Tech, Non Tech Disruptions?? Start-ups and ultimately Unicorns
I was visiting a friend last year (2020) when the lockdown was relaxed a bit in Mumbai. I met his maid who was accompanied by a friend of hers. Young women in their early twenties trying to stay happy throughout the day and updated through social media short video apps while making ends meet. The maid’s friend had no employment at hand. The entire Work From Home (WFH) syndrome and non availability of domestic help, kind of trained people to do household chores they never imagined they would indulge into and later boast about mastering the same.
So it is time for a small percentage of the literate domestic help to move towards semi skilled jobs.
Throughout the lockdown in 2020 amazing stories of God sent Samaritans and the overnight angel next door have emerged. During an unprecedented crisis like the COVID 19, the last such human witnessed catastrophe was the “Spanish Flu” of 1923 these torch bearers of humanity offer a glimmer of hope amidst widespread chaos, disbelief, sorrow and end of hope. Large scale job losses prompted educated individuals in their early 40s to switch to own business set ups involving essential goods or more of consumer use driven businesses. Since consumption story is ETERNAL. It always works. So entire life savings were fed towards setting up an online grocery, flour distribution, tiffin service etc. Significant amount of expertise, hard work, technological know how and networking was put into getting these setups into operational mode. Disruption 2!!!!
Necessity and uncertainty brought a certain educated class of people towards invention and thereafter adapting and moving flexibly towards the change. Its the demand of TIME. The power of NOW. A sizeable population of 45+ age group swam with the technology wave. They are more digitally savvy now. Does it ring a bell!!
Try introducing a new operating interface to a bunch of educated elite at a MNC. The resistance corporate management faces by employees is best known to them in spite of investing heavily in the technology and humans themselves via training. The reason to resist is simply because the up gradation is not for Now but for future enhancements.
However these disruptions are more at a cognitive level ultimately leading to self reliance and economic benefits. With these vectors each state can now run itself as a country with less migrant labour and more inclusive production and improved logistics. Atma Nirbhar Bharat. Yes you’ve heard this before!!!
The pandemic is GLOBAL. So there is too much happening on a macro level in terms of providing best health care systems and social benefits, the latter more so to ensure people don’t go berserk and stay indoors. Developed countries rolled out economic relief packages in Trillion of dollars. USA rolled out 3 packages totalling to around 3 Trillion USD since President Joe Biden has assumed office. The money has to be put to some use. Funds are available at zero interest rates so even if one puts it to use to bring out a 1% return out of it…deem it as success. And if you talk about returns in excess of 5% then its a UNICORN.
Start Up is a business idea floated by an individual or group of entrepreneurs to bring a unique product or service to the public. A privately held start up valued at 1 Bn USD is a unicorn.
Between April 5 and 9, 2021 half a dozen start-ups raised 11,850 crores to enter the unicorn club in India. This breaks India’s previous record of 12 unicorns in entire 2020.
So money has been invested into these and the most aggressive investor has been Tiger Global with investments in four of the six unicorns. TigerGlobal has been getting it right most number of times in the last decade or so. Their best bet has been music streaming apps so far. The six deals have been across sectors including healthcare, ecommerce and social media content apps.
Overall, Indian start ups raised 2.6Bn USD across 21 deals between April 3 – 9, 2021 according to industry tracker Venture Intelligence.
In a world of zero cost money investors have reset the models for valuing the terminal value of businesses.
So there is enough to learn, hone existing skills and deliver post and throughout the pandemic.
Data Source: economictimes.com
*The author is founder at Elaf Consultants, investment consultancy firm. She can be reached on email@example.com.