Monday, 26 January 2015

"TeenPatti is India's answer to CandyCrush" RahulRazdan, ExWechat

Rahul, previously head, India with TenCent (Wechat) and IBIBO games,  currently leading a Gaming revolution with Mango Games talks about  the coming Gaming revolution in India.

On messaging apps, "Unleashing the phone book made whatsapp open up floodgates, but others, such as Line, Wechat, Kakaotalk etc have gone way ahead"

He discusses Mobile gaming and why India has been held back in this space.

Rahul's links:

"Mobile First is passe, its now Mobile Only" Aloke Bajpai IXIGO

My chat with Aloke Bajpai, the CEO/founder of IXIGO-He explains how an entire generation of indians uses mobile as the only experience to access the digital world, and why thinking for this audience requires a "mobile only" thinking, not be hamstrung by the desktop experience at all. He also talks about "graceful ways to degrade the experience, to account for spotty cellular data coverage"

Servicing +5M customers monthly, IXIGO is a travel intermediary that is very focused on the mobile only digital ecosystem, they got funded $18.5 M in 2011.

Aloke's links

Thursday, 22 January 2015

"100Million wallets by next year" VijayShekharSharma, PAYTM

The new rockstar on the block is PayTM, which has raised +600 Million from Alibaba and Temasek on a $1.5 Billion valuation. My chat with Vijay Shekhar Sharma, who is targeting +100 Million wallets by the next year.
We get into detail on the business, on how they have travelled this far... Brilliant conversation.

Vijay's Links:

Wednesday, 14 January 2015

"Buy Media by targeting audiences, not Placements" says Tushar Vyas, GroupM

Tushar is a managing partner for the digital media business of GroupM, India's largest media buying company (30-40% of all media spends). Tushar has been a speaker at various online, mobile digital media summits in the past. In this conversation-he shares his take, based on his being in the thick of things on the following:
  • The Digital advertising Landscape?
  • How long should we expect mobile advertising to scale to a level whereit becomes significant, and are big FMCG brands taking to it?
  • Realtime bidding and Programmatic buying– how is it impacting theadvertising world? is it good or bad  for publishers? Is it good or bad for advertisers?
Some snippets: “Digital is about using Tech to get the right message at the right time to the consumer”
“Traditional media is placement driven- front page, ipl etc… though those exist in the digital
environment as well, they are sold as human to human transactions (egReservation buy in Google) -The new way to buy media is to chase audiences not placements- define audiences on context (eg search) or on past behavior (eg retargeting)…”


Sunday, 4 January 2015

"Hybrid Experts" Morihiko Hasebe, Hakuhodo Japans 2nd largest agency

Mori from Japan's 2nd largest Agency, Hakuhodo, talks about how agencies in Japan have developed "Hybrid Experts", who have interdisciplinary skills to create non linear campaigns... how does copywriting + architecture sound? How about an art director with medical experience? outcomes are Hito Hospital and Remm Business hotel. He talks about how advertising is expanding its territory to develop products and services using skills picked up in advertising.

Born and raised in Tokyo, Mori started out as a copywriter with Hakuhodo in 1986. Driven by his passion to communicate, he undertook a wide variety of projects with creative freedom. He also produced big campaigns which reached millions. Before he knew it, he was a veteran of 28  years, with many international and domestic awards under his belt. His passion for great advertising continues to drive him. Mori has sat on the film Jury at Cannes in 2003, AdFest in 2005, Asia Advertising Award(AAA), One Show, D&AD in 2006 & 2008, and chaired at The Chillies(Sri Lankan Ad Award) in 2007. He also judged ACC, Japan’s major TVC award from 2004-2006, Spkes Asia in 2009, AdStars and CICCLPE in 2014.


Thursday, 1 January 2015

"Creating Typeface and Fonts for Indian languages" SarangKulkarni

What does it take to create fonts for Indian languages? my chat with Sarang Kulkarni, who supplies google with all the typefaces of indian languages.

In todays mobile/digital/screen led world, the user interface on the screen is the all important defining criterion for what gets popular and what doesnt. The language typeface is at the core of this- i explore how, as the internet reaches out to the billion indians, other languages beyond english will matter more, and how typefaces are being created for those languages?

An alumnus of Sir J. J. Institute of Applied arts, Sarang specializes in type design and calligraphy. In 2005, he founded ‘WhiteCrow’ – a type foundry and design studio based in Mumbai. With key clients such as Vodafone India, Virgin Mobile India, Star India, and Coca Cola India, White Crow has steadily found its niche in multi-lingual branding, designing custom typefaces across Indian scripts and calligraphy. Sarang is also a part of ‘Aksharaya’, a group of Letter conscious people who channelise their collective efforts to document, promote, explore and create awareness about Indian scripts.

Ek Type is a collaborative type foundry based in India that specializes in developing fonts across Indian languages, many of which will be multi-script.


"Personalisation is at the core of digital and the future of Marketing" ...

Many of you thought Adobe was about flash and creative suite , right?  Well, the digital marketing cloud - Adobe's marketing platform makes up 20% of Adobe’s estimated value and generated around $1 billion in annual revenues in 2013. One can say they get Digital better than any other company because they power up pretty much most of the digital marketing infra in companies out there- with 15,000 clients.
My chat with Mark Szulc, the Guru & Platform evangelist on how he sees Digital as mainstream marketing. He talks about how personalisation is at the core of what constitutes digital, and is at the future of marketing.
Collection of data across digital properties, web apps, mobile properties etc... and capture it across platforms, and look for insights/ anomaly detections from data and use it to optimise experience or drive outcomes.


Saturday, 6 December 2014

Sunday, 23 November 2014

Going Digital: How the bottom of the pyramid in India get online- video ...

My video with a very interesting entrepreneur, Paresh Rajde, who runs an assisted model for people who cannot transact online. "Earlier he used to go to railway station/ electricity board to pay bills, today he walks into one of my Suvidhaa centres..."

Even today, only 8% of population are online, 92 % cannot, and most transactions a cash, Without digital access and digital money how do we reach the technology benefit to the masses? Suvidhaa is one alternative.

Suvidhaa, in 7 years,  has a pan india, footprint of over 75,000 small retail touch points across 2800+ towns in India and services over 20 mn unique customers. It has 300 partners across 20 categories of services, from insurance to rail tickets.

Suvidhaa was ranked by Red Herring Inc., amongst Asia’s Top 100 Start-ups in 2009 & nominated for Global 200 Start-ups in 2010 and more recently, as per The Brand Trust Report – India Study 2013, Suvidhaa has been acknowledged & recognized as the “Most Trusted Retail Services Brand”.

Paresh's Links

Law for the Design and Creative Folks: Kushagra Shah, IP Lawyer

Kushagra from Kundalia Associates is a Kolkata based lawyer who deals with law as it pertains to a designer, design studio and a creative individual...
Criminal law's aim is to try a person accused of a crime... whereas with intangible property, it is about helping them protect their property. Today's Digital world means that if someone copies somebody elses material, they are 1000 times more likely to be found out. Infact, there are business models built around just infringements of IP law...
He talks about how someone opened a lounge serving purported  Darjeeling tea- that the darjeeling tea folks opposed- this is in supreme court.

Kushagra's links

Saturday, 22 November 2014

"Designing businesses is as creative as picking up a pen"-Mat Heinl, Mov...

My video with Mat Heinl, CEO of Moving Brands, a London hq'd creative/design agency :
Their client base spans a range- from A 200 year old Saville Row tailor -Norton and Sons, to global complex organisations like Swisscom or HP.
On mobile in India, he says-"The leapfrog in access, where you take a group of people with zero access and give them perhaps more access than people in the first world- thats interesting set of circumstances, that just overcomes legacy of we haven't done this before ... it will be like fire"
They designed Infosys experience centre, where they had to explain a wide range of services as an offer to the customer. They made it high tech, interactive form factor opportunity. We needed to work a lot on how we bring content to life- how do i translate strategy into something more engaging and human.

Mat's Links:

Saturday, 15 November 2014

What exactly does a content strategist do? Video with Elizabeth McGuane

Elizabeth talks about how  a content strategist acts as a bridge between visual design and development, and explaining each side to the other... and how terms like Lean, Agile, Systems thinking  which are very software/ developer oriented are increasingly finding their way into the lexicon of the designer and the creative...

Elizabeth's Links:

"Brands need to see design as an investment, as everything is design in todays world"- Jonathan Ford, Pearlfisher

My video with Jonathan Ford founder, creative head of Pearlfisher... talking about what it means to be creative in today's world. " A great idea that can be expressed thro' sound, objects and graphics defines human culture". "we need to understand how clients see design -as an investment or as a cost"- they should know, given they have done a lot of work with cadburys dairy milk....

From his website: Never one to simply accept the status quo, Jonathan continually provokes and questions the world, inspiring Pearlfisher to create design that makes the future better. An award-winning designer and advocate of the power of creativity to inspire change, Jonathan has been responsible for creating some of the world’s most loved Challenger and Iconic brands, and for leading a successful series of #challengersandicons interviews with the people behind the brands of the future who understand the need to harness creativity and bold ideas to create success.

Jonathan's Links

Saturday, 27 September 2014

"Finding great clients is like going on blind dates"-Natasha Jen, Partner, Pentagram

"I don't have projects of shame" - "finding great clients is like going on a blind date" My video with Natasha Jen Partner at Pentagram, who talks about what it takes to be a design/ brand/ creative person- she talks about balancing the left and the right brains, finding great work and having great relationships with clients. " Of course, skills matter, but what is hard to find is talent and vision in people..."


Wednesday, 24 September 2014

"Mobile payments will takeoff when seamless cashout happens" Shashank Joshi, MoneyOnMobile

Seamless cash-out, which regulators are working towards now, is really crucial for mobile payments to take off. Once that happens, the masses will  adopt. My video with Shashank Joshi, Money on Mobile.

In 2010, when we started out it was about SMS based payments, Today, thanks to the smartphones, India is going digital- To move our audience from SMS to digital, we are first enabling payments via Whatsapp- which is a good via media between SMS and our own App.And whatsapp is catching up everywhere.

We also believe in multilingual indian language apps-  we cannot shove english down the masses throats- so we have it in 10 languages, including Bengali, Kannada, Telugu, Oriya, Hindi, Marathi Gujarati etc...

I spoke to the Mpesa founder Susie Lonie, and it emerges that MPesa succeeded where ever carrying cash was dangerous. So you give in your cash in Bandra, and pick it up in Borivili. Thats how it succeeded.

Game changer is through payments because we are changing the habit through payments.

Company :
Susie Lonie:
Shashank Joshi:

Sunday, 21 September 2014

Vishal Dalmia- ING Bank-Mobile First

Sorry about the poor lighting- the best i could find there at the spur of the moment...

What do u do with your banking app most often? Check your balance. Well, on the ING app, you dont even need to log in. This video is with Vishal Dalmia,has created consumer mobile app for IngBank- a mobile first app that stands out for its UX and great experience and has enabled ING to successfully compete with the really big boys of retail banking. In a short span of time, they are #4 in average ticket size of mobile transactions though they are not the #4 bank- they see a lift in the logins and customer interfaces.

"Other banks, on their mobile app,  focus on enabling traditional banking functions on a different device, we have tried to use the mobile to create entirely new use cases"

The app does certain things really well and the customer speaks about it.


"The mobile moment is everything"- Julie Ask, Forrester

Julie talks about the role of mobile in creating consumer experiences- she talks about the shortening timeframes that the consumer feels wow about any feature/products. She also talks about how the Starbucks loyalty program on the mobile paid off.

The APAC has among the most shifted mobile mindset regions... My mobile moment was when i saw how the lives of masai warriors in africa changed because of the mobile and i pivoted.

Julie, is a senior analyst at Forrester based at SFO. The combination of technical and business expertise positions prepared her well to work with business leaders to identify new opportunities offered by mobile technology and to develop strategies to engage with consumers on mobile devices. She has worked with hundreds of clients across retail, travel, banking, insurance, CPG, healthcare, retail, and more to advise and guide the development of their mobile strategies.

Julie's research and analysis have been widely cited in publications including The Wall Street Journal, The New York Times, USA Today, BusinessWeek, RCR Wireless, and The Onion and on CBS, NBC, and PBS.

Julie's Mobile first definition:

Friday, 19 September 2014

Innovation and Design in creating great products : video with Todd Rovak, Farenheit212

My video with Todd Rovak, Managing Partner, Farenheit212, a 75 strong London and New York based product design and innovation company.

 "The transparent LCD that Samsung came up was very cool, but could not perhaps become a great TV. Thro' our process of finding a business win and a consumer win, we figured out that the most profitable aisle of the grocery store was the frozen foods section, which was also the worst consumer experience-frosty glass and nothing looked like food. IF we could use these LCDs there, as the transparent doors of the refrigerators- that would be a great consumer experience. We took this idea 5 months from idea to prototype, we were able to create a great product idea for retail businesses- a great example of dual-sided thinking."

"What i really like about India is that India has the ability to leapfrog existing systems, an amazing ecosystem and great talent."


Saturday, 13 September 2014

Tim Malbon MadebyMany

Tim Malbon, from Made By Many, a production innovation company based in london, talks to me at Kyoorius design yatra, where he was a speaker. he speaks on on everything from Skype to creative... a great conversation

twitter: @malbonster

Saturday, 6 September 2014

"We follow the consumer"-Marico's Aditya Save

Aditya Save, Head, Digital Marketing and Media at Marico discusses his views in this video
"If you look at the Indian family system, we have gone from three generations living under one roof , who share experiences across generations to having nuclear families, who need to search for information which is why people are increasingly going digital in their search- we understand and follow consumers as they do this."

"We have gone in with mobile first in some semi urban/ rural areas to raise awareness in semi literate/ semi media dark state- and have used celebrities in this"
Aditya Save, twitter: @adisave, is with Marico a leading Indian multinational with brands in Health Care Personal Care categories with presence in Africa & Asia. Some of their brands include Parachute, Kaya, Revive, Saffola amongst others
A passionate believer of digital, he is shifting Marketing efforts & dollars towards digital domains, at a pace akin to that of his consumers in these geographies- he talks about these trends in the video.
Besides his role at Marico, Aditya is also a Mentor Partner for the Microsoft Accelerator, based in Bangalore, India.

Links for Aditya