COVID-19 has generated unprecedented exigency responses from organizations and governments. Emergency response readiness has been stretched to limits. The Indian technology industry has mobilized exemplary BCP/DR resources to ensure continued business for critical client services worldwide. One of the biggest challenges that tech brands had to face during these trying times was completely changing their business to fit into this new-age of the pandemic that hit the world. Re-orienting their offerings and services to focus on delivering experiences over personalized devices, Digital Jalebi has aided in a massive shift towards the digital world, which is quite in contrast with how one has been using technology to engage users in commercial spaces.
Digital Jalebi doesn’t sell products but provides engaging experiential communication channels for the brands and end customers they work with. The company offers customized services according to the brief of the clients and aim to create memorable and very powerful experiences for the end-users to achieve new-age, experimental technologies, and new innovative design patterns, for the end-users to intuitively engage with the technology or with the idea, ‘What the brand was trying to sell’.
Initially started as a Design School, Nikhil Joshi, Founder, Digital Jalebi, saw a massive need for the company or a group of designers to offer commercial services and experiential engagements and designs that were hardly there in 2012. The biggest challenge of starting a trans-disciplinary team is to get many types of talents which starts from having an MBA, Architects, electronic Programmer, Computer science Programmers, graphic designers, multimedia artist and have all of them on board at the same time to be able to deliver projects. “In the initial stage of business, this was a huge challenge to have so many talents aligned to deliver smaller projects up. Over the years, that has become our strength. The variety of talent that we have in our team and the uniqueness that we have in our services proved out to be our biggest strength”, states Nikhil.
A Designer turned Entrepreneur
Holding a Bachelor’s Degree in Animation and Multimedia, Nikhil got great exposure in working with all sorts of multimedia in his early years. Spending several hours learning 2D/3D Animation Softwares and working with different types of interfaces piqued his interest in programming and become a game developer. After working in the Game Development domain, he moved down to study post-graduate in New Media Design at the National Institute of Design. “The most important learning is that it all lies in observation. You have to keep observing things, most of the learning that happens in a design school is very objective, and 90% of the learning happens subjectively/subconsciously while you’re observing things around you. That’s where the true learning comes from, that’s where you constantly nurture yourself as a designer that’s the most important thing that you would want to have”, opines Nikhil.
As an entrepreneur, Nikhil wanted to use new media technologies that are experimental and are very niche to help people communicate better to help brands to build a communication channel that is very innovative, engaging, and creates a higher recall value at first. “When we started, we thought that this entire moment of new media experiences would be attached to spaces like museums or experience centres which are owned by corporate’s, but over the years the entire idea of experiential engagements have been picked widely by the industry especially marketers who are trying to completely transform. User experience in spaces that are visited by a common man like railway station, airport, and malls have been the biggest turning point for our business which has helped us scale our services and offer them to every single common man you see out there”, opines Nikhil.
Building Innovation through their Core Skills
Primarily led by new media designers and computer science engineer, Nikhil considers himself very lucky to have found a core team that has good roots in technology as well as have an artistic bent towards design, who always want to explore and experiment with different media, not just in technology but with colours and paints as well. Allowing people to come up with their experiments and fuel more and more wild ideas, Nikhil says, “The resources that are available at our Studios allow our team members to learn various skill-sets like computer vision working with cameras, projections, electronics woodwork colours and that is one of the core things that allow all the team members to build a different kind of skill-set and when all of these come together, we can build very powerful and innovative creative ideas”.
Over the years, Digital Jalebi has been working to be focused on commercial projects. Apart from the turnover numbers, the very important milestone was to achieve stability in business in terms of revenues to support the internal research team. The team is just focused on researching new ideas and not directly attached to a commercial project that has deliverable timelines as a designer. “As an entrepreneur, I think that was one of the biggest achievements for Digital Jalebi to be able to support such a team because the core of our offering is to be able to experiment with things and have a dedicated team, it is a milestone for us”, point out Nikhil.
Working for brands and building services and solutions for them, Digital Jalebi is trying to identify few key sectors where the intervention of augmented virtual reality experiences of fares are required, and we would want to create few products for them. Aiming to work around and revamp Digital Jalebi in providing a more holistic approach, Nikhil concludes, “I think the product is the solution where we give our ample amount of time and effort in building a product for a year and then slowly and gradually growing at over another couple of years so that it truly has a huge impact on the organization and that’s what our focus would be a starting 2021”.