Google Launchpad’s First Time in India, Hosted by Idiom, at The Dream Center, Bangalore

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After a successful run in London, Rio and Tel Aviv, the first Google Launchpad event in India is being hosted between Feb 2nd and 6th at the Idiom office/DREAM Center, Bangalore.

What is Google Launchpad?
Google Launchpad is a five-day mentorship program for early stage startups and will be focused on mentorship areas that include Product strategy, UX/UI, Technology, Go-to-Market/Marketing and more.

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Each day in Google Launchpad is dedicated to a specific subject and includes presentations, one-on-one mentorship, and a lot of focused work. The idea is to achieve rapid progress in a very short time using a lot of resources and mentors experience.

The first edition of Launchpad was originally launched in Israel, and it was so successful that Google has had about 14 of these events there since then, with each batch having 15-20 startups.

For the Bangalore event, there are about 20 mentors, half who are Googlers from California and Israel, including Amir Shevat, Google’s startup outreach program manager.

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Around 20 startups are a part of the mentorship program. Some of the startups are:

·       CoSight –  Helps make sales executives more efficient

·       Findulum/Smart Pocket – Manages all your loyalty cards on the phone

·       AdWyze – Provides interactive direct response solutions

·       Wazzat Labs – Delivers efficient image processing, computer vision and graphics solutions on mobile platforms

·       BabyChakra – Helps parents discover and decide on local services for their children

·       BlueHat (Englishdost) – BlueHat are a mobile education company targeting the B2C English learning market

·       Frilp – Helps find shops and services used and recommended by your friends, colleagues and other like-minded people

·       CashKumar – Allows you to get the best rate on foreign exchange

·       RightDoctor – Helps find the right doctor for your ailment

·       Expin.me – A story builder application

Idiom is the venue partner for this exciting event. The Google Launchpad event is taking place at the Dream Center, which is an encouraging space at Idiom, often used to think and work with entrepreneurs; exchange learnings, create big game changing ideas and take them from mind to market, with skill, speed and imagination.

The Dream Center has been designed to capture a spirit of organized chaos. Started years ago, there was a realization that folks, especially business folks, enjoyed chaos. Some of the most breakthrough ideas were created around a long table with basic sandwiches, loads of nimbu paani and coffee, open doors with people rushing about…a feeling that can be best compared to ideating at a traffic junction.

The Dream Center is a space that allows you to ask ‘what if’ or ‘why not’ questions…under a rain tree. A colorful, joyous space that morphs from a space and screen to gain inspiration from, in HD quality, to a space where the ideas flow free and fast. A space to learn, to co-create, to compete – to think, feel and most importantly, do!

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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/IDIOM at the Construkt Festival

Between 20th and 23rd March, Bangalore played host to Construkt Festival organized by Unstoppable.in and TIE. The festival was designed to bring together people from various backgrounds to create new opportunities and share their expertise. The festival was especially for entrepreneurs and creators from the tech, design, culinary and social communities.

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As a part of the festival we participated in the ‘Crawl‘, which was a chance for us to open our doors and invite people to both DREAM:In and Idiom. The crawl was held on March 20th between 5 and 6 PM. Participants were introduced to Idiom and DREAM:IN by Sonia, Pooja and Liz. After a short discussion on the definition of design, the participants took part in an exercise using a design thinking tool in a live example.

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The session saw the participants engage in conversations with our team and even hang their dreams on the Dream Tree.

 

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On 22nd and 23rd, the Construkt Festival was held at Jayamahal Palace. DREAM:IN had a stall at the venue which featured the Dream tree. We had many inquiries and several dreams were captured by our DreamCatchers. Sonia, our founder was a part of a panel on Sunday which showcased some great examples of how design is being used in various areas like retail, products, sustainability and especially the social space.

The festival had a great bunch of people in attendance and we even managed to meet Aruj, one of our Dreamers who had set up a food stall at the venue.

To find out more about the festival you can log on here: http://construkt.me/

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