Story of PowerPanda
It was in Jan 2016 when we decided to make products which will fix daily life problems faced by the people in India. We made a list of issues each one of us have faced and quickly came to realize that it would take a lifetime of work to get to the bottom of fixing one issue at a time. The list was very broad and went from being able to collect milk without having to wake up to the milkman’s call, to finding the best attire from one’s wardrobe for an occasion. All of them were genuine issues, which at least one of us had faced personally and wished if there was a good way out.
We spent our next couple of weeks talking to friends and family about the problem to find out how some of them managed to work around it. A good amount of people who had faced this issue, used a ¾ Meter X ½ Meter sized UPS box to get around it. We visited a few of them to see how they had it installed and found out that most of them had to keep it hidden, as the box did not fit well into their drawing rooms, where they had their modems plugged in. Most of those served the purpose of avoiding the momentary modem reset issue when they had a DG backup, but could not serve longer in the absence of an alternative power backup.
We put together the specifications of the product we forsaw would fix it for everyone. It all started with a wish list, we wanted it to look good so that people would not need to conceal it, we wanted the modem to be durable as laptops, tablets and smartphones which have their own batteries, we wanted it to be able to charge the phones in case of emergency, we also wanted it to be light and small to make it desirable.
Finally, after 3 months we started our journey into the unchartered waters, we realized that making a few prototypes and putting them to use for our early adopters would be the best foot forward. To keep the cost under control, we had to let go of some of the considerations we had for the product in our MVP stage. We had to be happy with the aesthetics of boxes available off the shelf at lower costs, because building a mould at MVP stage was not an economically viable option. We started building boxes by sourcing standard boxes which were available from Raj Engineering in Bangalore. We put together 50 units of the product and deployed them across 50 houses in Bangalore for use by our early adopters.
After putting the MVPs out, gathering usage pattern and customer feedback, we put together the industrial design of the product rolling in all the inputs we received firsthand from our customers. Thus was formed the design we call Powerpanda.