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 Ankita Vashistha, Entrepreneur and Venture Capital Investor , Saha Fund:
1. In this COVID19 pandemic how can your portfolio companies better manage resources? 2. In your view how can startups cope with economic slowdown due to lock down?
Its very important to always plan ahead for the best and worst case scenarios in a business. Portfolio companies can better manage their resources in this pandemic by creating short, medium and long term business plans and making sure they have money in the bank and carry out steps to conserve cash and elongate their current runway. Need to make sure the teams are able to work remotely in a disciplined and efficient manner. Leverage technology and online work collaboration tools to work together and make sure every employee is connected with and aligned. Startups need to think of innovative solutions to bring into their business model and know when to implement them to cope with the economic slowdown. Make sure to not spend money on non core activities. Be a role model as the senior management and take responsibility of your employees. Communication is key to make sure all stakeholders like investors, employees, vendors, clients are informed and aligned and know the direction of your business. Stay disciplined and reach out to mentors for advise.
2. An entrepreneur's journey is always considered as a roller coaster ride, still what measures/controls they should take while struggling with this uncertainty?
Everyones journey is full of ups and downs but how you manage those troughs is what differentiates you from rest and gives you the ability to survive and emerge stronger. Its important to be disciplined, take note of your business exposure in the short and long term due to the current pandemic. Accept it and quickly come up with strategies and business plan with the help of mentors, advisors and colleagues on the way forward.
3. What is the impact of the Coronavirus outbreak in your life? How are you dealing with it?
Everyone around the world is facing some kind of lockdown and behavior shift and the realization that we must now accept the new normal. We are having to balance work and family from home at the same time. Initially the lockdown came as a shock, surprise and stress as it brought about a sense of long term uncertainty and created panic and fear of sickness, fear of losing loved ones and the fear of also losing jobs and livelihood. But as we now go into almost 40 days of lockdown we have learnt to organize our day and be disciplined. Create a comfortable environment to work from home and also manage family. I took on the responsibility to lead my teams through this pandemic and made sure we used technology to connect remotely. I have taken this time to also reconnect with colleagues and acquaintances from the ecosystem to exchange ideas and think of how to collaborate and create a positive support system. The current crisis has also had an adverse affect on a mental and physical wellbeing, this has led me to meditate and take out an hour a day for self care activities like yoga, walking, music. Something we like. With all the uncertainty out there it is important to address the issues and find a sense of balance within.
4. 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?
Its great that covid has brought different stakeholders together to support and fight for a common cause. Its important we support the covid innovation ecosystem with grants to help bring talent and ideas to the forefront to find innovative, frugal and scalable solutions to address different aspects fo the covid19 pandemic.
5. The market has fallen down with this financial tsunami of ‘COVID19’; does it offer a best buying opportunity for investors?
The current crisis has given deeper insights into the businesses and models of different companies across industries. It has also helped the stronger companies emerge has unique differentiators. of course on the whole the market has taken a hit and comapanies are dealign with lower levels of valuations, so it is a buying opportunity for investors. But these are temporary levels and the good companies will emerge stronger and better. A buying opportunity for the long term companies, but on the other hand make sure you really look at the past and future of companies and see what is worth buying for the long term.