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Aurobinda Narayan Pradhan
Aurobinda Narayan Pradhan

Aurobinda Narayan Pradhan

Co-founder, PeepalDesign



Aurobinda Narayan Pradhan is a member of:

Brief description about me
I am a creative nomad. An architect by education and a design communicator by profession, I have spent last decade understanding, researching and designing user experiences for software solutions.
I love to travel. Earlier my job allowed me to see places around the globe, now it's my bicycle and off roads around bangalore.
In 1997 I finished my graduation in architecture from NIT Bhopal and worked as an architect for about a year but didn't find much excitement there. So I joined Industrial Design Center of IIT Bombay to do masters and that changed my perspective on creativity and design.
After a 7 years stint at SAP Labs India, the legendary seven year itch pushed me to pick up a management course in IIM Bangalore followed by a happy exit from corporate ladder. By 2008-2009 I found myself floating with 3 different ventures namely acadinnet, 3frameslab and peepaldesign. In two years I pulled myself together and focused on what I know best... design. And the story continues.
Influenced by
My grandmother of course. 110 year old and still going strong. She taught me the nuances of story telling by telling stories of her life, of freedom fighters and yogis. What influenced me most is her ability to draw parallels between epics (Mahabharata, Ramayana, Geeta) and life around us.
I believe that a designer should be a good story teller and to tell a story one should be able to absorb the surrounding in its own rawness. Rational, irrational, simple, complex, beautiful, ugly... they are just incidental.
Initiative to develop a country
For me a developed country implies healthy inhabitants, safe environment and happy co-existence.
For me a professional is an ethical and qualified person who is equipped to take controlled decisions that influence people, economy and environment.
All that professionals need to do is to stop worrying about virtual and short term benefits and work long terms towards capitalizing on their key strength.

Just imagine a world where professionals do not worry about year end rating, bonus letters and office politics, rather they focus on bringing positive change around their immediate environment through their key strength, multiply their strength by upskilling people, build better businesses, processes, solutions and participate in a thriving self sustaining ecosystem.
Qualities needed to become a successful leader
First and foremost is empathy. If you don't have it, you will be a painful leader.
Second, people look up to leaders to address their fears, apprehensions and wish list, hence responsiveness to people is a critical quality.
Third, change is but constant and a leader who is adaptable to change, ensures survival of his ecosystem.
Fourth, Knowledge, a leader with the right knowledge and the ability to learn, leads from the front and ensures success.
Couple of years from now
In absence of sixth sense, it's a difficult question to answer. However, I certainly see myself as a more seasoned change influencer who can bring in creative perspectives to problems needing design intervention.
My achievements
I am yet to have any achievements to speak about. But yes, I am proud of being what I am. I have achieved certain level of happiness by constantly pushing myself beyond my comfort zones. Miles to go.
My family background
With a freedom fighter and a grounded farmer as my grandfather, I guess I got my freedom streak from him. My father retired as a state govt officer where he was the auditor responsible for tribal welfare fund. Thanks to him, I have vivid memories of tribal settlements, mountains and rivers in the tiger infested deep forests of Odisha. My mother managed the household with we three brothers and one sister, who are happily settled in various professions.

My wife Sanghamitra is known to me since I was in my teens. She works as a Vice President with Genpact and is the biggest support and critique. My daughter Mrida is 7 year old and she aspires to be an artist, a scientist and an astronaut... well she is working on that plan :-)
Thoughts on Education system of our country
Education system in India is amazing. Given a chance every kid goes to school. Every Indian family is aware that the only way to real prosperity is education. However it's a pity that the system is all over the place and lacks systematic thought leadership.
Talking of measures, there should be multifold approach to handle this. I am not an expert on this subject but I have opinions.
1: Make education government controlled, privately run and reasonable for all (makes the system uniform and discourages education mafia).
2: Invest in standard and uniform infrastructure for school and colleges across the country.
3: Tap into the vast pool of educated mass to generate centralized education material and identify tutors.
4: Build infrastructure to enable ordinary people to become part of education ecosystem and lay a helping hand in any way possible.
5: Encourage and support entrepreneurs in plugging in new ideas and solutions in building a self sustaining ecosystem.
Ensuring success
I am learning everyday and trying to make a difference to people, events and environment around me by sharing too.
Important lesson learned
1: If I am cribbing and worrying too much then I am well within my comfort zone. Time to do something new, time to explore and take up a new challenge
2: I should not worry about what others should do... rather what I should do.
My role model
In todays world we find a role model in every successful person. For me a role model is one who inspires me to be myself and the change that I want to see.
I consider Mr M K Gandhi as my role model for the simple reason that he was the change himself. Driven by his own urge to throw away the very system that insulted him. He did one good because he believed in it and it did result in a lot of good.
Important decision
I used to be a tongue tied kid. The first decision I made along the way is to open up. Turned out to be the most important one.

I was never overtly social. So I decided to observe people in gatherings. Now it has become a part of me and helps me immensely as a designer.

I did not want to be an engineer. Neither did I know anything about architecture. But I did decide to take up architecture. I might not have taken up architecture as a profession, but I am very much moulded by it.

I loved my job, I liked my colleagues but somewhere deep down I was feeling incomplete, half baked, empty... so I decided to quit at the sight of first consulting opportunity. 4.5 years since, enjoying every day of it.
My strongest skill
Creative problem solving & design thinking
Connect with Aurobinda Narayan Pradhan on Linkedin
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