Episode 3 Making Indian Product Global with Design

We partake in an insightful conversation with Subramanian V., the co-founder of Disrpz, an enterprise learning app that gave a million employees the tools and opportunities needed to elevate their career. The discussion tackles the process of building a homegrown learning platform, as well as the trials and tribulations of making learning for professionals more approachable, and user-friendly.
To hear the origins and milestones of Disprz, and their eclectic founder Subramanian, tune in now!

Episode Transcript

Divanshu 0:00
Hi, I’m Divanshu. And this is Business and UX story, a podcast by Onething design studio. To know more about us log on to www.onething.design. Business and UX story aims to meld the worlds of business and design, to unearth the latest and greatest innovations in the worlds of both and the minds behind them. We pick the brains of industry leaders, innovators and disruptors, from all across the startup and business landscape, and learn what makes the product click. Moreover, discovering how UX and UI design in particular holds the key to unlocking so many doors in the world of business. So whether you’re an established brand, having touched the lives of millions, or a startup looking to make a lasting impact, we’re sure there will be plenty to learn from the various discourses we engage in on the podcast, keep listening!
With our first edition of business and UX story podcast, we’re doing this with the, you know, our first guest is Mr. Subbu Vishwanathan, CEO co founder at Disprz, who was an ex Mckinsey and alumnus of IIT, Madras and ISB, there is so much more I can talk about Subbu. But I would, you know, rather than talking about him, which I would let him do this, I would talk about and would like to share a story that, you know, we have with Subbu and his company. Five years back, when we started one thing, we were just three, four members-team. And, you know, we were looking to kind of work with new startups and work with companies to kind of build their products and all. We reached out, we read about Subbu and, you know, learntron, which was called Learntron back in the day. They raised a seed round, and we read about them. And I personally messaged Subbu on LinkedIn. And, you know, I was surprised to see his message back. And, you know, we got in touch on phone, we understood what we are doing with, you know, in our own areas, we expressed an interest to work with Subbu. And, you know, Subbhu asked us, you know, why don’t you talk about, why don’t you share a proposal? And why don’t you tell him more about Onething, we are good with a good discussion for a month, I guess. And, you know, then we started working with Subbu, you know, Subbu placed his trust in us back in the day. And, you know, professionally, he was our first customer that we worked with, and it gives me immense pride and joy to see where they are today. Where they are, they have a presence globally, they are present across 70 plus countries with around 250 plus customers across the globe in the b2b segment. And, you know, I would, I would without wasting any time, I would, you know, welcome Subbu to this conversation, and let him talk more about the idea of Disprz the need that he saw and the audience that is catering to, so Subbu, over to you, my friend.

Subbu Vishwanathan 2:56
Thank you very much for that wonderful introduction, Divanshu! I’m very, very happy to be here. And look forward to chatting.

Divanshu Thakral 3:03

Great.

So Subbu, what do you think, you know, how did this idea of Disprz happen to you? You know, when did this first kind of seed-ed in your mind? And then you know, you started working on it? Where did you see the need for it? And how did you, kind of, build it for the audience that you’re building it for?

Subbu Vishwanathan 3:24
Sure! So, this is my second startup in the field of education, learning and broader skill building. My real journey with the mission of helping people get better at whatever they do, which is essentially the problem that I’m trying to solve for, started about 10 years back now, when I was at McKinsey, I was looking at entrepreneurial ideas.

I was always a startup guy, never an enterprise or our corporate guy. But having said that, I learnt a lot at McKinsey.

And, when I had spent my three and a half years, I was looking for interesting product ideas from where I could take off and start my own venture.
So, one of the ideas that struck me was can you use the tablet as a device? And use that inside a classroom?

Now, the iPad-one had just launched then. Why can’t we bring a device for each user? This was back in 2011 when not even smartphones were very popular actually. Why not bring a tablet to the classroom and create a next generation collaborative experience inside the classroom, where everybody uses a digital device,the teacher has much richer analytics on who’s paying attention who’s not paying attention. The note taking experience, the whiteboard sharing experience can be 10X of what it is today.

That’s when we started the idea, it was called “harness”. We did that for about three, four years. Obviously, we made our big mistakes, one of which was trying to sell to schools.
It’s incredibly hard to build a B2B business, even if you have the best product, selling to schools.

So we couldn’t scale as fast. Investors loved our product, the number of required axles of the world gave us awards, and gave us recognition for being a very promising startup. But they stopped short of writing that series a cheque. So we were Angel funded, we couldn’t scale beyond a point.

Luckily, we were acquired by a UK based private equity investor. This was in 2015, and then Kuljeet, my co founder, and I thought, what can we do next? And we thought, why not take the idea of digital learning, instead of doing it inside a classroom, inside the four walls of a classroom or a university; why not take it to the workplace?

Because the way people were learning in the workplace wasn’t very exciting. They were, they were either learning instead of physical classrooms without a digital edge. Again, smartphones were just taking off and enterprise apps were just taking off. Why not build an enterprise SaaS company that helps learning and skill building become more exciting and fun in the workplace.

So, that’s how we started Disprz in 2015. Like you said, it was called Learntron back then. We decided to change it to Disprz. Because we didn’t want the word learning because the word learning sometimes has negative connotations.

So we started off as Learntron 2015, got seed funded, it became Disprz in 2017. And, here we are now. It’s been a wonderful journey, we have over 1 million users on our platform. We are one of the largest companies in this space. This is a very complicated space to crack, B2B in HR tech / learning tech. It’s very hard to scale beyond a point, I think we’ve gone past that hump. And if things go well, we will scale further.

Divanshu Thakral 6:42
That’s great. 1 million is a big number.

Subbu Vishwanathan 6:45
Yeah, 1 million users is a big number. We are quite proud of that.

Divanshu Thakral 6:49
That’s great. Yeah. That’s great.

So you know, when you were transitioning from Learntron to Disprz, and obviously the offering was changing, and the customer set was changing. What were your biggest challenges when you were going out? And you know, kind of pitching it to corporates? Like, did they have a product like that? Was there friction in the HR teams, in the skill learning teams there to kind of adapt to a new age product? What were the business challenges that you faced while selling the proposition?

Subbu Vishwanathan 7:20
There were quite a few challenges.

Firstly, you know, the workforce was getting increasingly distributed around the world. And more so post COVID, right!

That’s the reason we call our company Disprz. Because we stand for distributing or dispersing business impact to workforce that are geographically dispersed.

So and there were quite a few challenges. First, you know, the penetration of mobile learning back in 2015-16, wasn’t very high. The mobile apps even weren’t commonplace. I think consumer apps were taking off, they were five, six, you know, huge apps, that had a lot of consumer engagement. But on the B2B side, the apps, the app ecosystem was just taking off. In fact, now it’s the complete opposite. You know, enterprise users are tired of apps. Now they’re saying, can we go back to the mobile web? For it, I think back in 2016-17, the enterprise app world was just taking off, number one. And secondly, there was a lot of hesitance amongst the HR heads and the learning heads on can mobile phones be used productively, especially when I can’t control it?

You know, you’re used to – the IT and, you know, business functions are used to giving laptops out and control, and that’s highly controlled, right, especially in large enterprises, and mobile phones in the mobile era, you really can’t do that.

And, the third challenge we had was; Is this a learning management system? We were not! We may have had a few features of a learning management system, but that does not make us a pure corporate learning management system.

And that is the reason we went away from the word Learntron because now whenever you talk to a 45-year-old, the reason I say 45 year old is because LMS as a category has existed for 20 years.

If you talk to a 45 year old corporate employee, the moment you say LMS and you know, you can see a frown on their face, because LMS stands for boring compliance content that you need to take and it’s delivered in the worst possible format and the worst possible and in the least engaging manner. So these were the three challenges. But you know, with time we’ve sort of overcome all of those. There were quite a few tailwinds that worked in our favor. We also worked hard on building a world class product. We worked with guys like you to make our user experience better and yeah, our journey is never ending.

Divanshu Thakral 9:45
That’s amazing! I just hope it keeps getting better with every passing single day, you know, I would love to see you get even bigger. I think probably by the next podcast, we should do 10 million.

Subbu Vishwanathan 10:01
I hope, I hope we can get there faster. Yeah.

Divanshu Thakral 10:03
Yes! So Subbu when you were, you know, when these companies were adapting to, you know, your platform, were you defining certain metrics? Were you defining certain KPIs? You know, that you would want to target to see improvement in the adaptation of the platform, in the adaption of the platform in the, in the usage of the platform? Would you like to throw some light on the metrics?

Subbu Vishwanathan 10:28
Yeah, sure, sure.
So, the entire category of learning, corporate learning, by default, is a low adoption category, that was a big challenge. And even now, it continues to be a challenge, because it’s very hard sometimes to prove to a customer, what is the impact that you brought to the table, and even from an investor standpoint, right. You know, expense management software and attendance tracking software, which you would think is just a fairly administrative kind of software, they have 95% adoption rate, because you will have to file your attendance or file your expense.

Divanshu Thakral 11:00
That’s right

Subbu Vishwanathan 11:01
Now, when it comes to learning and scaling, which is actually strategically more important to a company everybody knows that. Everybody from the CEO, to a fresher who joined the company knows that they need to learn and upskill themselves and a well skilled workforce, which is ready for the future is a big source of competitive advantage. Everybody knows that. But despite that, the traction on the average, I think the best in class learning platform companies, they have an option of 15 to 18% of the active user base.

Now, we change that. We have over 50% adoption, and our best in class companies. And we’ve actually launched quite a few innovations over the last 12 months. We are calling it learning as a service, where we offer an ecosystem of skill based data, skill based training, skill analytics, you know, skill measurement. We managed to get that up to as high as 80%.

And we are doing it at scale, we have massive companies like, like you know, Mahindra dealership, Bajaj Allianz insurance, some of the top insurance companies, who have users about 5000-10,000 users who are now driving adoption at a scale of 80-85% active users on a on a monthly basis. And, that’s something that we are quite proud of. That’s something that we’re trying to scale across every customer of ours, globally.

Divanshu Thakral 12:22
That’s great. I mean, you’re actually setting up industry benchmarks, I mean, you know, creating the metrics, and, you know, taking them three times ahead of the usual metrics that, you know, you see in these platforms, that is stupendous. I mean, I’m sure you’re doing great stuff out there.

Subbu Vishwanathan 12:39
Yes, we are, we have the scope to do more, I believe, I do believe there is scope to do more. And, you know, once we crack the adoption problem, the next will be to crack at the time spent learning problem. That’s also going up. But, you know, we want that to be at least one hour a week. We want people in our platform, people in the workplace in general to be spending an hour investing in themselves and becoming a better version of themselves, which happens only through learning and upskilling.

Divanshu Thakral 13:11
That is great. That is great. I mean, I’m sure people can spend that kind of time to kind of learn and improve themselves. And I think it is very important as well, you know, for companies to invest in such platforms that can make their people, their team achieve such you know, self-learning, you know, feat for themselves.

Subbu Vishwanathan 13:31
Yeah, it’s much better than spending an hour a week on Facebook.

Divanshu Thakral 13:33
Exactly right. I mean, and everybody has that kind of time. I mean, if you see somebody’s screen time on phone, or their systems, it’s easily one or two hours a day on social media networks. So I think definitely, there is time that you can penetrate into, and you can actually use that time into upscaling yourself. That’s great.

Subbu Vishwanathan 13:56
That’s right!

Divanshu Thakral 13:57
So Subbu, you know, I remember, you know, five years back, you know, when this segment was growing, not lot of startups, not a lot of products, wanted to take a design-first approach, but I remember, you were one of the few startups who wanted to explore design-first approach.

And, everybody, especially enterprise businesses, they, you know, they always wanted to, you know, kind of not invest in product design a lot. But I remember a conversation that I had with you back in the day when you mentioned that, Divanshu, I think the way we want to approach this product is to think about design. What made you do that? You know what made you go, you know, away from the you know, the normal thinking and invest in product design back in the day?

Subbu Viswanathan 14:47
Yeah, I’m a big believer in user experience. And I’m a big believer in user experience adding value to, to a product based company.

And from our perspective, you can either do UX design in house, or you can, you can outsource.

And from our perspective, like, if you look at our company, a lot of us have an engineering first mindset, including myself, I’m very good at envisioning new product ideas and bringing them to a level of sound design, at a wireframe level.

But translate that into a user experience that a user should, can go through, I think that requires expertise, which is where the UX designers at firms like you can come in.

So, I’ve always thought it had a strategic importance. And as an early stage company, you may not have a UX designer in house. And back in the day, I think only now you are starting to get a steady stream of UX designers in the market back in the day firms like yours’ were a very healthy and very viable alternative. So it was actually not a very difficult decision.

Divanshu Thakral 15:57
Right. Right. No, I’m glad we crossed paths. And you know, you know, we are where we are today. And the industry is definitely growing in, you know, both in terms of products, and that products are adapting design approach, design is the first approach to kind of build products. So that’s, that’s great.

So Subbu, would you be able to share some outcomes? You know, some case study not, or some instances where you thought design made a difference, you know, probably while you were pitching that product to a customer or demo, you know, or showcasing it to the internal team. You know, do you have such instances that, you know, you could share?

Subbu Vishwanathan 16:42
Yeah, absolutely I can, I can also relate it back to the work that we’ve done with Onething.

So when you show a product, which is not made yet. And you know, I believe that the best entrepreneurs create a minimum viable product right before, they build the bigger version.

And somebody, somebody in the US, actually one of those startups, told me that the best minimum viable product is actually a PowerPoint presentation. Because that’s when you actually build nothing, but actually build enough to make a sale. I think the next best thing to a PowerPoint presentation is a UX mockup.

Divanshu Thakral 17:30
I agree.

Subbu Vishwanathan 17:31
So that’s when it really starts coming to life.

I still remember the first, when we were making a big leap to a learning platform. It was so, it is now a category called learning experience platform where you can actually as an enterprise user, in line with your skills, artificial intelligence, and data analytics power what you should learn next. And it helps you discover from an array of courses on portals like edX, and Coursera.

But the discovery and the recommendations happen inside a learning platform, it’s called an LXP. It’s a new category now, it’s over a billion dollars. And that’s one of the categories in which we compete.

Now, when we built the first version of our LXP, it was a huge consumer, internet major called Naspers. They still are our clients. And you know, they are investors, they are now called Prosus, they are investors into all the top consumer internet brands of the world. They were early investors in Flipkart. In India, they are investors in Swiggy, BYJU, MakeMyTrip. Then, if you look at the number one ecommerce company in South Africa, number one e commerce company in Western Europe, you know, all of the emerging market companies in, every ecommerce company or every classifieds company, they would have been an investor.

So when we pitched to them the idea of an LXP because it hadn’t really taken off, we went beyond a PowerPoint presentation, we got the power presentation to make the sale. But when we delivered the first MVP, the first MVP before the MVP was actually a UX design and in fact, Onething helped us build that. So we built our click through design of how the actual user flow will be. How will you discover skills? How will you rate yourself on scales? And how will you discover courses, and that had a huge impact?

It’s very hard to get that impact on a PowerPoint presentation. But the best thing is to build the product, or the next best thing is to build a well designed UX walkthrough.

Divanshu Thakral 19:25
That’s great. I mean, this gives us confidence that, you know, whatever we did with you created the impact that you needed.

Subbu Vishwanathan 19:33
Yeah, absolutely.

Divanshu Thakral 19:34
Amazing, Subbu. So Subbu, you know, we know last one year things have changed a lot. You know, pandemic has hit us and you know, things have completely shifted the way we interact with, you know, products, the way we interact with the digital world.

What was the impact that you saw on the platform? Was it positive? Was it negative? If it was negative, how did you kind of take care of it? And what lies next for you? Considering that we will stay in the state of pandemic for probably another year or so. I hope we don’t, but looking at the numbers rising and all that, you never know how things shape up. So you know, how are you thinking around this?

Subbu Vishwanathan 20:20
So we were very, very fortunate that we were in a space where the pandemic gave us tailwinds. Because we are a digital learning company. And we are, in a way, a part of the future of work vision, right, where everything happens remotely and users in the workplace learn on their mobile phones. In fact, it helped us, as far as praximo was concerned.

So between April and June of last year, we saw 2 to 3X usage on our platform, during the peak of the pandemic, around the world, I’m talking about around the world, like I said, we had at that point about 750k users.

So we had more active users, people who were spending double or triple the time on the platform. And the good news is, it was not a temporary, it was not a temporary spike.

It settled at a new normal, or should I say an evolving novel from July, at about 1.5x of what it was before the pandemic. So clearly, there were behaviors that were sticky. The digital first behaviors and, and, and the behavior to learn, find content that can upscale you on your mobile phone that stuck. So we were very fortunate, it really benefited us. And in general, broadly, the business world at large, the awareness for digital learning, it was no longer was no longer a vitamin, it was actually a painkiller. So that shift is happening now as we speak.

Divanshu Thakral 21:49
Interesting, interesting. No, I think digital platforms have definitely gained, you know, from this, and I would say, more than gain, I mean, people have understood the value of, you know, keeping digital first. And not as one of the, you know, business verticals, digital has definitely, you know, kind of pushed in as do vertical for a company to grow. And I think this will only get stronger for companies like you.

Subbu Vishwanathan 22:17
Exactly, and that’s where we start, that’s what this stands for, as a company. We help companies prepare themselves and build the skills for a digital first world.

Divanshu Thakral 22:26
Correct. Correct. I agree. So you know, when you say digital first, where do you see your users coming from? Do you see them mobile, mobile? Or is it web, considering you are a platform, which is, you know, which makes through a B2B segment? Where do you see your users coming from?

Subbu Vishwanathan 22:46
So, at an overall level, about 70 to 75% of our usage comes from the app, another 25% comes from the web.

It also kind of mirrors the kind of workers, the kind of users we have. So we think about our users as as belonging to two kinds. One is what we call a frontline worker, which is somebody like an Amazon delivery associate, who’s always on the mobile, uses a mobile phone. So every delivery associate of Amazon uses Disprz for their daily learning and upskilling. And we are incredibly proud of that!

Then, that is one use case. The second use case is a knowledge worker, people like you and me who work out of a laptop, we use the mobile phone, but our laptop is our primary device. And that, there you know, you have sort of a dual use case, the usage of the on the web is about 80% and usage on the app is the remaining 20%. But because the frontline workers outnumber the knowledge worker quite substantially, especially in emerging markets like India and Southeast Asia, we see our app usage being higher than the web usage.

Divanshu Thakral 23:52
Understood, understood. No, I think Amazon delivery guy is on Disprz, I think you’ve penetrated almost every consumer segment that is there on the B2B side of things. You know, so that’s a great, you know, user to have on board. I mean, these are users in volume, they, they need upskilling every, I think probably throughout their journey in their job profile. And they’re the ones who are actually getting benefited, you know, from an app like this or a platform like this. That’s great, Subbu.

Subbu Vishwanathan 24:29
Absolutely. Not only does it help Amazon, you know, deliver great business impact in terms of improving the quality of deliveries in terms of driving intelligence, skill building, in line with when our business metrics drop. There is a very softer and impact side to it. If we are able to help 100 delivery associates, right, achieve career progression. That’s, that’s incredibly impactful and incredibly purposeful for us as a company. So which is why we are a skills and career acceleration suite for enterprises.

And when one of our investors is an impact investor, so they not only look at financial returns, they also look at what is the social impact you’re making, and we are lucky to be in a space that checks both boxes.

Divanshu Thakral 25:16
That’s amazing. I think if you’re creating a social impact through a product, I think that’s a great vision to have. Great, Subbu.

Subbu, you know, every entrepreneur goes through a, you know, obviously, we’ve talked, we’ve spoken about business side of things, and every entrepreneur goes through a very emotional turmoil as well, and, you know, especially in stages, when you’re scaling, when you’re raising funds, when you’re, when you’re completely absorbed by what you are creating. Why don’t you walk us through, you know, what you faced, how emotionally invested were you in this company?

Subbu Vishwanathan 25:54
So it’s, it’s your baby, right, I think of my startup as my first baby. And I’m lucky to have a life partner who also thinks that way. So, there is no escape.

So if you are in McKinsey, if you have a difficult client, and if you have a difficult study, you know that this is going to end. The work life at McKinsey can get demanding at times. Because you’re with hyper achievers, in a fast paced environment. But you do know that there is an end date, right. Whereas here, it’s your baby. The question of giving up doesn’t exist, at least for me, and Kuljeet who is my co-founder. So you will have to, it just cannot fail.

So you face setbacks on a daily basis. You just just wake up the next day and ask yourself and start running. I call entrepreneurship a sprint marathon. It’s, it’s a long, it’s a long term thing, it’s, it’s, it’s probably a sprint ultra marathon.

So you know, it’s gonna take a long time, and you also cannot run it, run it at the speed of a marathon, you have to run at a speed of a sprint, because that’s the kind of growth that investors expect. That’s the kind of growth that even your customers expect of your product.

Divanshu Thakral 27:14
True. I think, you know, you got to be vested in. And you know, you have to keep various stakeholders, when you’re building, happy. You know, be your team, be it your customers, be it your investors. And it is definitely an ultra marathon, but you have to run it at a pace of a sprint, and that also, continuously, and by completely being on the same page. The words that you’re using, I think they’re just really, you know, resonating in my mind. And I keep thinking, you know, every day I wake up, and I’m like, you know, what are the challenges that I need to work on today? So it’s a great feeling, actually, you know, when you tick that off, okay, this is achieved. It’s a great feeling.

Subbu Vishwanathan 27:55
Yeah, if you had that. I used to joke that if you have one crisis in a day, I think you’ve had a normal day.

Divanshu Thakral 28:03
I agree completely by that. And if you don’t have a crisis, you haven’t done something that day. Absolutely with you on this one, Subbu!

So Subbu, you know, I want to tell our audience about the big win on Atma Nirbhar App Innovation Challenge. Tell us more about it. What was the challenge about? What kind of companies participated? And, you know, how did you feel kind of winning this, you know, and kind of that made you a flag bearer of, you know, Indian startup ecosystem around the world? And I’m sure it’s a great achievement, and a great milestone to have as part of your badge.

Subbu Vishwanathan 28:43
Yeah, sure. It was one of the highlights of my life and Disprz and not just mine, of my colleagues as well. So Atma Nirbhar App challenge was a challenge for innovation apps, and in the digital world, announced by the Ministry of Information Technology as part of the government’s Atma Nirbhar initiative. So there were 10 categories, from learning to health care, to gaming to social, and we were the winner in the category of learning. So I think there were over 1000 apps that participated only in the learning category. And, learning is a very broad category, actually, it includes B2B, B2C, you know, different kinds of technology applied to edtech.

And we won it! So we came first amongst over a 1000. So yeah, it was a fairly long process. 1000 startups applied and it was shortlisted to 10. And, then we presented to a jury and considering what we had achieved and what our what our platform represented in terms of skill building, you could do everything from a company’s core to everything from using data, big data and AI to find out what skills are required to be built for the future to assessing their staff on those skills to building those skills to finally measuring business impact. We had the entire Full Monty.

I think the jury was kind of blown away by what we had built. And as a company, I have to admit that we aren’t great in PR and we are both Kuljeet and I like to sort of, humbly sit and you know, deliver. So this was one huge big, basically PR exercise for us.

And a lot of them a lot of the jury didn’t even know we existed, and we had such substantial revenue. So it ended very well. As soon as the contest, as soon as we presented, I kind of had a sneaky feeling that this is gonna end well and it definitely ended well, the kind of PR mileage it gave.

And the kind of euphoria that our team had, because it was a completely remote environment. We hadn’t seen each other in five or six months. And, you know, when we were watching the final announcement and you know, I was on WebEx, it was telecast on YouTube. And because the official government video conferencing solution was WebEx, it was the live telecast on YouTube. And I had my other team on zoom, and I could just hear the screams, it still resonates in my head today. It’s one of the most euphoric moments for us at Disprz. It’ll always stay with us until we breathe our last.

Divanshu Thakral 31:22
Oh, that is a big statement to make Subbu. I mean, I think I know the feeling and, you know, the kind of scale that you’ve achieved and the kind of recognition you’ve got through this, I saw the videos and all that, I think it’s tremendous. So congratulations, once again, on the award, to you and the team.

Subbu Vishwanathan 31:41
Thank you Divanshu, Thank you very much!

Divanshu Thakral 31:44
So what next for Disprz? How do you see the next three, five years shaping up for you?

Subbu Vishwanathan 31:51
So we have, we’re already launching the next generation of products around skills and data led learning and skill building. It’s already got fantastic traction in the market. So for us, it would mean going deep, going global, actually, from day one, Kuljeet and my vision was to not be an Indian company, but was to make in India for the world. The word Atma Nirbhar didn’t exist then. But that’s what you know, our internal ambitions and goals were from day one.

So right now, less than half our revenue comes from India. The remaining comes from Southeast Asia, Middle East, a little bit in the US. We just entered the Australian market. So for us, the next big stage is to become the preeminent company in the digital learning space in Southeast Asia, across emerging Asia. As well as make our baby steps in at least one or two developed markets like Australia, or the US. So that’s what is, is up for us in the next few years.

Divanshu Thakral 32:59
That’s great. I mean, you know, an Indian company, going global, it’s a great, you know, feeling to you know, anybody sitting here in India, anybody being part of the anybody who’s part of the product ecosystem, anybody who’s part of the startup ecosystem. Good luck with that, Subbu. I mean, I hope you can achieve this, you and Kuljeet are, I think, great entrepreneurs, and I think you’ve shown, you know, through these years that what an Indian company can achieve if they have the vision. So Subbu, you know, I will jump on to the last section here. I mean, what piece of advice, what few words, would you want to kind of share with your listeners, with our listeners, with our audience, in terms of, you know, if they’re building products, or if they’re part of the startup ecosystem? A few good words for them could really help. What do you think?

Subbu Vishwanathan 33:52
Sure, I can give. There’s 100 things I can say.

But since this is about UX, and design thinking.

Subbu 32:39
I’d say, bring design thinking and UX based thinking early into the product, and get an expert to do it.

Let the person who’s conceived the product, not do it, because you will only see it from your lens, from your little cocoon. But the actual user sees it quite differently. And a UX designer can help you see the mirror.

So bring UX design early in the process. Don’t think it’s only a luxury for, for large companies, and large products. Bring in UX thinking from your MVP. That would be my very tactical advice regarding design, and UX.

Divanshu Thakral 33:18
That’s a great point there, Subbu. I think it’s very important to have your tactical strategy in place because that’s how you win some day and lose some day but ultimately your focus should be to come out as a winner. On that note, I would like to thank you for spending your time with us. I am certain that your learnings, your experience would help our audience build better products. I believe there is no knowledge better than experience and that’s why they say experience matters. That’s the ideology of this podcast. I wish you great luck and success in the years to come, I hope to see you very soon.

Subbu Vishwanathan 34:00
Absolutely. Thank you Divanshu. It’s been a pleasure and wishing you all success. you’re solving an important problem, an important need and my best wishes for you and Onething to succeed.

Divanshu Thakral 34:08
Thank you so much Subbu. That was such an insightful conversation! Businesses and products get impacted through design in ways more than what we can imagine. If you would like to listen to such more conversations, stay tuned, subscribe to Business and UX story. Till then, stay safe and keep listening. Thank you!

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