Path to sustainability: marketing in Indian startups
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Around ninety percent of Indian startups fail within the first five years, according to a Moneycontrol report (Moneycontrol news, 2018). In this age of high fund inflow and rapid scale up decisions, the strategies along the journey of Indian startups are influenced not only by profitability but also other factors like revenue generation priorities, founders’ knowledge and venture capital firm preferences. The startup ‘housing.com’ forecasted a marketing spend of 5-7 million dollars during a single financial year, through television ads and physical banners (Sarmistha, 2016). The consequences of this decision have been mixed as later observed. Flipkart and Amazon are focusing on rapid revenue generation and scaling up in India, burning huge amounts of money on marketing and penetration. However, they are yet to achieve breakeven. On the other hand, a B2B startup Udaan achieved the unicorn status without any significant investment in digital marketing. Rather, it focused on physical hard selling to onboard customers on to its platform till now. Each of these decisions affect the long-term sustainability of a startup. Hence, it is imperative to conduct a meticulous analysis of the strategies and decisions taken by different entrepreneurial firms, in response to the present environment.
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