Meet the Agency – Sparklin, New Delhi
If you are not aware already, Pixelonomics has a new regular – MTA, Meet the Agency. For long we wondered if the people behind a certain design should be known or not. Irrespective of that, we would like them to be known.
Based in New Delhi, Sparklin started in Dec 2010 and boasts (humbly, if I may say so) of many reputed clients, established ones and startups. For a change, I got a chance to have a formal word with the co-founder of Sparklin, Himanshu Khanna and I have a few pleasing and inspiring answers to share. Did I mention that Sparklin is the agency behind India’s first creative job portal, Pixel Jobs?
Let’s dig in to Sparklin’s thoughts & approach to design, as this agency believes in not just talent or qualification but employee’s integrity too!
The QnA Session
Q1. Why and when did you start Sparklin? We’re already counting ‘making money’ as a strong reason. What are the others?
Sparklin started in Dec 2010. From what I have known so far, not many companies are started to ‘make money’. There are easier ways to achieve that. Sparklin was essentially initiated out of passion and a very strong belief that design is a possible answer to almost every problem in the world.
Q2. Which are the factors that constitute a good design in your perspective?
Design that triggers Functional Response(s) is possibly a fair way to define good design. I could have an absolutely stunning water bottle that is very chic and minimal. But if it only sprays water, will that do fine in most cases? Or consider a business website design that has a puzzle on its landing page. Unless you solve the puzzle in a specific time, you are not allowed to see the further information. Does the website serve the purpose well in most occasions? Possibly not.
Q3. How is your startup different from another half a million design startups out there?
Our people, their mindset, approach to design projects, work process are some of the factors that would differentiate us from the other startups out there. Being surrounded by design, we collectively have a tendency to look at opportunities and situations in a very different way. We are inquisitive at our core. We question everything – the rules, the notions and more. We do not intend to reinvent the wheel, just strive to constantly find a better solution than a wheel in every situation.
Q4. What is that one factor that makes your design startup stand out?
May I choose two instead? One, we are led by function. We would always base function higher than most other aspects in a design. Two, we are inquisitive in our approach, as explained before.
Q5. We’ve been told that design is a struggling field. Which factors influenced your decision to start a design company such a scenario?
The very fact that it is a struggling field! Designers love challenges. We took this one up as soon as we could.
Q6. Which is your favorite Design/Advertisement Campaign? Please provide a link, if possible.
Have you heard of a billboard that produces drinking water (26 gallons a day)? It’s a brilliant design! Primarily, it gets the campaign message across in no time. Over time, the same message has spread purely on the power of social media and word of mouth. As an absolute bonus, it produces drinking water for the driest desert in the world. See the brilliance of functional design?
Q7. On a scale of 1-10, with 1 being the lowest, where do you think your startup ranks in the following category:
1) Creativity (8)
2) Designing (9)
3) Conceptualization (8)
4) Execution of the final idea (8)
5) Deadlines (6) Call it a confession, this is one aspect we are trying to majorly improve on
6) Uniqueness (9)
7) Understandability of the designs (9)
8) Clientage (6) We are looking to serve a lot many clients with our function-led approach in the future
Q8. How do you define your company’s key design process?
Sparklin’s work focuses on function-led, human-centered approach, which focuses on the functional needs of the solution, driven by contextual human behavior. Simply put, we follow an iterative process to arrive at best possible business solution for the respective audience.
Q9. Qualification or Talent – what according to you makes for a good design startup fit?
How about we propose a few factors of our own? Integrity matters the most, closely followed by passion and the drive to act on it.
Q10. Please share the current and past achievements of your start up?
Q11. What is the future scope of your startup? Do you wish to expand further?
The future is brighter than ever! Design is finally being recognized as a key differentiator. Both, startups and established companies, are looking to make design-led decisions. The future belongs to functional design!
Though bullish on expansion, we are choosing to take it slow. Being driven by quality, we are investing time in setting up processes to manage our future better.
Q12. What is the one thing that keeps the environment of the office alive?
Discussions, constructive or otherwise! At office, each one has the freedom to bounce their ideas off each other and offer opinions. We are joined on most of these discussions by another fun startup, co-located with us. This is what keeps our senses engaged and active.
And coffee, hot, cold and shaken!
Q13. How do you define the culture at your startup?
‘Suits’ minus the expensive setting, infused with Spielberg gene.
Q14. Given a chance, what would be the ending line of the book authored by you?
I am already authoring my first fiction. It’s tentatively titled 97 Minutes. Surprisingly, the last chapter is already in place and if not changed by the time it gets published, the last line reads: “He stood still, unsure of whether to turn around or step ahead”.
Do you have any specific questions for Himanshu Khanna? Would you like another agency, founder interviewed in our future editions?
Please share your thoughts, questions and requests in the comment section below. Alternatively, you may email us as well. Adios!