Lateral Sparks, the weekly quiz from YourStory, tests your domain knowledge, business acumen, and lateral thinking skills (see the previous edition here). In this 85th edition of the quiz, we present issues tackled by real-life entrepreneurs in their startup journeys.
What would you do if you were in their shoes? At the end of the quiz, you will find out what the entrepreneurs and innovators themselves actually did. Would you do things differently?
Check out YourStory’s Book Review section as well, with takeaways from over 355 titles on creativity and entrepreneurship, and our weekend PhotoSparks section on creativity in the arts.
Q1: Eco-friendly packaging
Avoiding single-use plastic items or upcycling them are some approaches to eco-friendliness. Other waste from nature can also be repurposed for applications such as packaging materials. How would this work?
Q2: Toy story
Making toys based on local traditions and leveraging local labour are effective ways of creating impactful business. Quality and creativity are key success factors here. What’s another requirement for compliance in the toy industry?
Q3: Environmental impact
The pressures of climate change and increasing pollution are recalibrating consumer sentiment and corporate agendas. From a governance and investing view, what can companies and citizens do to keep the focus on business growth while also reducing environmental harm?
Q4: Inclusive technology
Blind students face a number of serious challenges in their education journey. For example, their learning is influenced by the skills and availability of specialised teachers using Braille. What are some other methods that can be used here?
Q5: Supply chain solutions
Supply chains in many emerging economies suffer from challenges like ill-equipped cold storage facilities, lack of trained labour, and inadequate last-mile infrastructure. How can technology solutions help here, and how can such solutions be incentivised?
Congratulations on having come this far! But there’s more to come–answers to these five questions (below), as well as links to articles with more details on the entrepreneurs’ solutions.
Happy reading, happy learning, and happy creating!
A1: Eco-friendly packaging
Founded by Anand Bodh and Arpit Dhupar in 2020, Dharaksha Ecosolutions sources paddy stubble from farmers and converts it into biodegradable packaging material. The Faridabad-based B2B startup uses mycelium, a mushroom root, to decompose paddy straw and transform it into packaging materials.
The materials can reportedly decompose in 60 days in normal soil and have a shelf life of more than three years. Read more about this eco-friendly replacement for plastic and thermocol here.
A2: Toy story
Safety is a must for the handcraft crochet toys made by Loophoop, a venture started by Kanchan Bhadani to provide employment opportunities to tribal women in Jharkhand. The products are priced between Rs 450 and Rs 2,500, and the company reports sales of Rs 1 lakh to 1.5 lakh a month.
Bhadani strongly believes in consistency, quality and safety. Read more here about how toy safety is ensured by not using plastic in any of the parts; instead, thin threads are used to make parts like eyes.
A3: Environmental impact
“It may sound right not to invest your money in companies burning up the globe, but it’s appropriate to invest in companies participating in change to reverse the current situation,” says Sagar Lele, Founder, Rupeeting, advocating for ESG investing.
“Cement companies are increasingly using greener sources of fuel to generate heat and are implanting waste heat recovery systems to capture excess heat and reduce fuel consumption,” he observes.
Read more here about how investors can pick companies that score well on environmental parameters and achieve carbon neutrality.
A4: Inclusive technology
Thinkerbell Labs goes beyond conventional Braille teaching methods by incorporating interactive audio feedback, tactile interfaces, and adaptive learning techniques. It was founded by Aman Srivastava, Sanskriti Dawle, Dilip Ramesh, and Saif Shaikh from BITS Pilani.
The solutions are designed for students irrespective of their geographical location or socio-economic background.
Read more here about its inspiring mission and its partnership with the American Printing House for the Blind.
A5: Supply chain solutions
Data analytics and IoT can help reduce several bottlenecks in conventional cold supply chains, including the overwhelming amount of documentation, observes Swarup Bose, Founder and CEO of Celcius Logistics.
A tech-enabled automation system can help ensure accurate temperature-controlled storage environments.
Read more here about how tax holidays and subsidies can also help cold storage solutions, with ripple effects cascading across the industry.
YourStory has also published the pocketbook Proverbs and Quotes for Entrepreneurs: A World of Inspiration for Startups as a creative and motivational guide for innovators (downloadable as apps here: Apple, Android).