keep the morales high by reporting on how some people are working round the clock so your health and job are secured. In this initiative, we catch up with top investors and entrepreneurs of India on how they are managing their resources to stay afloat.We hope our series will help the entrepreneurs and SME's who are trying to beat the pandemic and do best for their business.So read on to understand the mistakes,spot the opportunities and overall correct your course so the business heads to the right direction.
Here is a short interview with Abhishek Rungta, Entrepreneur and Angel Investor, Indus Net Technologies:
1. In this COVID19 pandemic, how can your portfolio companies better manage resources?
In the current situation, companies should focus on their key needs, and avoid working on their wants. This is a great time to reflect and find what is a necessity and what is good-to-have.
Besides, the focus should be to remain cash-positive. And hence, we suggest companies stay lean, manage breakeven, stick to the core, and then analyze the opportunities this situation presents to them. There can be an interesting pivot, or else the business can just lie low for the time being. Some businesses will also have a great opportunity to grow, and they should seize the same.
2. In your view how can startups cope with an economic slowdown due to lockdown?
Startups need to cut their costs and drop any extra flab that they have accumulated to ensure that they have a longer runway. Cashflow is even more important for a startup, because many of them may not be having gross profit. Most importantly, they have to listen to their customers to understand the needs and challenges, to be able to align themselves well in this changed situation.
3. An entrepreneur's journey is always considered as a roller coaster ride, still what measures/controls they should take while struggling with this uncertainty?
There is not much they can do to change the current situation. However, they can decide how they react to it. Some thoughts:
- Keep a cool and calm head
- Communicate to your team and clients regularly
- Look at your cost structure, find essential vs. good-to-have
- Innovate to align your business and customer goals given the current crisis
4. What is the impact of the Coronavirus outbreak in your life? How are you dealing with it?
I am busier than ever. I am managing my entire team, which we moved to a work-from-home arrangement. It is also highlighting all the weak links in my business, and hence this is a great opportunity to fix things. When we run a business from office, we feel we are in control, which we are not most of the time. However, when you start managing the entire business in a virtual environment, you get anxious, and this shows what is not in control. So, I see this as a positive development.
Besides this, I am reading and writing a little. Also, spending a lot of time walking in the building compound to stay mentally fit.
5. Action COVID19 Team (ACT), which is a first-of-its-kind initiative by Top VCs and entrepreneurs with INR 100 CR grant, is launched to provide resources and guidance to startup founders and employees. What’s your take?
This is a great initiative. It was very much required. I think the amount of help the government will be able to extend to business will be limited. It is time that businesses and individuals step up to help each other. I understand that a debt fund has been launched by SaaSBoomi for SaaS startups. I wish the government could have come to help the same businesses which have paid the taxes in good times.
6. The market has fallen down with this financial tsunami of ‘COVID19’; does it offer the best buying opportunity for investors?
I do not feel the stock market is a correct representation of the economy by any means. I only believe in long term investments. If your investment philosophy is sorted, and you know how to make your pick, this might be a good time to pick your companies for long term investment. Again, I am not a savvy investor, and hence I have no clue on how to get the best deal. If a company is not overpriced, it is a good deal IMO.