Feb Roundup - Ashoka University, Seaweed Farming & More!

5 minutes to get you caught up.

February is over and I’ve already given up on all my 2021 resolutions.

We had a busy February at The Indian Dream - we released 8 podcasts and 4 newsletters on topics ranging from Seaweed Farming to India’s First Liberal Arts University. These are the newsletters you may have missed:

  1. Union Budget 2021 - Unleashing The Indian Dream

  2. 📡 IoT - The Internet of Things

  3. No Code - Build an Online Business with Zero Coding Knowledge

  4. 👨🏽‍🌾 High Tech / New Age Farming

We’re still looking for a CEO/Business head position for an Industrial IoT startup so hit us up if you’re interested or know someone who is. If you like what you read - don’t hesitate to share the love!

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Podcasts

Union Budget Special

One of the topics that’s propped up time and again on our podcast is Market Research - especially for building profitable, bootstrapped businesses.

Understanding the budget is a market research exercise.

That's the lens we used to make sense of the Union Budget. We host Sarthak Ahuja (ISB Alumni, CA, CS and more!) on the Podcast to make sense of the budget.

This by no means is a complete in-depth review of the Budget, but the intent is to show that there is merit in trying to go deeper and understanding the budget to spot upcoming opportunities in sectors that might be relevant to you. We've covered the ones that have the most impact and some extremely unique ones too.

Goa's having a party and Tamil Nadu is becoming a Sushi State. Have I stopped making sense? Check out the podcast, you'll know what I'm talking about.  

Here’s the Budget Newsletter if you prefer reading.


Founder Journey

Building Ashoka University & Jamboree Education ft. Vineet Gupta

Vineet Gupta is the Managing Director at Jamboree Education and Founder & Trustee at Ashoka University, one of India's first University for the Liberal Arts. Vineet has had an interesting entrepreneurial journey - we spend the first half of the podcast going into detail about how he started his career and the second half focused on the passion for improving India's education which eventually led him to founding Ashoka University. We actually go into the specifics with Vineet on how he founded a world class University such as recruiting professors and marketing a new University - a unique experience that very few people can say they've had.


Trends - IoT & New Age Farming

IoT - Opportunities in the Internet of Things with Kush Mishra from SenRa Tech

We dive deep into the trend of Internet of Things (IoT) which has seen a huge resurgence in the past few years. We have Kush Mishra with us – he’s the CTO and COO of an IoT company called SenRa.  We have an interesting discussion with Kush about the entire state of IoT in India right now, the opportunities that exist in this space  and the kind of skills that a young person can build right now to get ready for the IoT industry. 

IoT - Opportunities in the Smart Mobility Space ft. Sonia Bajaj

In this episode, we discuss the IoT Industry as it pertains to the automobile industry. Globally, we're now moving towards Smart Mobility with all automobiles connected to the Internet. We have Sonia Bajaj with us, AGM of Product Development for the IoT & Smart Mobility division of Vodafone Idea. We talk to her about the state of this market, and the opportunities that exist in this space. If I were to be honest, I wasn't aware that the Smart Mobility Industry was as advanced as it is in India, we were pleasantly surprised by the foundational work at the infra level that has been done over the last few years. This industry will present tons of interesting opportunities to build profitable businesses - at the hardware, software and even services level. Listen on to learn more.  

New Age Farming - Seaweed Farming ft. Abhiram Seth from AquAgri Processing

The Global Seaweed production market is $13 Billion and is expected to double in the next 5 years. Currently, China and Indonesia dominate 80% of this market & India is less than 1% of the global market. We aren't behind because we don't have the necessary resources to produce seaweed - we're behind because the necessary focus and resources haven't been allocated to this Industry. All that seems to be changing now. 

In order to go deeper into this industry, we hosted Mr. Abhiram Seth, Managing Director at AquAgri, India's largest producer of seaweed. In this episode, we talk about Mr. Seth's journey, the applications of seaweed, the value chain in this industry and the opportunities to build new bootstrapped businesses.  


Business Munchies

Modernising Direct Selling & Real Estate Agents, Opportunities in Branding, Zetwerk for Jewellery

  1. Modernising Direct Selling Agents (DSA's) for Banks: DSA's, who sell unsecured loans for banks, are a market of more than 1000 crores across India, get commissions of about 3-3.5% on the loan size but operate their entire business on paper without any digitisation. There is space for a newcomer to digitise the customer relationships (think policy bazaar but for B2B lending) and streamline the loan disbursement process to make it much simpler.

  2. Modernising Real Estate Agents: We were inspired by this tweet which said that "Real Estate Agent has to be, on average, the laziest group of professionals. I guess that's why the few that are highly-competent hustlers clean up." This is a huge market and it is ripe for disruption in the way it operates, right from CRM softwares for Real Estate Agents (all of them use whatsapp right now) to a new way to sell houses online.

  3. Branding: There is still a big demand supply gap between good branding/digital marketing agencies and what is actually needed in the market. We discuss the various branding related businesses that you can build including an automated product photography software which allows you to upload a green screen photo of your product and then automatically puts that product in more appealing settings and backgrounds. 

  4. Zetwerk for Jewellery: Inspired by a Tweet by Siddharth Ram which said, "Help jewellery designers to get their designs into wearable jewellery. Enable them to distribute It's a huge problem today for designers. They work for mere Rs 30K in a jewellery store shipping 40-50 designs a month which are worth lakhs of rupees"

No Code, Virtual Exhibitions, Lawyer/CA Directory, Building Niche Websites

  1. No Code: Inspired by our own newsletter about No Code - we discuss the opportunities that exist for entrepreneurs to build businesses using No Code tools like Webflow, Softr, Bubble & more. These include building ecommerce stores using Shopify, creating templates for Webflow, building affiliate websites to generate traffic, diverting your instagram followers to Tribe.so or Circle.so to create communities. Finally, tools like Zapier and other no code ERP software like Grid will help small manufacturing units digitise themselves. 

  2. Shopify Growth: Shopify grew 2x in 2020 - that means that the Total Addressable Market (TAM) for Shopify apps has also grown by 2x. There are still a lot of opportunities for people to build Micro SaaS apps in this field. 

  3. Virtual Exhibitions: Since the onset of the pandemic, Virtual Exhibitions have really taken off but we have never seen a good virtual exhibition platform. Opportunities in Virtual Exhibitions include niche virtual exhibition software (example: engineering exhibitions with CAD drawing capabilities)or creating phygital solutions that will allow a physical and digital mix once physical exhibitions reopen. 

  4. Lawyer/CA/Agencies Directory: We got a lot of emails that Lawyer & CA Directories are not possible because of specific laws prohibiting this.

  5. Building Niche Websites: We absolutely love niches on this show and this Tweet thread was a great example of that. John Speed built more than 100 websites for paint stores during the lockdown. He contacted more than 700 paint stores to get these 100 clients but he made significant revenues by focusing on a niche and really executing. 

Preschool/Day Care Industry, Invoice Discounting & Non-Alcoholic Beer

  1. Preschool/Day Care Industry: Urbanization is increasing, and nuclear families are on the rise. Combine this with the fact that more women are now part of the workforce, the need for Day care and pre-schools will be increasing at a 20%+ compounded growth rate in the next few years. This presents opportunities to build businesses in this Industry. We speak about the niche in this space of doing Corporate Day Care and also the opportunity in Tier 2 & Tier 3. 

  2. Creator Economy: We look at what's happening in this space and the two core problems that need to be solved as this industry matures. First, how do you ensure that the wealth created in this space is spread across many creators instead of just the top ones. Second, how can you improve distribution for new creators. 

  3. Invoice Discounting: We talk about TReDs and the government's intent to expand the scope of this platform to ensure all government agencies use the platform to enable their vendors to discount the invoices raised against these agencies. We also talk about the opportunity to identify niche industries in this space and develop a strong expertise in that segment. 

  4. Non-Alcoholic Beer: There is growing concerns over the health impact of Alcohol and the hangovers that older people have to deal with. We discuss if there are opportunities to create non-alcoholic beverages and if there's a space in creating products that help with hangovers. 


Thanks so much for taking the time to read and listen to our content. I hope that you find value in it, and if you do so, please don't hesitate to share it with others. Thanks!

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