What Covid-19 lockdown can teach Indian Food Retailing Startups

Progressive Grocer|May 2020

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What Covid-19 lockdown can teach Indian Food Retailing Startups
At a time when markets are dry, and the venture world is busy re-evaluating the valuations and company founders the value of their ventures, there is more than just capital that can help established firms and startups to successfully wade though the uncharted waters of the current crisis.
Sanil Sachar

There is a lot in common between how great writers, philosophers, and entrepreneurs in our country think about and tackle calamities. Since the lockdown, it’s safe to say that not only have the deck of cards we were playing with shuffled, but we’re dealt a completely new deck. As a country that has over the past few years seen a rash of first-generation entrepreneurs, startups, investors and incubators, managing this febrile eco-system requires going back and visiting the great minds of history and channeling their wisdom during this lockdown.

Here is what startups, including those in the Food Retailing space, can learn from the savants and apply their leanings in these bleak times.

Every calamity is to be overcome by endurance – Virgil (Roman Poet)

The Virgil viewpoint – Endurance has become the universal goal. Endurance means one point and one point only; maintain cashflows. The only trick is to spend less, while revenues have reduced beyond the worst-case scenarios, and soon those who first recognized each other as competitors became companions. In truth, the startup universe is one large huddle. In the past couple of weeks, ventures have begun providing their capability to solve for shortcomings of other ventures. Startups in the new age retail space like ‘The New Shop’ began providing access to riders beyond their own product categories as a means of distributing essential products for other brands, at costs that wouldn’t result in burning a hole for these startups. We’ve seen founders lending a hand to their competitors to be able to use their factories, and even raw materials in order to maintain their supply. Companies like Wellversed Health have utilized their know-how of maintaining a seamless production unit, to support younger startups with access to material, and expertise, and immediately, there is hope and reinstatement that great founders look out for each other.

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May 2020