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Wednesday, December 28, 2016



With many aspiring youngsters testing their fortune in entrepreneurship and startups, 2016 has been a major milestone year in this regard. Further, buoyed by various funding platforms like venture capitalists, angel investors and also the technological advancements, several first-generation entrepreneurs and new startups are taking the plunge. While going digitally will remain the mantra, technology-driven initiatives are likely to take the lead in 2017 as well as. Here’s the lowdown on few of the trends that would prove significant in the entrepreneurship and startup domain in the coming year.

Internet penetration as the game-changer

The startup scenario has been propelled by the rise in internet penetration due to major improvements in the telecom infrastructure. With 3G and 4G services making way into India along with declining data tariffs, spend on internet data is growing significantly. The government schemes such as National Optical Fibre Network (NOFN) can significantly increase internet penetration in the rural communities as well as provide means to entrepreneurs to tap the huge market potential there.

Smartphone users to up the ante

With more than 65 per cent of the population in the age group of 35 and a recordbreaking growth in smartphone adoption and data services across the country, there has been a rising demand for next-generation services with simplified solutions. Smartphones are outpacing feature phones and are expected to exhibit massive growth in the coming years. The widespread adoption of smartphones is being propelled by several factors such as ­ high com petition leading to low prices, prevalence of internetenabled services and ease of accessibility to content.

Evolution of new payment solutions

Cash-on-Delivery (CoD) remains a popular mode of payment for . Cash transactions result in high administration costs even for entrepreneurs and startups which reduces their margins. Hence, new digital payment solutions are evolving to address these challenges.

Making a difference: Artificial Intelligence-based interfaces and chatbots

Today, direct interactivi ty over the web or consumer engagement holds the key for any business domain to survive in the market. In this regard, Artificial Intelligence-based interfaces and chatbots would prove to be a gamechanger and help in getting a better grip on the understanding of a particular consumer's nature and preferences when it comes to buying or going for a service. A direct feedback from the consumer would be crucial for the survival of any business that would also help in netting higher sales revenue on the web domain.

Dec 23 2016 : The Economic Times (Mumbai)

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