Is Dropshipping Worth It?

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eCommerce a Way of Life. The unprecedented times we are experiencing have us all cooped up inside our homes, going about the business of life in the best way that we can. Normal activities like education, work, business and shopping are now being carried out from our homes. The online world has come good and proven to be our lifeline. The world of today is riding a new wave where Digital First is the hot mantra. For instance, business enthusiasts are searching for viable and profitable eCommerce models to grow and expand.
Dropshipping is one such lucrative, online retail business worthy of one’s attention.

Why?

 

It’s been around for years and years, bringing profits to serious entrepreneurs.

[1]eCommerce sales in India are growing at an annual rate of 51%, which makes it the biggest opportunity for online retailers.

The old ways of doing business are getting disrupted the world over!

This pandemic has become a big inflexion point for digital businesses not just in India but globally as well. On the one hand, the retail footfall is seeing alarming lows while on the other, eCommerce is on a new roll.


In this scenario, dropshipping becomes all the more attractive for those, seeking new ways of monetization.


Let’s understand its basic concepts and relevance in today’s world….

                                                       

                                                    Customer Receiving an Online Delivery

 

Dropshipping is essentially an online retail store where customers book their orders. The details of the order are passed on to the supplier who ships the order directly to the customer.

Some of the key takeaways of this business are that as a drop shipper you don’t have to:

  • Physically store goods or
  • Manage a warehouse or
  • Handle shipments

This certainly gives you AMPLE time to focus on other critical aspects of the business.

 

What do you need to start this business?

Two things:

  • An internet connection
  •  A  laptop

Furthermore, to execute the business you will need the following support:

  •     Supplier
  •     Website
  •    Niche
  •     Marketing Strategy
  •     Customer Support

And you are good to go!

The flexibility of this business lies in the fact that it can be run as a parallel hustle to generate a PASSIVE income or can be run independently.

Let’s quickly understand how to generate a passive income from dropshipping.


Dropshipping a parallel hustle….

The easiest way to make revenue from drop shipping is to run it as a parallel business to your already existing eCommerce business.

This way you don’t need to start from zero user base. Your existing traffic can be used to drive and push your dropshipping business. Money lies in traffic!

Later on, when your dropshipping business picks up, you can scale it.

The sky is the limit!

If you run a dropshipping business alone, you will have to search and build a new client base.

Not that it can’t be done, but it can become quite a TASK in the initial stages of your business.

Pick your battles!

Delving into the different aspects of drop shipping will make it easy for you to understand its functionality and USE in today’s world.


Dropshipping journey

To start with, think of a niche which sells!


Niche

How does one pick the right niche?

One can’t have an answer right off the bat, as this depends on a few factors:

  • trends
  •  competitors
  •  target audience
  • ease of shipping


Trends

Pop-culture (unique) products like coffee-mugs, funky jewelry, T-shirts etc. are the ideal dropshipping products.

Due to the ongoing pandemic shoppers have become cautious with their spending. Health, fitness and home happen to be their prime focus.

This explains the reason for the sudden surge in demand for the following products:

  • Blue Light Glasses          – to reduce eye strain from screens
  •  Resistance Band             – for gym enthusiasts
  •  Smart Watches                – for fitness
  •  LED Strip Lights               – to decorate homes
  • Paint By Numbers Kit    – to pursue a hobby

Trimmers, Juicers and Vacuum cleaners are other popular products.

Pandemic or no pandemic, you can’t forget the special days (birthdays and anniversaries) of your friends and well-wishers! Worry not, however, if you are unable to visit them due to social distancing, you can have them sent a personalized item like an Initial Pendant Necklace.

Sniffing out trends is the first step in selecting a niche. A bunch of other things which could help you in zeroing in on the niche are:


Target Audience

Sales is a result of demand and supply. Research and find out what your audience is looking for. Pitch accordingly!


Competition

You will have to take a call to either compete directly with the biggies like Amazon or you could pick a niche with low competition and potential buyers. There is no template as such, to follow. No size fits all!

You need to check the local competition, demographics and the geographics.

You’ll need to know the prices your competitors are offering. Maybe you will have to undercut them to stay competitive. Brainstorming at this stage can’t be ruled out. Hitting the sweet spot does take time and a whole lot of research.


Ease of Shipping

Selecting a niche which requires light shipping can make your job easy as you can offer free shipping. This SERIES of calculated steps will help you select a proper niche.

Getting a reliable supplier on board is the next step.


Supplier

Suppliers are the backbone of your dropshipping business.

They do a lot of heavy lifting as far as this business is concerned. From storing goods and maintaining inventory to handling shipments.

Hence, it becomes important to make all the necessary inquires before selecting one. Do thorough research on the internet. Check your supplier’s reviews and testimonials.

Once you are satisfied with the credentials, place a test order. This way you can have a first-hand experience about, as to how the supplier operates. Once you are through with selecting the supplier and the niche, it’s time to create your virtual store.


Website

Today’s users’ attention span is extremely low with a zillion things vying for their attention. Thus, it becomes important to have a super cool website which looks good, funky and is super-fast too.

You have a choice between the self-hosted or the hosted platforms.

If you are technically fine and have money to spare, go for a self-hosted one. This gives you more freedom.

Otherwise, if you are not sure and don’t want to spend in the early stages of your business, then hosted platform is the place to be.

Big Commerce, Woo Commerce, Magento are some of the examples of hosted platforms. They all come with their own sets of positives.

Choose the one which best fits your bill. Now, your dropshipping business is ready for the BIG leap.

Reaching your customers!

They are the ones who shall play a huge part in making your business count. So, leave no stone unturned to woo them.

Marketing Strategy. There are no two thoughts about the fact that the Marketing landscape has evolved tremendously, especially due to the rise in digital consumption.

Marketing penetrates and operates at different levels of the dropshipping business. Let’s dive deep and explore all the levels and ways of CONNECTING with your potential buyers. The Devil lies in the details!


Deliveries

Instant gratification has become our second nature. We want deliveries and returns to be handled faster. So, talk to your supplier right in the beginning about making your business efficient and CUSTOMER ORIENTED.

All deliveries, returns or complaints if any have to be handled within a time-frame, as promised to the customer.

This will go a long way in bolstering your brand.


Free shipping

                                                                     

                                                                     Free Delivery a Huge Hit

As many as[2]90% of customers choose free shipping as the number one incentive for online buying.

 

Do your best to offer free shipping or maybe discounted shipping.

 

In case you can’t, be transparent about it right from the word go.

 

Never resort to hiding tactics; they show your brand in poor light.

 

Marketing is all about creating POSITIVE vibes. It’s better to stay away from practices where your customer feels shocked or shortchanged.

 

Mobile-Friendly

Nowadays, people of all age groups are glued to their smartphones. [3]In Indiaonline buying via smartphones ranges from 42% to 60%. 

Smartphones are known to trigger impulse buying. So, ensure your virtual store is mobile-friendly to net this segment.

  

 Getting traffic and sales requires you to be nimble.

 

Try the paid advertising space and at the same time work consistently towards getting the organic traffic.

 

You can start your targeted marketing campaigns by putting out:

  • Facebook ads
  • Google Ad words and Bing Ads
 
Other than that, you can adopt these digital tools to attract organic traffic:
  • SEO
  • Content
  • Social Media
  • Email Marketing
 

Optimizing your website is necessary to get ORGANIC traffic.

 

Today’s businesses are all about experiences. Be it the website experience or the delivery experience. Give them the best experiences.

 

ROX (return on experience) shall help you in scaling your business. USER EXPERIENCE is the new SEO.

 

Deliver curated content so that it builds traction and engagement. The effect feels fresh if you keep updating it.

Social Media on our Smartphone

 

 

 

Social Media is all the rage. We can’t agree more!

 

You will find people of all age groups active on these platforms. The Gen Z and Millennials are hooked to it.

 

Social media influencers have become stars of the digital world. They carry clout.

 

You can use these influencers to highlight your products by making videos of 25-30 secs. and thus, gain access to LOCAL customers.

 

Show off your brand and share its story on the different social media channels. Keep posting regularly to make a strong presence.

 

People, usually are scouting for freebies and discounts over these channels.

 

Put out a sale notice on Twitter or Instagram. You can add an element of urgency by attaching a deadline to it. This can have a knock-on effect!

 

Besides generating a sale, you could get likes and shares. That surely spreads the good word!

 

These are some cool ways of GRABBING traffic.

 

There is yet another way of reaching your customers in a focused manner: the email marketing route.

 

It is an old marketing tool, quite popular even with new-age businesses. It works.

 

As such, we all get a good number of emails every day. We do end up reading quite a few of them!

 

Start making emails preferably with a catchy hook line to draw attention. Well written and personalized emails do get noticed.

 

Talk about your product, share videos and highlight discounts (in case you are offering them).

 

Emails carry your message directly to the people in a subtler way without making much noise.

 

Be CONSISTENT with sending emails, they will fetch results.

 

Be innovative and bring fresh ideas to the table. You never know which idea of yours can catch fire!

 

Pricing

There is no doubt about the fact that every sale that happens has a good amount of hard work behind it.

 

If possible, choose a product with a higher value. This is to pocket a good profit with every item you sell.

 



Competition research


EvaluationCustomer Support
[4]

 

Dropshipping is worth your time and attention for these very simple reasons:

  • Low-risk business
  •    Easy entry
  •  Almost no overheads required
  •  Flexibility, can work beautifully as a parallel hustle or can be run independently
  • Can be scaled exponentially
  •  Ecommerce an accepted reality
  • Pandemic has acted as an accelerant to digital growth.
 

[5]As per the Morgan Stanley report, India’s eCommerce market is expected to hit $200 billion by 2026.

 

Online buying has become the norm and is here to stay. It’s practically unstoppable. Take advantage of this growing trend to expand your business.

 

Research, Experiment and Test: 

These are the three levers of the dropshipping business. They will help you survive and soar!

 

Set the ball rolling as this is the BEST TIME to get into dropshipping.

 

Stay Safe and Happy Dropshipping! ?

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

  

[1] https://www.oberlo.com/dropship-international/india

[2] https://www.entrepreneur.com/article/320733

[3] https://surejob.in/dropshipping-business.html

[4] https://ecommerceguide.com/ecommerce-statistics/#:~:text=According%20to%2099Firms’%20Ecommerce%20Statistics,conducted%20via%20ecommerce%20by%202040.&text=It%20is%20expected%20th

[5] https://www.livemint.com/Industry/9iUxlQZ4iHwPiXRKscx3LK/Indias-ecommerce-market-to-grow-30-to-200-billion-by-202.html

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Where Are Electric Vehicles Headed?

 

https://unsplash.com/photos/HjV_hEECgcM

2019 was the year that the sale of battery-electric as well as plug-in-battery cars first crossed the two million mark according to a report by Deloitte. This very significant milestone of the automotive industry  lost its sheen, however on account of the Covid-19 pandemic.

 
Falling Electric Vehicle Prices to Be on Par With Internal Combustion Engine Vehicles in 2024

Among the important trends that are likely to emerge with regard to the demand for electrical vehicles are their falling prices in keeping with an accompanying drop in battery prices. This is borne out by the fact that the average price of an EV battery pack fell from $1,160 per kWh in 2010 to $176 per kWh in 2018. Going ahead this could fall to about $94 per kWh in 2024 and $62 per kWh by 2030 according to BloombergNEF. Furthermore they estimate that there will be price parity between electric vehicles and internal combustion engine vehicles as early as 2024.

 

 

Electrification of Vehicles to Extend to Heavy Vehicles 

Right up to 2019 most of the electric vehicles moving on the roads of the world comprised cars and two wheelers. A year earlier the total number of electric cars in the world stood at more than 5 million, while the number of two wheelers was 260 million. In comparison there were only 460,000 electric buses and 250,000 light commercial vehicles worldwide. These numbers are expected to increase substantially going forward, thanks to cheaper and more efficient batteries as well as the more stringent emission norms being put in place worldwide. BloombergNEF further estimates that electric busses will comprise just a little less than 70% of the total number of busses in the world by 2040.
Zero Emission PolicyCountries around the world are pushing for a transition to electric vehicles by moving away from cash purchase incentives to mandatory zero emission mandates or other regulations covering fuel efficiency, pollution and GHG (Greenhouse Gas Emissions).

Better Access to Public Charging

Increased access to efficient public charging is going to drive the move to electric vehicles to a very large extent. Things like super fast chargers, wireless charging, as well as battery swapping are going to cause a paradigm shift in the way the whole battery charging business is viewed. They will increasingly be viewed no more inconvenient than the time it takes to fuel up an internal combustion engine vehicle.

 

IPL 2020- Annual Marketing Extravaganza Nonpareil To Put Some Cheer Back into The Economy.

 

                                          https://unsplash.com/photos/bY4cqxp7vos

 

The year 2020 is proving to be worse than the worst annus horribilis, one could imagine. With the Covid-19 pandemic raging unchecked, the economy has decelerated massively and people have more or less stopped spending money on anything other than the bare necessities.

 

 That is bad news for the economy, as the people need to spend a fair amount on goods and services to get the engines of the economy to rev up and gather speed. Can the three-week-long IPL 2020 which kicks off in Dubai on September 19th, enthuse the audience to shed their reticence and go ahead and splurge on all kinds of consumer goods and services?

 

For as much as the IPL is an annual sports and entertainment extravaganza, it is also the definitive annual advertising and marketing event. Certainly, the advertising industry can look at much-enhanced revenue on account of a months’ long pent-up demand due to the long lock-down and the continuing restrictions afterwards.

Besides, the IPL is happening around what is the peak festival season, when consumer spending is traditionally at its highest.With most people staying largely indoors on account of the new work-at-home normal, the television ( and other streaming gadgets) audience for the matches being played in the tournament is expected to be considerably higher than usual this year. 

For brands, most of whom have as good as lost two quarters of the year, on account of the pandemic, the IPL coinciding with the festival season gives them a huge opportunity to work towards regaining their market share.

On the other hand industries like food essentials, healthcare, education and insurance that fared quite well during the months of pandemic induced inactivity would also like to leverage the huge reach of the IPL amongst a captive audience.

That apart, there will be whole new categories of advertisers, who have emerged thanks to the times that we live in comprising of ed-tech companies, hygiene products like hand washes and hand sanitizers, as well as dishwashers.   Also a lot of the advertisers this year will be indigenous startups who have made it big in the recent past and established themselves as brands to reckon with that are more in tune with the demands of the contemporary world.

 

They would be able to more than makeup for those legacy brands who might no longer have the wherewithal to be a part of the IPL extravaganza this year. Sponsors and advertisers like Dream11, Unacademy and Cred, who are part of this brave new world of tech entrepreneurs are the front-runners in this year’s IPL giving everyone a foretaste of things to come.

 

That is not to say that the legacy players are going to miss the bus, in so far as capitalizing on the advertising and marketing opportunity presented by IPL 2020 is concerned. Telecom major Vodafone Idea who re-branded themselves as VI recently, thought that the IPL was the best platform to announce the fact to the world. 

 

They did this by becoming the co-presenting sponsor of IPL 2020. Clearly, the fun is just beginning. Let’s hope that by the time this edition of the IPL ends on November 9th the mojo will be back in the Indian consumer markets. 

 

Are Electric Cars Really Good For The Environment?

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Electric cars are the favor of the times and are often touted as the definitive solution to curbing pollution in the towns and cities of the world. But are electric cars really as gentle on the environment as they are made out to be?

 After all, as many would tell you, the electricity used to charge electric car batteries may not have come from a clean source at all!

 

As is usually the case, there is merit in both the arguments in favor of electric cars and those against them.

Let’s take a look at both the sides-

 

 

The Battery is the Problem!

 

 

 Surprisingly, it’s the battery, which is really the heart of an electric automobile that is a source of environmental pollution. That is on account of the fact that there are a number of rare earth metals that make up a car battery whose extraction as well as handling can lead to carbon emissions.

 

 

 However, there is evidence that by using the right kind of technology, one can cause considerably less environmental pollution in the manufacturing of electric automobile batteries. American and European manufacturing techniques, for instance, are known to cause as much as 60% less environmental pollution than Chinese ones.

 

 In any case the pollution caused by the manufacturing of car batteries is the same or at worst just a little higher than that caused in the manufacturing of petrol or diesel engines for automobiles.
It’s the Lifetime Difference in Emissions that Makes the Difference .

When it comes to emission during the lifetime of an automobile, an electrically powered one with its zero tail emissions is a clear winner over one that uses an internal combustion engine. That does seem to tip the scales in favor of electric cars, but there are other factors to consider before one arrives at a definitive answer about whether replacing fossil fuel-powered cars with electric ones will prove to be better for the environment or not.

 

 

Judging by the way that governments around the world are actively promoting electric cars at the expense of the conventional internal combustion engine-based ones, it does seem that there is some kind of consensus about the former’s environment-friendly credentials.  In fact, the International Energy Agency reckons that there will be more than 300 million electric vehicles worldwide at the end of 2040. 

 

 

 At the same time, it has to be understood that the electricity used to charge the batteries of these large numbers of electric vehicles will have to be generated with the help of clean non-fossil fuel for there to be any real environmental gains. All the same, it is important to note that the process of creating electric cars is quite polluting in itself and needs to be improved as we go along.

 

 

 It is expected that increasingly efficient technologies will make it possible to substantially reduce the pollution caused by the manufacturing of electric car batteries. Advances in technology that enable efficient reusing and recycling of batteries will also contribute towards reducing the overall pollution caused by the manufacturing of car batteries.

 

 

 All things being considered, even after taking into account the negative environmental fallout of generating the electricity required to power electric cars, they create considerably less carbon emission than petrol or diesel-run cars do. According to research carried out by the European Energy Agency , this difference in the level of carbon emission is as high as 17 to 30%.

 

 

To the question, whether electric cars are really good for the environment, the answer is a qualified yes. With the expected advances in technology leading to more and more reduction in their carbon footprint of electric cars, the chorus of support in their mass adoption is only expected to grow.

 

Time for Delhi Vehicles to Go Fully Electric?

 

Delhi with more cars than Mumbai, Chennai and Kolkata put together naturally grapples with immense pollution and its consequent ill effects. It had almost 11 million vehicles on its roads two years back in 2018. Mumbai, in comparison came in a distinct second at nearly three and a half million vehicles in the beginning of 2019.

If there is any city in India, indeed the world, where a case can be made out for an en masse migration to electric vehicles, it’s Delhi.

A study by IIT, Kanpur found that vehicular pollution contributes as much as between 20 to 25% of the PM10  and PM2.5 particulate matter found in Delhi’s air. It therefore makes eminent sense for a concerted and immediate move to zero emission electric vehicles to help make the air that the people in the National Capital Territory of Delhi (NCT) breathe actually breathable.

 

That Delhi’s vehicular traffic is a conglomeration of buses, cars, two-wheelers and three wheelers (including human powered rickshaws), means that the authorities have their task cut-out for them.

 

Electric Scooter-Bjorsa / CC BY-SA (https://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-sa/3.0)

 

The first thing that strikes one is that cars, though an important components of Delhi’s vehicular traffic lag behind two-wheelers in terms of sheer numbers. Of the 10.9 million vehicles on Delhi’s roads 7,078,428  were two-wheelers in comparison to 3,246,637 four-wheelers(cars and jeeps) . In addition there were 1,13,074 three wheel auto-rickshaws plying on Delhi’s roads.

Therefore, any talk of making Delhi vehicles go fully electric has to factor in two wheel and three wheel vehicles comprising as much as 65 % of the traffic in the NCT of Delhi.

So, it follows that a major part of the electrification of vehicular traffic in Delhi would have to focus on electric two wheelers and the already ubiquitous three wheel electric rickshaws.

Not surprising in a country where car ownership stands at a modest 20 cars per thousand people. To put this in perspective, the corresponding figure for the United States is 800 cars per thousand people.

 

Electric Car-Photo by Andrew Roberts on Unsplash

 

One would not be wrong is assuming that this is an idea whose time has come, in light of the growing popularity of e rickshaws as a “last mile connectivity” option.In fact, there are already  an impressive 1.5 million e rickshaws on India’s streets.

Considering that the largest number of petrol powered vehicles in the Delhi region are two-wheelers, the newly announced  EV (Electric Vehicles) policy of the Delhi government is looking at incentivising the adoption of electric two-wheelers by the vast number of people who use these petrol driven vehicles to get around the city.

The idea is to wean off as many as 50% of such people from using their conventional two wheel vehicles and make them opt for electric ones by March 2023.  A generous purchase incentive of  Rs.30,000 ($403)for changing over to electric two-wheelers is expected to provide the much needed fillip to the drive.

The purchase of electric cars too has been incentivised by way of a Rs.5000 ($67) per k/Wh  or Rs.150,000 ($2,020)on the purchase of a four wheeler.  Besides, the road tax and registration fee waiver extended to all electric vehicles, too makes choosing electric mobility over conventionally powered vehicles very attractive.

All in all the Delhi government is looking at registering an ambitious 500,000 electric vehicles in the coming five years.

 

 Charging an Electric Car/Video by Gustavo Fring from Pexels

 

 

How far Delhi is able to successfully implement the ambitious, but well-intentioned EV policy will in many ways decide the fate of the electrification of vehicular traffic in the rest of the way. Delhi had shown the way in the past with the launch and astounding success of the Delhi Metro rail network, under seemingly impossible conditions.

This led to a veritable revolution across the Indian urban landscape, what with the Delhi Metro model being replicated across most of  the major cities and towns in the country.

If Delhi could go fully electric with regard to its vehicular traffic in the next ten years, it would be a trail blazer amongst the megapolises of the world, with a cascading impact on cleansing the major population centers of the world of a major source of air pollution.

 

This would set in motion a virtuous cycle comprising of a healthy workforce contributing more to the world economy, which in turn further improves their lifestyle. Besides, the industries supporting the new clean energy based transportation system would have created a whole new ecosystem of growth and prosperity minus much of the ill- effects associated with the old fossil fuel based one.

Of course, a lot would depend upon how clean the source of the electric power consumed by the largely electric transportation system  would itself be, but that is the subject of another article.

 

The Past of Our Cars and Why Electric Cars Are The Way Forward

 

The unchecked use of fossil fuels has brought the world to its knees. Make no mistake about it. The world is facing an existential crisis that doesn’t brook any delay in its solving. The cars we drive have unfortunately become a symbol of all that is wrong with the way we have been interacting with our environment for more than a century. When the automotive industry was in its infancy there were all kinds of technologies being relied upon to power the vehicles being manufactured- steam-based, petroleum fuel based and electric. That all automobiles came to run on petroleum by-products was the outcome of a lot of reasons.

Steam had in fact been a reliable energy source for some form of self-propelled vehicles since the late 1700s. Steam run cars made an appearance by the 1870s. But the unduly long start-up time, sometimes as long as 45 minutes, and the need to refill them with water at short intervals made them more than a little impractical to use. Post improvements in the internal combustion engine, gasoline or petrol-powered cars made their first appearance. These weren’t without their share of problems either, what with one having to crank start them and change gears in order to drive them.

Electric cars of the time were quite easy to drive and didn’t reek of the smell of the pollutants emitted by a gasoline car. So to start with, it were the electric cars that were quite the rage. In fact Ferdinand Porsche, the founder of the legendary Porsche car company came out with an electric car as early as 1898. He also went ahead and rolled out a hybrid car that ran on both electric power and gasoline. Even Henry Ford had at one point thought of partnering with the famous inventor Thomas Edison to manufacture an electric car.

Ironically, it was Henry Ford, who sounded the death knell of the hitherto very popular electric car with the introduction of his mass-produced and highly affordable Model T in 1908. The incorporation of the electric starter invented by Charles Kettering, made crank starting unnecessary, thereby giving a boost to the sales of gasoline-powered cars. Moreover, the discovery of plentiful cheap Texas crude oil and the proliferation of gas stations throughout America made gasoline-powered cars the norm. By the mid-1930s there were hardly any electric cars visible on American roads.

The domination of the internal combustion engine has continued right into the second decade of the 21st century. The overwhelming majority of cars running on the roads around the world continue to use that tried and tested automotive technology. Electric cars, however,  made a reappearance in the 1970’s during the 1970’s OPEC oil embargo. The perceived shortage of the hitherto abundantly available oil made people look to electric cars to bail them out.

Though technology had improved substantially since electric cars had first been introduced in the 1800’s, the old problems of limited speed and range meant that the revival was short-lived. Electric cars saw a true revival in the beginning of the 21st century when environmental concerns over the polluting nature of internal combustion engines sparked an interest in alternative technologies to power cars, of which electric power seemed to be the most viable.

Cars like Chevy Bolt, Nissan Leaf and Tesla Roadster redefined what the electric car could do. The last one was the first of the three to come out in 2008 while the other two were launched in 2010 causing nothing short of a mass-produced electric vehicles revolution.  That Bolt and Chevy were mainstream cars from legendary automakers added to their allure. With decent power, driving range and spaciousness, these cars were able to change people’s views about electric vehicles.

Tesla Inc the Elon Musk funded electric car company turned in an electrifying(pun intended!) performance managing to go 394 kilometers on a single charge. With its ability to match a sports car kind of acceleration ( 0 to 96 kilometers an hour in less than 4 seconds) and a top speed of 200 kilometers per hour, electric cars were finally serious competition to conventional gasoline-powered cars.

 

Why the Internal Combustion Engine Needs to Go

While the internal combustion engine shows no signs of going away, there are growing reasons reasons why it needs to be jettisoned for good. The age of the internal combustion engine,  glorious while it lasted needs to end. It is not just due to the fact that internal combustion engines use fossil fuels contributing to the devastating phenomenon of global warming and climate change leading to dire environmental and economic consequences for the planet. There are other very compelling reasons in the eyes of the consumers that will cause a groundswell of change in favor of electric cars in the near future.

The fact that oil is finite and will run out one day is not something that is likely to have an impact on an average person’s decision to buy a gasoline/petrol-powered car. As long as he or she knows that there will be enough supply available in the near future, they are not going to worry about what’s going to happen years later.  What will make them cross over is the fact that electric cars finally seem to make more sense than the gasoline-driven ones both from the city driving and long-distance driving perspective.

What do Electric Cars Offer

 

Both from an every day driving perspective and a road trip one,  a modern electric car offers a host of benefits over a conventional internal combustion-powered one.  Let’s look at what these might be-

– Electric cars, also known as plug-in electric vehicles, offer substantially lower fuel costs than conventional gasoline or petrol ones. This happens on account of two factors- electricity costs less than gasoline does and the fact that electric cars are more efficient than those that have an internal combustion engine.

-The long-term economics of owning and driving an electric vehicle, undoubtedly, work out way better than an internal combustion one.

-With an electric car you don’t need to queue up at the gas station/petrol pump as you can plug in at home, work or wherever opportunity presents itself. Why you could even install solar panels to generate the electricity required to charge your vehicle!

– Electric cars are quieter both inside and outside making for a much smoother rider. Imagine a world where there is no traffic. Just the sound of nature to serenade you while you drive!

-Electric cars provide better performance than conventional cars on account of the high torque and acceleration they generate. It is no surprise really that Formula E racing is fast catching up with motorsport aficionados.

– Advancements in battery technology like electric regenerative braking systems have meant that the driving range of electric cars is quite comfortable and no longer a reason for not choosing one to own.

– An electric car has practically negligible maintenance headaches as it has fewer movable parts. There is no need to get these cars regularly serviced or their oil changed like in the case of gasoline-powered cars.  You may have to get the brakes serviced, but not as frequently, as on conventional gasoline-powered vehicles. You do need to change the battery eventually, but with car manufacturers providing an 8 year or 160,000 kilometer warranty, that is not something that would unduly worry anyone.

Besides, with battery costs expected to fall further in the coming time thanks to government subsidies, one can expect more variation in the prices of electric cars in the future. One can expect several types of models being sold at different price points to suit every budget.

-Electric cars need to undergo safety tests of the same stringent standards as conventional cars and are therefore as safe as they come.

– The fact that electric cars are zero-emission vehicles makes them ideal for city driving what with many large cities of the world adopting measures like zero-emissions zones and congestion tax.

The expected crackdown on conventional vehicles is expected to get increasingly stringent in the times ahead and it might make eminent sense to switch to an electric car already.

 
 
 

 

Some Effective Tips on How to Reopen Economy Post Lockdown

 

An Open Business Establishment

COVID-19 has changed the world as we knew it. Every stratum of our society has been hit hard by its ferocity. A looming health emergency on the one hand and a shuttered economy on the other make it a two-pronged attack upon us. Re-opening of a stalled economy is not exactly a walk in the park. It’s tough! But the economy has to be revved up to re-generate it. Let’s dive right in and see for ourselves what the different ways and possibilities of reviving our economy are.

Since the lockdown is being lifted in phases, we can see some industries gearing up to re-open. The government on its part is offering a massive stimulus by way of loans and packages. But, the more they do the less it seems. Such is the magnitude of the disaster caused by the pandemic.

Given the enormity of the health crisis and the extreme measures taken by the government to contain it, we cannot expect the economy to come back to its original shape anytime soon.

Come out of the situation we have to, but first, we have to make a beginning of sorts.

Let’s look at a few steps for the re-opening of the economy-

  • Killing the Confusion

The cloud of gloom hovering on the business horizon can clutter our minds with despair.

We scramble for solutions, options and alternatives and with no rule book to follow that is easier said than done.

So, what do we do?

Become your own teacher. Contemplate. Yes!

Take advantage of this quiet time to re-assess your life. This way you can prioritize things concerning the changed scenario. Chalk out a plan.

  • Planning

With high costs, dwindling demand and the challenges of maintaining hygiene and social distancing to deal with, companies will need to re-model their businesses to keep them alive.

This requires planning and you would do well to keep a few things in mind-

  1. Hygiene and Social Distancing
  2. WFH and Digitization
  3. Diversifying and Cost Cutting
  1. Hygiene and Social Distancing

 

 

With the opening of establishments/offices, the highest level of hygiene protocols has to be maintained.

The same goes for social distancing which is to be practiced in totality. Offices can call to work those employees who are required for the functioning of the office. Social distancing can also be practiced by calling people to work in shifts if it is a viable option.

A lot of emphasis needs to be laid on hygiene and social distancing. An occurrence of a single infection can lead to your office being shuttered. That too for weeks, possibly! So, take care of these two things and make them your top priority.

If these two things are taken care of, you can move forward with the operations part of your business.

  1. WFH and Digitization
  • WFH

Work from home (WFH) is becoming increasingly popular because it’s your savior in these uncertain times. It delivers!

Frankly, what better option do we have in these times of lockdown and social distancing? WFH is just what the doctor ordered for coronavirus situation and the pun is intended!

On the one hand, the employees don’t have to worry about the commute and the traffic issues and on the other, the employers don’t have to be concerned about sanitizing the workplace and put in place the necessary hygiene protocols. Talking of social distancing, WFH is social distancing at its best.

So, WFH becomes a cool option!

The companies with no WFH in place can seek help from professionals and find ways of enforcing it. It can help you revive your business in these times.

  • Digitization

The internet ecosystem is tested and proven, hands down!

Smart businesses have thrived in the digital world. People who had dismissed digitization as a fad are at a disadvantage now.

Having said that, there is no room for resistance to digitization in the times of everything remote. These uncertain times call for digitization in a big way.

Microsoft CEO Satya Nadella recently said that 2 years worth of digital transformation has taken place in 2 months.[1]

People are quickly pivoting to digitization.

Depending on the needs of your product/service one can visualize-

  1. i)Complete digitization of the supply chain
  2. ii)Adoption of cloud-based systems

iii)             Leveraging data, IoT, AI to develop new business models

As Digitization, WFH takes the center stage, Engagement has become the new buzzword.

Why?

With the increased use of video-conferencing (Zoom and Microsoft Teams), things are becoming easier and manageable. From morning huddles to meetings with bosses and clients, a new way of doing business has come into play. Since all this is happening online, interconnectivity amongst the different layers in an organization becomes a necessity. This gap requires some form of engagement.

                      Video Conferencing is Quite the Rage

Now that more and more people prefer to work from home, the need for engagement management is on the rise.

Companies are using social media as an engagement platform more than ever before.

With digitization and WFH, we can expect some changes in the way companies conduct themselves.

All these changes shall lead to a crisper, more efficient and secure workflow.

Two Circles, a London-based sports marketing agency has estimated that the sports industry may lose the US $61.6 billion of revenue this year[2].

These are mind-boggling figures!

The Sports industry is already experimenting with holding big-ticket events remotely.

It can work like this- the broadcasters can work from their homes, while the sporting event takes place outdoors. There shall be no live spectators watching the proceedings. They can instead enjoy the game in the comfort of their home.

All this is quite challenging! I hope they pull it off!

Digitization is already a thing! It’s our future so invest in it.

  1. Diversifying and Cost Cutting
  • Diversifying

E-tailers, healthcare and life-science professionals are working overtime. The demand for their products and services has seen a major upsurge in recent times. These sectors are contributing enormously towards the economy.

What about other sectors?

While some sectors have partially opened others will require more time to start again. For instance, travel & tourism, entertainment and other such sectors shall have to wait for some semblance of normalcy to return, before they can pitch for business again.

This waiting for normal times can take a toll on us for sure!

One of the solutions could be innovation and diversifying.

Since the re-opening of the economy is in the interest of everybody, people can surely find ways of staying productive.

You must think out of the box to keep your business afloat. Innovation in these times can be your savior!

Smart entrepreneurs have already diversified into products and services which are witnessing huge demand. For example, companies who have no track record of manufacturing masks, sanitizers, PPE’s, face shields, ventilators are eying their share in the new market.

Some brick and mortar establishments can start taking orders online by investing in an app.

People are coming up with unique business ideas to contribute positively to people’s needs.

Since the demand for WFH and virtualization is an all-time high, some people are busy catering to that. They are for example providing background screens for video-conferencing calls and meetings and renting out laptops and furniture.

The demand for such products can only grow in these times!

One can take a cue from these smart business ideas and start something of their own.

Investing time and resources in some niches promising high growth can be a gamechanger for you! Look around and see what the consumers of today are looking for.

Our economy needs innovators and thinkers.

  • Cost-Cutting

                                                             

A by-product of digitization can be cost-cutting.

How?

With more and more meetings happening online, there will be less business travel happening.

With uncertainty around us, business houses shall certainly be cutting corners in whatever way they can. This is no time for frills and superfluous spending. These are the times of maintaining caution and restraint.

If all these measures are taken up, they can surely help in giving our economy the required boost.

Wrapping Up

Different economic sectors have their own stories of fear and insecurity. With the supply chains having gone for a complete toss and layoffs and furloughs coming in force, there is a kind of hush descended on them.

Then there are some industries whose survival depends on normalcy. Take for example the entertainment, travel and tourism and construction sectors. These are all waiting for some good news to help them pick up where they left off.

They will surely start whenever the time is right but they will have to maintain those strict protocols.

There is no escaping the fact that a new-normal has set in, in our lives and we will have to live with that.

People want oodles and oodles of positive signs and assurances to gear up and participate in the re-opening of the economy.

All these fears and scares have to vanish!

Till then we can contribute to the economy by opening some sectors with caution.

Tenacity and resilience will make us stand tall amidst these chaotic times.

In short, there are no quick fixes in the offing, no ready answers for every sector. The crisis has impacted all of us differently.

It is a process which shall require all of us to contribute in whatever way one can by

  • Staying Safe
  • Opening some sectors
  • Adopting Digital Solutions and WFH
  • Innovation and Diversifying

Stay healthy! Stay productive!

[1] https://www.livemint.com/companies/news/satya-nadella-we-saw-2-years-of-digital-transformation-in-2-months-11588219678520.html

[2] https://indianexpress.com/article/technology/tech-news-technology/remote-production-the-new-normal-for-post-covid-19-sports-events-6407438/