Never should we lean on someone else’s learnings. Grand experiences and advices by the famous are probabilistic and have caveats of the context. So all we can do is to give it a good read but make our own concoction of living strategy. Here are some ramblings to myself.


Any one who has been to a government or a public sector office in India, would have formed certain impressions about it. Government offices anyways, across the world, are not known for ‘speed’. Combined with this, there are more issues that come with an emerging economy. Then there are private sector offices, the very centroid of capitalism. Imagine this discussion is happening when technology juggernaut is rolling on across several spheres of life and pushing things towards speed and efficiency. I had some startling realisation recently about a missing dimension in crafting customer experience.

I happened to go at a…


How to build a great qualitative market research/ UX Research team?

Over the decade and a half of managing research practice, trying several combinations of people and skills, here is what I think works well to get a solid team going. This framework is not as broad as the Belbin Roles (which I struggled with, for making sense for our work) but can definitely be applied to knowledge centric project teams across the board. i.e. IT industry.

DANCE -by Henry Matisse

GCOPE roles framework

Generator is the key researcher or the one who generates the primary content. This is also the foot soldier at…


Part 1: Engineering to Industrial Design

Shifting into a new career or profession is a big step. Futurists have been warning us for a long time, that careers will die at much faster rate in 21st century (just about 5-8 years of span for many skills/careers). However, I have passed through these career-change or skill-shift decisions many times since I finished engineering education in 1992.

First switch was from Engineering to Design in 1994. I made a few more switches later. Every time, the switch has been into a lesser know domain. How does one make a decision when there are no clear-cut references available? …


Facebook, Instagram, Twitter etc. all originated in the Silicon Valley. It was an early lead. But what about TikTok and WeChat? China’s ByteDance developed a short video app TikTok, and in nine months from its launch in September 2018, it attracted more than 200 million users in India, with a monthly active user base of around 120 million. Why couldn’t India create an internet rage with an app that thrives on user generated content?

The closest an user-generated, content-based Indian app has come to is ShareChat, with a daily active user base of around 40 million as of January 2019…


Note: This post of mine isn’t about innovation and this isn’t about me :).

My father, 76, underwent a coronary artery bypass graft or simply called a bypass-surgery, recently. He is recovering well, as the operation was uneventful and normal life is almost back. However, we were highly stressed for a period of around a month — since the discovery of his heart condition (4 severe blockages in the arteries) till the time of surgery, trying to find the right option for him. …


Inefficiencies are pardoned. Scarcity is not.

(image for illustration purpose only)

Some time back, a chief strategy officer of an Indian conglomerate told me that this organization hates the word ‘innovation’. I was surprised, naturally. He said, “Our Sethji (owner of the company) says, what is the need to be first? Always stay second but play it up on scale. Let the market leader do all the hard work of way-finding. You just follow that but on a super large scale.” As a practitioner of innovation and leading a Design led innovation company, I was aghast at hearing this. …


All our lives we are taught to have a goal and put all that you have, to achieve it. Real life motivators to online gurus are all raring and roaring about the will power and our ability to become richest, best, strongest, most talented etc etc. They claim they will help you get it.

Strangely enough, I am trying to learn a new art nowadays without any famous/formal teacher (through just acquired wisdom from books/online references) — a complete counter-proposition though to conventional wisdom.

Here are some beautiful pointers to that. Not much prose or politics — pure poetry. There…


Yesterday I got an anxious message from a friend checking with me if I am also undergoing any sort of ‘morbid anxiety’ currently with the Corona virus situation.

Agreed, we are passing through a very turbulent time in the world now and it is not a conventional world war. Thanks to the connected world today, everyone is inundated with information, advices and misinformation. Dreaded dark imagery of the evolving situation, combined with a complete city lockdown is having unfortunate effects on some people.

So, I was surprised to see that message, knowing the profile of this friend who checks all…


INDIA 2030 : DESIGN FIRST

(Image for illustration only. copyright with the creator)

As India lost plot of ‘Make in India’, even after China losing the ‘Factory of the World’ tag, focus on ‘design’ is a natural outcome. Design, and not ‘R&D’ alone, is the new trump card that can help India leap ahead. Apart from the external benefits, there are a host of internal reasons, why India must pick up the slogan ‘Design First’. But wait, ‘Design’ — is it different from ‘R&D’ or is it just about making things beautiful? And who is NOT a designer, by the way? There is a whole lot of fuss…

Manoj Kothari

Design Thinking | Innovation Strategy | Design | Futures Studies | Turian Labs. Author-Skyway Interpreter & Madhurimayan

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