DREAM FEAT – Amogh Vaishampayan

I recently wanted to add some color and art into my room to brighten it up. Luckily for me, I ran into Amogh Vaishampayan, an entrepreneur from Bangalore now living in Mumbai. He’s the CEO and co-founder of the art e-commerce site, Paintcollar. After I bought some art from his site, I wanted to learn how he got started, and decided he wanted to go in the business of art. Here is Paintcollar’s story:

Dream:IN: Can you tell us about ‘paintcollar’ and what you do?
Amogh Vaishampayan: Paintcollar is a marketplace for artists, designers, musicians and all other creative folk. We enable them to create products like prints and T-shirts with their art on it, sell them online and earn for every sale they make. Paintcollar launched in September 2014.
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Creating the products is made really easy with our product design tool. You can take a look at how it works here: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=U5SHgK_QS94
For every product, we quote a base price. Over this artists can add their own profit margin. The final sale price is the base + artist’s margin.
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When a customer buys an artist’s products, we manufacture and deliver them all over India. The artist’s sales history gets updated and at the end of every month, we pay the artists the amount they have earned.

Dream:IN: How did you come up with the idea of ‘Paintcollar’? Additionally, how did you come up with the name, ‘Paintcollar’
Amogh: Paintcollar initially started out because 5 recent engineering grads were bored with their regular jobs. We wanted to start an online merchandise store with a difference. That’s when we hit upon the idea of letting artists contribute their work and thus creating a huge pool of amazing art on a variety of products for customers to choose from.

The word “Paintcollar” was coined to give an identity to art professionals. We have white collared and blue collared jobs but where do the creative people really fit in? Hence one of our co-founders came up with “Paintcollar”.

Dream:IN: Why did you want to get in the business of working with artists? What is it about art that you like so much?
Amogh: We realized that online and retail merchandise companies don’t really give artists and designers the credit due to them. As a result, we were seeing the same old clichéd designs in all online merchandise stores. Really amazing designs were not coming out because artists were not paid enough for them and because they had to give away their copyrights.

My mother and grandfather are both artists and so I’ve grown up around art. Although I’m not really an artist myself, I can fairly say that I have an eye for appreciating and understanding art. I love working with artists because every artwork has a story or some source of inspiration behind it. I like discussing their style of work and their inspirations.

Dream:IN: If any artists want to upload their art to your site, what’s the process? And when an artist uploads their art, do you screen it, or is the website open to any and every artist? You must do a great job, because there is some really cool artwork on the homepage.
Amogh: Artists upload their work using our design tool. We developed it ourselves along with the rest of the website. It’s really easy to use.
Here’s how it works: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=U5SHgK_QS94

Anyone can upload an account and create products. We do a check to see whether the products have been rendered properly, whether the artist has followed the design tool guidelines and whether the artwork is original. After that our ranking algorithm sorts the artwork on the shop pages. The best ones are selected for the home page.

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Dream:IN: Is there any message or “vibe” you would like to portray with the artists and art you feature on your site?
Amogh: We accept art in all forms, from all genres and all styles. Paintcollar currently has abstracts, pop art, watercolor, oil paintings, digital paintings etc…The purpose of being an art marketplace is defeated if we limit our artist’s creativity.

Dream:IN: So right now, you sell art on t-shirts, laptop skins, canvas prints, and posters? Do you plan to come out with any more outlets soon?
Amogh: Yes, we plan on adding mobile covers, notebooks, tank tops, cushion covers and tote bags in the future. One step at a time!

Dream:IN: What’s your way of getting keeping that buzz going about artists? How do you market current and new artists on your site?
Amogh: We have a team that works on artist acquisition by identifying great artists and introducing them to Paintcollar. Our concept is completely new in India and a lot of artists are distrustful of online merchandise companies because all the companies, so far, were just looking to make money off artists’ designs without duly compensating them. But when we speak to them about our concept and show them how it works, they are very appreciative of Paintcollar.

We regularly promote artists’ work through our social media accounts. Artists also publicize their own work on social media. We have provided ‘share links’ on every product and profile page. Paintcollar has a blog at blog.paintcollar.com where we post about tutorials and the latest updates on the website.  Occasionally we also set up stalls and exhibits at cultural events and festivals.

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Dream:IN: Oh wow, that’s really cool that you exhibit your art at events and festivals. Would love to come out and see it at the next one. What do you think the future of art is? Because you are an outlet, giving opportunities to young artists to get their art out there, and purchased, which is amazing.
Amogh: The future of art is only limited by the creativity of artists. Young artists, students, even kids these days are coming up with phenomenal works. The internet has really changed things and exposed people to new art from all over the world. We are seeing that in these times, art is not just limited to art galleries, which are extremely expensive to book, and selective of the art they curate. Several other forms of art like pop art and street art are becoming hugely popular. It’s exciting to see where this is going and we wish to be a part of this movement. That’s why we decided to keep Paintcollar absolutely free for all artists. We don’t believe in charging someone just to express themselves.

Dream:IN: Do you think you will ever go into the business of opening up a physical store? Or hosting an art show? Or even a gallery?
Amogh: We are looking to enter into existing brick and mortar retail chains some time in the future. It’s too early to tell whether we can open our own exclusive store. The finance and logistics will require a lot of planning and preparation. We do set up stalls and exhibitions at various events. The last major one was at Bangalore Comic Con in September. We display and sell the work of our top contributing artists at these events and the response is always amazing. There are a few great places in Mumbai that let artists showcase their art. We’re speaking with some of them regarding exhibitions.

Dream:IN: Tell us about your branding, how did you come up with your logo, and the color red? Obviously, red is a big factor on your site, why red?
Amogh: Our goals are also reflected in our logo. It depicts an artist’s pencil, a collar and a paper plane to launch talented artists. We wanted to keep the interface of the website simple and elegant. Red is a bold colour and our creative team did a brilliant job of using it to make the website interesting.

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Dream:IN: Did you ever come across any obstacles, joining in the e-commerce industry? Do you have any thoughts about the e-commerce industry in India at the moment?
Amogh: The e-commerce industry is booming in India at the moment. With the mobile revolution, India is a hot market right now, especially for tech startups. We are as much a tech startup as an art startup. Integrating a social experience into your product can really work wonders. That’s why we are working on adding several features like a newsfeed of artists you follow and a notification system for every account. As of now, users can already appreciate designs and follow artists on the website.

The company registration process could be made a lot smoother in India. Despite being such a huge emerging market, India ranks quite low on the ‘ease of doing business’ index. There is not much legislation specifically for e-commerce in India right now but it looks like it will be coming soon.

Dream:IN: Lastly, what tips do you have for other budding entrepreneurs, who are trying to start their own venture?
Amogh: Use your boredom. Young people get bored a lot. They could use that time when they have literally nothing else to do, to develop and validate their startup ideas.

Ease of use and great UI/UX is very important for a product based startup. Your product should be easy and intuitive for users across all demographics.

Dream:IN: Thank you for the great interview and time Amogh! We will be following ‘Paintcollar’ and excited to see all the new art that comes out. Until then, we will post some additional artworks below, that you feature on your site, for our readers to see.

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DREAM FEAT – Co.Lab.Orate

This weeks featured entrepreneur is a group of guys of who started a co-working space in Hyderabad, which is also part community center. I spoke to the team behind the space, to learn more about their venture, Co.Lab.Orate.

DREAM:IN: First off, how many people started this wonderful idea?
Team Co.Lab.Orate: Our space was started by three co-founders as follows:
1. Vinay Peddinti - He is the administrator at Co.Lab.Orate. He holds a tech degree in Electronics from CVR College of Engineering, Hyderabad. An active Sociopreneur, Vinay is the founder and president of an NGO by the name, THE SOCIAL CAUSE. He has been active in the social entrepreneurship arena for 5 years now. Vinay loves traveling, EDM and socializing.

2. Anurag Parepally - He is the space evangelist at Co.Lab.Orate. He is a qualified civil engineer from SRM Institute of Science and Technology, Chennai. Anurag has grown up in several parts of India and is exposed to multi cultures. He is crazy about football and is an active itinerant.

3. Raghuveer Kovuru - He is the community animator at Co.Lab.Orate. He holds an MBA in International Finance from IMT, Dubai and is also a law grad from NALSAR, Hyderabad. Prior to this, he has an experience of 5 years as a finance consultant with the Big4s like Deloitte and PwC. He also runs his own event management firm called Freyja Creations, based out of Hyderabad. Raghu is an avid blogger, mentor, speaker, motivator and loves traveling.

DREAM:IN: How did you guys come up with the idea of creating a “co-working” space company?
Team Co.Lab.Orate: In the world of startups, success is supported by positivity, networking, perseverance and the much needed capital. Several wonderful startups lack the above attributes. Especially, capital places a crucial role in determining the fate of a company. In the era of high establishment costs, rising real estate, cut throat competition and lack of appropriate guidance, entrepreneurship is like entering the Padmavyuha. Discover the concept of co-working and you are better off in many ways!

We realized this problem early on and always wished for a place which would provide all the facilities required for a small time office but at really economical prices. Moreover, networking and interacting with people from various fields is really important for growing companies. There was nobody who could provide us the same. It was either executive spaces or shared offices. We felt that coworking spaces are very rare to be found around us and there was a need to plug the gap, hence Co.Lab.Orate, Hyderabad’s first community coworking space was born.

Coworking is a style of working that facilitates people from diverse backgrounds to work together usually in a common space. These people, also called coworkers, are not necessarily employed by a single organization. The group also comprises freelancers, travelers, startups and entrepreneurs. In coworking, people share values and are interested in the synergies that can happen from working with like-minded people in the same space.

DREAM:IN: That’s great. So what’s the timeline of Co.Lab.Orate? How did you first start? How did you acquire the space to rent out?
Team Co.Lab.Orate: It has been a month since we opened our space. We had to search around a lot to identify the right kind of informal and casual space that kept our coworker’s mind at ease. That was the major challenge. Once, the space was found, everything else didn’t take much time to setup! We started off all the basic facilities like Wi-Fi, coffee, desks, conference rooms with projectors and so on. Facilities were kept to the bare minimum with essentiality as a bar.

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DREAM:IN: Tell our readers, why they should rent out from you? What’s the benefit of having a co-working space?
Team Co.Lab.Orate: At Co.Lab.Orate, we do not sell space but rather we facilitate community! We are established on the values of openness, sustainability, collaboration and accessibility. There are and will be instances when we would not be able to accommodate too many people from one domain. For example, if there is already a set of people from IT in the space, we do not accept any more requests from the IT domain. The idea is to create a knowledge collective.

We are wildly different from shared offices, executive suites and plug and play offices as the latter have a very formal setup and force one to work in relative isolation. We have a very casual and informal environment at Co.Lab.Orate. We provide bare minimum facilities and do not focus on fancy interiors, air conditioning, cubicles etc. Rather, these unnecessary additions are replaced by a wonderful community, access to venture capitalists, meeting co-founders and the list is endless.

DREAM:IN: How much space do you have? At one time, how many people can be working in your space?
Team Co.Lab.Orate: We have a lively and active floor space of 2000sqft with spacious lounges, rooms, sit-outs, pantry and a smoking zone. Our threshold is 33 but at one time the number might vary between 15-22.

DREAM:IN: Who are some of the people that rented out some space? What type of work did they do? I’m sure you’ve seen some great projects happen being worked on in your space.
Team Co.Lab.Orate: Right now, we have startups in the fields of market research, finance, social entrepreneurship, event management, e-commerce and education management. We were very happy to be able to accommodate them in launching their products out of our space!

We not only celebrate their individual achievements but also the invisible synergies that these different startups achieve through networking and interaction.

DREAM:IN: What other things do you host, besides just a place to rent out and work?
Team Co.Lab.Orate: We organize regular events and workshops on a weekly basis. The idea is to keep the startup mechanism active and running. An event a year or on a half-yearly basis does little in keeping the system sharp and running. Hence, we organize events of all kinds like discussions, technical workshops, debates, food meets and so on. All the events are free and everyone is welcome to be part of them because of the varied nature. 

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DREAM:IN: Tell us your thoughts on ‘The Power of Community’ and why it’s important?
Team Co.Lab.Orate: The world needs more and more communities. A community with the right content is the way forward. The power of a community is underrated in Hyderabad. We are trying to change the attitude towards meaningful communities through our CAPS program. CAPS stands for ‘Community Animation Programs and Services’. A community is like a self-surviving organism. Being a part of community helps you in meeting like-minded people from different paths of life and letting them exchange ideas, collaborate and extend mutual help.

DREAM:IN: Can you expand on the the idea of the CAPS program?
Team Co.Lab.Orate: 
Community Animation Programs and Services (CAPS) is a collection of our in-house programs which aims at providing quality content to our coworkers. Coworkers can voluntarily enroll themselves in programs of a desired choice. It is a program designed with a mix of one-to-many, many-to-one and many-to-many interactive sessions. CAPS has been placed to promote interactions, interfacing and networking. We hold many sessions on business case studies, mentoring, VC interaction, funding, investments, organization structuring, open lunches etc.

DREAM:IN: Do you have any upcoming events scheduled? Anything we should look out for in the future?
Team Co.Lab.Orate: Firstly, we have a discussion session on the existence of extraterrestrial life as part of ‘Co.Lab.Orate Discussions’ series. Post that there’s an event lined up by Microsoft who’s conducting a training session for IT/ITeS startups for their AZURE platform and the month of November would end with a speaker coming down from Mumbai sharing his thoughts on why picking up entrepreneurship at an early stage in life is very important.

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DREAM:IN: Very cool events! How would you like to see “Co.Lab.Orate” grow in the next 5 years. Do you have any plans for expansion for more co-working centers?
Team Co.Lab.Orate: 
We are presently focused on the Hyderabad market. We definitely would love to move to other cities where we sense a bustle of entrepreneurial activity. Vizag is one city where there is lot of movement and we have it next on our minds.

DREAM:IN: If people would like to rent out a space, how can they do it?
Team Co.Lab.Orate:We are reachable on all the major social platforms. You can also just google us saying ‘Co.Lab.Orate’. There is no process involved and sign up is online and instantaneous.

DREAM:IN: And they can also check out your website at www.colaborate.in. And lastly, how we like to end each interview, we ask you guys what tips or advice do you have for other entrepreneurs who are just starting out?
Team Co.Lab.Orate: Persevere and chase your passion! Success, fame and money will naturally follow!

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DREAM FEAT – Arpita Sinha

This week, we’re changing our weekly interview series from ‘Featured Entrepreneur’ to ‘Dream Feat’. Featured dreamers who made their entrepreneurial dreams come true. So for our first ‘Dream Feat’ interviewee, is Arpita Sinha, who started ‘Chakum Chakum, an ‘oh so good’ Calcutta-style rolls restaurant. We loved the food, so we wanted to learn more, how Arpita started the restaurant and her inspirations.

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DREAM:IN:  How did you get into food industry and how did you get the idea of starting a restaurant?
Arpita: The answer to the question may sound very cliché but it is true. I am a foodie and when my husband and I got transferred to Bangalore 7 years back, I was missing my daily dose of Calcutta street food. And Kathi roll is big in Calcutta. There were a few kathi roll joints in and around but they were certainly not up to the mark in terms of flavours what we are used to back in Calcutta. And the perception of Kathi roll in Bangalore at that point in time was ‘oily, greasy junk food’!!! So we saw the opportunity to churn out Tasty yet Healthy kathi rolls with authentic Kolkata flavours. And that’s how Chakum Chukum was born.

DREAM:IN:  What are some of the toughest challenges that you overcame since starting this restaurant? Would you say the restaurant/food business is a tough industry to get in?
Arpita: The biggest challenge was to make people aware of my place with out any advertising budget. So I would jump off my car near the traffic signal and distribute pamphlets and jump back once the signal turned green. But I was sure that if people get the taste of my product they will definitely come back.

The second challenge was to manage customer perception. It is a merciless business and you are only as good as your last meal. And that also answers your second question. You have to be consistent day after day every day. Which meant training my staff to be consistent in what they do.

The third challenge was to retain talent. So we had to work out a very meticulous plan in terms of retaining and nurturing talent within the organisation.

Also getting a dependable/reliable team of vendors in Bangalore was very, very tough.

DREAM:IN: Wow! That’s an awesome guerrilla marketing technique. Talk about dedication! What techniques did you use to first market your restaurant and get people to order from you?
Arpita: In fact, there was no marketing apart from me personally knocking on every office door in and around Chakum and leaving a menu behind. Once people came, they brought their friends and family. It was the “word of mouth” which did the trick.

DREAM:IN: Again, the dedication, amazing.

Chicken Egg Roll

Chicken Egg Roll

DREAM:IN: Currently, how many branches do you own, and do you have any future plans of expanding to more?
Arpita: Only one as of now. Expansion plans are always there. Every night we go off to sleep thinking we will open our second outlet tomorrow. But it is easier said than done.

DREAM:IN: Personally, what is your favourite type of food, or your favourite dish to eat?
Arpita: Bread Ice-cream:))

DREAM:IN: What or who has been your biggest inspiration? Or your favorite chef?
Arpita: I don’t know about inspiration but my biggest support have been my Dad and my husband who have always believed in whatever I did!!!!

Paneer Tikka Roll

Paneer Tikka Roll

DREAM:IN: In what way do you discover new foods or new recipes?  Do you like to experiment while cooking?
Arpita: I travel a lot to new destinations and try new cuisine – specially local ones. That I think is the best way to discover new stuff.

DREAM:IN: What’s the background to all the items on your menu?
Arpita: Some are traditional rolls which I grew up eat ing in Calcutta. The rest we have designed, keeping in mind, the local palate. For instance, we were the first to introduce the ‘wheat’ rolls along with ‘egg white’ option. Sometimes, even people coming from Calcutta get surprised seeing the number of options we have in our menu.

DREAM:IN: Do you enjoy owning a restaurant and starting your venture? What’s the most liberating thing about being your own boss? What’s the most liberating thing about being your own boss? Would you go back and do it differently if you could
Arpita: Yes yes yes! While there is pressure at work, we don’t bring work back home, unlike other professions and I know that very well since my husband was in advertising. Also ‘food’ is a great way to connect with people. And lastly, the recognition that you get when you are in a public place, is great!

I don’t know the most liberating thing but what gives me immense pleasure as an entrepreneur is the fact that I have given employment to people and I have been able to take care of them well!

I can’t think of doing anything different.

Mughali Paratha

Mughali Paratha

DREAM:IN: Would you like to give the address so that people can come and try your great food?
Arpita: CHAKUM CHUKUM, 901/2, 4th Cross, 7th Main, HAL 2nd Stage, Indiranagar, Bangalore 560038.
Call 080 42115536 for home delivery.

DREAM:IN: Lastly, we ask every entrepreneur, what tips and words of wisdom do you have for budding entrepreneurs who are just starting out?
Arpita: Believe in your dreams but be sure where you want to go.

DREAM:IN: Thanks so much Arpita, we will definitely be back to try some rolls again soon! Thank you for your time, see you soon!

Sweet Lassi

Sweet Lassi


NASSCOM Product Conclave / First Ever Design Summit #NPC2014 At Idiom on 29 Oct 2014

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NASSCOM Product Conclave / First ever Design Summit #NPC2014 @Design_Idiom on 29 Oct 2014
By Sonia Manchanda

When design meets technology, that’s when the magic begins…

Nasscom’s 1st Design Summit was hosted in India’s Tech Capital, Bangalore at the campus of the interdisciplinary design firm – Idiom.

The ever-enthusiastic Ravi Gururaj, Chairman of Frictional Ventures, opened the design summit by introducing the organizers of the event, Sonia Manchanda, Co-Founder of Idiom, Deepa Bachu, Director of Product Management and Experience Design at Intuit, and MC of the event, Sunil Gopinath and Muki Ragunathan.

The design summit at Idiom consisted of an engaging mix of speakers and workshops that stressed the importance of integrating design and technology. Nick Talbot, Global Head of Design and Innovation at Tata Elxsi, was the first speaker of the day. Nick holds a degree in Transportation Design and his company designed the world’s first hydrogenated-fuel bike. Nick spoke about how his approach to delivering an intelligent product is by putting anthropology before technology. He also touched upon opportunities in India where technology can be used such as healthcare, and how the ‘new consumer’ has an increasing diversity of tastes, styles and functional requirements. Nick believes we need real insights to create great technology and that there are great opportunities in India where an increasing number of people such as farmers, etc. are demanding useful technology.

Using Design-Thinking in Our Everyday Lives, was a panel moderated by Deepa Bachu, and consisted of Sachin Kelkar, Head of APAC Scale Program at Intel, Jay Dutta, Head of Experience Design, Adobe India, Narendra Ghatge, Chief Designer, Tata Elxsi and Sneha Lakshman, Co-Founder, Dig Design Studio. The panel discussed how design thinking should be introduced in schools, and how it could make an impact across our personal and professional decisions. All speakers felt customer insights are an extremely important factor for great design.

Sonia Manchanda moderated the Design Culture Workshop where participants were made to realize out-of-the-box insights, and were taught design-thinking tools and techniques they could use in their workplaces or at home. Participants were asked to role-play a teacher and a student, where they recognized key insights such as students needing immediate gratification and constant engagement for effective and interesting education. Idiom’s design-thinking tools allowed participants to understand the design-thinking process and realize how it is essential to solve any problem mindfully. Sonia stressed the importance of designing effective solutions by having several opinions, insights, learning’s’ in the process.

The Leading by Design Workshop was moderated by two design leaders (and brothers) who differentiated between UI, UX, CX and discussed how to unleash the power of CX (Customer Experience) in an organization. Prasad Kantamneni, CEO of UX Reactor and Satyam Kantamneni, Group Director, User Experience & Design at Citrix Systems spoke to a diverse group of participants from business, design, managers and engineers about the process of harnessing the power of CX in their organization.

Both brothers believe that Customer Experience (CX) must be integral to all aspects of the organization, and that this is where an organization can differentiate itself and build a competitive advantage. A culture of experimentation, hiring strategies, importance of the different types of research – formative, validation and sensorial – at different stages in the business, and a core message of “ITERATE, ITERATE, ITERATE UNTIL AWESOME” were some of the key takeaways.

Design Transforms Business was a session moderated by Sonia Manchanda that consisted of speakers – Pallavi Gupta, Co-Founder of Mast Kalandar, Kaushal Sarda, CEO of Kuliza, and Sudhir Tiwari, President and COO of Thoughtworks. This session covered the experiences of the speakers, and how they believe design interventions transformed their businesses.

Bridging Gaps Between Founding Philosophies and Final Design was a session where two top executives, Rajesh Bysani, Assistant VP Product at FreeCharge.in and Harish Sivaramakrishnan, VP Front End Engineering & UX, FreeCharge.in, took the participants through the journey of their revolutionary service – Freecharge – specifically focusing on the power of harnessing the Customer Experience and the capability of design and design thinking to demonstrate that while detours may have to be taken, you needn’t compromise to ensure a successful translation of your vision. The key message of the talk was to ‘set up your customers for absolute success’ and ensure that the customer’s pain points are central to every aspect of the design experience itself.

The Design for Delight Workshop was conducted by Apparna Ramadoss, Group Development Manager at Intuit India. The workshop used tools and templates such as the NEXT tool, and participants were coached by Intuit coaches on designing experiments. The experiments were then performed on real life scenarios.

Intuit’s main aim for this experiment is to change lives with easier and innovative methods.

Organizer of the Design Summit and Director of Product Management & User Experience Design, eBay, Sunil Gopinath, moderated the ‘Designing World Class Consumer Experiences – UX Process, Methods & Learnings’ session. The session consisted of speakers, Sree Unnikrishnan, Founder & CEO, Design Ventures, Deepak Menon, Head – UX Practice Hyderabad IDC, Microsoft Corp and Pradeep Joseph, Director of User Experience, Robert Bosch Engineering. The panel focused on identifying patterns, deliverables and key stakeholders essential for a successful and effective team.

Co-Founders of Peepal Design Aurobinda Pradhan and Durga Prasad Vemula led the Fueling Innovation through Research led Design session. The co-founders of Peepal Design spoke about what UX Research is, and how it can be best utilized to maximize the success of a product. The speakers covered the importance of research, the different types of research – Market Research, UX Research and Design Research – and when to best use each of them in the product development process. They believe that while market research is a great tool to understand the market and to verify insights with large samples, it is best geared to answer “what” questions and is not the best tool to understand the needs and priorities of customer. UX research on the other hand, focuses on answering the “why” questions through observing real world user behavior. In short, Market Research is best for exploration and understanding opportunities, UX Research is best for gaining insight and evaluating behavior, and Design Research should be used for the actual process and creation of the design. The speakers listed various ways in which this can be ensued from Stories and Personas to User Diaries and Private Blogs, User Journey Maps to User Scenarios, and Interactive mockups to Discovery Design and Finding workshops. The speakers stressed that ‘down and dirty methods’ and quick iterations were much more important than a polished solution.

Why Design Led Innovation was a session moderated by Rakesh Mishra, Director of Marketing at Target. Rakesh provided the example of the Burberry Kisses ad, which transformed the nature and popularity of the business as it inbuilt design and technology. Rakesh believes that we live in a world of equals, and innovation is needed to stand out.

In the evening, the summit hosted a superfast, interactive and engaging track with short talks on Design Explorations. Speakers such as Boris Gomes, Project Lead at Dream:In, Puneet Gupta, Entrepreneur in Residence, SAP Labs India, Muddasir Hussain, Marketing Head, Dirty Hands, Ragini Lall and Ashis Pandey from Quest Alliance and Delmo Oliveira, an Idiom Design Intern from Brazil quickly covered their experiments with design. Boris had the audience shaking their hips to Shakira while Muddasir passed around an extremely realistic silicon-hand.

The Nasscom design summit concluded with a unique session on Lean Experimentation with speakers Abhijit Bansod, Founder and Principal Designer, Studio ABD and Kedar Nayak, Music Entrepreneur and founder of Octavium. The session was moderated by Muki Ragunathan, Founder of Peppersquare.

Abhijit strongly advocates for Products Made in India, and took the audience through watches he has designed for Titan, inspired by Indian architecture, amongst many other eclectic products.

Kedar engaged the audience by playing famous soundtracks that allowed the audience to realize the impact of well-designed music. Kedar showed us how music and design are subjective experiences, but together can trigger objective emotions.

The organizers of the summit Sonia, Deepa, Sunil and Muki concluded the conference by explaining that they organized this conference in pursuit of really great people who could talk and think design.

Idiom Design and Consulting volunteered its space for the Nasscom Product Conclave’s design summit to stress the importance of integrated design and technology.


DREAM:IN’S DREAM CHALLENGE 2014

*Announcing* DREAM:IN’s Dream Challenge 2014

This is an amazing opportunity to win a one of three grand prizes of 3 months at IDIOM DESIGN & CONSULTING, India’s largest and most vibrant design firm.

Entry into the contest is simple:

All you have to do is like our facebook page (this is a must for the contest, don’t forget), record a short video (even one with your mobile phone is fine), and a quick write up about your dream venture. Send it to us at dream@dreamin.in. If you make one of the top spots, your video will be uploaded to our youtube page, where it will be judged by our panel experts, the 3 I’s, and lastly, how much you promote your dream on facebook. The combination of the three scores will win the grand prize which would be announced the 1st week in Jan, 2015.

It’s an amazing opportunity for you to win a great prize of getting India’s biggest design firm to work on your venture!

What are you waiting for? Record your dream, write your description and send it over to us!

Good luck to all who enter!

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St. Xavier’s College Students Pay DREAM:IN A Visit

Last week, students from St. Xavier’s College, in Mumbai came to the DREAM Center. They were greeted with a short inspiring introduction video to the power of design in India, and a brief talk by Idiom Design & Consulting & DREAM:IN co-founder Sonia Manchanda. Soon after, they were taught about the power of dreams, why it’s important to dream, and the relationship between dreams and entrepreneurship.

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Delmo Oliveira, a designer interning at Idiom, from Rio de Janeiro, Brazil, took the stage to talk to the students about his recent travels throughout China while he was a student at ‘Parsons the New School for Design’ in New York for DREAM:IN CHINA.  He traveled with his classmates to three cities in China, Shanghai, Beijing, & Hong Kong, where they hosted DREAM:IN Conclaves in each city. It was inspiring to show the St. Xavier students that DREAM:IN is a global movement, that reaches far beyond Bangalore, India. DREAM:IN has hosted similar conclaves in New York & Brazil as well.

Students then learned how dreams are like fruits, in the sense that there are three parts to a dream; the skin, the flesh, and the core. The skin is the outer layer which represents our fears & anxieties, which could just be our own basic fear about our daily lives like our health and financial security. Beyond that is the fleshy part of a fruit represents our wishes and desires, or what we would like to get out of life. In the core is the creative center, what we really dream of doing, which has the potential to grow into a fruit tree or a full blown venture. This concept is presented through the Dream Catching Tool.

Students examining the Dream Catching Tool

Students examining the Dream Catching Tool

After learning how to record dreams, the students were then challenged to use this information, and catch the dreams of their fellow students by recording a short video with their mobile phones.

To see some of what the students recorded, and hear some of their dreams, go to this link: https://www.facebook.com/dreaminteam/videos

At the very end, there was a short presentation of the recorded dreams, and the students were welcomed back, if they felt the calling to expand and work towards their dreams more. They left inspired to say the least.


FEATURED ENTREPRENEUR – HOLYSTOKED

This week’s ‘Featured Entrepreneur’ is a group of 4 guys, who started a skateboard collective around India. We talked with Abhishek, who’s one of the founders of ‘Holystoked’. What started with 4 guys now has grown to about 100 skaters, nationally. They want to use skating to promote expression and creativity within the youth, especially those living in poverty.

DREAM:IN: Hey Abhishek, thank you for spending some time with us today to talk about your collective ‘HolyStoked’. Can you tell us about the HolyStoked collective?
Abhishek: Holystoked collective was started by 5 skaters in 2011 with the goal of finding solutions to common problems facing skateboarders like where to find good skate equipment and places to skate. From there, 4 of us registered a company for the purpose of selling good skateboards and building skate spots around India. Since then, we have started our own brand, make t-shirts, and do a bunch of events every year.

DREAM:IN: How did you guys get started? How did the idea come about?
AbhishekOriginally the idea was to start a magazine about different urban cultures popping up around India with skateboarding as the main focus. Somewhere along that, we decided that the scene is not big enough for a magazine so we need to make the scene first. With hardly any skaters in India, we have been working toward spreading the culture and joy of skateboarding all over the country.

photo cred: Gautham Nalasinghu/Poornabodh Nadavatt

photo cred: Gautham Nalasinghu/Poornabodh Nadavatt

DREAM:IN: What’s your role at HolyStoked?
AbhishekWell, recently, we have divided our labour. I’m currently campaigning for building skateparks and raising funds along with physically building parks. Som, another founder of Holystoked, is spearheading the skate classes and workshops at schools and skateparks.

photo cred: Gautham Nalasinghu/Poornabodh Nadavatt

photo cred: Gautham Nalasinghu/Poornabodh Nadavatt

DREAM:IN: How many people are currently in the collective?
AbhishekThe collective has grown close to, maybe, 100 people all over India with most of them here in Bangalore.

DREAM:IN: You guys sell some really cool items, I really love the map of India t-shirt. How does the design process work for your skateboards, t-shirts, shoes, etc…?
AbhishekWell so far, designing has been chaotic with no real ideas and people randomly on our crew come up with designs which they would like to see on a t-shirt. Since last month, we have been working with professional designers and artists to make our first board graphics and all new t-shirts.

DREAM:IN: Who does the manufacturing of skateboards and parts?
AbhishekUnfortunately, we haven’t reached the point where producing boards in India is financially viable. We need at least 5000 skaters to support the scene. Until then, we are importing boards from U.S.A , Europe and now China, where we are getting our own brand boards made.

photo cred: Gautham Nalasinghu/Poornabodh Nadavatt

photo cred: Gautham Nalasinghu/Poornabodh Nadavatt

DREAM:IN: How do you guys market your products?
Abhishek: Marketing is done mostly online through social media but we are heavily involved with skate and surf events in India. Additionally, we also do our own events in Bangalore, such as competitions and skate meets, where we invite skaters from all over the country on days like “Go Skate Day” to come to Bangalore and make some noise here. Also building skateparks is the best marketing there is!!

DREAM:IN: Do you guys have any events coming up for ‘HolyStoked’?
AbhishekStarting this month, we are starting a worldwide fundraiser to raise funds for building 3 parks spread out over 2 months. The building will start late December in Kovalam, Goa and Kasol. Other than that, there is also another park we are going to start building in Panna, with the help of Skate Aid from Germany.

photo cred: Gautham Nalasinghu/Poornabodh Nadavatt

photo cred: Gautham Nalasinghu/Poornabodh Nadavatt

DREAM:IN: How would you like to see ‘HolyStoked’ grow? Where would you want to see ‘HolyStoked’ in the next 5 years?
AbhishekHonestly, I hope that ‘Holystoked’ becomes a catch phrase for skateboarding in India. It is a beautiful thing and we shouldn’t lose sight of our goal, which is to build a skatepark in every major city as well as the smaller ones, where it will have the greatest impact. Maybe one day we can be big enough to support the scene and sponsor skaters. Also, another long term dream of ours is to have a skate school along the lines of Bryggerrietes School in Sweden.

photo cred: Gautham Nalasinghu/Poornabodh Nadavatt

photo cred: Gautham Nalasinghu/Poornabodh Nadavatt

DREAM:IN: Do you see skateboarding in the future of India? How can skateboarding positively shape and influence the youth?
AbhishekSkateboarding is going to be huge in India. We have a large percentage of the population who are young and are running out of things to do. With stiff competition in school, college and work, they will need to find an outlet for their creativity and energy. With most of the people in India living in poverty, the kids have way bigger problems than boredom. From my experience, in the past years, skateboarding gives these kids an opportunity to get out and meet new people, have new experiences and share their stories with each other. Skateboarding doesn’t solve complex problems, but gives skaters something do where they can forget about everything that is bothering them and allows for their creativity to come out.

photo cred: Gautham Nalasinghu/Poornabodh Nadavatt

photo cred: Gautham Nalasinghu/Poornabodh Nadavatt

DREAM:IN: Who are some of your biggest influences, favorite skaters?
AbhishekBiggest inspirations would be the crew of 2er (zweier skate club) in Hanover, Germany. They are some of my best friends and biggest inspirations for what we do with skateboarding. As for favorite skaters, I love Chris Haslam, Mike V and Ritchie Jackson; they are all super creative with their skateboarding.

DREAM:IN: I’m from coast-side Los Angeles, and I live about 10 minutes from Santa Monic/Venice Beach area, which is home to skateboarding legends, Z-Boys, which the movie “Lords of Dogtown” was made about. Has that crew influenced you at all? Can you relate to their style?
AbhishekYeah, I seen the movie, as well as the documentary. You are lucky to live close to some legendary spots. It is an amazing story, and of course, everyone worldwide will thank those guys for starting it all. It is just difficult to relate to since the Z-Boys were from totally different backgrounds than from the original ‘Holystoked’ crew. For example, I graduated law school and worked for two years as an artist in an animation studio.

photo cred: Gautham Nalasinghu/Poornabodh Nadavatt

photo cred: Gautham Nalasinghu/Poornabodh Nadavatt

DREAM:IN: Where are some of your places to skateboard, here in India?
AbhishekSome concrete bowls and ramps around India are in Goa, Bangalore, Pune, Pondicherry, and Hampi. Delhi also has some great street spots as well as a basement with wooden ramps.

DREAM:IN: If people want to check out and buy some of HolyStoked’s merchandise & products, or if someone wants to buy their first ‘HolyStoked’ skateboard, how can they do it?
AbhishekYou can get it www.holystoked.com or you could come down to the park in Bangalore.

photo cred: Gautham Nalasinghu/Poornabodh Nadavatt

photo cred: Gautham Nalasinghu/Poornabodh Nadavatt

DREAM:IN: Lastly, do you have any tips for other young entrepreneurs out there? Any advice to keep them rolling?
AbhishekMy tip would be to make sure you are doing what you love, there is no point starting something you don’t believe in. Stay patient when it comes to making money, and take joy in just doing what you are doing. Also entrepreneurs face immense stresses so you have to find something that helps you unwind. Nothing better for that than skateboarding :) 

DREAM:IN: Thanks for the telling us about the collective, will check you guys out at the skatepark soon!
Abhishek: Peace!

photo cred: Gautham Nalasinghu/Poornabodh Nadavatt

photo cred: Gautham Nalasinghu/Poornabodh Nadavatt

photo cred: Gautham Nalasinghu/Poornabodh Nadavatt

photo cred: Gautham Nalasinghu/Poornabodh Nadavatt

Cover Photo: Abhishek Shakenbake photo cred:  Travis Morrison

Cover Photo: Abhishek Shakenbake
photo cred: Travis Morrison


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