A consulting firm focused on ‘Design Thinking’ and ‘Innovation’, is not a concept that you would hear every day in India. It is a new and niche concept that has to fight its battles of introduction and validity. VyapaarJagat spoke to Mr. Rohan Shah, one of the torch bearers of this field in the country. Mr. Shah also possesses unparalleled domain expertise in Pharmaceutical and Healthcare industries and is deeply involved in academics as he strongly believes in ‘continuous learning’ as a key to success. Let us hear from this leader and gain an understanding of his journey.
Rohan Shah is an entrepreneur and an experienced leader in IT and process improvement consulting. He is an established Design Thinking expert helping top organizations in India to leverage the same for their Digital Transformation, Business Transformation and Process Improvement initiatives. He also possesses unparalleled domain expertise in Pharmaceutical and Healthcare industries. Rohan is highly involved in academics as he strongly believes in continuous learning as a key to success. He is currently a visiting faculty at Ahmedabad Management Association for diploma courses in healthcare management. He conducts Design Thinking workshops across industries to create an awareness of the concept and the benefits of radically improved output and enhanced experience.
Rohan had started his consulting practice as an SAP solution architect, based out of the US, working with Adobe, AT&T, Sybase Federal (SAP GSS Company), Vocera, Healthplus, Taleo and many more fortune 500 clients.
Rohan is currently a well-regarded and in-demand Design Thinking and Innovation Consultant. Design thinking is a structured way of approaching a challenge, and it is aimed at codifying the artistic and scientific way of thinking. He and his team are focused on crafting business processes, services, products and user experience with keeping human-centred approach.They also focus on crafting the brand story where the narrative makes brand more coherent and easier to connect with.
This unique field did not come to me by chance, it came with exploration. I have completed my Masters in ‘Product Design Engineering’, with focus on the business process and systems design from University of Southern California (USC), Los Angeles, USA. I joined USC in the year 2006 Spring semester in VLSI major at School of Engineering, but within a semester I realized that coding and technical work is not really my calling. I then decided to focus on what really interests me. I met my career counsellor at the university, and she introduced me to product design engineering, I explored and researched about that field for almost three months and realized that it is an extremely fascinating field, and I decided that I need to explore how products and systems are designed. I had figured my area of interest, and I continue to learn it and evolve in it each day, along with passing the knowledge to my clientele and aspirants.
When did it first strike you to start something at your own and why?
When I started my career after my college, I always dreamed of a corporate career. I worked in a corporate for more than 10 years. While working in a large organization, I had several encountered that I had to do something which I was not convinced with but still had to follow as it was an order from the boss, and that used to irritate me the most. Hence, at times I get thought that I want to make decisions and not follow them. So, let’s say after working for few years in the corporate culture and understanding how it functions I was determined that I am going to start on my own so I can make the decisions.
Work & Vision
Design thinking is a structured way of approaching a challenge, and it is aimed at codifying the artistic and scientific way of thinking. My team and I are focused on crafting business processes, services, products and user experience, keeping a human-centred approach. We also focus on crafting the brand story where their narrative makes the brands more coherent and easier to connect with. I believe in today’s business climate, if you are not innovating, your business will suffer, because you are no longer standing out. We continue to innovate and offer innovative solutions to our clientele, each day.
We are currently based out of Ahmedabad & Mumbai. We aim to spread our expertise across the world as I believe that, in today’s time, entire world has to be the target area. We have been working with large Corporates for quite some time and now Start-ups have started to add to her list of clients. Next up would be small and medium Enterprises.
Challenges and Success
‘Design thinking’ is a very new concept in India and not that can be easily adopted by the Indian companies and culture, as it requires a huge mindset shift and open minds to adopt the change. So, the challenge was not only sales but making them understand that they really need to adopt design thinking for their processes, for creating an experience, and why ‘human centred’ thinking is integral.
I cannot say that we have completely overcome those challenges, but we have surely made a good progress. Earlier, companies hesitated or refused to give us appointments, as they were completely unaware of the concept pf ‘design thinking’. With several, half day and full day detailed workshops, explaining the concept to them, we have been able to bridge the gap today. We have been able to convince them on how it can be very beneficial for their business.
Personally, I have had stage fright and I have been working really hard to become an affluent speaker, as I love sharing the knowledge and uniqueness of my field.
Work Life Balance
Well, I have little different view on the work-life balance concept…I strongly believe that in order to be successful you need compromise on the something, trying to get everything is not a good move. So, if you are really focused and determined on professional success, you need to compromise your family time for few years. Best way to tell them that you may not easily able to give too much time for few years because work if the priority now.
I read and spend time with my daughters… as I said earlier, we had to compromise lots of family time because of the work priority. So, whatever time I get outside my work I spend time with them. I had 2 daughter, elder is 6 and and younger one is 18 months.
What Motivates You?
I always do what I really believe in and I have faith in what I do, this itself is a strong motivation for me. I started off with no projects and no income, but I never lost hope.
Hard-work and focus are required for you to succeed. Just keep working on what you are good at, and you will succeed.
How do you define Success?
For me happiness is one output of success. I am happy today and I count that as one definition of success. However, I still have huge aspirations for my career and life, therefore a lot of efforts and hard-work is waiting.
I believe, success will come to those who continue working without giving up.
Advice to aspirants
Do not give up, it will take time, just continue working with full dedication. You will fail, so learn from your mistakes and work again, and again, until you get it right!
Do not let the learner in you retire, read lots of books and keep growing. All the best!