Economic downturn and startups – first post (a warm-up) published under the series.
Rajesh Jain shares his take on the said topic.
In difficult times, what is needed is a combination of C2 and R2 (Cut Costs and Ramp-up Revenue). They may seem as conflicting objectives but that’s what the need of the hour is. Things are going to take longer than planned, so a rupee saved is like a rupee earned. It is not the easiest of things to do – once costs are happening, trying to contain or curtail them can be quite challenging. Someone is going to be unhappy. In easier times, one could have gotten away with a little extra spending but in uncertain times, more care needs to be taken to ensure that costs are controlled.
At the same time, there has to be an acceleration of revenue growth. One can only cut costs so much without hurting future potential and opportunities. The key is to think hard on how one can grow existing revenue streams and create new ones – without the limitations that exist. In early stage companies, I think the focus needs to be more on revenue growth. Cutting costs can only prolong a death, not eliminate it, if revenues don’t start growing. And in difficult times, businesses (customers) may also be open to looking at ideas which are different and gave them greater value for money.
In our mobility business, that is what we are now focused on – there are two primary revenue streams that we have (mobile ads and enterprise services). Even as we work on making sure theykeep increasing month-on-month, we are also thinking how some new revenue streams canhelp bridge the gap between what we are spending and what we are earning. This is what makes business so exciting and challenging! I’d love to see us add one more significant revenue stream in the coming months – I don’t know which one it will be, but there are a few potential candidates. The good thing about the mobile business is that it is all blue ocean – we are the pioneers, and have to lead the way. And that brings out the best in us – its not as much competition as innovation that will decide our success.
Rajesh will be publishing this article on emergic in a day or two, and gladly shared the post for us to go ahead and publish this.