At a time when sending mails has become quite an outdated means of communications, the internet world has been looking at enabling new forms of sending messages to the ones you love. Taking a page from the extremely successful idea, the Potato Parcel (based out of the United States,) a young couple, Simran and Nav, came up with a similar startup called The Viral Potato! Remember when you were a kid and sent secret notes of love to the person on whom you were crushing? The Viral Potato took this concept and turned it into an online business. The only difference? Instead of sending the love messages through notes, they send the messages on potatoes!
Two years ago, when Nav saw how successful the Potato Parcel was as a business, he knew he had a unique business. However, the idea was put to bed for a while and when the young couple returned to India, a random potato in the office pantry sparked it again. A scrawled number on a discarded potato inspired Nav to give birth to The Viral Potato and selling one potato at a time, the startup started picking speed. However, while sending messages on potatoes may seem like a romantic venture, the fact that potatoes could go bad was a problem which had to be factored into the equation.
Fortunately, the team had a solution for the rotten potatoes. Now, the team source special type of potatoes called “pahadhi potatoes” and ensure the vegetables they source last for 4 to 6 weeks! Once they reach their natural state of decay, the team sends replacement magnets and products as placeholders for these messages.
Using their individual savings as a roster for The Viral Potato, Simran and Nav have a wide array of services they provide under the umbrella of The Viral Potato. Ask them about their business plan and Nav says, “We are bootstrapping the company with the money we saved from giving consultations to big companies for over 10 years. However, we are not closed to an investment opportunity and it would help us spread love on a potato much faster!”
With no immediate aim of switching to different vegetables, The Viral Potato team has plans of expanding their services from just providing love notes on Valentine’s Day to giving customers the option of sending special messages to their loved ones. The website is where you should go to buy these love potatoes, “We have a website where you can buy our potato boxes for as low as Rs. 99 (plus shipping!) We have different packages for various occasions which run all the way to Rs. 299!”
Simran and Nav have grand plans for where they see their startup going. Ask Nav about their future plans and he quips, “We are aware of the existence of The Potato Parcel and our plans are to be bigger and better than the original brand!” The Viral Potato aims at making the world a more loveable place, one potato at a time!
5 Books For Every Entrepreneur In 2020
It is easy to talk about entrepreneurs and look at them with envy for pursuing their passion but what no one knows is the amount of sweat, blood and tears which go into making an entrepreneurial dream come true. Entrepreneurs are expected to be highly competitive in the cutthroat market and at the same time continually strive to set an example for others to follow. The sad truth however is that not all entrepreneurs succeed in their mission because some may give up midway through their entrepreneurial journey, or some might run out of cash while some are just not able to scale up their business.
Many successful entrepreneurs have documented their journey and their thoughts in autobiographies or novels for aspiring entrepreneurs seeking inspiration. These books would manage to scale up your game, improve your business strategy, potential to connect with new people and most importantly would give you courage to persist on your journey.
Here are five books in 2020 which every entrepreneur should read
1) The Lean Startup by Eric Reiss
Published in 2011, this book is still relevant even in 2020 as Eric Reiss outlines a guide to help entrepreneurs to develop methods to manage their startups/businesses. Entrepreneurs can set their strategies according to their needs and runway cash to optimise their business opportunities. The Lean Startup offers entrepreneurs, in companies of all sizes, a way to test their vision continuously, to adapt and adjust before it is too late.
2) Zero To One: Notes On Startups Or How To Build The Future by Peter Thiel
Peter Thiel is the co founder of PayPal and an entrepreneur as well as a venture capitalist. Zero To One tries to teach entrepreneurs about how Peter Thiel thinks , his approach towards business and how one can shape the future of their startup. WhilePeter Thiel was teaching a class at Stanford University, a student named Blake Masters took notes which led to the book Zero To One released by both Thiel and Masters.
3) The Startup Owner’s Manual: The Step-By-Step Guide for Building a Great Company by Bob Dorf and Steve Blank
This book is touted to be the perfect guide for any entrepreneur to scale their business. This book has detailed step by step instructions on building successful, scalable, profitable startups. The Startup Owner’s Manual is so popular that it is taught in university courses at Stanford, Berkeley, Columbia and many other universities. The Startup Owner’s Manual follows the theory of customer development, agile, and lean engineering.
4) The Greatest Salesman In The World by Og Mandino
Although first published in 1968, this book is still a bestseller and widely read by entrepreneurs. The book aims to serve as a guide to philosophy of salesmanship, and success through the story of Hafid, a poor camel boy who achieves a life of abundance. The Greatest Salesman In The World is written in the form of ten scrolls.
5) Founders at Work: Stories of Startups’ Early Days by Jessica Livingston
This book is a collection of some really unique interviews done by Jessica Livingston with some of the greatest startup founders in Silicon Valley like Apple, PayPal, TiVo, Yahoo, and TripAdvisor. This book aims to offer wisdom and insights straight from the mouths of some of the most influential entrepreneurs.
Let us know if there are any other books which deserve to be read in 2020.
The Rise Of Gig Economy In India
India is notorious for churning out graduates from colleges at a very high rate and the education system in India is always under fire for not focusing on all round development but on marks and grades, instead. This is a growing concern as there are not enough jobs available to accommodate all the graduates passing out from college. However, the Indian millennial is a smart individual and when put under pressure, a millennial is capable of coming out of it better. So, what did the Indian millennial do when there were less opportunities and did not want to be part of the rat race? They turned to taking up gigs and that spawned an entire economy and industries to flourish.
Gig economy can be defined as a work engagement where on one side, there is a service seeker that is a consumer with a demand for a specific task, and on the other side, there is a service provider that is. a gig worker who can perform that specific task. The gig economy was able to flourish solely because of the advent of digital platforms which were able to connect a service seeker with a provider. More and more Indians are looking to escape from the monotony of a 9 to 5 desk job and instead take up freelance gigs which complement their skills.
In order to put the gig economy into simpler terms, here are some examples. An individual who likes to drive cars would consider working with Uber as a driver partner to earn some extra bucks. An individual who is good at playing the guitar would consider performing in live shows with a band to earn extra money. A person who is good at painting would consider selling their art for extra money. The gig ecosystem offers the millennial an outlet to escape monotony and pursue their passion instead.
The gig economy could only thrive when there are digital platforms which are able to connect the supply with the demand. The digital gig economy generated a gross volume of approximately $ 204 billion from worldwide customers in 2018. India has emerged as the 5th largest country for flexible staffing after the United States of America, China, Brazil and Japan. Haryana, Madhya Pradesh, Andhra Pradesh, Gujarat and Telangana have the most opportunities in terms of growth for the flexible workers.
Gig economy allows task ownership, convenience and flexibility. Based on tastes and preferences, an individual can determine the number and type of projects they can work on, the quantum of their earnings, and thus, their work-life balance. For example, an individual who took on five gigs in one month could take only three gigs the next month to balance life at their regular job.
The gig economy has a disruptive model to connect sellers and buyers for almost all kinds of skills and services. While the size of the gig economy may seem marginal when compared to the traditional economy, it is recognized for its enormous potential with the desire of workers, specially millennials to have a flexible work schedule and the rise in the on demand consumer services. Of In India, almost 70% corporates have already used gig workers for at least one task in 2018.
In India, a platform called Lemonop, is setting an example in the gig economy by providing a platform for students and working professionals to look for gigs of their liking. There are plenty of other platforms like Lemonop which are slowly bridging the gap between talent and job demand.
Mukesh Ambani Enters Top Ten Billionaires List
Mukesh Ambani is the head of India’s biggest Petrochemical and Telecommunications giant Reliance Industries Limited. Mukesh Ambani also achieved a new milestone in his splendid career as he broke out into the World’s Top Ten Richest Billionaires list for the first time in his career.
Mukesh Ambani entered the high profile and exclusive club of billionaires as his net worth jumped to $ 64.5 billion which catapulted him to the exclusive list of the richest billionaires in the world. Mukesh Ambani is now the ninth richest billionaire in the world as he beats Google co founder Larry Page. Mukesh Ambani also holds the distinction of the only Asian tycoon in the exclusive list of World’s Top Ten Billionaires.
Mukesh Ambani is riding on the back of a series of investments into the company’s digital unit, Jio Platforms Ltd., which Reliance claimed made the company net debt free and also proved the COVID-19 pandemic has not affected the fortunes of Reliance Industries.
While a crash in oil prices caused uncertainty in a stake sale of Reliance’s oil and chemicals division, in just two months Jio managed to attract some $ 15 billion which is more than half the investment into telecom companies worldwide this year. A report by popular equity and brokerage firm Sanford C. Bernstein predicted Jio is likely to capture 48% of India’s mobile subscriber market share by 2025.
Mukesh Ambani has an unmatched drive to become the biggest and the best industry leader in India as well as the world. In India, Reliance officially became the biggest petrochemical company last year, when it surpassed government owned Indian Oil Corporation to become the country’s largest company by revenue. Mukesh Ambani said “No power on Earth can stop India from rising higher (sic.)” during Reliance Industries latest Annual General Meeting (AGM.)
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