My entry into ET Prodigy

I would like to consider myself as some sort of a prodigy (ahem!!! cough persisting for some time). This is my entry into the ET prodigy contest that took place last month. I must say I could have presented my understanding better but I had to follow the competition guidelines to the "T". Here it is:

Sustain World (SW) provides services towards existing small scale ventures that have a foothold in the market place or to educate individuals or institutes and channeling their energy into setting up their businesses. The maximum acceptable annual income of its target audience would be 45,000 Indian Rupees(INR). The variable costs for Sustain world to come into existence would be somewhere between 4 lakh INR. Now there is an extremely high probability that most of the small scale ventures undertaken by individuals in the case of SW will never evolve from the proof of concept stage or might die in the nascent stages of creation. SW more or less will have a well sustained and aggregated growth during its life cycle in Maharashtra as it need not wait for its commitments to be taken up by its customers. All it guarantees is that it would provide the end user a solid foundation in terms of knowledge boundaries and the end user will have to take it up from that point to continue on that journey or not. An online research of geographic and demographic segmentation of underprivileged people who fit this description would be in the range of 60 to 90 lakh people.The services will be sold in terms of packages based on timelines and complexity of user needs. The end user can subscribe the package fulfilling all his needs. SW would be marketed to the end user by word of mouth (existing customers or employees) and advertisements through mediums such as Television, Radio, posters and pamphlets. Employees will be selected based on their aptitude towards business and business processes in Maharashtra as well as their level of education.

SW would be built more on less on a Subscription business model where users will pay for the services they require. SW would be head quartered in Mumbai as that would be the ideal location for identifying prospective clients, carrying out marketing campaigns as well as finding suitable employees, There will be no employment contracts meted out to the individuals who will work with SW. They can come and go as they please and in the process give credence to corporate social responsibility. The services provided will be non transferable among customers. Since there will be a no non disclosure contract, the client will have to pay extra in case they want their knowledge gains to be relayed to them in a secretive manner. It will also depend on a referential strategy to garner more business or look for prospective clients. If customers are indeed getting benefited from the service they receive, they will be requested to participate in seminars or promote SW in their respective local areas of business. They can also be part of any of the promotional agendas that SW may have for the general public. A ranking will be associated with each and every customer depending on their usage of SW's services. If they are regular customers, their subscription rates will be discounted. The advantage of SW is that its business model can be reshaped based on the variations seen in India's growth market. There will be templates in place for strategies that needs to implemented. SW can also provide its services online for its web savvy users. SW could also utilize resources from educational infrastructures like classrooms, library books etc thereby decreasing the initial fixed capital required. Newer opportunities can be identified by SW and involve in luring individuals to take up these opportunities. Getting a permanent channel of funding (maybe self or through Banks for a minimum period of 3 years. SW could tie up with educational institutes ensuring that the payment for the services they provide to institution members would be minimal or waived off in return for using the institutes's facilities. Annual revenue would be in the range of 5-8 lakhs initially and would break even when the revenue would reach a target of 15 lakh INR. SW would also identify key investors and banks who would be willing in investing into their customer's needs.


For SW there will be no age limits but there will be a restriction in terms of the customers salary. A great number of small scale industries are coupled with their ability of accessing major cities either for potential customers or for exporting purposes, so the ideal location for Apte to set up SW's headquarter would be in the Mumbai and start his company promotions in slums or localities where there are low income generating families. Services will be advertised through every medium (Television, Radio, Newspaper, Posters etc..) in local languages to spread awareness of SW. SW will try to attract its target audience towards it. SW would set up incubation centers in educational institutes to promote it among the youth and also conform their mindsets to achieve bigger things for themselves. Motivational speeches by SW employees in major in low income regions will be made. The level of education will initially not be considered for this model. There is a high probability that the uneducated individual purchasing the service might not move forward with the propositions given by SW. So there would not be a significant loss to SW and there could be a borderline knowledge transition beyond which SW will not further entertain the service. So knowledge boundaries will be set in the predefined templates. Ability to target more market segments is possible. SW would initially direct all its efforts to people in the middle lower to lower lower bandwidth. SW's services would primarily orient towards the consumer market and at a later stage target the reseller market realm. Research of competition in the area would be an advantage in making estimates about the core competencies, potential client locations, price points and their strategies used in promoting themselves. Demographics and Geographic market segmentation is a key factor for SW's sustainability. The service price points as well as its segmentation would be made based on the geographic locations (ease of accessibility, access to raw materials or technology etc) of its subscribers. Usage of behavioral trends and characteristics in identifying potential clients. SW would have a knowledge bank creation from its employees as well as customer problems in order to have even more predefined templates in place.


Sustain World will be able to target a minimum of 500 to 2000 people in its first three years of existence. Of a total population of about 11 crore people, around 3 crore people are in the target market SW is focusing on, of which only 60 – 90 lakh people will actually take the initiative into going into something new. Now this is dispersed across Maharashtra in different quantities. After SW would do its ground work correctly and focus on the region with maximum client potential, there would be an initial lag time since the business would need to harness some popularity among the crowd. I would think that this would be at least a period of approximately 8 months or higher depending on its aggression in promotion. There would also be a time constraint on finding individuals who would take up the time and effort from their busy lives to invest into SW ( a great example for this would be the TOI initiative to educate children in India) and their respective time limits. Based on the complexity of the problem posed by a customer, if none of their problems are in SW's predefined templates then there would be an additional overhead of performing a thorough research and delivering its results to the clients. So if the results of the clients cannot be determined early, the lesser the chances of SW in gathering a larger target audience. SW would probably get around 100 or greater clients in its first year of establishment. Considering that SW would be able to triple its business annually, it would be expected that SW would finally get a customer base of about 1000 customers. As mentioned in the previous problems solution, SW would have to keep reinventing itself in order to make itself more scalable. It would primarily be consumer oriented in its growth and gradually have a reselling option integrated into its current business model. Also the ability of SW's BM to be amorphous. SW could take the shape of a B2B model in the situation where their clients solutions are interdependent on one another. An example for this is if a customer is trying to setup a sugar mill and would like to have access to various locations in Maharashtra to make transactions and there is another customer who would like to start a travel agency, then the bonding of these 2 businesses would be ideal.
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As I had mentioned earlier this could have been represented in a much better fashion but I wanted to stick to the rules of the contest.

Comments

Anonymous said…
u r right...the thoughts could have been presented in a more coherent manner....thr r oversimplifications and exaggerations which could have been removed....still, overall a decent effort. So best of luck...

- the Y
Abhishek :) said…
hi,

Nice solution u have proposed...best of luck :)

even my solution was on the the similar lines....though not exactly the same......(I chose Cascade world instead)

:)
onlymitesh said…
Any idea when are the results going to come?
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Anonymous said…
tres interessant, merci

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