Design Thinking & Future Strategy Workshop for Tieto's senior leadership team

DT workshop for Tieto by Turianlabs

Turian Labs facilitated a workshop for senior leadership of Tieto, a Helsinki based IT services multinational which also has a significant presence in India, on Future Business Strategy using Design Thinking and Megatrends. What ensued was an interesting discussion around changing technologies and changing social context. How does one cope with millions already invested in certain tools/technologies while anticipating the future?

Design Thinking for Startups with NASSCOM

Manoj Kothari speaking at design thinking workshop for startups NASSCOM+ Turian Labs in Pune

Turian Labs, in association with NASSCOM 10000 startups, organized an express workshop on ‘Design Thinking for Startups’ at Pune-Startup Warehouse, an emerging entrepreneurship hub in the city.

The workshop was facilitated by Manoj Kothari and Harshad Nanal. The day-long workshop focused on de-jargonizing Design Thinking concepts to make them directly applicable into early stage startups and positioning Design Thinking with respect to the more commonly known IT industry terminologies like Lean, Agile and others. The workshop included hands-on activities using empathic tools and future mapping, for a more holistic and contextual dive. The workshop was attended by entrepreneurs from diverse industries like agriculture, FINTECH, IT, defence, UX & product design.

Design Thinking for Business Innovation- December, 2016

participants interacting at Turian Labs+NASSCOM workshop on design thinking for business innovation
Participnats at Design thinking workshop by Turian Labs, Pune

Turian Labs in association with NASSCOM, conducted a day-long workshop on 'Design Thinking for Business Innovation' on Dec 8, 2016. The workshop was facilitated by Manoj Kothari the Founder and Principle Strategist at Turian Labs and Harshad Nanal, the organization’s Business Innovation Lead.

The power packed workshop was attended by participants from diverse organisations including Infosys, Bajaj Allianz, John Deer, Veritas, Quick Heal, Tech M, Syntel, UBS etc.

The participants, through the amalgamation of Megatrends and Design Thinking identified white spaces around cashless economy in various contexts and came up with exciting ideas that can be plugged into the current ecosystem in the wake of demonetization.

See Glimpses from the workshop, here.

Design Thinking Conclave, 2016

In the spirit of strengthening the Design Thinking and Innovation ecosystem, India’s first ever Design Thinking Conclave was organized in Mumbai this October.

Manoj Kothari, the founder and Principal Strategist at Turian Labs was invited to speak and conduct a round table at the event. Manoj highlighted the necessity of design thinking in strategy development through a case study where Turian Labs team used Design Thinking for brand-crafting.The round-table saw an enthusiastic response from participants curious about the applications and implications of Design Thinking for diverse sectors that ranged from consumer finance to modern retail, automobiles and medical products.

The conclave made evident that design is now going way beyond its conventional definitions of ‘making products’ and UI and entering the boardrooms across industries.

Turian Labs is leading the efforts to grow the innovation ecosystem through its initiatives like D'IVE -Design Thinking & Innovation Hive,  a free monthly meetup for cross-industry professionals, in Pune. D'IVE is facilitated by Manoj Kothari and Harshad Nanal. Read more about D'IVE, here.

D'IVE- Monthly Design Thinking and Innovation Strategy Meetup

Participants at D'ive a design thinkign and innovation strategy meetup by Turian Labs
Harshad Nanal and Manoj Kothari speaking at DIVE by Turian Labs

What is D’IVE all about?
D'IVE is a recurring collaborative-learning-meet-up of cross-industry professionals eager to explore and expand their awareness of Design Thinking & innovation.  D'IVE is designed to be an interactive format for exchanging ideas on a weekend, at Pune, India.


D'IVE was born out of the need for an informal forum where doors are open to professionals across the industries and streams; where interactions do not depend upon prior knowledge of terminology and jargon; where learning is hands-on and in the express mode; where one can discuss ‘what’s India’s take on it’ and not just quote global case-studies.


D'IVE is facilitated by Manoj Kothari, founder & principal design strategist at Turian Labs, with nearly 2 decades of global experience in innovation & design. Manoj is an alum of IIT Mumbai and NID Ahmedabad. The co-facilitator Harshad Nanal (also an IITB alum) is a seasoned senior IT professional and worked with global conglomerates like IBM, TechMahindra &  Thermax.

Key Takeaways:


·      Understand innovation from the best in the field. Free.

·      Express immersion to Design Thinking & innovation world

·      Know the Indian case studies, not available on internet

·      Build a cross-industry network of professionals interested in DT and innovation

·      Opportunity to contribute to annual innovation and future strategy conference – IndiaNxt.

Who should attend?

Professionals across hierarchy from IT, ITES, manufacturing, retail, telecom, banking & finance, engineering, pharma, management consulting & education.

Public sector organizations and people in governance (from municipal corporation, from democratic institutions)

Social enterprises and NGO professionals.

Startup founders and aspirants.

Final year students from engineering, design, medicine and MBA colleges

Innovation for Super Brands: A Design Thinking + Innovation Statergy Workshop with Coca Cola's Senior Leadership

Design Thinking Workshop conducted by Manoj Kothari of Turian Labs with coca cola's senior leadership

“What does innovation mean for a legacy superbrand?”, “How do you approach the dilemma of brand character v/s changing consumer needs?”, “How do you de-risk the innovation efforts and not eat into the current revenue lines?”

Manoj Kothari, the Founder and Principal Strategist at Turian Labs, answered these questions and many more as he addressed a global team of Senior Leadership from Coca Cola, in a day-long design thinking & innovation strategy workshop at Shanghai in May 2016. The workshop focused on using design thinking to define how innovation can be manifested in brands that span across the globe and have a rich legacy and structure to uphold.

The participants- senior VPs from across departments, had gathered in Shanghai from all over the globe. Their varied socio-cultural and professional action-areas ensured that the discussed innovation problems & experiences were starkly diverse and challenging. The workshop helped in defining a baseline for innovation across industries & geographies along with giving the participants real-time insights to address innovation problems using the tools and techniques of design thinking. 



IndiaNXT 2016 : 10th Year of the Annual Megatrends & Innovation Strategy Conference + Workshop

INDIA NXT 2016 : Megatrend conference by Turian Labs

IndiaNxt 2016 - the 10th annual India megatrends conference & Workshop by Turian Labs witnessed a rich palette of speakers and participants. The discussions were about ‘future of innovation’, ‘future of money’, ‘future of fashion’ and everything in between. Participants were a great mix of  business heads, entrepreneurs, brand strategists, designers and the trend experts.


Manoj Kothari opened the session by explaining "What is a trend?" and how its application is moving into business strategy domains. Trends are events that are happening at the fringes and shaping our future. Trends are essentially the RESPONSES to an emerging situation by individual, community, nation or the entire world i.e. too many choices lead to SIMPLICITY as a preferred future. The lifecycle of a trend follows a bell curve - Once it reaches a peak, it will either die out or will merge into another trend over the next 3-7 years. A snapshot of the discussion that ensued during IndiaNxt 2016 is here below.


A question: Would you invest your money in buying a grand, sea-side house or would you rather spend it on backpacking through Europe for couple of weeks? Today it is the latter that is appealing to people - especially the millennials. One can feel the EXPERIENCE ECONOMY taking over. The luxury is getting redefined as 'own less and experience more’ attitude emerging from China and the USA, as indicated by Genevieve Flaven, Managing Director of Shanghai based trend strategy company Style-Vision. Incidentally Dr. Chips brought in similar insights from the lighting industry. Mood lighting has been around for some time but lighting is no longer an aid to the space, but becoming a ‘space’ in itself due to the programmatic nature of color, expanse, intensity, wavelengths to get the desired effect.  Manoj talked about the opportunities in seizing the ‘micro-moment’ using SERVICE DESIGN as we go through the patchy and complex string transactions everyday.


World needs the services and the products to be a seamless continuum. Industries are cross-collaborating to CURATE just the right experiences. Karthik Nandyal (Head, Reliance Jio Money) supported this notion by saying “Data is the new FLOAT…. Internet in not just to TRANSACT but it is helping build larger conversations between the financial institutions and the consumers.”


Innovation is the new virtue for the millennials. Dr. Premnath who heads the NCL Incubation Center (at National Chemical Laboratory, Pune), highlighted the emerging entrepreneurship attitude in India. Future is already at the doorsteps, with ‘Mars One’ space mission and self-driving ‘Google car’.  Dr. Premnath said, “A science driven innovation can unlock an exponential value when a NICHE problem meets both INSIGHTFUL & CREATIVE solution.” Today one can see the early foot-prints of science driven innovation in anti-bacterial textiles, in-fabric-wearables, ultra-thin materials in electronics and skin-aping artificial materials in healthcare. Sustainability also features in the lifestyle trends and it is no longer limited to living in bamboo cottages any more. New directions for sustainability are going beyond the ‘natural’ to bio-engineered, nano-engineered and ultra-efficient materials that closely mimic the original.


Mindfulness, minimalism, wellness and ‘inner engineering’ is becoming a part of our everyday life as evidenced from the emerging themes in product development, brand strategy and ‘slow-fashion’. Harleen Sabharwal, the trend strategist spoke about how grandma’s recipes and food habits are making a comeback as people search for ways to counter the effects of too much consumption.  Durability, long-term thinking and functional enrichment would drive the consumer preferences in future.  This trend will lead us to focus on the East or the Orient, in greater detail. Japan, Tibet, Indonesia and India will inspire even more Hollywood output in the times to come.


Individuality and personalization is chugging along with anti-consumption. Genevieve pointed out that millennials are not consuming ‘brands’ any more. They would rather buy ‘craft-beer’, ‘organic food’ and ‘Tesla car’ for its ‘cool’ quotient. The stereotypes are breaking all across the industry with non-standard architecture, robust and disruptive aesthetics. The offices spaces are getting redefined by assuming an 'at home' ambiance. And so are the clothes. Athleisure style is there to stay; in fact, it is getting more ‘sporty’. Consumers are not just QUESTIONING but are also comfortably carrying STRONG OPINIONS.


IndiaNxt 2016 ended with a co-creation workshop that enabled participants to construct their own trend maps using Turian Labs’ proprietary process ‘TrendScope’ and applying that to elicit future opportunities. Summarising the outcome of the event, Manoj opines, “Future never looked so disruptive from the IndiaNxt platform, as it did this year. Many business, experiences, skills and interactions are set to change course 2016 onwards. To gear up for this change, we must drop all the cues that emanate from the past and chalk out everything afresh”

Design Thinking with Tech Mahindra

Design Thinking Workshop for IT Industry by Turian Labs - Tech Mahindra -Pune

With the exponentially increasing need for evolved services and experiences for customers, Design thinking has become an indispensable reality for business all over the world. IT industry giants like IBM, Infosys and Cognizant are already relying on Design Thinking to make their organizations more resilient and emphatic to customer needs.

With clients making DT-methods a prerequisite in RFPs, there has been an evident realization that design is no longer a separate department but a critical thinking culture that should form the chassis of all problem-solving.

Recently, Turian Labs conducted a Design Thinking Bootcamp in Pune, with Tech Mahindra, a leading IT brand in the country, engaging teams across various verticals and the top management. The two-day engagement was further extended into a week-long DT Sprint, where Team Turian hand-held a selected top-management team to approach and improvise a business scenario, in the DT way.

While at the beginning of the session, most participants hypothesized solutions based on personal experiences and biases, the approach soon changed into an emphatic one, keeping the user at the pivot of problem-solving. The interaction with DT – a first for most participants – also raised and solved several biting questions like 'How was DT any different than agile methodology', 'How was it more efficient than the conventional customer-centric techniques' and most importantly, 'How to measure the effectiveness of Design Thinking'.

Applying DT to a real-life problem using custom-made tools created by Turian Labs, helped the participants understand Design in the language that is relevant to them and their industry. After the sessions, participants expressed the need to do away with mechanized templates in favor of exploring new touch-points and keeping 'continuous empathy' alive throughout the process.


Design Thinking Workshop for General Mills

Turian team organized a two-day bootcamp for the ITES team of General Mills (India). General Mills is the brand known for their products like Pillsbury flour, Haagen Dazs ice-creams etc.

Focus of the workshop was to help participants empathise with the distant customers/consumers whom they are providing services for, realize the broader context and ideate quickly. 

IT/ITES teams are cut-off from the real-context due to the distance and have to rely solely on 'requirements' document. They usually run into re-do loops and friction with the marketing/front-end teams. Design Thinking provides a common neutral ground to focus on the real issue at hand and avoid 'perceptions' and 'opinions' into the discussion. Thus building some real value for the organization and a sense of accomplishment for the individuals.

Design Thinking with Senior Leaders of Schneider Electric



Turian Labs organized a Design Thinking workshop for a group of C-Suite executives for a large multinational in the energy infrastructure space. Essential tenets of Design Thinking were structured in an interactive module to build a direct connect with everyday issues of customer insights, team building and mapping emerging organizational realities. Hands-on work on understanding customer-empathy process, rapid-prototyping techniques and collaborative ideation helped the global executives get an express introduction to Design Thinking as a corporate strategy tool.

IndiaNxt 2015 - Annual Megatrends & Innovation Strategy Workshop



Megatrends research is now gaining acceptance as an important tool at disposal with business & social strategists alike. Leading organizations around the world use this to chart the future and accordingly design organizational growth. 

IndiaNXT is a conference + workshop set-up to enable organizations to embrace Megatrend thinking (focused on India) holistically through immersive activities.

IndiaNXT is an interactive-twin-workshop using megatrends to map the 'next big thing' from and in India. Here we identify the potential 'signals' around us and connect them to create robust strategies for future in products, brands, services and guiding policies.  

As a primer, you can learn more about trends and their importance here.

Check out video updates from the previous events.


* Concentrated insights from experts of trend-setting industries
* Indulging with  expertly crafted twin-trend-immersion workshop
* Share and absorb coinciding insights from other industry peers in a creative environment
* Get an exclusive summary of all key presentations
* Network with cross-industry future-focused crème de la crème fellow participants

It will help the participants:

* Evolve a better direction for innovation for the Indian market
* Understand the emerging consumers
* Understand employees better; recruit better
* Align the brand and brand message to new consumers
* Bring refreshing change in service quality
* Bring fresh and original inspirations in design


Business owners, Social leaders, Business Strategists, Startup founders, Product Planners, Designers, Entrepreneurs, Design researchers, Brand leaders, Consumer R&D heads, people in media & advertising.

In the past, participants have been from wide ranging industries and institutions, including Volkswagen, Samsung, LG, Hitachi, Decathlon, Maruti-Suzuki, Tata Motors, Tanishq, Symrise, Steelcase, Future Group, Godrej, Titan Watches, VIP Luggage, TI Cycles, Unilever, ITC, P&G, LO'real, Rekitt & Benckiser, Nokia, Reliance Communications, Financial Express, WeSchool, NID-Ahmedabad, IDC-IIT Mumbai, NIFT Delhi, Copenhagen Institute of Future Studies & HPCL.

Megatrends are the emergent changes in the society that are going to affect everything and everyone. These are the paradigm shifts happening at the intersection of cultural, social, economic, political, technological, regulatory and market forces.

Megatrends understanding can help all sectors of consumer facing organizations in preparing a scenario and a co-created vision for future.

Indian Renaissance - Design Thinking for India

What is DTI 2014 all about?

Design Thinking is a user-centric method to solve problems & elicit hidden opportunities. While it has been around for some time, it is only now that it is gaining traction amongst global Indian corporations.

Design Thinking for India Workshop, an Indian renaissance initiative is a two day hands-on workshop  led by Manoj Kothari, co-founder of Onio and founder, Turian Labs and a leading design thinking  & innovation expert in India today. The content focuses on the basic tenets of Design Thinking, emerging tools & business applications illustrated through examples and activities. Workshop also elaborates on what really makes application of design thinking for Indian situation different.

Today, as India stands at a cusp of influential position in global economy and geopolitics, Design Thinking is an essential skill that organizations should build into the teams.  

Global organisations that have presence in India or planning an entry into India would also like their teams their teams to understand India better.

Glimpses of the past events are here.

What are the key takeaways of this workshop?
•  Understanding the basic construct of design thinking
•  Learn the essential tools & methods of Design Thinking through hands-on exercises
•  Prepares you to participate in any world-class innovation initiative
•  Understand the nuances of applying Design Thinking to Indian realities
•  Map the changing needs of consumers/customers
•  Initiate into disruptive innovation
•  Improve people management strategy through use of Design Thinking
•  Make the business strategy more robust & future-proof
Who should attend?
This is a workshop designed essentially for individuals and organizations engaged in developing India centric products, services or experiences. Indian organisations that have embraced Design-led-Innovation as a core process as well as global organisations that are looking at India as a key market should consider participation in this workshop.
Participants in the past workshops/conferences, have been:
Business Owners, CEOs/COOs/CMOs, Social Enterprise leaders, Founders of  Startups, Business Strategists, Marketing Heads, R&D heads, Engineering Managers, Product Planners,  Designers, Innovation Consultants, Brand Managers, Academia
Volkswagen, Samsung, LG, Henkel, IKEA, Tata Motors, Infosys, Mahindra & Mahindra, Ganjam, Titan Watches, Tanishq, TBZ, Symrise, Steelcase, HPCL, Reckitt & Benkiser, Future Group, Godrej, Lo’real, Unilever, ITC, P&G, JK group, Decathlon,  Maruti Suzuki, Nokia, Reliance Communications, Financial Express, Bennett. Coleman & Co. Ltd., WeSchool,  IIT Mumbai, NIFT Delhi & Copenhagen Institute of Future Studies.