Hi! Hola! Namaste! Kem Cho!
I am a product design leader with over fourteen years of experience, living in the San Francisco Bay area. Born in a sleepy business town in Western India to a middle-class working couple, I found my calling in stories and visuals, leading to a degree in Graphic Design from the National Institute of Design, India. Early in my career, I focussed on the craft, designing desktop interfaces, mobile applications, and voice interactions at global enterprises and startup companies. I also have a failed startup to my name 'Doodles,' founded by two friends and eventually sold by one. Between, I learned what not to do in a startup, and what matters more than the craft!
As a design leader, I am the user's voice in a debate dominated by technology and business. I help organizations identify latent needs, generate ideas, and transform concepts into successful business outcomes. I've led a range of consumer and enterprise products through successful international market launches following the human-centered design process. Not to say I haven't had failures. I have been part of launches and ventures that either bombed or did not take off. Along the way, I grew resilient, amassed a few awards and half a dozen design patents.
My design journey has led me to believe, "Culture eats strategy for breakfast; process for lunch!" This belief guides me as I build, scale, and manage global design organizations, spread across geographies. I try to foster a healthy culture that empowers individuals and aligns processes with developing genuinely transformational products and experiences.
At work, or not, I carry a diary and am often found doodling, mostly during office meetings and during re-runs of old Tv show viewings. It helps me de-clutter my mind. When I am not designing or doodling, I play with my daughter and pen short fiction.
Conferences & Awards
Mentor & Coach: Product Design Program, School of Engineering, Stanford University, 2020, Palo Alto, USA.
Design Award: World Class Center Award - VMware Briefing Center Experience, ABPM, 2019, Washington DC, USA.
Speaker: GLS Institute of Design, 2018, Ahmedabad, India.
Mentor: Technology for Impact Fellowship, 2014 USA.
Speaker: UX India 2013, Bangalore, India.
Member of Expert Panel: Banasthali Institute of Design, Banasthali Vidyapith, 2012 India.
Special Jury Award: USID India UX Awards 2012, Bangalore, India.
Design Award: MeeGo Conference 2011, San Francisco, USA
Workshop & Dream Guru: DREAM:IN, India 2010 – National workshop on design, Idiom, Bangalore, India.
Hacking Session: Foss India 2010 – Free and Open Source Software Conference, Bangalore, India.
Speaker: FOSS India 2010 – Free and Open Source Software conference, Bangalore, India.
Speaker: TechEase 2010 – National Workshop for students on Usability & UI Design, IIIT Hyderabad, India.
Mentor: Nokia’s University Collaboration Wing 2010, Bangalore, India.
Jury Member: National Institute of Design, 2009, Bangalore, India.
Finalist: ESB Environmental Photography Awards (International Category) 2003, Dublin, Ireland.