Rahul Panicker has won many international accolades as a young innovator and a social entrepreneur. Some of them include MIT Technology Review 35-Innovators-under-35, Industrial Design Society of America Gold, and World Economic Forum Social Entrepreneur of the Year. He completed his PhD in Electrical Engineering from Stanford University and over last few years served as the President of Embrace Innovations. I was extremely delighted when he agreed to have a free-wheeling chat with me on a live Hangout.
In this Hangout I asked him about Design for Extreme Affordability as a Design thinking philosophy, his transition from being an innovator to a successful social entrepreneur, personal experiences along the way and what is he up to next, now that he has stepped down from Embrace.
Some titbits from Rahul during the Hangout:
If you need to reach the bottom 1 Billion people, you are unlikely to reach there through incremental means.
At the core of design thinking is user empathy.
Prototyping is about building quickly rather than sit around discussing a lot.
The entrepreneur has to be necessarily be connected with end users and customers.
Culture is what people do when boss is not looking.
Everybody else’s courage comes from the courage of the leader.
Hardest part is when you are rejected by the people you respect.
To keep the ship going you need fuel. On the other hand you also want to know that the ship is going to the right destination. Otherwise the journey is not worth it.
Here’s the full Hangout