The Necessities of Innovation in Crises

It takes a special kind of person, or a team to ensure the successful execution of this process.

Consider this: for many decades, travelers huffed and puffed as they lugged their heavy bags around. Bernard Sadow, a VP at a company that made coats and luggage, thought to put wheels on a suitcase, attach a strap and pull it. It worked. It was 1970 and travel wasn’t the same anymore.

Every crisis offers an opportunity. An opportunity to overcome the crisis through human ingenuity and resolve.

  • Remote consultations and diagnostics
    Thanks to the smartphone and increased data bandwidth, it is possible to get video and pictures of patients across to doctors for speedy consultations.
    With the shortage of doctors and beds, quick diagnoses and treatments for a vast majority of patients can be enabled. Only those requiring specialized care can then come to clinics and hospitals.
  • Remote learning and classrooms can become the means for delivering quality education to millions.
    Again, technology becomes a critical enabler of getting education to students rather than the other way around.
    Quality content delivered well, can make this a very powerful and scalable method for educating various sections of our population.
  • A terrific opportunity is to design and manufacture low cost medical devices and equipment, most of which are imported today.
    Working in partnership with the public and private sectors including startups, innovative designs, rapid prototyping and manufacturing can be enabled. 3D Printing can also come of age in India. New materials for design of clothing for example, can be produced.
  • Usage of fintech for payments and for lending can become ubiquitous.
    Reduce transaction costs, costs of acquisition and costs of fulfilment through digital means.
  • Expanding the usage of technology in deploying a healthcare architecture like Ayushman Bharat that is based on data, on collaboration between insurers, providers and patients and government, that ensures better monitoring, delivery and management of health outcomes.
  • Deploying digital governance to make sure that data is collected, maintained, managed and analysed in a consistent manner, decisions taken based on data analysis and workflows enabled through technology for higher efficiency and productivity.
  • Companies can take a strong look at their existing business models to consider converting fixed costs to variable.
    They can use video conferences and webinars to engage with prospects and other digital tools to collaborate and ramp up internal efficiencies.
    They can use social media for customer outreach, look at work-from-home as an option for the workforce, and learn to manage costs. They need to relentlessly execute to constantly meet, if not exceed, customer expectations in times of uncertainty, keep employees motivated and inspired, and develop new pricing models.

Ultimately, it boils down to the leadership to demonstrate their skin in the game by walking the talk. The ones who do will be the ones who emerge on the other side as the models worth emulating.

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Ideaspring Capital

Ideaspring Capital

An early-stage VC fund investing in technology product companies in India.