Bansi: Shaping a Distinctive Future through UX Design

Bansi Mehta CEO & Founder Koru UX Design
Bansi Mehta CEO & Founder Koru UX Design

User Experience design is the most important aspect to keep the user satisfied with your product or application. Many organizations are not aware that a good UX design can make a significant difference. Great designers recognize this significance and understand what impact a great UX design can have. On a similar note we at Insights Success have had the privilege to cross paths with an innately talented, inspirational designer and entrepreneur.
In an exclusive interview, Bansi Mehta, the CEO and Founder of Koru UX Design talks about her journey. Fiercely passionate, self-inspired and sharp-thinking, Bansi is driven to build a culture that helps people to be their best selves at work.
Brief us about you and your journey since the beginning of your career.
Bansi: I was always an ambitious kid and wanted to grow up to be a strong and independent woman. Every time I had to seek permission to do something, I felt bad. Such incidents made me realize how badly I wanted to be independent and in charge of my life. I hail from a small town and belong to a well-to-do family where a career for women is not a common thing. Here women don’t ‘need’ to work and hardly have any identity other than being someone’s wife or daughter.
Growing up, I resisted everything that pushed me to be dependent on someone and lose my identity. After 12th grade, I chose the field of Computer Science as it seemed to offer the most promising career. I saw it as my ticket to becoming independent and live life on my terms. With great ambitions of making an identity for myself and fulfilling my dreams, I moved to Pune and thus began my journey.
By the end of graduation, I knew that writing code is not my thing. But, I knew that if I don’t have a job in hand by the time my graduation is done, I will have to pack and go back. So, in the search of my true calling and finding a job, I started exploring graphic design and animation. I instantly liked it and, in a few weeks, I had my first job. It was nothing like what I had dreamt of, but it still kept me in Pune.
It took me a while but then I understood that I need to be patient. To live life on my terms and to prove myself, I first needed to give my 100%. I did this, for 7 years, I learned a lot, worked with awesome people, especially at 3DPLM, where I was a part of the UX team at Solidworks. I got the best exposure one could ask for, I was surrounded by the people who were stalwarts in their field, passionate and inspiring. They were humble and compassionate as mentors. My job was so good that I didn’t want to switch it for another better-paying one. If I made a move, it had to be something bigger and challenging. During that time, I was working with a life coach named Narendra Goidani. He truly and deeply believed that I could do more with my life. He always said, “If people think you can’t do it, prove them wrong and if they think you can do it, prove them right.” So, I took the plunge and I founded Koru and this was one of the best things I did in life.
The initial years were bumpy, very challenging. We wanted experienced professionals, and the professionals wanted a stable company, which we didn’t have. They wanted cool and challenging work, forget challenging, we didn’t have much work. They wanted a fancy place, well, a spare room in my husband’s office and a lavatory which at one point was being shared by 20 people was all that we had.
But we kept doing good work and kept our clients happy. I constantly thought of creative ways of attracting good talent and staying afloat. After a long 22 months of struggle with an insane amount of compromises and hard work, we had a breakthrough. We got our first enterprise client and that was a turning point.
How do you describe yourself in one/two words? Who has been your guide, source of inspiration, support?
Bansi: Forward-looking and never satisfied (or settled), I am a person who gets excited thinking of ‘what’s next?’ I don’t enjoy thinking or talking about the past. And this is also a reason why I am never satisfied. For me, what’s gone is gone, no matter how glorious or fulfilling; what’s next is the exciting topic.
Through my journey various people have played a critical role at various junctures in life. My father supported my decision to move out of the small town to a big city to study. It was no lesser than a mini-revolution since no one in my family or anyone we knew had ever done it. He was a hardcore businessman and I have seen his composure through extreme peaks and lows, he has also been the person who always believed in educating the daughters and treating them as a strength.
In the earlier days of Koru, my life coach helped me believe in myself and take a plunge. Now, my mentor for guiding me getting to the next level.
My husband, Mouneet Mehta for giving up a spare room in his office, which might seem little at the beginning but not after we kept growing and claiming one room after another till the office looked more like Koru’s office than his. Also having the heart to merge his company into Koru and giving up on what he had built from the ground up, for bigger promise Koru had to offer. He has been by my side through thick and thin, always cheering for me in good times and putting his resourcefulness to work in the bad times.
I have always sought inspiration from books. I love reading and I believe we are in the most fortunate time of the entire human history, where you can learn from experts on almost any topic imaginable without much of a struggle. Books are my Go-to source whether I am feeling short on positivity, or looking to scale, whether I am finding my way into the world of B2B sales or looking to get more done out of my days without burning myself. Some of my favorites are ‘Hard things about hard things’, ‘Enlightenment Now’, ‘Obstacle is the way’ and ‘The Power of Habits’.
Above all, I have always been fortunate to have a team at Koru that I can count on; it never (ever) lets me down. And this fact helps me draw a great deal of confidence when I am in challenging situations, like when there is a tough deadline or new initiative, or when we are working on a high stake project. I just know I am not alone in this and I will have all the support I need.
Tell us about your passions, mission, and goals. What acts as a motivation tool for you?
Bansi: ‘I don’t want to die without doing something worthwhile in my life’ this is what I believe and this is what drives me personally. Initially, this helped me channelize my energy and gave me direction, now it has become part of me, a way of living.
Back in 2013, at Koru, we took on our first enterprise design project, and it was the sheer challenge of transformation that felt very satisfying. The idea that our design decisions were to make a positive impact on the productivity of thousands of enterprise users fueled a newfound passion for us. From that point, there was no going back. Today we are driven by a mission of UXifying Workplaces with the same fire!
Kindly describe in brief about your company and its services/products
Bansi: Koru is a specialized Enterprise User Experience (UX) Design company. We partner with firms to help them increase the ROI from their products through our expertise in UX. Our team of passion-driven professionals has successfully designed and delivered over 350 projects across industries and geographies.
Our flagship services include UX audit for enterprise applications, service design, conceptualising brand new products, and UX & UI design for legacy products. Most of our clients reach out to us with the motive of leveraging design thinking for innovation and to infuse design into their product development process. Through our services, our clients have been able to increase employee engagement, improve productivity, address usability issues like clunky interfaces and workflows, and reduce the cost to build in-house.
What is the role of technology in this fast-paced changing world? Kindly highlight your achievements, awards, and accreditation?
Bansi: It is a known fact that in the present age, we are quite spoilt by technology. There are aspects of technology such as online ticketing or GPS navigation, that have become an integral part of our life and we can’t imagine living without it. In terms of technology, amongst a few initiatives, there is a particular offering that we are actively working on and is close to my heart.
We are working on how we can combine the power of AI, Robotic Process Automation and User-Centric methodology to deliver maximum efficiency to businesses with a human touch. This offering will be focused on leveraging Intelligence Assistance to help users make better decisions, presenting just-in-time information based on machine learning, and eliminating mundane workflows so users can focus on what’s worth their efforts. It is for our futuristic approach that we have been recognized as one of the top UI/UX agencies in India by Clutch, which is a directory listing of international agencies.
Kindly tell us about the challenges you took and the risk associated with it and how did you overcome them.
Bansi: Starting a business itself is a high-risk proposition and while it’s rewarding if things work out, the process is no less than metamorphosis.
The first big project we won, winning it was one thing but keeping it was a bigger challenge, we had to scale at a pace the client and projects were mounting, with no time to analyze and ensure whether we’re moving up in the right way. So we took the risk, we progressed and learned how to stay on the go. We made many costly mistakes by proceeding in this way, but it helped us keep and grow the account and gain tremendous domain knowledge in a short span of time. Very shortly, we could solve problems at unparalleled speed and no design challenge looked too big.
A few years back, when we did our first big-scale enterprise UX research. Failing was not an option, we were trusted and chosen over the best available in the market and we had to prove ourselves. To top it, we could get the turnkey project which was a dream project for us if we succeeded at the initial UX Research phase. I believe, when failing is not an option, it’s easier in one way. It gives you laser-sharp focus, and priorities become crystal clear. We absorbed the losses incurred due to our inability to estimate the efforts correctly. While the leadership was supportive, we faced tremendous resistance from middle management during the research. But we kept our head down and spirits high, we kept marching. For every adversary we put our creative thinking to work, to find a solution and in the end, our hard work and efforts were rewarded.
Share your point of view on the current scenario of the industry and its future.
Bansi: Engineering-driven products are burdened by years of technical and design debts. A large clunky software has been the norm. The value and experience that is delivered by the B2C products have set the bar and expectations for the largely millennial workforce today who are mindful of how their energy and intellect are engaged which in turn leads them to a sense of satisfaction.
The future incorporates a predictive User Experience. The application shouldn’t just guide the user towards the next steps but also knows well where the next steps lead. Moreover, with technological advancements leading the way, UX is not just limited to screens but has already started widening its scope to incorporate smart gadgets, voice interface, personalization, and automation.
For example, an exciting concept that is rapidly evolving is Robotic Process Automation (RPA). It is the application of technology to high-volume, repetitive tasks to simplify the processes and increase efficiency. A mature UX design identifies the right tasks to automate, creates a natural way of automating them, and gives a seamless experience. Enterprises are now utilizing UX designs for RPA that can work across multiple digital systems, process transactions, or the manipulation of data with increased accuracy and speed.
What would you advise to budding entrepreneurs who are willing to make a career in this field?
Bansi: Before you get into the field of UX design or any other kind of design, you should know that it is not just a profession, but a vocation. Eventually, design becomes a way of life and you never really stop learning new things. As you keep learning, remember that the best design comes not while thinking about the design itself, but about how it is going to affect the people. It is one of those few industries where everybody thinks they can do it, so it’s your job to stand up to the clients and solve the problem for them in a way they never could have.
Please tell us about your future business plans.
Bansi: The future business plans of our company are based on a two-fold plan where we constantly refine our offerings and methodology to help enterprise applications innovate and realize the business value of design.
Our long term goal is to scale our team and presence to become the world’s most preferred company that exists to help businesses with enterprise applications utilize the power of UX.

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