01 Nov Redefining our Passions through Enterprise
The catapult festival was an overwhelming experience for each one of us, not only were we overwhelmed by the response or the flow of the event but we were also surprised by the potentials we displayed and the actions we took. The energy in us was bubbling and the spirit of #karo didn’t seem to die.
On Monday, we all sat together and shared with each other our experiences and learnings. The catapult festival taught me that good teamwork is only possible if there is good communication between the team members, and trust is a vital factor. We were all very surprised by the response that our handmade catapults toys had garnered, we had also received a couple of videos of children happily playing with the catapults sent by satisfied parents. This instilled in us a new confidence and the very next moment we were driven by madness again and we decided to sell our toy professionally online, like an actual product. And within a few minutes, we had already formed teams like design, manufacturing, promotions, dispatch, accounts and e-commerce. I was a part of the promotions team, our team noted down the main tasks we had to complete and the steps we had to take for that. We arranged them in a chronological order and in less than ten minutes our Work Breakdown Structure was ready.
We celebrated with some pizza and fruit champagne bought from the profits we had made, had a slice of pizza ever tasted so good /satisfying? It was like a hot shower after an intense workout.
We analysed our festival balance sheet on Thursday. The conclusions and points that surfaced were indeed eye-opening. We got a clearer perspective on how we could improvise. We realised that we could have pushed up the ticket sales and the festival awareness with a little more social media interaction. We also understood that small unnecessary expenses affect a lot.
Making the “Me Board” was a beautiful process, it transferred us to our subconscious minds. We asked ourselves three questions – Who am I? What do I know? Who do I know? This transferred us to our subconscious minds. We did self-exploration and started forming our life story. We dug into our past and dreamed into the future. We recollected memories, felt the pain, faced the fears and ignited our dreams. Every one of us was engrossed in looking at magazines and cutting out things that we related and connected to. Then we started creating a collage of our life stories with the prints. The end result was so satisfying. Everyone’s board was unique and had a different story to tell. The boards did not only reflect our story but also our personalities. The ‘me boards’ collectively arranged on the ‘Story Wall’ seemed like a quilt, where different pieces come together to form one masterpiece, and we the Enterprise partners were one such team.
Passion is a word so commonly used but a very few of us actually know what it means. A glance at the ‘me boards’ reminded us about our passions. While making our passion cubes we discovered our passions and added values to them.
We all had a glance at our boards and then thought about one thing that we are passionate about. It could be anything, from cooking to exploring to education to music to just anything. We wrote that down on one square sheet of paper out of the six that were given to us. The next question that popped was why did we feel passionate about that particular thing, what was it that drew us to it. We were asked to write reasons on two separate squares. We then listed down any three of our skills on the other squares.
These squares were then joint to form a cube, like a dice. These were called passion cubes. These passion cubes had a new business idea emerging from every edge and corner. It was completely surprising but so interesting. Never had we ever come across any such method to form a business idea. We were mind – blown.
DESIGN THINKING WORKSHOP BY NITIN VIRKAR AND DHAN PATEL
Therefore Designs, founded by Nitin Virkar, Dhan Patel and a few others is a company who has won a Red Dot Award, the highest recognition in the field of Design. He was going to conduct a Design Thinking Session for us.
We were divided into small groups according to our interests as mentioned on our Passion Cubes. The groups were namely education, travel and explore, food, fitness, creatives and so on. We sat in our groups and came up with business ideas emerging from the edges and corners, we also combined our cubes to formulate ideas. It was a thought-provoking process. Then the groups presented their ideas to the entire team, all of the ideas were like a breath of fresh air.
Now that we were a team with a bunch of ideas, the next step was to do intense research in support of these. The main goal is to identify the audience. It is also important to make a clear distinction between – ‘Who is buying?’ and, ‘Who is using?’ User profiling follows this process. Design Research is qualitative, not quantitative involving ‘Less People but More Time’. The next step of research involves researching on the already existing similar products in the markets and finding out their limitations. There is a flow of event that takes place. First we make an ASSUMPTION, then we RESEARCH on it, if it is VALIDATED then we FREEZE it but if it is not validated then we make another assumption and repeat the entire flow.
We were introduced to a product designed by the company, that’s when we saw all the above concepts come into existence. Nitin Virkar also shared his research story from the time when he was in college. He had travelled to the Salt Pans in Kutch. He stayed with the salt pan workers and observed them for days at a stretch. He identified their problems, lived their lifestyle, and understood their mind-sets. He then focused on one of their major problems and started working on it. His story was extremely inspiring and left some very important Brain Tattoos with us –
- Go beyond the obvious
- Every product is multi-functional
- Shadow your user basically put yourself in their shoes.
He also gave us a very apt definition of Passion which we were willing to know since a long time –
Passion is something you are ready to endure pain for.
This definition transferred us back to our passion cubes, it added so much more value to them and made our concepts clear.
BREAKING THE BARRIERS
Though the Catapult Festival was over long back, there were still somethings which were left undiscussed. We all had a round of sharing where we expressed the things that we liked and disliked about it. Some very strong points emerged. We realised that it is important to stay together as a team even after the event is over and packing it up like a team. Everybody let go and spoke with an open heart. It was an emotionally heavy session but it was needed, it brought us all closer. We finally packed the catapult festival suitcase and slid it under the bed.
THE CAR STORY BY YUSUF HAKIM
We were privileged to hear another story that week and that too from a person we all already knew and connected to. Yusuf’s team had built a car from scratch during their college days and the journey that they had endured through the process was nothing short of a roller coaster ride. They were college going kids like the rest of us and they had absolutely no idea on how to make a car but their passion drove them and they just started doing things and learning along the way. Their story taught me that – one should never be limited by their own intelligence. They believed in themselves even when there was no concrete support from the college and hence, along the way the actions that they took impressed people and attracted inspiration. Yusuf worked in a team but he never bothered about how much effort somebody else was giving in, he gave in his all because in the end what ‘you’ do matters.
The car wasn’t made overnight, it involved extensive amounts of research, reverse-engineering, sampling, testing and prototyping. All of this effort and attention that they had put in for the tiniest of details made them stand out. So much so that the judges failed to believe that the car was actually made by a bunch of college-going kids without any professional help. They were disqualified on this unfair basis but they did not lose their spirit, they got back up and put on a great fight. A TV channel telecasted their entire story. Here, we realised that documentation of your story is important and also that one should never lose hope.
Their car story picked up a new speed and their nonstop actions got them some valuable mentors and international recognition and global companies. They were doing things which they couldn’t have imagined when they started back then. Their spirit never died and they kept going on and when asked Yusuf said that it was their JUNOON which drove them. Their ‘junoon’ reignited our spirits and we thought about our passions with a twinkle in the eye.