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The rapid growth of the used cars’ space in India amidst COVID-19

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The used cars’ space in India has seen a rapid increase in demand amidst the COVID-19 pandemic. In a panel discussion on YourStory’s Daily Dispatch, Vaibhav Sharma, Founder and CEO, CarzSo; Rajat Mahajan, Partner, Deloitte India, and Akshay Singh, Chief Strategy Officer, Droom, joined together to discuss the factors driving this growth. 

During any transaction, customers face a lot of difficulties such as lack of transparency, discovery, price, trust, etc., pushing several used cars’ companies to come to the fore.

Rajat shared, presently, the biggest challenge is to convert the unorganised sector to an organised one. 

In fact, rising demand in non-metro cities is further pushing this growth. Besides, NBFC funding and rapid changes in technology are other factors driving growth in the sector.  

According to Akshay, people shifted away from public transportation to personal mobility, especially used vehicles, because of financial uncertainty amidst the pandemic. Additionally, the supply crunch on new vehicles caused a rise in demand for used vehicles and a rapid boost in business at Droom. 

He added the company expects to see the used cars’ market move online, which has always been its key business model. Additionally, the startup is noticing a shift in demand from Tier I cities to Tier II and III cities, which, in his opinion, is happening because of the higher income of the populace or better infrastructure in the region.

“We believe, over the next five years, almost 70 percent of the used car demand would come from Tier II and III cities,” he said. Besides, Droom will also focus on the rising demand for bigger and premium cars like SUVs.

Vaibhav from CarzSo says the used cars’ market has grown massively in the last few years. “People are now moving from unorganised channels to organised channels,” he added.

Additionally, digitisation and the pandemic is giving birth to many new online players. CarzSo, one among many, is focusing on non-metro cities and is also working on virtual reality. 

“Technology indeed is going to be a key driver in the sector, but at the very core of the business is the experience,” Rajat said, adding, “If the customer gets the right experience, they will get the right trust.”

It will be a long term gain for the sector if all the players can mutually share the benefit while giving returns to their customers. 

Talking about Droom’s USP, Akshay said, customers can buy anything on wheels to get them from point A to B — cars, two-wheelers, bicycles, etc.

Going forward, the company will invest in categories other than cars, and among cars, it will focus on premium SUV vehicles. Besides, it will also focus on geographical expansion, starting with Tier II and III cities.

 

Akshay said access to finance or financial services, like loans, is an important aspect of the journey, and presently, Droom is working with various banks to get some funding. The company has plans to launch products in markets, including Southeast Asia, the Middle East, and Africa. 

Vaibhav said, CarzSo’s focus has been on building a technology that will take the entire used cars’ industry online, and it wants to stay at the forefront of this. “Our key focus has been around building virtual reality technology,” he added.

CarzSo plans on reaching eight cities by the end of this financial year and expects to capture north India by the end of the next financial year. 

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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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