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Entrepreneurship and Innovation:

In the age of the fourth industrial revolution, no enterprise can survive without intelligent tech intervention. Rather, it would be better to say that digitization and digital transformation have transformed the job landscape altogether, especially in India. AI, ML, deep learning and IoT are not just terminologies anymore, but core skill sets that decide the candidate’s competency in IT. The more they know, the better job prospects they’ll have. A recent report by WEF also states that more than 7.1 million jobs will be lost in the next few years, owing to redundancy and automation, but more than 2.1 million jobs will be created in line with computing, engineering, and mathematics. Future workforces, thus, will not be driven by capital, but by talent.

The next decade, thus, looks promising for entrepreneurs and startups. The 2000s were all about search engines, the 2010s brought us social media and the 2020s? Well, the 2020s are going to be all about mega deals and innovations! Tech has never advanced at such speeds before, and trends like deep technology integration, RPA and 5G are a testament to this. These technologies combined with the increased data consumption will chart out the next decade. But is that all? We’re still missing out something very important, that more and more enterprises are focusing on today. And that’s customer experience.

GoDaddy is an excellent use case to demonstrate how tech and customer experience combined can create something truly phenomenal. Right from its inception in 1997, GoDaddy has been a pioneer in providing web hosting and domain services, with their vision to change the world, one small business at a time. Three years ago, their tech offerings were on point, but customer retention and acquisition were major problem areas. Consumers bought the domain but were not able to use it, since they didn’t understand its functioning. Since most of them were also from emerging villages and cities, they also had ideas to start their own entrepreneurial ventures, and not necessarily use this for already existing ones.

So here’s what they did. With a design thinking approach focused solely on the end user’s benefit, they first understood the existing digital skill gap between the customer and the product! Most consumers who bought the domain did not understand the basics of setting up a website, hence they began with online training and certification programs for website design and development. Selected domain experts were also brought on board to help customers build websites faster, cheaper and better!

They also came up with a startup bundle kit, where the customer could buy not only the domain, but also one-page websites (for both mobile and desktops), and professional email ids. This reduced the hassle of them setting it up, accelerated their business and helped scale ideas. And of course, we all remember MS Dhoni as Bijness Bhai in 2018, where GoDaddy spoke to tier 2 and tier 3 business vendors to bring SMBs online. It wasn’t rocket science, but it worked wonders. In a matter of a few months, GoDaddy doubled their business with an 80% active customer base.

Those are pretty impressive stats, if you ask me. And this only reaffirms my belief in Design Thinking and the power of customer empathy. We often spend a lot of time thinking about complex business solutions, for we think that therein lies the most value. Simplicity is easy to undermine, but it’s almost always the simple ideas that spark the greatest innovations!

By Anupam Kulkarni, Co-founder & CEO, iauro Systems, Pune

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