Lateral Sparks, the weekly quiz from YourStory, tests your domain knowledge, business acumen, and lateral thinking skills (see the previous edition here). In this 64th 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 345 titles on creativity and entrepreneurship, and our weekend PhotoSparks section on creativity in the arts.

Q1: Solar energy

In the face of climate change and growing environmental awareness around the world, solar energy is becoming an increasingly important option. Innovations in affordable generation, storage and distribution of solar energy are key here. But there is one more important requirement for solar adoption – what is that factor?

Q2: Rural divide

Many rural communities suffer from a number of gaps as compared to urban counterparts – income, market access, education, and business opportunity. What can be an effective way to bridge these gaps?

Q3: Food and choice

Globalisation and the emergence of business models such as D2C (direct to consumer) are driving more choice than ever for consumers of food products. But another trend is also impacting what kinds of food consumers want – what is that shift?

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Q4: Business success

Product-market fit is key to achieving business success. So is market differentiation, and the ability to attract the right talent and capital. But in today’s globalised always-on economy and turbulent landscape, businesses need one more attribute to stay ahead and execute properly – what is that factor?

Q5: Market space

In some market sectors, the winners completely dominate the market and leave very little space for competitors. But ‘winner takes all’ need not apply to all sectors. What’s an example of markets with multiple players, and who are some of these players?

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Answers!

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: Solar energy

“Important keys to accelerate solar adoption are to provide easy financing and hassle-free adoption experience to the consumers,” explains Gautam Das, Founder, Oorjan Cleantech. Many countries have set ambitious targets for solar capacity, but adoption has been lagging.

The Mumbai-based renewable energy startup has enabled the installation of 150 megawatts of solar power and deployed $100 million of green capital over four years. Read more here about how its platform brings together installers, financiers, and consumers, with the aim of speeding up adoption of renewable energy.

A2: Rural divide

“Technology is the key to making a level playing field for the rural and the urban by opening opportunities across villages,” explains Vamsi Udayagiri, Founder and CEO, Hesa. The Telangana-based agri fintech startup engages with the rural population through its three-tiered social, digital and physical platform.

“India needs to adapt to technology and use digital methods to help reshape India’s financial inclusion landscape,” he adds. Read more here about how Hesa has engaged with over 30 lakh rural consumers in 27,000 villages in Andhra Pradesh, Telangana and Karnataka.

A3: Food and choice

“With the rise in environmental consciousness people are making more sustainable choices, and this includes dietary choices. This is reflected in the rise in the number of flexitarians all over the world,” observes Sohil Wazir, Chief Commercial Officer, Blue Tribe Foods. Many consumers are switching to animal-free products.

People are also preferring high-quality and natural ingredients. “The snacks that we see in the market are unhealthy and full of preservatives. The few that are healthy don’t taste great,” adds Eat Better co-founder Shaurya Kanoria. Read more about food sector trends and opportunities here.

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A4: Business success

“The most important factor as far as growth is concerned today is the speed at which you are able to do things. The entire business industry has become highly volatile in which speed is a key factor and the first one to convert this opportunity naturally becomes a leader in the market,” explains Jothish Kumar, Managing Director, Luker India.

“So irrespective of the country or products we pitch, we ensure that the strategies in connection to speed are well focused and can be converted into business,” he adds. Read more about this leading company in LED lighting here.

A5: Market space

“The thesis that winner takes all is not true anymore for the internet space. Players are finding their own niches and playing in them,” observes Gaurav Agarwal, Co-founder and CTO, Tata 1MG.

The company accounts for around 18-20% market share in the e-pharmacy segment in India. “We’re not too worried about competition but are focused on the quality of services and selection of products we can offer,” he adds. Read more about growth and market space in this segment here.

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).





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