The years 2015 to 2018 saw the startup ecosystem in India grow by leaps and bounds. Although 2018 wasn’t as hectic as 2015, it still shaped a lot of trends in terms of how the Indian startup ecosystem is going to grow this year. With over $ 12.64 billion raised through 855 deals, the startup ecosystem also grew exponentially with the number of Indian startups who entered the Unicorn club increasing to 10! With almost a week into the year 2019, it is going to be truly exciting to see how this year looks for the startup ecosystem and the kinds of trends that are going to be the highlights of this year!
As blockchain as an industry matures and grows over time, the field is going to require a new range of specialists dedicated to just this field in its entirety. Sectors like brain computer interface, quantum computing and improving efficiency in business processes are using blockchain with increasing frequency. Through this, the amount of time you spend on the daily tasks reduce drastically. With a finger in almost every major sector, blockchain has the potential to quite literally change the startup world for the better.
2. Data Analytics
With more startups and companies thinking of monetizing all their assets, data analytics is the next big thing in the startup world, especially for 2019. Further, through content monetizing, comes the thought of creating original, unique and relevant content. From adding new services to the existing ones, to creating completely new business models, data analytics as a field is here to change the way startups work and function.
3. Revisiting the roots
Startups in India have slowly but surely realised the importance of sticking to the roots and using regional languages in the kind of products they develop. Startups in all the major fields (e commerce, edtech, news based and information providers) are all realising the major advantage of using regional languages is, it has the power to attract new customers, especially for people who belong to regions where English isn’t a first language and are are accessing the internet for the first time. In fact, by enabling regional languages for Alexa and other assistants, Google and Amazon have already realised the benefits of using languages other than Hindi as a part of their services.
4. The return of the foodtech industry
In 2015, the foodtech industry started the ball rolling for an all new industry in the startup world. Through the years, with the arrival of various startups in this field (Swiggy and Zomato, to name a few,) there was a sudden rise in interest in this field not just from consumers, but from the investors as well. By 2018, things took a major upward jump for this field, with the highest players (Swiggy and Zomato) not only doing exceedingly well, but also entering the coveted Unicorn club! To pile up to an already high table, other players like FoodPanda and UberEats are also increasing the competition, thereby improving the way people eat and the choices people have.
5. Artificial Intelligence
Characterized by the ability of learning and reasoning across a broad range of tasks, the year 2019 is going to see AI evolve from a narrow use of the term to a much broader and more spread out usage. From streamlining the different processes, to integrating a system across various areas, artificial intelligence is likely to be used in quite literally every field this year. According to the 2018 year end reports, the AI field is expected to be valued at almost $ 15.5 trillion, out of which, India is expected to have a $ 3 trillion stake.
With so many fields shaping the startup world this year, it is going to be interesting to look at how the ecosystem looks by the end of 2019. If you think we missed out on any other trends which are taking over the startup world, comment and let us know!
Autobiographies By Entrepreneurs You Should Read For Inspiration
There are times in life when you get so bogged down by the pressures of the world, you can’t think beyond the fog. At times like these, it’s the entrepreneurs you have idolized all your life who inspire you to do the unexpected. Every great man at the top of the food chain, at some point or other, faced downfall. When you feel like you are completely down and out, reading autobiographies by those who made it big in the world help in finding the much needed silver lining. Here is our list of books you should definitely read when you need the push to do better!
1. Losing My Virginity: How I Survived, Had Fun, and Made a Fortune Doing Business My Way (Richard Branson)
Richard Branson, known best for founding the extremely famous Virgin Atlantic, is perhaps one of the most successful entrepreneurs in the world right now. Not only did he found one of the most widely used airlines, he also created a host of other businesses (Virgin Cola, Virgin Records and V2.) While his life may seem picture perfect right now, Branson went through his fair share of ups and downs. In his autobiography, Branson gets completely candid and talks about how, despite his advisors telling him not to start so many businesses, he adopted the “Oh screw it, let’s do it” policy. A tell all about the journey of his life to the top, Losing My Virginity: How I Survived, Had Fun & Made A Fortune Doing Business My Way is a definite must read!
2. Made In America (Sam Walton)
Sam Walton, one of the co founders of Walmart, built the largest retail store in the United States from scratch through sheer hard work and effort. In his book Made In America, Walton talks about how he barely had any seed money, an idea and the dream to create something people all over the world could use. With only one store in Arkansas, Walton and his partner (John Huey,) worked through their mistakes with commendable ease and brought to life a retail store which quite literally changed the way people shopped!
3. Built From Scratch: How a Couple of Regular Guys Grew the Home Depot from Nothing to $ 30 Billion (Bernie Marcus and Arthur Blank)
From being fired, to building a billion dollar worth company, Arthur Blank and Bernie Marcus have quite an inspiring story to tell. In their book Built From Scratch, Bernie and Arthur map out their entire journey and talk about how being fired from your job is never a bad thing. The book also gives you the hope that even if something goes miserably wrong, you can always work on what you want to recreate your dream. Built with grit and determination, the story of how Home Depot came to be is one everyone will relate to even now!
4. Pour Your Heart Into It: How Starbucks Built a Company One Cup at a Time (Howard Schultz)
A lot can happen over a cup of coffee, especially if you pour your heart into it. Howard Schultz, the CEO of Starbucks (the largest coffee store in the world,) quite literally put all he had into creating this massive empire. In his inspiring book Pour Your Heart Into It, Schultz talks about he cracked the code to perfection: providing great customer service! This particular autobiography is a must read because not only does it outline Schultz’s recipe for success, it also talks about how the man faced his failures and all the techniques he learnt while making it to the top!
5. The HP Way: How Bill Hewlett and I Built Our Company (David Packard)
Friends from Stanford, Bill Hewlett and David Packard created HP when they realised there was a severe need for personal computers. A car garage doubled up as their office space and armed only with an idea, the duo gave life to one of the most sought after computers in the world today. The HP Way by David Packard talks about their journey from a garage, to how a coin toss decided the name of their company.
6. Direct From Dell: Michael Dell
Michael Dell, the founder of Dell, started his entrepreneurial journey in his dorm room, with seed money of less than $ 1,000. Dell grew from just selling computers, to manufacturing and distributing them. Today, it is one of the largest computer manufacturers in the world. In his book Direct From Dell, Michael Dell talks about what he learned during his journey and about how he overcame some of the toughest difficulties while growing.
The top tens didn’t become the great people they are today because they got lucky. They put in a lot of time, effort and energy into making their dreams come true. If you think we missed out on any other inspiring autobiographies, comment and let us know!
How To Improve The SEO Of Your Website
Search Engine Optimisation (SEO) is an extremely important tool, especially when it comes to improving your website’s online position and rank. With so many websites crawling on the internet, it comes as no surprise, there will be more than one website which is similar to your website. Here are some tips to improve the quality of your website’s SEO!
1. Relevant content
One of the primary ways to improve your website’s SEO is by making sure you have relevant content on your site. The more information you have, the more time people spend on your website and the lesser your bounce rate is. The lesser the bounce rate, the higher the dwell time (time spent on site) and the better your site does! Further, to keep people hooked to your site, keep updating the content on a regular basis. Not only does this keep your website updated, it also helps attract new people on a regular basis.
2. Increase your website’s speed
Improving the website’s speed is one of the most overlooked SEO tips. In fact, according to Google’s recommendations for improving your website’s performance, website speed ranks in the top five list. Recent studies show, more than 50 % people expect websites to load in not more than 2 seconds. If it takes longer than that, the bounce rates automatically increase and you lose not just your existing audience, but the option of getting new ones as well.
3. Optimize your images
One of the best ways to improve your website’s SEO is by optimizing not just the content on your website, but the images as well. Images with large sizes tend to affect the time taken by your website to load. Further, when you don’t format your files the right way, the traction also gets affected. The best way to optimize your images is by making the most of the following trade secrets:
- Resize or compress the images
- Use the keywords in the alt tags
- Rename your images such that the image name contains the relevant keywords.
4. Secure your site
One of the best ways to improve your website’s SEO is by switching to HTTPS, if you haven’t already. One of the major benefits of using HTTPs is, not only does it secure your site, it also helps in protecting the information on your website. By using HTTPs in the URL of your website, you can make sure that your domain is easily visible to the people who are actively looking for the topics available on your website.
5. Make your website mobile optimized
With more and more people relying on smartphones, it is extremely important to make sure you optimize your website for mobiles. A point most people miss here is, keywords on websites work differently when it comes to mobiles as compared to websites. For a website to be mobile optimized, the content should be easy to ready, so people can scroll through even when they are on the go. If you clutter the website with too many words and too much literature, the average smartphone user may not want to spend a lot of time on the site. Let people take in all the information about your website and want to come back to the site on a regular basis.
6. Header tags
While header tags seem like a slightly less relevant point when it comes to improving your website’s rank, reality is far from the case. Header tags help in creating bifurcations between your text, giving people time to focus on the content. Furthermore, header tags help in formatting your content and in increasing the overall appeal of your website. Tip: H2 tags are the most preferred type of header tags!
Hyperlinks is a surefire way of increasing your website’s overall rank. When you hyperlink certain words to other pages of your website, the viewer’s interest increases and people are more likely to spend time on your site. Further, if you have tie ups with other websites, you can hyperlink relevant information to the websites you partner with, thereby increasing your credibility as well!
Search engine optimization is one of the best ways to improve your site’s overall ranking and if you follow the tricks of the trade the right way, then there is no stopping your growth! If you think we missed out on any other points regarding SEO, comment and let us know!
How To Set Your Financial Goals For 2019
The year 2019 is upon us and is moving forward like a house on fire. With so many things happening and the world constantly moving forward, there are a lot of things to look at, especially when it comes to your financial services. As a startup, here’s how you can set your financial goals for 2019:
1. Review your goals
A lot can happen over the span of a year. Priorities can change, mindsets can change and your ideas about where you think your startup should be can change. You may have overshot your budget last year and you may not have properly planned for the year ahead. Take a look at all the things which happened in the past year and review the goals you set for yourself. It is vital to note that in order to stay fully prepared for 2019, you should have financial plans which are in sync with what your goals are going to be!
2. Take stock of the previous investments
When you are working on what to expect from the financial year from 2019, it is important to look at the kind of investments you made in the past. Make a note of the funding you received in the past and where you used the money. If you know you have enough funds to make do for the essentials, don’t go overboard with the frills. Cut back wherever necessary and with the the goal of securing your future investments, make a clear choice about what you want and need for your startup. This not only helps in figuring out your plans, it also helps in giving you a clear direction regarding where you need to go.
3. Manage your debts the right way
One of the best ways to get over your financial crunches is by learning how to manage your debts. It is daunting to look at your debts and see how much you owe people. Take stock of what your outstandings are and then start crossing each debt off one step at a time. The more money you owe, the scarier it is to look at how to grow and as you climb up the ladder, this is never a good idea.
4. Prioritize and get rid of the unnecessary
One of the primary ways to keep a track of your financial status is by looking at what is priority and what isn’t. If you’re paying for three coffee machines when you can actually make do with just one, get rid of the extra. If you need only 5 people in a particular team and have at least ten, then take a look at if you can work better with fewer people on your team. While it may be hard to make these cut throat and to the point decisions, the long term goals are satisfying and worth it at the end of the day.
5. Stick to your plans
Despite working on your goals, it isn’t easy to stick to your goals all the time. No matter what, hold yourself accountable for when things don’t go according to your plan. Stay true to what you want and what you need, so at the end of the day, you know you have done all that you could. Sticking to your plans is important, especially when it comes to achieving success later in life. When it comes to your startup, sticking to your plan needs to be taken care of without the shadow of doubt.
6. Have goals for the expansion of your business
The start of every financial year looks at how to secure cash for the growth of your startup. While some look at growth on a small scale level, others want to expand with leaps and bounds. Take into account which category you fall under and when you decide that, the financial aspects also fall into place. It is imperative to have goals and decide the kind of sacrifices which need to be made when it comes to turning your dreams to reality. Though the sacrifices may seem a bit much now, the end result is always going to be worth it!
When it comes to financial stability, you need to make sure you have all your eggs in order. What are some of the ways you stay financially stable? Comment and let us know!
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