Before leaving for Christmas holidays, we had an opportunity to present our business idea to the judges in our mock Dragon’s Den. Our group SKKT is designing a product FitMe!, which is an exercise game – an initiative to motivate people to work out more. We pitched our idea to the judges and got valuable feedback.
It was a five minutes pitch followed by Q and A with the judges which got over in a blink of an eye, but the time that went into the preparation was a lot and a played a part in increasing each student’s nervousness. We started with the preparation almost a week before and kept practicing as a team and individually, but it still was not enough. The anxiety kept on building.
However, my group discussed the feedbacks that we received and redesigned our product to solve the purpose to the best of our efforts. We received constructive feedback on the product name and design, IP processes and possible ways to enter the market. This was really helpful as we got to know more from a different perspective.
Moreover, it was really nice to see all the groups present their ideas as there was something to learn from each one. There were a few teams who didn’t have to refer to any notes and had good displays and a few who were confident about their product. It was impressive to see the efforts put in by all the teams.
Overall, this mock Dragon’s Den was really inspirational and helpful as I was able to find out the strengths and weaknesses in me and make sure to do better the next time. All in all it was a really great experience!
I have heard and learned about brainstorming techniques before. It is a method used to generate ideas to solve design related problems, but what I never heard before was about bodystorming. Bodystorming is a technique used to develop new ideas by physically experiencing a problem. This included different methods such as empathy and ideation to help create a tangible prototype or solution.
To understand this concept, we did an in-class exercise of how we would redesign the university for wheelchair users to make it more convenient for them. For this, one individual from each group had to sit in the wheelchair and perform various tasks and the rest of the group members had to observe how easy or difficult the task was for the wheelchair user.
For my group, the person on the wheelchair had to go to the bathroom and come back to the classroom. We observed various problems for example, too many doors on the way to the bathroom and the doors were heavy to open, for which we thought of making all the doors automatic.
This exercise taught me to think about the user’s needs from their perspective and how to solve the problem. This technique of bodystorming helps to empathize better with the user and to solve the problem more effectively.
Everyone’s CV has ‘effective team management’ listed in their skill set. Does it necessarily mean everyone is just as effective working in a team as the next person? Personally, I have always been able to work well in a team environment. Be it as a team member or a team manager I enjoy the experience of working with people.
Quite fortunately I have an excellent team to work with for this business. It’s such a diverse bunch of people that there is never a dull moment. We have been able to work and coordinate very well together. We have been able to delegate duties amongst each other and help share each other’s workload. We have also distributed tasks based on each other’s strengths. This has helped our business to grow very efficiently. Sometimes it is difficult to coordinate with team members and agree on a certain opinion. Fortunately, all the team members are very professional which makes working together easy.
Working together, we have been able to get the best out of each other and help improve upon our weaknesses. All in all, it has been absolute joy to work in a team of such talent and professional character.
It was a pleasure to visit The Design Museum. An interesting quote that the developers of the museum use is that design is a process carried out by the people for the people. It was a great experience to see the concept from three different perspectives – the Designers, the Makers and the Users. The way these three perspectives depend on each other and how the technology has an impact in our lives today was interesting and remarkable to see.
It was then that I realised how important design today is and how the users can influence the designers as to what has to be designed. Not just that, the designers also need to keep the makers in mind in order to achieve practicality and also the makers need to keep the designers visions in mind.
This makes me think how technology has evolved over the years and how design thinking today is the main factor to run any business successfully. The museum showcased different types of technologies and its stages of development over the years. I got to see the same for big companies like Apple, Sony and Samsung. The Design Museum is the best place to visit to see the innovation and the change in Design of technology over the years.
For all the technology lovers, this is the best place to visit to know how a basic device, be it a phone, headset or tape recorder, has evolved to an intricate and attractive design and yet solving the users’ needs.
While I was at the museum, admiring the thought put in to design these gadgets, I wondered how technology and Artificial Intelligence play a vital role in our lives today. I was amazed to see the change in the design and it made me think how it will be in the future knowing the fact that technology reduces human efforts and that it can also replace humans. Does it not scare you?
This encouraged me to further study Business to become a known global fashion entrepreneur in near future. In order to do so, I wanted to be exposed to international work culture. Without any hesitation I knew I wanted to gain master’s degree in London. Running a business is quite challenging which requires critical and logical thinking. The adrenaline rush of surpassing business targets has driven me to study and expand my knowledge in Entrepreneurship. Achieving a degree in Entrepreneurship in Kingston University and still be around a fashion environment portrayed a perfect blend of fashion and business. Without any regrets, I have realized that Kingston University has truly been a great choice as it is highlights both classroom and direct experiential learning.
Undoubtedly, I was overwhelmed when I received an acceptance letter from Kingston University as both excitement and nervousness gushed through my body. I was excited but scared to start an independent life in an entirely new country, miles away from my support system – my family. Holding my visa felt like dream come true with a pinch of reality. In a short span of time, I was able to finish shopping and prepare myself mentally. Funnily, I also had to prepare myself to live in snow as Mumbai’s, my home town’s winters are like London’s summers. Things were changing but my paradoxical behaviour was a constant. I was confident and excited to start a new life but had self-doubts on multiple occasions as I was entering college life after 4 gap years. Hence, my flight from Mumbai to Heathrow was a roller coaster ride of emotions and thoughts.
But I am proud of myself and so is my family to know that I did not give up and after the orientation week, after meeting professors and making few friends, I was mentally relaxed. Kingston University did a great job in making me feel welcomed. After overthinking for hours, I did not expect my start of the journey to be this smooth and exciting. I am immensely thankful to the people I have met here and have helped me to get accustomed to new place and culture. Every day I am pumped to move forward to fulfilling my dreams. Here I am, tackling the challenges and embracing the beautiful change simply to become a successful entrepreneur. I cannot wait to give back to the world what I am learning in classes right now, in the form of business advancement.
Art and design have always been my keen interests and strong talents. I have done a lot of photoshoots and was also offered to be in an advertisement. This initiated my journey in self-grooming and fashion. For me, fashion has been a non-verbal communication between an observer and the wearer. Fashion speaks of confidence and personality. It is an ever-expanding field where I want to contribute my best. But I soon realized that to be an independent fashion artist, I had to be a business-minded person as well. The realization kicked in when I ran a boutique store for almost 2 years. The responsibilities were a merge of business and fashion fields such as anticipate designs that appealed to clients but also interact and exceed clients’ expectations through entrepreneurial skills. Furthermore, I opened a bag store and owned a fashion embroidery workshop where I developed marketing strategies, management skills and leadership qualities. There were ups and downs with this hands-on learning experience of understanding the blend of business and fashion but eventually I became a well-known fashion entrepreneur in my vicinity and was also approached by other businessmen to start a joint business with them. One such example is opening a bake shop with another businesswoman. This business gave me experience in recruiting and training employees.
By opening up to new experiences, I gained practical knowledge of business (finance, marketing, networking are a few examples), enhanced my problem solving tactics and time management skills. After achieving good responses from clients and noticing self-growth, I realized my passion lies in becoming an entrepreneur as well so that in future I am able to blend fashion and business industries on a larger scale but also open up to new business experiences.