Prapti and Harsh quote American adventurer Chris McCandless while describing their journey together, “Happiness is only real when shared.”
Meet Harsh and Prapti, who are friends, colleagues, and life partners. Giving a run for our coveted love stories, they have together achieved it all – travel the world, assist each other’s success, make friends together and simply be the symbol of strength and love for each other!
Today, Harsh & Prapti are the Founders of “We Speak Innovation”, a platform for interactions about Design-Thinking. Besides, they are also inviting us to their shared stories with their Instagram handle @together.togather, which is an archive of their travels, pictures, and togetherness. Dig deeper into this dream couple’s life and journey in this freewheeling conversation with Storiyaan.
Prapti and Harsh: The Power Couple
Questions and answers
What is the best memory that you cherish from your time working at Ford Motor Company and what makes it special for you?
We were in separate teams at Ford Motor Company, so the best memory that we cherish was the excitement about joining the same organization in the same company. We never imagined that we would sync so much in life. I can’t help but talk about the times we took short lunch breaks and went on “mini-dates” to spend some time together.
You mentioned that the most significant successes achieved were the ones that you achieved together. Can you tell us a bit about them?
It started with us working in the same teams, which led to us winning a couple of national-level architecture competitions. We soon realized the potential of us working together and together, we appeared on the “top 10 for a ‘Dream Your Dream Wedding’ Competition” and survived an intense Master’s Program in the US. Additionally, we also did internships together and joined Ford.
How does it feel from being idolised as a “power couple” in college to being one and what makes this journey worthwhile?
We are humbled to hear that, however, it’s a long way to go. Moreover, being on that path is one of the most amazing feelings. At times, we talk about it and reflect on our journey from the start. Thus, we like to think that dreaming together and then realizing our dreams with each other makes it worthwhile.
What would you consider to be the lowest point in your career graph?
That depends on how one defines a successful career. If we only think about the outcomes, then the lowest point in our career were the two years after finishing our bachelor’s program. We were not doing too well on the professional front but all the things that we learned, and the experiences we gathered has helped us today in unprecedented ways.
How did you come up with the concept of “We Speak Innovation” and what were some of the initial struggles that you had to undergo to launch it?
The biggest challenge was to build credibility as it takes time. While we have to go a long way in that sense, this made us wait for about a year before we could officially We Speak Innovation.
Coming up with ‘We Speak Innovation’ was pretty organic. Our learning from our master’s program and all the work we did in the area of Design Thinking instilled an urge to share our thoughts, learning, and experience with the people who might benefit from it, especially students and younger professionals from India.
Initially, we were invited to speak at a few institutions and companies. However, later on, we decided to put more structure to our speaking engagements so that we could reach a broader audience.
Since you both are invested in the ideals of Design Thinking and Innovation, what effect do you think design will have on the Indian ecosystem?
We think it will be a massive one. The Design industry in India is growing at the rate of 23 to 25% annually. Design can help transform the way we look at things and result in new economic benefits and a better quality of life. India is home to a rich cultural history that spans several states, dialects, food, etc. The new age of designers can help understand and design for these nuances.
India being a very diverse country, provides a significant difficulty for UX research. What is your opinion regarding this issue?"
We think that India has seen significant growth in UX, in the last decade. There is not only a greater awareness about design but also a lot of opportunities and academic help available. Furthermore, there are also some great design and innovation-related initiatives by the MHRD, like Design Thinking as an optional in the CBSE curriculum. Thus, we are confident that with time and investment, the issues will solve themselves.
What would be your advice to those students looking into a career based on design thinking?
Design as a field has evolved and expanded in the last few decades. The most important advice from our side would be to do extensive research about the field and find the niche that excites you. Another piece of advice would be to not feel shy in reaching out to others and learning from their experiences.
How did your quest to “together to gather stories” or TTS help you grow and find yourselves as individuals?
As the name itself suggests, it helps us reflect on the stories that we are gathering through our experiences and relive them through this platform. TTS is a digital album that we are creating for ourselves with our favourite pictures, videos, and description of our experience. At the same time, we can share those with the world, which has made us appreciate our day-to-day life much more than ever before.
Even today, a lot of people break off from a relationship under the impression of “focussing on their career”. What is your opinion on this and do personal relationships affect one’s professional front?
We believe that finding a partner who understands you and supports you in what you want to achieve is the best way to go. Even in our case, we work very hard to maintain the balance. Thus, a healthy personal relationship will only support professional growth and not hinder it. Also “Love Aaj Kal” nahi dekha kya?! (Laughs…)
1. Most romantic destinations you have travelled to as architects? Goa
2. Your favourite way to blow off steam? Long walks while gossiping and eating junk food
3. One activity you enjoy as a couple when on a trip? Finding hidden coffee shops or brunch places
4. The kryptonite to your productivity – Eating rice in lunch followed by afternoon naps
5. The last shows you binged together – Family Man II, Kim’s Convenience