Happy Birthday to Us: 10 Years of CKS

It has sneaked up on us, but CKS is 10 years old today. I conducted an interview with our Founder and CEO, Dr. Aditya Dev Sood, on how the company’s journey has progressed over this past decade, and where he sees it going in the future.
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Ayesha Vemuri:
How did it all begin? What have you accomplished in this time? 
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Aditya Dev Sood:
We conventionally date the company back to February 9, 2002, when I hired Uma Maheshwari to help with ‘content’ — we had no concept of design research at that time. Along with my ‘secretary’ Malini Munisamaiah who had found her, we became a three-person team, and so, in theory, an ‘organization.’

When I’d set out I really wasn’t sure how design and social research could or should fit together. We hadn’t created the innovation cycle or any of the innovation training documents that we later developed. We didn’t have a multi-terabit archive or a blog or any kind of track record or network of alumni who have graduated on from CKS to other things in life. We hadn’t developed any of the insights, understandings or approaches that now characterize the ‘CKS Way.’

So those are some of the real accomplishments of the company, along with the specific outcomes of our project work — our advice and solutions for clients, the answers to specific and granular problems.

But perhaps the greatest achievement of the company is to bring together really smart and committed people to work together on some of the most pressing and difficult challenges of our age in creative and meaningful ways.

important source AV: What about the future? What directions do you see CKS taking over the next few years?
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There have been some exciting developments recently, including the possibility of setting up an innovation lab in Bihar, conducting innovation training workshops, perhaps building a centre for design innovation excellence and so forth. The momentum and growth of Design Public, our conclave on innovation and design is also something very new. We’ve been getting better with managing our data, our online identity, and our social media presence, reinforcing the CKS community. The organization will grow quite a bit in the coming year because of these new engagements, and likely change quite a bit as well.

http://www.mylifept.com/?refriwerator=bin%C3%A4re-optionen-probekonto&020=31 AV: Sounds like things are moving along swimmingly…

http://enelnombredelgato.com/?fiserit=cruceros-islas-griegas-desde-espa%C3%B1a&c23=45 ADS: It’s not that everything we’ve done has exceeded my expectations. I see it more as a story of struggle and growth than triumph. I guess I thought we’d have a studio in Mumbai by now, which has yet to come to pass. I’d like to have published a book of CKS project work, including Used in India and the many other reports we’ve created including the Emerging Economy Report. I’d like to have written my own book on innovation by now. I’ve wanted us to grow financially and in terms of the range, depth and density of our client relationships for a while now — all that seems right around the corner.

jalra tablet price AV: Any thoughts on where you might be a decade from today?

ADS: Personally, I see myself semi-retired, living in Mangalore where my wife’s family’s orchards and plantations are located, where there are exotic fruits and plants growing… I’ll be brewing beer and tasting my father-in-law’s wine, making sculptures in clay and bronze (laughs).

CKS, I think, will have become an entity that can function independently of me, something that is already beginning to happen. We have begun making the changes, internally in the organization to allow that. We’re investing our leadership team and growing our capability to work in a multi-sited way between Delhi, Bangalore, Patna and Bombay. A lot of what we can strive for in the future will build on the capabilities we have already developed.

As I see it, India’s innovation ecology is changing dramatically, and the need for the kind of expertise in product, service, systems innovation that we offer is expanding dramatically. This will allow us to go beyond innovation consulting and offer training, incubation and mentorship services and to really be at the center of the powerhouse that India’s economy is going to become.

AV: Thank you for your time, Aditya, and I wish you the best for the next decade. Happy CKS day to you!

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