Start-ups Hustling To Profitability In Challenging Times

Reaching out to customers and never giving up is must in surviving the pandemic and coming out of it as profitable businesses.

Agile and flexible working approach by new-age Indian start-ups has enabled them to survive the harsh economic impact of the pandemic. Be it transition to remote working or heavy dependence on digital, start-ups have proved that they were better equipped and quick enough to respond to the situation than most established businesses. 

Start Up Summit Live hosted a panel discussion where entrepreneurs shared how they have been managing their start-ups during Covid times. The participants of the session were Jasveer Singh, Founder & CEO, Qik Stays, Akshay Chuggani, Investor & Director, Wozo Gaming, Akshay Gurnani, Co-founder & CEO, Schbang, Aditi Balbir, Founder, V Resorts, Dharamveer Singh Chouhan, Co-Founder & CEO, Zostel and Ashwin Ravichandran, Managing Director, MEST Africa. 

The session was moderated by Ashu Agarwal, Founder, Maekrz. 

Travel business was one of the first to be hit and will be last to witness full-scale revival. Aditi Balbir, V Resorts said, “We are planning to reopen with new processes and we believe as soon as domestic travel starts, demand will pick up at least for the short term.” 

In agreement to her, Dharamveer Singh Chouhan, Zostel mentioned that the pent up demand caused in the current circumstance will benefit Zostel in the coming days. “We have built up on tech that will be needed in re-opening various properties. We did witnessed smooth transitional shift to remote working,” he added. 

Sharing his experience of dealing with the pandemic, Jasveer Singh, Qik Stays said, “We have completely restructured our functioning and have made remote working comfortable for all our employees.” He is optimistic that travel will resume soon and business for them will be on track. 

Presenting a slightly different scenario and giving hope to Indian travel start-ups Ashwin Ravichandran, MEST Africa cited, “We have witnessed that consumer demand has increased and been phenomenal for us. Hotels, destinations and travel have reopened and business is already back on track.” 

Engaging and motivating employees amidst these testing times has been a major task for all companies. Akshay Chuggani of Wozo Gaming shared that he witnessed increased productivity. “The situation is a blessing in disguise and has showed us that we can work out of offices as well.” 

Elaborating on teamwork and employee engagement, Akshay Gurnani of Schbang shared that inter-team collaborations and picking up on new skills has helped his entire team to stay positive and motivated.  

Gurnani further added, “Business did not come at a halt for us because digital will keep getting better and it is the best place to be. We have also been hiring people and all our HR processes are done digitally now.” 

Ravichandran also said that one of the main focus for him has been ethical pay for employees and digitisation of all process.  

All entrepreneurs agreed that keeping a check on cost and resources to become profitable quickly is necessary for start-ups. Reaching out to customers and never giving up is must in surviving the pandemic and coming out of it as profitable businesses.  

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