Anil Reddy, founder of Lollypop Design Studio, sets a comprehensive benchmark in the Digital Design Industry
Driven by the start-up boom, the Digital Design Industry witnessed a sudden paradigm shift in the last three years. From the stage of non-acceptance, today, in a ‘mobile first’ world, we find that entrepreneurs have started appreciating how design can be crucial in strategizing, positioning and driving user’s engagement and loyalty. Lollypop Design Studio has been part of this landscape and a crucial change agent in enabling industries garner success through design innovation.
Anil’s vision of ‘Positioning India as a digital design destination on the world map’ made way to Lollypop. Theybasically collaborate with businesses to understand their users and create successful designs for anything that demands a digital interface be it mobile, web or wearable. They are setting benchmarks and gathering attention across the globe by displaying their expertise in designing experiences (UX), interfaces (UI) and front-end development services. Their team has collaborated with Fortune 500 companies to Start-ups from almost 12 countries and has brands such as Narayana Health, Ernst & Young, Stanford University, Alma Mater, Myntra, Scoop Whoop and Accenture under their hat.
Anil recalls how it was an extremely tough decision to abdicate the well settled career in New Zealand and move to India with 2 new born to realise his dream. He shares that ‘in 2013, India had zero or little awareness of the industry and no entrepreneur was willing to invest. Everyone would spend millions on physical office, product and its packaging but would not spend on their digital presence.
As Indian markets were extremely slow, Anil began designing at extremely nominal rates. First few clients were from New Zealand given his strong repute in the field. In the meantime, he was introducing design to Indian markets by giving design workshops to clients.
With the factors like internet revolution and Start-up boom with most of the millennials taking a route to entrepreneurship, digital design took a new turn and he shares that now is the era of designers. From a single man and one room office, today, Lollypop is a team of over 50 individuals bounded by the common interest of designing great experiences.
Lollypop has reimagined 15 plus industries till the date and few of their benchmark designs are from domains such as Fintech, Healthtech, E-commerce, Edu-Tech and Social platforms. They say that almost 70% of their work comes from Start-Ups.
Anil shares that the journey of entrepreneurship is filled with learning. There are multiple things that drove success of Lollypop which were embedded along the way. In the beginning, he was clear about just two things, brilliant designs, and amazing culture. To set the right culture, principles of ownership, integrity, excellence and building relationships were introduced as part of the process.
Secondly, following their belief ‘the world is our classroom’, Lollypop always had senior mentors to advise in strategic business decisions and ensure that the direction was right; currently Mr. Sameer Mitra and Mr. Viren Shetty are inthe advisory board panel.
Lollypop does not believe in hard core marketingor resorting to selling strategies. Their mantra is to design exceptional work and let the clients be their brand ambassadors. So, most of the efforts in Lollypop are guided towards communicating their designs and building on to the relationships through use of social media channels. Moreover, keeping a low budget on marketing helps them in passing the benefits to the clients by providing competitive rates.
The most important factor in the success of Lollypop is the team, says Anil. Lollypop is all about people and helping each other learn and grow. They spend substantial amount of time and effort in ensuring that team is taken good care of. Studio has a flat structure and offers a good balance between personal & professional life; in fact, they also have internal meetings to discuss the kind of project team wants to work on. The culture of work ownership and learning is also highly encouraged
Lollypop is considered among top design studio in India and has won accolades and recognitions in many national and international awards. They have competed across the globe and have won recognition in the categories such as ‘Interface and Interaction Design’ and ‘Website Design’. The most recent one was Gold and Silver award organized by A’ Design Award, Italy.
About the Founder
An artist at heart and a designer by choice, Anil Reddy has had a flair for art and design since his school days. The journey that started with simple sketch competitions in the school led him to the digital world. His parents always wanted to see him as an engineer but his heart was into the field of Arts, not a very reputed profession back in 90’s. Post his higher secondary, he wanted to enrol in school of Design but was opposed by everyone around.
Unwary of everyone he followed his heart and took up various part time jobs to complete his design school. He explored the field of comic strips to art direction in movies where he would create the entire sets but none was stable or regularly paid for. In his search, he was introduced to world of computers and his fascination just grew multiple times. He still laughs sharing his thoughts that how back in those days when world was just being introduced to computers there were absolutely no tools except for your sketchbook and pencil. And the hours he spent on illustrations and giving the effects and explaining it to the animators. Post his 2 years at Saudi Arabia, he flew to New-Zealand school of Design to complete his masters.
He started as web/ graphic designer and grew to the position of Art Director in the field of computer interaction. Before beginning with his entrepreneurship stint, he had designed many award winning digital/web campaigns for Coke, Adidas, BP, Nissan, Sony Play Station to name a few while working with International AD Agencies like Ogilvy,NZ and TBWA, NZ.
Now with 16 years of experience in the field, his vision and the team he has built we are confident that he will be able to put India on the world map for design. We wish him all the luck.