Sunday 20 May 2012

Venture Lab 2012 - Final OAP Submitted.!!!

So finally my team met the timeline of Venture Lab Opportunity Analysis Project's final deadline of 19th May. I just checked the Venture Lab website and the deadline has been extended by 1 day i.e the new deadline is now 20th May. But, my team is relieved. We have submitted the final report of our Value Proposition Hypothesis Testing. It was a tough 15 days. My work at office was very demanding all these days and then face-to-face interviews with friends, asking friends to complete the survey, compiling the survey results, making final presentation, drafting final report and updating Venture Lab Blog for our team's activities, was at times too tough to handle. Somehow everything is now updated. In all this we had to change our business model based on relevant feedback from our prospective customers and partners. Here is our updated Business Model.

Business Model after Value Proposition Hypothesis Testing

The following is what we submitted as our Final OAP Project Report:-

The team started the OAP project by brainstorming for various ideas. We shortlisted a total for 3 ideas for final consideration based on preliminary idea analysis sessions. The team used to e-meet through Google Hangout. The idea generators were given the task to make a business model of their idea. The team then discussed the various aspects of the business model for each idea. Finally it was decided that my idea of "An online portal for buying and selling old used books" shall be taken for OAP.
Idea Hypothesis: In India, there are many people out there who are fond of reading books. However, not many of them are regular in reading books because the new books are costly. People are comfortable with reading old books (the ones already read by someone else). Our idea revolves around providing all such people who would like to read their favorite titles in 2nd hand or 'old used books', an online portal where they can order books. This is because, presently, people have limited option with some very rare old book stores within a city where they live. Our platform will also provide an opportunity to people who normally buy new books but would like to sell them after they have read them.
Experiments: To validate our idea with prospective customers, the team members went out talking to people around us. Pranay being a university undergrad student got to talk to a lot of students and they were very excited about this idea as academic books are costly and it would be great if they could buy old used book. They were also excited because old books came with useful notes in them. I, Vishal and Abhay talked to our colleagues and they gave mixed responses for Non-academic used books. Some people were fond of reading new books only while the others seemed excited at the option to have their favorite Titles at much cheaper prices in old used books.
To further test our hypothesis, we conducted this online survey (powered by GoogleDocs). The objective was to quantify the usefulness of the value that we are offering to the customers.
Further, to estimate the market size and growth rate of this industry, we did market research by going through the Government reports, Business Magazines and Market Surveys.
Experiment Results: For the survey, we got a total of 61 responses as on date. 77% of the respondents would like to read old used books. 69% of the respondents would like to buy old used books through an online portal. 65% of the respondents would like to sell the books that they have previously read. So, 53% of the customers who BUY Books Online would like to read ‘Used Books’ and Buy them through an Online Portal. 67 % of consumers who would like to read ‘used books’ will also like to buy them through an online portal. The detailed survey report is uploaded on Slideshare.
Second Hand Books constitute a major portion of the book retail market. The size of the Indian book retail industry is pegged at Rs. 3000 crore of which organized book retail constitutes only 7 %. The industry is expected to grow by approximately 15 % a year. Almost 50% of the orders come from the top eight cities and the remaining come from B & C class towns.
Important Advice from Customers: Since the idea is to sell used old books, some customers might be apprehensive about the quality of books. It would be better if the website shows 3-4 snapshots of the real book from all sides (and not only the thumbnail image of the Title as given by publisher). This will lead to improved user experience. The same has been added in our key activities in the business model.
Conclusion: Proposed ‘Value Proposition’ in our Business Model is correct and hence, there is no Change of Hypothesis. Customers are willing to take the solution that we planned to solve through our idea.
The industry is very big and unexplored. The expected growth rates are handsome and hence this is a good business opportunity. The potential of growth is also expected to increase with the increasing penetration of Internet in India. The team has thus decided to pursue this idea in OEP as well.
Here is our Final OAP Presentation:

Now that our OAP assignment is completed. We are very excited to start with the next assignment of Opportunity Execution Project (OEP). The course videos for the next segment have already been posted by Prof. Chuck. There is one hard news though. Our team mate Vishal has decided to quit the team and course now. Apparently, he is preparing his applications for higher studies and it will be tough for him to balance his job and applications along with this Venture Lab course. So, we are now 4 members for the OEP. The work load will now be more on every member. Let us see where we go from here. More OEP updates in the next post. Stay Connected...

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