Rourkela – The Illustrated Journey Into The Life Of The City Around India’s First Public Sector Steel Plant

A new type of history book about a city ..600+ illustrations, 270 pages , about India’s first public sector steel plant and a city around it… legends, facts, figures..about tribals, their life, about the British Raj and post modern Indian scenario..about how the steel industry came up in the remote area and how the city got into Narendra Modi’s smart city list..

A new type of history book about a city ..600+ illustrations, 270 pages , about India's first public sector steel plant and a city around it... legends, facts, figures..about tribals, their life, about the British Raj and post modern Indian scenario..about how the steel industry came up in the remote area and how the city got into Narendra Modi's smart city list..

 

Completely illustrated narrative about Rourkela, a city that become one of the iconic industrialization urban symbol in post independent India. A remote village of the ‘Roulia’ tribe, surrounded by dense forests and hills amidst India’s one of the mineral rich valleys, got selected by the makers of modern India to host India’s first public holding Steel and Iron company Hindustan Steel Limited. This story is the the journey of becoming one of the founding stones of modern industrialization of India. “History of a less travelled yet one of the cult cities of modern Indian town retold disguised as a compelling and gripping story through pictures” Explore the fine details about the place, it’s aboriginal, the migrant population, the culture and the impact of urbanization in social life. An unique experimental book of it’s own kind.

GET YOUR PAPERBACK https://amzn.com/1539083187

GET YOUR PAPERBACK https://amzn.com/1539083187

 

Specstra 2.0 : My Experiments in Cloud Based Design Process Automation

Specstra 2.0 : My Experiments in Cloud Based Design Process Automation

 

“Automation” is one of the trending phenomenon of the current technological world. Manufacturing industry has been pioneering it for decades. Other verticals are following it. In software development , testing and deployment field, automation is popularized by Dev OPS and Continuous Integration (CI) that helps speed up the software development life cycle (SDLC). But the SDLC is not only about the So what about the software design industry? What about the design phases of any SDLC? While design is getting more and more recognition across the entrepreneur world and many industry efforts like ‘IBM Design Thinking’ and similar frameworks and associated methodologies are trying to create a synergy between the ‘Agile’ approach of SDLC and the “Design Thinking”, it is an interesting crossroad in time, that can show ways of developing more usable and meticulously designed software and similar products. So when everyone is trying to bring automation to speed up process and speed up delivery, it is really interesting as well as challenging to come up solutions and tools that help in automation of designing phase of SDLC.

In context of Software industry I always see “Design”  as an intersection between creativity and the technology where both shape each with the help from user needs and blending of these results into successful products. This also is the reason automating designing process is a lot more challenging than building solutions for automation of purely technology driven process. I accepted this challenge 2 years back during my short stint at an R&D center at Bangalore, of a leading mobile  brand, I was part of a large design team, where almost 70% of the crowd was visual designer and the rest belong to user experience and research team members. And many of these visual team who worked on different projects, complained about certain phases of the design process that involved creation of style guide of the app that they were working on. Every app project used to be developed for different flagship phones models with different resolutions as well as screen densities. And being developed in native languages for Android view-ports, designer used to develop each style guide for each project separately for each model of phone. Each style-guide has to be detailed to pixel level which the designer has to calculate and define taking calculation of the view port pixel density(PD). Many designers have to maintain different versions of the mock-up and the create specs for each version, which was more like a “drafts man’s job” with lesser creative moments for expressions and innovation than the previous phase where the designer has to follow the wire-frame and come up with pixel perfect mock-ups of the app screens.

Almost all the designers tried to grab their hands on the creative part of the job, getting engaged with the stake holders and
The senior designers prefered to avoid working on the style-guide, though they would love to review one. The not so seniors worked on the the drafting of the guide and churned out the specs document, yet do the crying that it is less creative even though it is one of the most critical part of the design process.

So I thought of calculating how much effort we are giving to a creative phase of creating a visual mock-up vs. a drafting work , i.e. creation of a specs document /style-guide. Roughly on average one view of a single screen to  be mocked up in something around 4-8 hours. creation of a very detailed spec. might need 4-6 hours of job. But if it is designed for multiple view-ports of an operating system with significant pixel density change along with varied resolutions, then this drafting time gets multiplied. So by creating 4 generations of phone models running different generation of Android might need 16- 24 hours. So the designer actually takes roughly one week of work for a view in this case from wire-framing stage to finished design with specs ready for the developer. Averagely an app can have 10 views , so the whole app would need approximately a month of work to be designed and be ready for 4 different models. Even though this is a very haigh level bare-bone calculation, it indicates a few things —

 

So in this context for a designer —
1. for the designer 1/4th of his work remains creative and gives him the scope to explore, innovate and express through his designs.
2. remaining 3/4th of his time is a purely drafts-man job.
So a designers job is actually boring as the volume of his output is not creative or inspirational.

For the organization —
1. It is paying higher fee for lower type of work. To exlain it — a creative work like that of coming of new designs is typically high paid job, where as the drafting job based on a creative guy’s is a low profile job , and should be paid less.
But interestingly this is the same designer, so the payment rate is actually based on his skill of how he performs in the 1/4th of the job where the creative juice flows and he is actually innovates.

2. Even though the 3/4th of the job is lower profile job, which could have been automated,consumes more from the delivery time. if we look at the timeline of the delivery of the design deliverables, we see that 1/4th of the delivery time is actually spent in creative way. So actually if there is a scope to automate the low profile manual work, where the designer does not need to use his right brain, then the deliverables could have been delivered in just 1 week instead of a month! Also note that time is money for industry, so the organization is actually spend 300% more than it should and that too on a higher price point.

Again apart from this there are other factor that contributed to a above problem. Being in a world of rapidly changing requirements, many industry are following “Agile” or “Iterative” approach of work. Which means in the short notice things can change even to the look and feel and UI aspect which would mean a change to the style guide if view of standard control lines are affected.This has a cascading effect that flows through the style guide work. So any change in such requirement means the wastage of effort and addition of new efforts to keep the specs aligned. Imagine, if multiple design centered projects are running on mission critical deadlines due to faster time to market needs, and such kind of scenario is happening to most of the projects. Looking at these kind of need, many design firms, keep a larger design workforce, to absorb such shocks. But that means more volume of cash burn at a higher price points for the enterprise and smaller startups do not stand a chance in such scenarios.

Another aspect that I think is important to notice here is that due to time crunch, many designers prefer to avoid granularity in the style guides. Provide common documentation and provide very high level change documentations to developers. Also in some cases there are gaps left in the document that go unnoticed, which forces the developers to get in touch with the designers during development phases. Also due to lack of a complete and meaningful style guide or specs, the software testing also gets impacted due to many blur lines among what is in and what’s out. Certain things the testers take as assumptions while completing the testing phases.

Specstra is a pet prototype that I had started working on, 3 years back (around 2013) to explore a possible solution for design related automation process.
The problem of design automation is most of the process blocks are related to creative aspect of the work the designer does. So I started with the blocks that were more aligned to less creative activity so that these blocks can be removed from the creative process flow . One of such area was creation of style guide design from the selected design where the designer has to spend hours to manually define specs.

 

SAMPLE STYLE GUIDE GENERATED FROM THE PROTOTYPE
https://samirshomepage.files.wordpress.com/2016/08/sample-generated-style-guide-output1418308769-en.pdf

 

The user can upload  Adobe Photoshop (  PSD), Adobe Illustrator (.AI), or PDF formatted exported from any design tool (Corel draw, Paint etc.) and within minutes Specstra can generate style guide which other wise would have taken the user days to complete and that with prone to error.

Typical Pain-points of manual approach of style-guide or a specs document creation are:

  1.  Tedious process
  2.  Lots of manual work
    no creativity – draftsman-ship work is not fun for designer.
  3.  Time & effort consuming activity
  4.  Not scalable
    there is limit to how much a single designer can do
  5.  Comes with cost
    Creative guys are paid to do these non-creative tings – however charges   remain the same.
  6.  Threat to agile projects
    last moment changes in design can impact the software delivery

 

Specstra addressed all of these along with some additional benefits —

  1. Completely Cloud based
    N
    o software to install
  2. Not restricted to Adobe software solution
    Can support non adobe software
  3. Minimal user intervention is workflow
    Design automation is possible
  4. Quick to Delivery
    Reduces the designer time to delivery by 99% or more.
  5. Saves $$$$
    Saves money by 50% or more.
  6. Supports creativity
    Designer can save more time for creative stuffs and is saved from draftsman-ship.
  7. Multi-language support
    Helps a global team
  8. Supports Agile SDLC
    Quick iterations and design changes will not delay the time to development as style guide can be ready in a few minutes.
  9. One click User Experience
    One click GUI guide makes the workflow super easy.
  10. Automatically handles multiple device resolutions and screen densities.
  11. Scalable for any volume of works.
  12. No need to pay to reserve people for the work .

 

Overview of Features:

https://www.linkedin.com/pulse/api/edit/embed?embed=%257B%2522owner%2522%3A%2522%2522%2C%2522request%2522%3A%257B%2522finalUrl%2522%3A%2522https%3A%252F%252Fsamirshomepage.files.wordpress.com%252F2016%252F08%252F2ss.png%2522%2C%2522originalUrl%2522%3A%2522https%3A%252F%252Fsamirshomepage.files.wordpress.com%252F2016%252F08%252F2ss.png%2522%257D%2C%2522images%2522%3A%255B%257B%2522width%2522%3A1035%2C%2522url%2522%3A%2522https%3A%252F%252Fsamirshomepage.files.wordpress.com%252F2016%252F08%252F2ss.png%2522%2C%2522height%2522%3A582%257D%255D%2C%2522data%2522%3A%257B%2522com.linkedin.treasury.Image%2522%3A%257B%2522width%2522%3A1035%2C%2522url%2522%3A%2522https%3A%252F%252Fsamirshomepage.files.wordpress.com%252F2016%252F08%252F2ss.png%2522%2C%2522height%2522%3A582%257D%257D%2C%2522provider%2522%3A%257B%2522name%2522%3A%2522Wordpress%2522%2C%2522favicon%2522%3A%2522https%3A%252F%252Fsamirshomepage.files.wordpress.com%252Ffavicon.ico%2522%2C%2522url%2522%3A%2522https%3A%252F%252Fsamirshomepage.files.wordpress.com%2522%2C%2522display%2522%3A%2522samirshomepage.files.wordpress.com%2522%257D%2C%2522created%2522%3A0%2C%2522description%2522%3A%257B%2522localized%2522%3A%257B%2522en_US%2522%3A%2522%2522%257D%257D%2C%2522lastModified%2522%3A0%2C%2522title%2522%3A%257B%2522localized%2522%3A%257B%2522en_US%2522%3A%2522%2522%257D%257D%2C%2522type%2522%3A%2522image%2522%257D&signature=AWgnF1Z0hnqw6gMeblbQut9nQtaf&url=https%3A%2F%2Fsamirshomepage.files.wordpress.com%2F2016%2F08%2F2ss.png&uid=40424Multi Design file support:
Outputs from Photoshop, Illustrator, Corel Draw, In-Design, Gem  to be supported.

Super easy to use dashboard:
Dashboard that is easy to use and aligns with the design workflow.

Customized report builder:
Editor to add and remove details, renaming etc.

https://www.linkedin.com/pulse/api/edit/embed?embed=%257B%2522owner%2522%3A%2522%2522%2C%2522request%2522%3A%257B%2522finalUrl%2522%3A%2522https%3A%252F%252Fsamirshomepage.files.wordpress.com%252F2016%252F08%252Findex.png%2522%2C%2522originalUrl%2522%3A%2522https%3A%252F%252Fsamirshomepage.files.wordpress.com%252F2016%252F08%252Findex.png%2522%257D%2C%2522images%2522%3A%255B%257B%2522width%2522%3A767%2C%2522url%2522%3A%2522https%3A%252F%252Fsamirshomepage.files.wordpress.com%252F2016%252F08%252Findex.png%2522%2C%2522height%2522%3A595%257D%255D%2C%2522data%2522%3A%257B%2522com.linkedin.treasury.Image%2522%3A%257B%2522width%2522%3A767%2C%2522url%2522%3A%2522https%3A%252F%252Fsamirshomepage.files.wordpress.com%252F2016%252F08%252Findex.png%2522%2C%2522height%2522%3A595%257D%257D%2C%2522provider%2522%3A%257B%2522name%2522%3A%2522Wordpress%2522%2C%2522favicon%2522%3A%2522https%3A%252F%252Fsamirshomepage.files.wordpress.com%252Ffavicon.ico%2522%2C%2522url%2522%3A%2522https%3A%252F%252Fsamirshomepage.files.wordpress.com%2522%2C%2522display%2522%3A%2522samirshomepage.files.wordpress.com%2522%257D%2C%2522created%2522%3A0%2C%2522description%2522%3A%257B%2522localized%2522%3A%257B%2522en_US%2522%3A%2522%2522%257D%257D%2C%2522lastModified%2522%3A0%2C%2522title%2522%3A%257B%2522localized%2522%3A%257B%2522en_US%2522%3A%2522%2522%257D%257D%2C%2522type%2522%3A%2522image%2522%257D&signature=AVCKNKYP6DKNKpOixF2b5LrW0g2i&url=https%3A%2F%2Fsamirshomepage.files.wordpress.com%2F2016%2F08%2Findex.png&uid=196 https://www.linkedin.com/pulse/api/edit/embed?embed=%257B%2522owner%2522%3A%2522%2522%2C%2522request%2522%3A%257B%2522finalUrl%2522%3A%2522https%3A%252F%252Fsamirshomepage.files.wordpress.com%252F2016%252F08%252Findexww.png%2522%2C%2522originalUrl%2522%3A%2522https%3A%252F%252Fsamirshomepage.files.wordpress.com%252F2016%252F08%252Findexww.png%2522%257D%2C%2522images%2522%3A%255B%257B%2522width%2522%3A864%2C%2522url%2522%3A%2522https%3A%252F%252Fsamirshomepage.files.wordpress.com%252F2016%252F08%252Findexww.png%2522%2C%2522height%2522%3A625%257D%255D%2C%2522data%2522%3A%257B%2522com.linkedin.treasury.Image%2522%3A%257B%2522width%2522%3A864%2C%2522url%2522%3A%2522https%3A%252F%252Fsamirshomepage.files.wordpress.com%252F2016%252F08%252Findexww.png%2522%2C%2522height%2522%3A625%257D%257D%2C%2522provider%2522%3A%257B%2522name%2522%3A%2522Wordpress%2522%2C%2522favicon%2522%3A%2522https%3A%252F%252Fsamirshomepage.files.wordpress.com%252Ffavicon.ico%2522%2C%2522url%2522%3A%2522https%3A%252F%252Fsamirshomepage.files.wordpress.com%2522%2C%2522display%2522%3A%2522samirshomepage.files.wordpress.com%2522%257D%2C%2522created%2522%3A0%2C%2522description%2522%3A%257B%2522localized%2522%3A%257B%2522en_US%2522%3A%2522%2522%257D%257D%2C%2522lastModified%2522%3A0%2C%2522title%2522%3A%257B%2522localized%2522%3A%257B%2522en_US%2522%3A%2522%2522%257D%257D%2C%2522type%2522%3A%2522image%2522%257D&signature=AWcbabFWaLYRtYMCgRov7Eucfo6h&url=https%3A%2F%2Fsamirshomepage.files.wordpress.com%2F2016%2F08%2Findexww.png&uid=32501 

Detailed Report:
Font, Shape, Color, Grid, Absolute, Relative positioning. In every iteration the report  is complete in all respect.

https://www.linkedin.com/pulse/api/edit/embed?embed=%257B%2522owner%2522%3A%2522%2522%2C%2522request%2522%3A%257B%2522finalUrl%2522%3A%2522https%3A%252F%252Fsamirshomepage.files.wordpress.com%252F2016%252F08%252Findex2.png%2522%2C%2522originalUrl%2522%3A%2522https%3A%252F%252Fsamirshomepage.files.wordpress.com%252F2016%252F08%252Findex2.png%2522%257D%2C%2522images%2522%3A%255B%257B%2522width%2522%3A816%2C%2522url%2522%3A%2522https%3A%252F%252Fsamirshomepage.files.wordpress.com%252F2016%252F08%252Findex2.png%2522%2C%2522height%2522%3A461%257D%255D%2C%2522data%2522%3A%257B%2522com.linkedin.treasury.Image%2522%3A%257B%2522width%2522%3A816%2C%2522url%2522%3A%2522https%3A%252F%252Fsamirshomepage.files.wordpress.com%252F2016%252F08%252Findex2.png%2522%2C%2522height%2522%3A461%257D%257D%2C%2522provider%2522%3A%257B%2522name%2522%3A%2522Wordpress%2522%2C%2522favicon%2522%3A%2522https%3A%252F%252Fsamirshomepage.files.wordpress.com%252Ffavicon.ico%2522%2C%2522url%2522%3A%2522https%3A%252F%252Fsamirshomepage.files.wordpress.com%2522%2C%2522display%2522%3A%2522samirshomepage.files.wordpress.com%2522%257D%2C%2522created%2522%3A0%2C%2522description%2522%3A%257B%2522localized%2522%3A%257B%2522en_US%2522%3A%2522%2522%257D%257D%2C%2522lastModified%2522%3A0%2C%2522title%2522%3A%257B%2522localized%2522%3A%257B%2522en_US%2522%3A%2522%2522%257D%257D%2C%2522type%2522%3A%2522image%2522%257D&signature=AYVSZR7YVAVBsqk-LDK-jB1CNEJt&url=https%3A%2F%2Fsamirshomepage.files.wordpress.com%2F2016%2F08%2Findex2.png&uid=417205-10 minutes delivery  :
All reports will be generated in 5-10 minutes of upload.

 

 

Feature #1 – Complete details of the objects

 

  •  Supports text/font, shape, image objects
  •  Resolution dependent (Screen Pixel) units
  •  Resolution independent (Point) units (Auto conversion based on target pixel density of the device ) – example iOS Retina, Non-Retina, Android (LDPI, MDPI, HDPI, XHDPI, XXHDPI, XXXHDPI etc. ), PC Screen standard web resolution  etc.
  •  Font formatting information – size , family, style, color,

 

Feature #2 — Complete details of color, shapes, images & font

  • Supports text/font, shape, image objects
  • Font formatting information – size , family, style, color,
  •  Web safe / Non-web safe color analysis

 

SAMPLE STYLE GUIDE GENERATED FROM THE PROTOTYPE
https://samirshomepage.files.wordpress.com/2016/08/sample-generated-style-guide-output1418308769-en.pdf

 

LINK1:
https://www.behance.net/gallery/41228843/Specstra-2-Cloud-Based-Style-Guide-Automation

LINK2:
https://www.behance.net/gallery/26346085/Specstra-Extract-CSS-Assets-Info-from-PSD-Design-

My Article – Consumer dynamics benchmarking enterprise software market

In the present era, the partnership stories like Apple+IBM are enough to prove how consumer devices are impacting positively for enterprise business process re-engineering cases in core industries like retail, healthcare, Insurance, manufacturing, aerospace and entertainment sectors.

Consumer dynamics benchmarking enterprise solutions is much more relevant in the Indian context where Prime Minister Narendra Modi has emphasised in making the technological innovation benefit common man through the Digital India initiative that aims to transform India into digital empowered society and knowledge economy.

Read the complete story here

Consumer dynamics benchmarking enterprise software market

 

Rourkela: The Illustrated Journey Into The Life Of A City

rourkela

 

The “Rourkela:  The illustrated journey into the life of a city ” book project is an unique attempt to stitch to weave a canvas of experience about a place through illustrative medium — it’s more about travelling through time and space to witness the growth of a city and it’s culture.

India’s  first ever integrated steel plant under public sector ‘Rourkela Steel Plant’ facility was established in Rourkela 1954-55. Post independence the then leaders wanted to set up a steel plant to make India self-dependent in iron and steel.Pundit Jawaharlal Nehru, the first Prime Minister of India wanted to make India an industrialised state. Iron and Steel was the basic requirements of the people at the dawn of the independence. Finally the leaders of the nation selected Rourkela for a steel plant.

So what is the story behind this? How was the city selected? What was the history of that place before? The book tries to explore this fascinating story in with the vivid illustrations. It

aims to include those little little things that makes help understand the place better – including the flocklore of the place to actual historical linkage to some part of the place that typically go unnoticed due to the fact that the place is less written about in different books and magazines.

– See more at:

https://www.facebook.com/IllustratedTypeDotCom

http://illustratedtype.com/#sthash.lUakfo5U.dpuf

 

Rourkela

Specstra: My Experiments in UI Automation to Extract CSS, Assets from Design Files

This is a proof-of-concept /experimental exploratory project I was spending my weekends during 2013-15 to come up with a cloud based tool that allows designers & developers in quickly getting assets, CSS and element details like position, dimension, shapes, raster, text formatting info etc. from the design file/screen mockups easily without them required to have installed Adobe Software suits like Photoshop.

The major challenges I faced were in reading the Adobe proprietary file formats like PSD to extract separate information on design elements specially the fonts and getting formatting information without using any of the Adobe technology available. Invented many workarounds and implemented them in an assembly line kind of architecture (i.e. chain of responsibility design pattern) to ensure that multiple design file uploads (each one having file sizes from few hundred MBs to 1 GB ) are processed successfully without crashing or over burdening the cloud system. Also the implementation required the necessary image processing tasks to achieve certain goals like creation and export of assets in specific resolution and rendering the red-lines on the fly.

The technologies used were: PHP, MySQL, Python, Perl, Ruby, Shell Scripting, HTML5, CSS3, JavaScript, Canvas & Node.

FEATURES:

Extract design info from a PSD comp to use with HTML & Native App projects like mobile and desktop designs, with Specstra.

Cloud based – Single dashboard to manage all design files.

Export design elements / assets e.g Raster (PNG,JPG) , Vectors (SVG), CSS

Dynamic selection of design elements/assets from the file.

Detects nested vector shapes, text objects, images/raster from the design file.

Detects color palette from the design file.

Specstra

Flip the Cart! : Reimagining Next in eCommerce

eCommerce has one of the strongest buzz that we come across now a days. Specially after the success of Amazon and Flipkart, the domain is seen as a goldmine that can help in bringing the disruptive business models to increase profit and business. So what is the next in eCommerce? I tried to conceptualise and re-imagine it from a socio-integrated experience. Following are some insights and sample sides that present those attempts:

 

Find the complete idea here:

https://www.behance.net/gallery/19044315/Flip-the-Cart-Reimagining-Social-Commerce

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

MakingSense: Reimagining the Next-generation Retails and e-Commerce Analytics platform

journey-consumerbenefits

 

 

In today’s ever changing world if we need to reimagine the next generation analytics platform for retail and e-commerce market, what it will look like? Well I gave it a go . Following is a conceptual framework (I call it  “MakingSense”) and a business case for an IoT based real time analytics framework for retail and FMCG market. The following post is presented as a real life business case:

 

 

 

 

Overview:

MakingSense” is IoT based market analytics platform to connect all goods and products (specially non-digital goods) that behave as fast moving goods to the cloud-analytics to get real-time market insights to make the required course correction for the market strategy and business decisions for the product manufacturers and retail chains. This enables a direct feedback model between the consumers with the producers and sellers.

 

The problem it solves:

As per current market trends, even high-tech goods like mobiles, digital accessories are behaving like FMCG in market. Rapid change is evident in consumer behaviour due to influence from technology, economy and changing buying power of the consumer . Speedy ‘go-to-market’ approach in the market from players in the market has increased the competition. Many local and niche competitors are giving tough challenges to bigger players in all segments, specially in emerging markets. For globl players the typical market strategy is not working in expected way. Traditional approach of market insights collection is not sufficient to apply the necessary check and balance for market plans in real time.

 

The 4 core needs that Making Sense will address are:

1.The manufacturers need market insights in real time

2.The consumer behaviour towards tech-goods is also needs to be tracked in real time to ensure how close they are behaving to the FMCG market behaviour.

3.In retail and non-tech sector the real time insights are needed for goods that are not digitally connected to analytics eco-system

4.Need to look beyond the traditional field immersions, surveys to get micro-insights for course corrections in strategy.

 

The solution and the business model:

The “MakingSense” platform will help product manufactures and retailers in gathering real time customer insights even for non-digital goods and helps adjust the customer retention dynamics . In retail and non-tech sector the real time insights are needed for goods that are not digitally connected to analytics eco-system. Need to look beyond the traditional field immersions, surveys to get micro-insights for course corrections in strategy.

The platform has self sustainable business model that will make it grow though benefiting the product manufacturers, retailers and the consumers. The final envisioned eco-system will have a big-data enabled management module in cloud, a super easy to use dashboard system for product manufacturers, retailers and consumers and mobile apps and easy integration public APIs along with one SMS enabled gateway.
The producers and sellers can register their products to generate specific code to their products category and if required can use the APIs to map their existing bar-code systems. The normal consumer can register themselves to generate the reward points and to be used directly in the registered retail chains or can redeem for some gifts from their dashboard itself.

The eco-system will allow the product companies and sellers to get real time analytics through creating data points directly.

 

 

Triple advantage benefits for consumers:
The incentivise/rewarding consumers for their feedback is what will make it more successful.
Whether the product the consumer gives feedback on is purchased from the registered retailer or not, he is definitely getting the reward points or freebies from the site.
If he purchases the product from the registered retailers, then he is getting additional discounts or reward points.
On top of it if the product manufacturer registers, then the customer is getting more discounts!

It’s a triple advantage for the customer.

Now, this is a new strategy where the customer is prompted to buy the product from specific manufacturer, from a specific retailers toget advantage of this.
While the whole aim is to get feedback and analytics running, this model also induces a new competition on product manufacturers to provide discounts to bring down the final competitive price to retain customers at the same time the customer is also getting benefitted.

This model is disruptive in nature where every one is getting benefited :

Manufacturer and Retailers – reduction in market research spending , getting real time-analytics — the mood of the segment- customer retention strategy formulation , attract customer to their outlets and
Consumer — reduction in home budget, get incentive, rewards for their feedback.

 

 

 

::Idea::

 

The “MakingSense” platform will help product manufactures and retailers in gathering real time customer insights in real time even for non-digital goods. In retail and non-tech sector the real time insights are needed for goods that are not digitally connected to analytics eco-system. Need to look beyond the traditional field immersions, surveys to get micro-insights for course corrections in strategy.

The platform has self sustainable business model that will make it grow though benefiting the product manufacturers, retailers and the consumers. The final envisioned eco-system will have a big-data enabled management module in cloud, a super easy to use dashboard system for product manufacturers, retailers and consumers and mobile apps and easy integration public APIs along with one SMS enabled gateway.

The producers and sellers can register their products to generate specific code to their products category and if required can use the APIs to map their existing bar-code systems. The normal consumer can register themselves to generate the reward points and to be used directly in the registered retail chains or can redeem for some gifts from their dashboard itself.

The eco-system will allow the product companies and sellers to get real time analytics through creating data points directly

:: Architecture:

The idea is about building an eco-system in multiple-phases that will have three components:

1. “MakingSense SmartCloud” — Cloud based server to store the data related to the consumers and host the analytic platform. This will have the following major components :
i. BigData analytic-engine that can do the necessary data mining to understand trends and formulate recommendations .

ii. Open REST APIs providing easy way to integrate third-party systems such as retail-management systems, third-party analytic and business process tools/apps.

iii. user management modules with different levels of access to different roles.

iv. Reward points management and coupon code management system.

v. Payment gateway and subscription and vendor management.

2.”MakingSense Portal” — Web-based portal/ thin-client solution that will allow consumers and product sellers/retailers who can register and access their respective dashboards

3. “Making-Sense client” — This is primarily mobile/device client and consumer facing service gateways (and optionally hardware) that can be used by the consumers to submit their feedback.
In the multi-phased development roadmap, initially the mobile apps will be primary representative of this section. Later phases will introduce SMS enabled gateways, custom “MakingSense” hardware, which will be cheap yet provide easier way to share data from the consumer.

 

:: User Journeys:

For Sellers (Retailers/Producers)-

1. gets account registered at ‘MakingSense Portal’.
2. get API if to connect to their card scanners /billing machines/users db/inventory/product catalog
3. gets products mapped to “Reward points”/discounts/freebies
4. product manufacture can offer discounts for their product using the API by registring their product

5.product manufacture can register their product to get insight for their product across globe
6.retailers get insight for their retails chains –anything sold though their system
7.retailers can buy insights (not customer details ) for other regions/ segments
8. product manufacturers can buy insights (not customer details) for competing brands and similar products

For Consumer –

1. Registers at the Portal — if he is from a retailer’s database, he can map his account to this system.
2. Connection to his SNS account (facebook) is encouraged (with some additional reward for it)
2. downloads free “makingsense” mobile app, and starts using
3. scan the barcode of any product he purchased and rates the product.
4. For each feedback on different (at least different batch of same product with in a specific time period range) the products, gets “reward points” or discounts codes or freebies coupon codes.
5. If retailers/product manufacturer has sponsored rewards, based on accumulated points, he can redeem them at their store. Else these can be redeemed at the “makingSense” dashboard at the portal.

:: Benefit:

For Sellers (Retailers/Producers)-

emerging market is the next potential
even high tech/high end goods are behaving like FMCG goods…
micro -insights are required to plan the market startegy adjustment
conventional type of large scale survey’s are not going to help much due to high cost and field immersion efforts and time.. — go-to-market is accelerating so ..time has value … micromax makes a phone in 70 days

So new age trend is required to gather data in real time ..to connect goods that are not even digital , we need those data
IoT will help in rapidly accessing this.

They get the following insight from the solution:

customer’s insight
————
who bought
how many times bought
which part of the year bought the most
consumer’s insight
—————————
liked? great – good – bad ?
what else he likes in the same product line ?
what similar product he uses?
what similar product he likes most ? what brands?
collective consumer insights
—————————-
how many such buyers are in the region who are potential buyer?
how is collective preference?

predictive market forecast
—————————-
in which part of the year the product consumption is going to increase — manufacture more and ensure smooth shelf-space management
who are competitor brands
how a product is behaving in a segment?
value curve?
what should be the status?

if connects to his SNS account/FB/retail shopers card — then u get location, age, gender, type etc. — new gold mine where every one will want to invest.

For Consumer –

1. Consumer is rewarded for any feedback he shares for any product he uses.
2. Apart from regular discounts, reward points the customer can get these additional discounts in purchase/freebies which can bring customer delight leading to more involvement and customer engagement (so no matter if consumer does not buy from registered retailers or products.)

 

 

 

 

 

:: Business model::

Business model is mostly through subscription based to access competitor analytics
Along with it the access to premium data and value added services like (customizable report, goal alignment, market strategy etc. ) can be a major source of revenue .

retailers get 100% discounts to access their data — all real time
retailers get 20-30% discount in viewing their competitor’s data in the same region or segment

retailers not listed in the program to have to pay full to get data for a segment
retailers not listed in the program can not view their data

consumer gets 2% bonus discounts or points to submit the feedback on every item he uses

 

 

:: Market Size::

As per ESOMAR Global Market Research conducted in 2011:

Global Spending on Market Research is 32 Billion USD.
Out of this Emerging Market share is 24% == 8 Billion USD
Out of this only Asia Pacific spending is == 5 Billion USD.

India & China are major share holders of 5 Billion USD
India == 40% of 5 Billion USD = 2 Billion USD

Based this 1st year
target in five 1st tier cities.
assuming 30% investment is done in these 5 cities == 0.6 Billion USD
assuming we get 30% of this share in 1st year == 0.2 Billion USD

That results in 100 Cr INR Revenue in 1st year .

 

 

 

:: Potential competitors & Competitive advantage of the idea::


Amazon Dash
Dash is a product by Amazon that allows to facilitate the consumer to order new products from Amazon store

 

 

Dash:

Hardware based + amazon portal is available for consumer to buy
Only limited to Amamzon portal
No-whitelabelled system — Amamzon uses it for it’s own usage.
It’s is NOT a feedback based model, the bigdata only shows which segment is purchasing which product.

 

Making Sense:

Special marketing-insight platform – unique and first of it’s kind.
Specially designed to handle multiple vendors, retailers and consumers along with reward points/incentive management model .
Unique analytics with predictive strategy formation
works across cross platform, outlets, cross multi-channecommercialal platforms both counter based or online.

 

SWOT  Analysis

Strength: 

Cross platform – mobile, tablet, PC, kosk, custom hardware
works across cross platform, outlets, cross multi-channel commerceial platforms both counter based or online.
Can appeal to consumers, retailer, manufacturers

Can be scaled from FMCG to insurance, banking/finance sectors.
Weakness:
New concept, new to the market — disruptive business model for market research where customers are incentivised for their feedback directly.
Requires fund to maintain the incentives/ rewards for the end-consumers.
Large scale imkplementation can bring meaningful results??????
Opportunities:
New unique business model.
Regional market is drib\ven by fragmented retail / distribution channels
Specially FMCG market is highly un-organised
Penetration of single super markets, and online selling is low.
Specially in India the coverage of super markets (Big Baazar, )
Market insights
Threats:
Dash making it’s platform focused on marketing research
Marketing research companies replicating this model– alternative models
Retail chains making their own platform — will get limited view only only their customers..still they need to spend more in their marketing agencies.

 

 

:: Why it’s a killer Idea? ::

The incentivise/rewarding consumers for their feedback is what will make it more successful.
Whether the product the consumer gives feedback on is purchased from the registered retailer or not, he is definitely getting the reward points or freebies from the site.
If he purchases the product from the registered retailers, then he is getting additional discounts or reward points.
On top of it if the product manufacturer registers, then the customer is getting more discounts!

It’s a tripple advantage for the customer.

Now, this is a new strategy where the customer is prompted to buy the product from specific manufacturer, from a specific retailers toget advantage of this.
While the whole aim is to get feedback and analytics running, this model also induces a new competition on product manufacturers to provide discounts to bring down the final competitive price to retain customers at the same time the customer is also getting benefitted.

This model is disruptive in nature where every one is getting benefited :

Manufacturer and Retailers – reduction in market research spending , gettingf realtime analytics — the mood of the segment- customer retaintion strategy formulation , attaract customer to their outlets and
Consumer — reduction in home budghet, get incentive, rewards for their feedback.

 

 

 

As per Tim Ambler of London Business School, “Marketing Productivity” is measured through the following 5 ponts :

1. routinely research consumer beavior?

2. routinely report research with financial matrics?

3. compare results with previously forecasted in business plans

4. compare with level achieved by your competitor using the same indicators?

5. adjust short term performance?

 

All of these are taken care in the  blue print of “MakingSense”

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Why ‘UX’ is must for software industry?

In software industry , just like any other manufacturing industry the final production of final output step of the whole process of software development is critical as well as expensive. So it became necessary for the different stake holders of the process and the final output to figure out the exact “what” and “how” aspect. To cater these needs new specialties such as “interaction design”, “information architecture” emerge. These new disciplines became the part of software development life cycle gradually after 90s and put an impact on production design process in software industry.

Software industry is itself in a speedy evolving process. So the methodologies used in production design also gradually evolved to match the changing needs of the time. For example the competition in the software product market gave rise to the trend of publishing quick and iterative versions to the market and gradually improvement of the product based on the feedback of the users on the versions available in the market. The agile methodology in the software production process helped changing the process related goals for the developers and designers involved. In the designers process concepts like “Lean UX” has emerged to meet the need of the competitive timelines and “quick to production” demands through agile process.

This is high time we need to see how the “ever evolving” change in production design process can be handled by the designers, developers and information architects through bare minimum effort and learning curve. Understanding of UX is after all is a ‘must’ for those who want a quick fix solution for the changes that happen in the production process and find answers on how to map different UX and IXD concepts to their “ever changing needs” in software production.

(c) 2013-14 , Samir Dash