Shadow CXO Chronicles — Lollypop Design Studio

This article is Megha Tak’s account of her day spent in Lollypop Design Studio, shadowing Founder & Creative Director, Anil Reddy.

The Shadow CXO Program by TEDxBangalore is a novel concept, especially in the Indian context. When I got to know that the opportunity was with a design studio, I couldn’t contain my excitement. Since I’m part of a product company, insights on working with designers are critical to me.

I got rolling with my research and found Lollypop Design Studio topped the list everywhere in the field of UX/ UI design in India and I was extremely excited to spend a day there. Also because it meant a day off from work (just kidding!).

I was looking forward to shadow Mr. Anil Reddy, Founder & Creative Director of Lollypop, but it was scheduled on Wednesday, so I was sceptical about if it was going to be mundane and slow; however, I was taken by surprise.

It was an action and energy-packed day, filled with design discussions, product understandings, sales & recruitment meetings, client calls and action plans.

Anil welcomed me with a smiling demeanour and quickly briefed me about the entire day.

A photo with Anil Reddy

Of the many things learnt, I will share the five most significant ones:

  1. Lead by talent and not position: Anil treats his team as friends and everyone addresses each other by first name! People were so comfortable around him, willing to share ideas and opinions; they idolise his design skills and look forward to learn from him. With him around everyone was so confident about Lollypop, its future plans and also themselves; I wondered if confidence and positivity was contagious.
  2. Don’t jump into things just for the heck of it: Entrepreneurship is definitely not a fancy term but comes with lots of responsibilities. One needs to wear all kinds of hat starting from office boy to being a leader and that definitely is not an easy task.
  3. Research but also act fast: Know the trends and your subject, but also implement your thoughts. It’s okay if you go wrong and if it’s not perfect because this gives you way bigger learning than just cooking thoughts.
  4. It’s about attitude: Everyone at Lollypop loved the office culture and was keen on getting right attitude on-board; they say skills can be trained but wrong attitude would spoil it all. Qualities like humility, respect, responsibility were of utmost importance.
  5. Work hard but have fun: A fulfilling lunch with the team, cracking jokes and ending it up with sweet is the Lollypop way (what’s better than mutton biryani and kulfi?).

Bonus point: having a perfect work-life balance is indispensable to Anil and it’s not just about him but the whole studio. He manages it all from family to kids to Lollypop and still steals some time for his hobbies. I wonder if he has more than 24 hours a day!

To end this, I would like to thank TEDxBangalore, Lollypop and Anil for the perfect day and this amazing learning’s. Beside work, I had an awesome time and I definitely made some new friends.

Megha Tak, Associate Product Manager, Practo

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