The lockdown did throw up a plethora of issues for start-ups and SMEs, but they took the time to re-plan and re-think their strategies to not just survive, but thrive during COVID times.
While logistics and on-demand platforms did face a negative impact, the sector at large found innovative solutions to keep the wheels turning. Primarily, they realized simply sitting around will not work. Some also focused on financial discipline.
For some start-ups, the customer base suddenly changed and they took the step and re-aligned their services to meet the requirements of their clientele. On the other hand, start-ups in edtech, fintech saw new avenues opening for them. There was a sudden surge in demand online courses and this opened new vistas for small and medium businesses in the sector.
Similarly, those in education, entertainment, health care saw loads of changes, and the CEOs of start-ups feel such changes would have taken decades which happened in months due to the pandemic.
However, not everything is hunky-dory as yet. The start-ups are likely to take at least three years to reach the levels of pre-pandemic times. However, Sudhir Reddy, president of the Telangana Industrialists Federation says the TS government did a lot to help the plight of migrant workers. He maintains that the government provided ration, money, and train expenses which led to the migrant laborers' return to the state. Waiving of property tax was another huge plus says Reddy.
Another major plus to the city-based start-ups and SMEs is the adaptation of digital technology. With education becoming online, transactions being made online, and telemedicine reaching even tier-3 cities and OTT platforms entertaining people, the impact was massive.
In fact, owning to digital advancements in the state, Airtel added 5.89 million wireless subscribers and Jio added 1.95 million new wireless subscribers in the state.
In all, online grocery, Foodtech, Edutech, and eHealth sectors are likely to see a quantum leap in returns in the coming months feel experts.