Ganesh Gopakumar, Ibtisam Zareen & Ram Prakash
National Institute of Design

Presenter Profile: 

Ganesh has 5 years of experience as a business analyst and a product owner in the Fintech space. He also has an MBA degree from NIT-K, Suratkal, Karnataka, with a focus on marketing and finance. He is passionate about Project management, human behavior, and deep tech. He is open to having a conversation on anything under the sun and can interest you in how old pirates had the best organizational structure in the world.

Ibtisam is a designer who has 4 years of experience in the research and design of jewelry. She was fortunate enough to work with leading jewellry designer Tanishq exploring different genres of jewellry design. Few of her designs werewell received by the public. She has a UG in design from NIFT, Gandhinagar, Gujarat. Her interests lie in addressing socio-political issues, storytelling, and sketching.

Ram is an engineer by profession and an entrepreneur at heart. He has started up 2 companies of his own, where he learned a great deal about product management and how to sustain a company in the current market and foresee future needs. He also has experience in an EdTech startup name Playshifu, where he understood the nuances of how to make the environment of a startup functional. He then decided to pursue his master’s before gearing up for dipping his hands in the startup world once again. His interests lie in human psychology and design.

Presentation Title: Understanding the role of DesignOps in effectively scaling the world’s third largest startup ecosystem’

Outline: India now hosts the third largest startup ecosystem in the world. There are 66000+ startups in India. Although only 83 have attained the coveted unicorn status, with the world of web 3.0 and metaverse opening up, many more are on the way to becoming one soon.

The majority of these startups are undergoing hyper-growth and hyper-growth is the make or break stage of any startup in the world. With hypergrowth comes scaling of teams and the scaling of design teams is much more nuanced because of the cross-functional nature of the design. Now, how do we design the scaling of design teams?

A three-pronged exploratory design research to understand the designer’s, design leader’s and the management’s outlook on the role of design’s contribution towards the overarching vision of the company and the impact it has on scaling brought out the conclusion that there is no one size fits all solution for scaling design teams. Rather, the need for a dynamic DesignOps system emerged from the study.

There is a huge potential for DesignOps in the burgeoning startup ecosystem in India. A dynamic DesignOps system would help these hyper growing startups to inculcate design thinking across the organization and effectively scale design teams, both horizontally and vertically. 

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