Talkd: Redefining User Experience

Shashi Sudhanshu,CEOIndia has been at the top of the outsourcing race, with a 55 percent market share. Large organizations continue to outsource their IT operations. Even though mostly technology-related works come to India, unfortunately, the country is not looked upon when it comes to design. The reason ­ there are no world-class design schools in India. The best designers are still from eastern Europe, and then within the US. UX design for products is a frontline business, and mostly, it is not considered as an outsourcing option. Amidst this market, Pune-based TALKD has carved` a niche. The success model for the agency is to partner with other tech companies who are working with enterprises across the globe. Identifying that most of the tech companies currently lack a design team, TALKD comes into the picture to fill the gap. Its partnership with tech companies as their UX arm is an unbeatable value proposition for enterprises.

With more and more companies vying for consumers ' attention today, there is a growing demand for good UI/UX Agencies that can create great user experiences. TALKD seizes this opportunity and brings to users an experience that's mapped on the user mindset. "Our process starts with a Discovery phase, where we analyze the stakeholders, understand the user groups, and then plan the next set of activities. One critical approach we take is Design Thinking, where we conduct workshops with stakeholders, including business, decision-makers, sales team, product team, and user group representative, and walking them through our approach & process. Design thinking helps us approach a creative solution aligned with business objectives, user's desirability, and technology feasibility," says Shashi Sudhanshu, CEO, TALKD.

TALKD has three major business units namely TALKDAgency, TALKDLead, and TALKDUX. TALKDAgency primarily caters to the CMO/Marketing function of the tech companies, wherein the team takes care of everything, right from strategy to production of marketing collaterals, digital/social media marketing, events, PR, and marketing automation. The TALKDLead unit caters to the sales function of the tech companies by helping them build a sales pipeline through lead generation and lead nurturing programs.

Through the company's third unit ­ TALKDUX, the agency reaches-out to the project delivery or product development teams by being their extended UX Design arm. The team's deep domain expertise and the rich tech culture competency gives TALKD an edge over others in becoming a partner in innovation for clients. "When we work with the customer experience team, they see our value as one agency that can cater to multiple fronts, right from marketing to sales to delivery. Some of our clients include Infosys, Tech Mahindra, Amdocs, LTI, JDA, PTC, TCG (through which we cater to United Airlines), Singapore Airlines, and CXA Group," adds Shashi.

The Genesis
Experience and expertise remain the driving force behind TALKD. Shashi's professional stint revolved around working with large corporation tech companies. His extensive experience helped him understand the nuances in business, and eventually, he observed a gap of UX design in tech companies, along with a lesser presence of UX companies in the US and UK. Converting this challenge into an opportunity, he zeroed-in upon establishing TALKD. "From the start of the agency in Dec 2011, we have been very much focused on the industry which we want to work with.

We picked the tough one­ Technology. Unlike consumer industries like Real Estate, FMCG, or Hospitality, the business model of the tech industry is purely B2B, catering to the business and technology needs of enterprises. With changing technological scenes, we keep ourselves updated. For example, Digital Twin is the latest tech innovation we are working on, with a large tech company in Boston, US, helping them stay ahead of the game. We go the extra mile to serve our clients nothing but the best," avers Pranali Vichare, Managing Director, TALKD.
Backed by a dextrous team of UX professionals and home-grown designers, TALKDUX crafts a defining User Experience for its clients. A robust team helps the company create an ecosystem where innovation and learning of cross competency take place. "The culture that we have built is all about collaboration, and that's how together as a team we deliver excellence in experience innovation. We have people with working Visa for US, UK, Austrailia, and Singapore, and hence we all travel to client sites for understanding the project, and do strong user research at user location. The delivery team manages the delivery from our India office. This is an edge we have got as compared to other local agencies who are purely offshore," Pranali adds. Knowing that there is a dearth of professional design institutes that can make international level designers, the company trains its people in the home environment so that they learn fast from real-time scenarios.

The Journey in a Nutshell
TALKD commenced its journey in Dec 2011, catering to small sector tech companies to test its grounds, and eventually kept testing its skills by increasing its target base. Over the years, the team has been successfully cracking big names in the industry and large deals. "We are a team of 150 professionals, completely self-funded, with a true success model for a services-based company who earns lavishly spends lavishly, lives lavishly and still have a good sustainable plan for the coming years. We have major clients in the US, India, Singapore, and UK. We have offices in Pune, Chicago, and San Francisco, and the Singapore registration is in the process, which we will be finalizing in this quarter itself. In terms of revenue, for the last couple of years, we have been able to grow with a 50 percent growth rate," states Sunny Patel, Director & CFO, TALKD.

Team Talkd

In the coming years, TALKD aims at servicing more clients, and to contribute to developing world-class experiences in innovative products. "We have already partnered with many large tech companies in 2019 and 2020, which we believe will grow bigger and stronger in the coming years. We are diving into challenging tasks like cluster design for luxury cars, innovative interfaces in consumer aviation space and a connected experience in health tech," Shashi concludes.

The culture that we have built is all about collaboration, and that's how together as a team we deliver excellence in experience innovation

Shashi Sudhanshu, CEO
Shashi is a storyteller and certified Design Thinker. He has lead TALKD across a wonderful journey, from crossing the startup phase to its rise as a reputed global agency. At work, he devotes his time towards creating experiences with anything and everything that happens with the agency, be it design, crafting a new campaign, new sales, strategic accounts, client retention, or employee engagement. Beyond work, he is a drone pilot, biker, writer, trekker and a learner. His current learning love is hindustani classical.

Pranali Vichare, Managing Director
Pranali looks after the client accounts and managing the entire operations and projects for the clients. More than a Director, she is a CIO - Chief Involvement Officer. Streamlining the processes for TALKD's clients, teamwork & team building, implementation of Go-To Market Strategies, Branding, and Market Penetration & Coverage strategies are some of the areas she dives into. Pranali works closely with teams in the three BUs to chart-out winning strategies to generate business for clients. Client Relationship Management and developing a personal brand for team members who are into Account Management is also a significant part of her role. Beyond work, she has a traveller's soul. She has almost covered more than 60 percent of the globe. The latest was her Himalayan expedition through Kailash Mansarovar.

Sunny Patel, Director & CFO
Sunny speaks of numbers; numbers that define TALKD's collective success, driving them with financial planning and investments. He monitors all accounting systems and procedures, capturing all pledges, billings, and receipts, as well as assisting the tax accountant. He is involved in managing operations, vendor management and also leads the TALKDLead Business Unit. Beyond the numbers game, he ensures that TALKD as an entity meets the necessary statutory compliances and adheres to the best practices and operational models. He is aggressively working towards the goal of TALKD to have its own operation centre in all continents ­ three is already ticked.

Quick Facts
Clients: Infosys, LTI, Syntel Atos, Amdocs, PTC, JDA, NTT Data, Noodle, TCG, United Airlines, Singapore Airlines, CXA Group, Godrej Infotech, Hero Group, and many more.

Employee Strength: 140

• Best UX companies of India
• Best Website on Awards, FWA Awards
• Best Marketing Agency, India