COVID-19 has disrupted numerous businesses throughout India and this was affirmed by the Facebook Future of Business study in association with the World Bank and OECD, indicating how many women-owned businesses reported closures due to the pandemic. The study threw up fascinating insights like how women are shouldering a higher burden domestically while facing challenges with regard to accessing finance. Almost 1/3rd of all small businesses predict challenging cash flows in the next few months as well. Women business leaders also indicated more business model flexibility as a response to the pandemic and were likely to make 50% and higher sales via digital platforms. Facebook bolstered its initiatives for business skilling throughout this duration.
Director of Small and Medium Businesses at Facebook India, Archana Vohra, talked about how the Managed Partners Program enabled mid-tier entities to grow faster with account management assistance from third-party partners. This was available without any costs for users while 16X more businesses are enabled from March, 2020, onwards. She stated how Advertiser Bootcamp is offering business learning support via custom English and Hindi content and masterclasses. It has already covered 15 million users while the VC Brand Incubator program works with VC funds for growing younger brands. It has completed two years and has tied up with 9 VC funds in this time while helping 200+ early funded entities grow faster.
She also highlighted how women created sizably more fundraisers, made more donations and built bigger communities as compared to men in 2020. 64% of overall fund-raising came from women according to her. Women also kept starting their businesses with 20% of profiles on Instagram Business containing the terms female/women owned. Success stories include Wingreens Farm Founder, Anju Srivastava and Studio Shreshtha Founder Vasavi Polimera. They used social media to boost sales, showcase new launches and existing offerings while also building closely-knit communities.
The Co-Founder and COO of India’s foremost real estate platform, Square Yards, Kanika Gupta Shori, stated that the company first utilized all its capabilities towards coming up with a cutting-edge online integrated platform. This enabled all buyers to view and search for projects, book units and even pay online from anywhere. Within just a few days of the nationwide lockdown according to Shori, Square Yards brought out this new business model and digital platform, making sure that the results for the April-June 2020 quarter were one of its best till date! It actually captured a whopping 20% of market share in this period as well.
Square Yards is a technology-enabled, global real estate aggregator and India’s largest player for primary residential real estate. It’s subsidiary Square Capital is one of the largest marketplace for secured mortgages in India. Square Yards platform offers an integrated consumer experience & covers the full real-estate journey from search, discovery to research, transactions, home loans and post-sales service – fully integrating buyers to an extensive network of 500+ partner real estate developers, and 90+ banks & NBFCs. Square Yards is led by accomplished professionals, ex-bankers, and Ivy school alumni and is backed by the competence of more than 2500 employees in 30 cities and ten countries.