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Crafting consumer-tech for India

November 9 2021: Hamish Patel,  is Chief Product Officer, World of Play an Indian consumer technology brand working  to equip youngsters with state-of-the-art, trendy and futuristic smart wearable. He  shares his thoughts about the challenge and opportunity for the  consumer product industry in a post pandemic era.
Are you designing for other companies or are you also manufacturing your designs?
Being a startup, all our energies are channelised into making products that lead to consumer delight. With heavy investment in R&D, we are dedicated to bringing the latest technological solutions into all our products.  We have been working on exciting new categories and products which should soon be available for our customers. We like to conceptualise, design, develop, manufacture our products. The whole process of product conceptualised to launch is phased and certain aspects of commercialising the product in India are already complete and balance to be completed shortly
What do you think will be the most popular item throughout the holiday season?
Categories like wireless headphones have seen a shift from being aspirational to must-haves, they give you so much freedom as it's not shackled to your phone or a laptop. You can walk up to 30 feet away from your device and still be connected. Additionally, our  Technology team has done a tremendous job to optimize the Battery Life, Sound Quality , compatibility Aesthetics and our consumers.
What are the new directions that software design is taking? 
PLAY today addresses an evolved consumer, our consumers are technologically well aware and privacy concerned too. They are young, opinionated and demanding which propels us to deliver nothing but the best. Given that we are a customer-first company we ensure that our software development is inline with meeting those demands of the customer. It's a consistent effort to keep upgrading and pushing for a better technological solution to delight the customer.
What are the challenges in hardware design?
Speed of "conceptualisation to launch a product" is a definitive criteria to define a successful company. For PLAY, a consumer experience driven company, getting it right and getting it right the first time is the design thesis. We are extremely prudent and diligent in ensuring that we not only bring the latest technological solutions but also bring them ahead of time. Project design follows a non-iterative approach to development which makes mistakes very expensive. Thankfully, PLAY boasts of a core team who is well experienced and have worked on multiple research and development consumer projects. Advancement in rapid prototyping technology has also helped us mitigate a lot of risk.
How can Indian design get ahead of international companies' designs?
I believe it isn't about being ahead of international company designs or even local competitors, but understanding the pulse of your consumer and marrying it with the global technology enhancement. We invest heavily in R&D to understand the latest technological developments and enhancements. We always strive and evolve to meet customer expectations.  While working on a product range, category, or even a new segment, the focus is always the user expectation, actual experience and hence, the customer delight.
Do you believe the pandemic will have an impact on this industry's company, given how it has affected most firms around the world?
It is argued that without communication and modern digital electronics, many people would not be able to work during the COVID-19 pandemic outbreak. Likewise, modern consumer technology is extremely dependent upon connectivity, processing, and memory/storage. Generally, the economic impact resulted in lower overall consumer technology sales in 2020, but people are more dependent than ever before on their personal devices to connect with others and continue to work from home. The reliance on web-based meetings, online education, and cloud-based services, in general, will increase as time goes on. After the pandemic ends, people will be more likely to participate in a virtual event and to look for virtual experiences to replace some physical experiences. This should drive increasing demand for consumer electronics and cloud- services industry.