BAKING BANANA BREAD and making dalgona coffee weren’t the only skills people acquired during the pandemic-induced lockdown last year. Some also learnt to cut and colour their hair, while others got proficient at waxing their legs. The novelty of this ‘home salon’ was bound to wear off, however, especially once the restrictions ended. And waiting to provide these services—in the safety of people’s homes—was Urban Company, which knew that not everyone would be rushing to salons while the pandemic was still a real threat.
In preparation for this impending demand, the home and salon services company, which was down to nearly zero business in March and April, spent the lockdown aggressively hiring new service professionals—primarily air conditioner technicians, but also barbers and beauticians—and retaining the existing staff. They were trained in the strictest safety rules, equipped with PPE kits, and provided the necessary support to be ready for when the lockdown was lifted.
The planning paid off. The company claims to have serviced over 5 million customers in the last one year and expanded its presence to 30 cities across India, and to countries like Australia, Singapore, and the U.A.E. “When the rest of the ecosystem around us was playing defensive, we wanted to play offensive,” Abhiraj Bhal, co-founder, Urban Company, tells Fortune India. “We were quite aggressive in investing in safety and hygiene, and in communicating it to consumers. By July-August, [our business] was already at 100% of pre-Covid-19 levels. As of January, it is at almost 150%.”
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COMMUNITY, CONTENT, AND COMMERCE
FACEBOOK EARNED ITS CHOPS BY CONNECTING PEOPLE, SOMETHING THAT ONCE AGAIN CAME TO THE FORE DURING THE PANDEMIC. ITS NEXT BIG BETS ARE ON CONTENT CREATORS AND SMALL BUSINESSES. AIDING IT IN THIS MISSION ARE INSTAGRAM AND WHATSAPP.
The Galgotias Charming Scion
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The Conversation - AKSHAY NAHETA
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THE DOCTOR COMES CALLING
WITH MANIPAL HOSPITALS WRAPPING UP A DEAL TO BUY COLUMBIA ASIA HOSPITALS, RANJAN PAI HAS CHALKED OFF A MAJOR ITEM ON HIS BUCKET LIST: BUILDING A PAN-INDIA HOSPITAL CHAIN. BUT THE SAVVY ENTREPRENEUR IS FAR FROM DONE AND IS GUNNING FOR THE NO.1 POSITION.
THE SOUND OF STREAMING
Two years after its entry into the Indian market, streaming giant Spotify is already among the top three players in the growing audio OTT industry. Key to its success has been its localisation and diversified offer strategy.
BHARAT BIOTECH HAS BEEN AT THE FOREFRONT OF MAKING VACCINES FOR SWINE FLU, POLIO, AND OTHER VIRAL DISEASES FOR A QUARTER OF A CENTURY. YET IT TOOK A GLOBAL PANDEMIC FOR THE SPOTLIGHT TO SHINE ON THE COMPANY CO-FOUNDED BY KRISHNA M. ELLA AND HIS WIFE SUCHITRA M. ELLA.
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A PRIMER ON FREE RANGE CHICKEN PRODUCTION AND MANAGEMENT PART 1: BREEDS AND HOUSING
CHICKENS are the main source of some dinner table essentials such as eggs and meat. To meet the large demand of products, most chicken farms breed their chickens indoors in wire cages or similar conditions to properly manage the layers or broilers.
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A tussle is on between Mamata Banerjee and the BJP. Voters know that this is not about Covid-19, but about the 2021 assembly polls
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