Technology is supposed to make life easier. Food, shopping, travelling and finance can be completed with just a click or with a swipe. Technology progressed rapidly in a very short span in ways that did not seem possible till just a while ago. The last couple of years have seen a drastic rise in technology based startups. These startups have helped mankind in every way possible. Or so it seems. Taxi aggregators such as Ola and Uber came as a relief to all those hassled travellers for whom private transport was not an option and who could not get to their destinations using public transport.
Ola and Uber came at a time when public transport was at its worst. Women were gropped, men were robbed and drivers were harsh. Public transport was out of the question, especially after the 2012 Nirbhaya case. Keeping this in mind, these taxi aggregators helped give riders a veil of safety in these dark circumstances. However, the little respite riders got seemed to disappear almost over night. While there are some good drivers with both Ola and Uber, there are a few bad apples in the basket.
“Pepper spray is a must have for me when I use either Ola or Uber for my travels,” says disgruntled user, Nishita. Safety is not just one of the things riders have a problem with these cab aggregators. Rain is a beautiful thing, but when Ola and Uber use it to boost cab prices, then this very rain is far from beautiful. Ride prices surge, drivers turn ugly and the whole situation turns into a B rated movie of sorts.
When Ola was first launched in India, it had two very strong incentives – the first ride free for new users and first ride free for referrals. This gave Ola a very loyal user base from the minute the app launched. Cut to a few months later, Uber tried it’s hand in the Indian marketplace and currently counts India as it’s second largest market. However, the honeymoon phase is over and reality reared its ugly head. What seemed to be a win win situation, in the beginning, has is now become an ugly menace. Several customers have faced multiple issues when trying to commute using such applications.
The cab aggregators while promising a smooth service, cannot be bothered with when it comes to customer care. The result is usually unhappy customers stranded, extorted and disgusted. “I have given up trying to get in touch with Ola’s Customer Care. They always have an automated answer and at the end of the matter, there is never a solution to the matter,” says Anita, a resident of Hyderabad.
Ola and Uber gave travellers everywhere the hope of comfort and travelling without hassles. The world, seen through tinted rose glasses, seems like a beautiful place. However, what happens when these glasses are taken off? Ola and Uber have become a bane rather than a boon and people are tired of being appeased by the nonsense these cab aggregators give in terms of an excuse for their crap service!
An informal survey revealed the obvious. From drivers cancelling rides half way through the ride to creepy advances on the riders, nothing seems to be going in Ola’s or Uber’s favour. It is not just the drivers that have gotten a bad name. Back end service does not work right, the arrival time is always sketchy and drivers are rude, arrogant and abusive. Buck up Ola and Uber, it is time to get your act together and give us the service you promised! We are not the unsophisticated cave dwellers you clearly seem to think we are. Own up. Take responsibility. Drive our lives back into the happy world it used to be in the beginning, because honestly if you keep this up, we will not be the loyal customers we have been so far.
Discover Kheyti, The Startup Changing The Lives of Farmers In India
Farming has been an integral part of India’s history and culture for ages. It’s been the foundation of the Indian economy, supporting millions of people with food and jobs. Crops and agriculture hold immense importance in Indian society, not just in terms of money, but also in terms of culture, community, and spirituality.
Farming is a way of life for many people in India, but it can be a difficult and unpredictable business and farmers face a number of challenges, from erratic weather patterns to low market prices for their crops. Kheyti is a social enterprise founded in 2015 by Saumya, Kaushik Kappagantula, and Sathya Raghu. The organisation provides sustainable solutions to small farmers in India, helping them overcome challenges and improve their lives.
Kheyti’s flagship product is the “Greenhouse-in-a-Box,” a low-cost modular greenhouse that allows farmers to grow high-value crops year-round, even in unfavourable weather conditions. operates on a subscription-based model, where farmers can purchase a “Greenhouse-in-a-Box” kit or sign up for crop advisory services on a monthly or annual basis. Kheyti.com also earns revenue by connecting farmers with markets and buyers, taking a small commission on sales. They work to keep the costs low by partnering with local manufacturers to produce their products and leveraging tech to provide personalised crop advisory services at scale.
They also provide crop advisory services to farmers, offering personalised advice on crop selection, planting, and management. In total, The company has helped over 6,000 small farmers increase their incomes by an average of 300%. You call them small farmers, Kheyti calls them Smart farmers!
While there are other companies in India that offer similar solutions to small farmers, Kheyti stands out for its focus on sustainability, innovation, and community involvement. It works closely with farmers to develop tailored solutions that meet their needs while focusing on sustainable farming practices. Through its efforts, Kheyti has improved soil health, reduced water usage, and increased yields of various crops.
Looking ahead, Kheyti plans to expand its reach to more farmers in India and beyond and aims to continue developing new products and services that can help small farmers overcome the challenges they face. With its commitment to sustainability and innovation, The visionaries at Kheyti claim it has the potential to transform the agricultural sector and contribute to a more equitable future for all.
Imagine the joy and hope Kheyti brings to struggling farmers in India. With Kheyti’s help, over 6,000 small farmers have transformed their lives, becoming Smart farmers who handle challenges and succeed. With sustainable solutions, Kheyti is not only revolutionising agriculture but also spreading hope for a brighter future.
Leher Versus Clubhouse: Which Audio Listening Startup Would You Choose?
Clubhouse is a new type of social networking platform which is an audio only platform. This means every conversation takes place through audio where users speak to let their thoughts known. Users can create and host rooms where speakers will talk about a particular topic. Originating in the Silicon Valley, Clubhouse attracted some major names onto its platform like Elon Musk, Evan Williams, Reddit co founder Alexis Ohanian, former Y Combinator President Sam Altman, AngelList co founder Naval Ravikant, Ashton Kuthcer, Oprah Winfrey, Drake, Kevin Hart and many others are some of the influential personalities who are on Clubhouse. There is however a catch as Clubhouse is currently limited to iOS.
Leher is an Indian made alternative to Clubhouse and is a similar audio sharing and listening startup. Leher also has video support unlike Clubhouse and is also available for both Android and iOS. However, Leher does not have the biggest names in the world on its platform but it does have significant micro influencers and is growing at a rapid pace. Within 180 days of its beta version launch, the company claimed to have its users spend about 44 minutes every day and 250,000 minutes per month for live video sessions.
We at Startup Stories are curious to see which among Leher or Clubhouse would our readers choose to take part in a virtual discussion. Please let us know your answer in the poll below.
Why Are Ads On Digital Media Failing To Reach The Right Audience?
If you are a regular user of social media platforms and also a fan of consuming content on the digital medium, then there is a very high likelihood that you have seen ads on pages you are reading or watching something. There would be times when you have been targeted by an ad which feels like it was wrongly targeted at you. Imagine if you are a vegetarian by choice and while browsing online, if you are targeted by a food delivery app which shows ads about chicken dishes. The ad would only serve to spoil the mood of the online user instead of serving its actual purpose which is to push the user to buy a chicken dish.
These wrongly targeted ads might be the side effects of performance marketing or a weak brand marketing. Performance marketing means advertising programs where advertisers pay only when a specific action occurs. These actions can include a generated lead, a sale, a click, and more. Inshort, performance marketing is used to create highly targeted ads for a very specific target audience at a low cost. Performance marketing usually means high volume for a very specific cost.
Brand marketers on the other hand believe in narrowly defining target audiences but end up spending a lot of money on ad placements. Gautam Mehra, CEO, Dentsu Programmatic India & CDO, Dentsu International Asia Pacific said, “You’ve defined a persona, you know the emotions you want to elicit, but then you buy a YouTube masthead and CricInfo sponsorships because IPL is up. If brand advertisers look at audience-based buys more deeply than just placements, you will see more relevant ads (sic.)”
Performance marketing is more of a sales function rather than a marketing function and is about meeting the cost of acquisition. This is a reason why budgets are usually high for performance marketing. Mehra goes on to add, “the fact is that an engineer can out-beat FMCGs on performance marketing. Advertisers who have cracked this are spending 10x and are on an ‘always on’ mode (unlike time-bound brand campaigns.)”
There is always the case of supply and demand, with the supply usually exceeding the demand on digital platforms. Ultimately, it boils down to the choice between no ad versus low relevance ad and it is quite easy to guess that having a low relevance ad is better.
Arvind R. P., Director – Marketing and Communications at McDonald’s India (West and South,) said “McDonalds’ for instance, has seen its share of spends on digital grow from 20% levels a couple of years back to over 40% at present. Outcomes of this journey have been encouraging, proven by our media-mix-modelling and other key metrics. We have seen best results from an optimal mix of Television plus digital (sic.)” Moreover, Arvind also believes performance marketing only approach could turn out to be more suited to short term, versus a more consistent full funnel effort. The latter ensures adequate emphasis on building consideration, as well as growing transactions. Arvind feels digital is a complex medium which needs investment in the right talent who could use the right tools. Brands which underestimate the need for the investment are often disappointed from the return on investment from the digital medium.
With the constantly changing consumer dynamics marketers are now shifting to unscripted marketing which frankly needs more insights into the consumer mindset. The lack of marketers to do the proper research is why digital medium is plagued with irrelevant ads.
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