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Check out the masterclasses at YourStory’s Brands of New India Summit

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Good Morning,

YourStory’s Brands of New India Mega Summit is just around the corner. To be held on January 28-29, 2022, the event will serve as the forum to hear directly from leaders, entrepreneurs, innovators, enablers, and pioneers who are leading transformation in the Direct-to-Consumer (D2C) sector and paving the way for the future.

The two-day virtual event will host roundtables, panel discussions, fireside chats and more, serving as a forum to listen directly from 60+ speakers.

The summit will also feature masterclasses from industry experts who will deep-dive into the relevant and important elements driving the growth of India’s D2C ecosystem.

While Gaurav Kachhawa, Chief Product Officer of Gupshup, will be presenting a masterclass covering the importance of timely customer engagement in today’s time, Bimal Kartheek Rebba, Co-founder and COO at Trell, will explore how platforms like Trell are leveraging elements such as influencer-led live commerce, in-app gamification, and long-format storytelling.

Join us to be a part of an immersive, inspiring, and unique experience with D2C startups, unicorns, policy discussions, masterclasses, and more at Brands of New India Mega Summit 2022. Register for the summit here.


The Interview

Kamal Bali, Managing Director of Volvo Group India, speaks to EnterpriseStory about the trillion-dollar manufacturing opportunity for India and why it is essential for the country as a competitive advantage.


Editor’s Pick: The Turning Point

Sumeet Mehta always thought about how the gap in education in metros, as compared to a non-metro city, affected children and their future.

So he and his wife, Smita Deorah, left their cushy, corporate jobs to start LEAD School, now LEAD. The ‘integrated system’ offered by LEAD helps schools digitise the entire curriculum and provide solutions for teachers, parents, students, and school owners. Read more.


Startup Spotlight

Helping MSMEs grow

Mumbai-based B2B (business-to-business) startup Groyyo connects manufacturers with lifestyle brands and offers automation and technology chops. By doing so, it helps organise the fragmented small-scale industry.

Founded in July 2021, the startup works with MSMEs (micro, small and medium enterprises) in apparel, footwear, accessories, furnishings, ceramic, beauty, and furniture categories. Read more


News & Updates

  • The Minister of Commerce and Industry, Consumer Affairs, Food and Public Distribution, Shri Piyush Goyal has called upon the Indian industry to aim for raising 75 unicorns in the 75 weeks to the 75th anniversary of Independence.

Before you go, stay inspired with… 

Microsoft CEO Satya Nadella

“Businesses – small and large – can improve their productivity as well as the affordability of their products and services by building tech intensity.”

Satya Nadella, Microsoft


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Startups

Dune: Awakening is an open world survival MMO

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Dune: Awakening made its debut at The Game Awards as an open world survival massively multiplayer online game.

The game from Funcom and Nukklear looks beautiful, full of very detailed imagery of the desert planet Arrakis, also known as Dune. The game asked for beta signups, but we got no other information. Survival is the key word. Dune is a very deadly world, with sandworms and an unforgiving climate.

You can see places in the trailer like the city of Arakeen by day and night, as well as desert biomes and more. It’s not clear when it is coming. With luck, it will be close to the second Dune movie coming in late 2023.

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Rumors confirmed, Street Fighter 6 kicks off in June 2023

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Fighting Game fans are excited now that Capcom announced that Street Fighter 6 is coming to PS5, PS4, Xbox Series X/S and PC on June 2, 2023. The game was initially announced in February 2022, but that reveal did not include a specific release date beyond 2023.

The trailer at The Game Awards focused on new mini games and the international setting. In addition to the 18 previously announced fighter, the trailer also confirms that several new fighters — Dee Jay, Manon, Marisa and JP — that will join the game’s roster.

Notably, the June 2 release date for Street Fighter 6 may be a strategic choice for Capcom. June is the very beginning of Q3.

The last installment of the franchise — Street Fighter V — released nearly seven years ago so fans have been eager for another installment. A day before The Game Awards, the game’s June release date was leaked via the PlayStation Store.

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5 Things to Do Now to Propel Your Business in 2023

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Opinions expressed by Entrepreneur contributors are their own.

Entrepreneurship is a daily leap of faith. In times of economic uncertainty, that leap may feel like a dive off a cliff. We are in one of those times. It likely will take months to fully re-adjust to the forces that have pummeled the world’s economy, and to entrepreneurs, months can feel like years.

With the right playbook, entrepreneurs can survive and thrive in whatever economic scenario. Here are five things you can do to propel your business ahead now and through the difficulties of business cycles for years to come.

1. Learn the lessons of more challenging times

A rocky economy presents a unique opportunity to make tough decisions about the business plan. Everything is open to reexamination. How has the market changed? Are your customers facing challenges that create new opportunities for your solutions? How do new conditions change your assumptions, and what actions do you need to take in response?

Critically evaluate your product roadmap. Is this the time to pivot or become more aggressive with your current plans? Prioritize the highest margin features that are achievable in the next twelve months. Push out projects that don’t make that list, and re-assign resources accordingly. Re-assess pricing. Even as inflation tiptoes back from the highest levels in forty years, raw material and transportation costs remain way up. What will impact your customers if you adjust the pricing or add surcharges to offset these costs, at least temporarily?

It’s been a rough year for hiring. Many companies took the talent they could get. If there are employees or gig workers who would fare better in a different job, now is the time to let them go. Make tough-minded corrections that will pay off overall — corrections that might be avoidable in less challenging times.

Related: How to Turn Inflation and Recession into Your Largest Business Opportunity

2. Tighten your grip on cash

Venture capitalists are pulling back. In the third quarter, Crunchbase reported that funding for startups in U.S. and Canada fell 50% year-over-year. Valuations are down across the board. If you are fortunate enough to be a later-stage startup that benefited from VC largess in 2021, make your last raise last longer than intended.

Keep your dry powder dry, and put off going for another round until the markets even out. Reemphasize the basics for early-stage companies with less market validation and greater distance between now and a potential exit. Delay all capital expenditures. Leverage the hybrid work model if possible, to reduce rent and other office expenses. Continue with Zoom or Google Meet. Now is not the time to rack up travel costs. Re-negotiate fees and terms with service providers. Seek credit terms with key suppliers, in a word, bootstrap.

3. Talk to customers, in person. Now.

How have the business needs of your customers — whether paying or beta — changed over the last 18 months? Are there benefits to your solution that have more recognized value now? Nearly every business, for example, from corporates to startups, has been forced to re-learn the lessons of supply chain management. Startups that can help their customers make better business decisions based on artificial intelligence (AI), reduce costs by improving inventory management or protect against out-of-stock scenarios by identifying and building relationships with new, more local sources of supply will have an edge.

Related: Finding Validation in Serving Customers

4. Non-dilutive capital

According to PitchBook, venture capitalists are showing greater interest in portfolio companies “whose satellite, robotics and software tools can do double duty” in military and commercial markets. International conflicts are one reason, of course.

Another is that the defense and military security industries are generally viewed as recession-proof. Our firm routinely encourages portfolio companies to consider non-dilutive funding from the Small Business Administration — grants to support cutting-edge technologies range from $150,000 to more than $1 million.

Navigating the application process isn’t for the faint of heart. A startup must be realistic about the work involved, but in many states, there are resources to help. Besides the funding, severe responses to agency requests for proposals are reviewed and evaluated by technologists. At a minimum, this can be terrific feedback and a great source of industry contacts.

5. Blue-chip cultures attract blue-chip talent

Company culture can be an asset or a liability. An inclusive, rich culture helps key hires say yes. Finding stakeholders that believe what you believe and are aligned with your team’s values significantly improves the odds that they will stick with you in good times or bad.

After months of “great resignation” fever, the over-heated demand for talent may be cooling off. Maybe offers aren’t as fast or grand as they were a year ago. Maybe Twitter won’t be the only advanced technology business to let people go. Regardless, the search for great talent isn’t a faucet that a young company turns off and on. A startup might modulate the timing or the number of hires but stand at the ready to recruit and filter for culture fit.

Related: 3 Ways to Stay Competitive in the War for Talent

With the right mindset and intentional approach, an entrepreneur can make 2023 a year to strive and thrive. As Yogi Berra, my favorite baseball player of all time, said, “Swing at the strikes.” In business, like baseball, the right swing can turn even the most challenging pitch into a hit.

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URGENT: CYBER SECURITY UPDATE