India is one of the countries where the prices of drugs and pharmaceuticals are the cheapest in the world, but access to healthcare is still one of the major problems which plague the Country. A majority of urban population, along with the rural population in India, does not have any idea about proper nutrition, medicinal and dietary advice and the idea for 1mg, an e pharmacy startup, began on this premise.
1mg was initially started as HealthKartPlus, a platform which aggregated medical information and sold alternative medicine to its users. The platform caught up quickly with the users and soon the users began asking for delivery of medicines to be included as well. That was when 1mg was founded by Prashant Tandon, Gaurav Agarwal and Vikas Chauhan in 2015. At a time when information and awareness about medicines and lab tests were either minimal or non existent, 1mg aimed to change it. HealthKartPlus now stocks and offers health and dietary supplements and targets a younger demographic audience.
After rebranding itself as a platform offering sales of generic drugs and pharmaceuticals, 1mg currently has 2 other major verticals (business areas)—doctor consultations and lab tests. Users can go on the website or mobile phone app of 1mg to avail any of their services like ordering medicines, booking an appointment with a doctor or booking a lab test, which is neatly classified according to health and body categories.
Quality and information checks
Pharmaceuticals are very sensitive and need to be stored and tracked properly and on an online marketplace like this, there needs to be a system in place to ensure the quality of the medicines. 1mg has a system in place where they onboard vendors onto the platform if they meet certain requirements like computerised inventory and invoicing, which makes end to end tracking easier for the customer. The startup is able to generate business even after strict government compliances which banned online pharmacies by making a prescription mandatory to make a purchase.
Adoption of Artificial Intelligence (AI)
With AI being hailed as the technology of the future, every startup is trying to adapt it in some capacity to streamline and optimise their offerings. 1mg recently started offering a feature, ‘Ask a Doctor,’ which is an intuitive chatbot that asks questions in order to accurately identify what the problem may be and shows the medicinal specializations under which the ailment may fall. Users can choose from one of them and a doctor, who can diagnose the problem via chat, is assigned to you.
With technology changing everyday, 1mg established itself in the e pharmacy market place as a major player. They currently deliver medicines and health products to homes across more than a thousand cities in India from licensed and verified pharmacies.
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Coronavirus Pandemic Testing Startups By Disrupting Supply-Demand
When the news about Coronavirus slowly broke on to the world, countries were totally unaware about what was about to happen. The virus which originated in the Wuhan province of China, spread so rapidly that China had to lockdown the entire province in order to combat the virus. However,the virus,which was later classified as a pandemic, quickly spread across the world at an exponential rate bringing countries to a standstill. Many countries had to declare national emergencies in order to cope up with the rising number of positive cases and in some places, high fatality rates. The impact of the virus was not restricted to just the quality of life, rather the economies all over the world were affected. Stock exchanges plummeted so low that it is being compared to the great American economic depression.
Needless to say, once the economy was impacted by the virus, investors started pulling out of the stock markets and startups along with small businesses were the worst hit. India is home to the third largest number of startups in the world ranking behind America and China. When the stock market was taking a tumble and news of the lockdown reached the public, startups in aviation, hospitality, events and transportation took a big hit. The lockdown completely disrupted the supply and demand with people staying at home on government orders. Companies like Uber, Ola, Rapido and Bounce in transportation, airlines along with hospitality startups like Oyo and Treebo, did not see any business during the last month. Sales teams which rely on travelling on ground are now grounded and many startups are being forced to let go of employees or withhold salaries.
However, this time of crisis has been a boon to startups in the healthcare, food, logistics and digital marketing/news sectors that are seeing heavy growth. Startups like Swiggy, Zomato, BigBasket, 1mg, Practo and Dunzo are able to operate even during the lockdown as the government orders allow them to do so.
Most often startups work on a lean organizational structure which means, employees have to often take up cross functional roles. At stressful times like these, work productivity will take a hit. Logistics supply chains across the world are unable to keep up with the demands of the population. This is leading to large delays in deliverables and with vendors unable to operate there is an obvious reduction in revenues.Venture capital firm Sequoia warned of an impending recession following on the backdrop of the pandemic and has asked startups in its portfolio to dig in. Because they see this impending recession may only be contained after several quarters and it may take even longer for economies to recover and become stable. Sequoia even urged companies to rethink their business models and consider cutting jobs.
However the startup ecosystem is coming together to help their stakeholders in this time of need. Zomato raised more than 10 crore rupees in a crowd sourcing funding round to support its driver partners. Ola group and its employees will contribute 20 crore rupees to support its driver partners. This entire phase would be a litmus test for startups to see how they can adapt and boost their immunity to the economic aftereffects of the Coronavirus. Many startups will struggle but if they make it to the end of the tunnel, there is no doubt there would be a wealth of learning and opportunities gained.
8 Best Business Ideas To Start In 2020
GUEST POST BY LILY BROOKS
Since I was a kid, I always wanted to become rich. Not in the sense that I live a fulfilled and contented life, but in the financially independent kind of way. I didn’t grow up poor by any means but I do know people who are rich and to my young impressionable mind, I associated being rich with being able to do whatever you want.
Ten years after completing my degree and entering the workforce, I’ve started several side businesses; some have closed while others continue to be profitable. Here are a few of them.
- eCommerce store
Because I work in tech, it’s pretty obvious that I would dabble with online entrepreneurship, which I did. I started a company selling Japanese made watches. I didn’t have to raise a big capital since I mainly sold my products on shopping platforms like Shopify, 3dcart and Volusion. I also offered my products on social media. It was a success for a while until the competition started saturating the market and I had to cease operations three years ago.
- Real Estate Agent
As soon as I completed my degree and got hired at a company, I set about becoming a real estate agent. Depending on the country you reside in, the requirement may vary. In my case, I had to take a short program and then pass an examination to become licensed. The industry is very competitive but if networking and sales talk is your forte, you’re bound to succeed.
- Content Writer
I also did my fair share of writing content. I mainly did this in college during my free periods to earn extra cash. What is great about content writing is you can work virtually anywhere– you set your hours and learn about varied topics, like how to start a spy shop. The downside, the pay isn’t that great, you will be forced to write on topics you do not really care about, and you will need to do a lot of research and write fast.
- Catering Business
Now, this is one business I haven’t really started but soon will. I did my research already and many caterers experience huge profits when done right. Catering is a great side business for people who love to cook. I’m not a great cook myself but my husband is. Therefore we both agreed l we will try running a catering business, first starting small and slowly growing it.
- Affiliate Marketing
This is another side business that I ventured into, a couple of years ago when I was a new hire in my company and had a lot of free time. After work, I would work on being an affiliate marketer concentrating on blogging since I had a background in writing back when I used to be a content writer. The job is not too demanding and there is no need for you to be tech savvy. It is also a very low risk and you can work from home or anywhere else.
- Web Development
I saved my longest side business for last. I work in tech and have therefore extensive knowledge about computers and their processes. What I like about this field is its growth opportunities which are still high. For my side business, I freelance as a web developer and designer for small businesses who want to transition online. Most of my customers are friends and family and although I could make a lot more money out of it, I maintain a lower price since I enjoy the process so much and I get to help the people I know.
Other side businesses you can start includes:
- Phone Case Business
Everyone needs a phone case to protect their very expensive smartphones from damage. This is one reason why phone cases are the top selling phone accessories in the market. Go for catchy designs or the ones with interesting artworks and funny quotes.
- Virtual Assistant
If you have strong organizational skills, you can succeed as a virtual assistant. They are in high demand for big corporations and freelancers. It is also a great way to meet influential people from various fields. You can work anywhere in the world while building your professional career.
So those are the top 6 side business ideas I’ve done in my life which you should also consider starting. Most, if not all of those listed above are relatively low risk and don’t require a huge capital which makes them perfect as another income stream for you.
Guest Post Author Bio:
Lily Brooks is an ardent blogger and frequent traveler who writes about home improvement, travel, and the latest trends in emerging technologies. She is currently working with EyeSpySupply, the leading spy shop, which offers a wide range of surveillance equipment and vehicle tracking devices.
Enactus – Student Run Organisation Uplifting Marginalised Individuals With Project Syahi
Most businesses and organisations in the recent years have realised the importance of hiring talent with entrepreneurial mindsets. However, in India, which churns out millions of graduates every year, the stark reality is that companies are unwilling to hire them, mostly for lacking entrepreneurial and business skills.
However undergraduate students always have the option of joining in student run organisations. Many student organisations nowadays are not for profit organisations and have clear hierarchies and democratic ideals. The working model of these organisations are designed in such a way that students develop competitive and entrepreneurial skills and at the same time help contribute to the betterment of the society along with developing a sense of strong sense of social responsibility and sustainability.
Enactus is one such global organisation founded by Robert T. Davis in 1975 and is currently operating in 37 countries worldwide in the form of student chapters. Enactus Kirori Mal is one such student chapter located in New Delhi, India.
Project Syahi launched on September 19th,2019, is one of the three projects taken up by the Enactus Kirori Mal Chapter which aims to combat and reduce the usage of single use plastic pens by introducing hand made paper pens by marginalised women. The whole project aims to uplift the marginalised community of women based in Tilak Nagar, Delhi. Project Syahi offered the students a chance to analyze a prevalent problem in the community and come up with a sustainable business model after thorough research, prototyping and testing. The whole project also aligns with the sustainable development goals laid down by the United Nations.
Handcrafted by indigenous women, the pens come in three different models and can be customised. The pens are made from recycled paper and help reduce plastic usage but another unique feature is that the pens carry a seed in the rear end of the pen, which lets the user plant a sapling after disposing of the pen.
These pens have already gained popularity due to collaborations with CNBC, IBM and the All India Institute of Medical Sciences (AIIMS.) The pens are also available in various stationary shops in Delhi and have even managed to reach the Northern city of Ludhiana.
Project Syahi rightly lives up to its motto Scribble. Sow. Save.
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