Soaib Grewal Talks about Design Thinking

In an era of highly technological and unforgiving competitiveness, it takes iterative adaptability to sustain in the business. Today, almost all of the leading global companies practice Design Thinking in their way to develop user-centric products. At its core, Design Thinking is a process for creative problem-solving. It enables organization not only to learn faster through iteration but also encourages them to develop empathy with the target users and understand their needs.


As a part of its 4 month-long boot camp, GPAccelerator regularly invites mentors and experts from both home and abroad to mentor the top five selected teams. Last week, GPAccelerator Batch-5 participated in a two-day long workshop on Design Thinking by Soaib Grewal.


Soaib is a rare combination of being a Design Thinking expert, mentor, entrepreneur, and technology investor. He is a Venture Partner at TLabs and India investments at 500 Startups. He is also the Founder of BOLD Ventures- India’s first design-led investment firm and WaterWalla- an award-winning social impact startup. In his entrepreneurial journey, he also has the experience of working closely with a diverse set of technology companies across Asia and the US.

During the session, Soaib gave emphasis on some important aspects UX design. He advised the teams to focus on three simple principals of User Experience.


Three Simple Principals

  1. Empathy: Understanding the user from an empathetic perspective.
  2. MAYA: Most Advanced Yet Acceptable refers to the advanced features the customers would feel comfortable with.
  3. Move Fast: Instead of bringing big changes, it is better to fix small problems and iterate.


Furthermore, Soaib introduced some of the useful tools like Marvel App, Lookback and Wingify to track the user and their reaction towards a product on Web platforms. Additionally, he also talked about the UX rules startups must follow.


UX rules for Startups

  1. Forget the big picture, fix the small stuff: Doing a ‘full redesign’ is not always the best idea, concentrate on impactful-incremental-design.
  2. Design as air support: Create processes to integrate the core components of design in your dev process.
  3. Get out of the building: you can’t know your users unless you become your user.
  4. Use Templates: Using a standard template will keep you on track.
  5. Document & Measure: Write down all the changes you make and measure whether it has a positive or negative effect.


After attending the session, the teams got a broad understanding of Design Thinking and its practice. Following Incremental Design Process, the teams developed their understanding of respective customers based on three design phases; Discover, Design and Build.


In the Discover phase, the teams redefined the problem from a customer’s perspective and created a persona of their respective target customer. Secondly, in the Design phase, they generated multiple alternative ideas to solve the problem and tested their validity through prototyping. Finally, in the Build phase, the teams chose the best idea and started working on its implementation.

At end of the session, Khandoker Anan, the Co-Founder of Digital Manush expressed his excitement on the effectiveness of the workshop. He said,

“Design Thinking session with the experienced mentor Soaib Grewal was really helpful for our startup. It helped us develop our products with impactful incremental design depending on the user research and cases. We learned the new technique of exploring new designs based on understanding users’ pain points, aspirations, motivations and desires. Using advanced tools that he provided for designs, it will shorten our time to think about new designs. Now we are able to go through the effective design thinking process in a short time with better feedback.”

Ashfaqul Haque