Gallopper is a Mumbai based startup founded by Sibani Sarma.
At the time in which we started we noticed that professionals of the design and development industry were working in silos. We felt a collaboration platform was the need of the hour so that all the stakeholders could work in a collaborative manner to co-create design solutions for the ends users, says Sibani.
We at Bangalore Insider had the opportunity to catch up with Sibani, the founder of Gallopper and to know more about the startup, read her inspiring story.
Give a brief info about your startup?
Gallopper was born as a collaboration platform for the Building and Construction industry. Today it has grown into an organization which reflects the radical impact of design-led innovation across various domains. Gallopper creates opportunities for collaboration through its various offerings of which the Consulting Services in space optimization for worker productivity is primary. We help organisations harness the power or people and space, and facilitate using that as a starting point for innovation in organisations.
The other offering is the annual Gallopper Talks, which is our flagship product and showcases a series of short talks featuring design-led innovators. It is recognised across the Design Sector as a voice of the professionals as well as a curator of their works and practise.
What made you start your startup and what problem does it solve?
At the time in which we started we noticed that professionals of the design and development industry were working in silos. We felt a collaboration platform was the need of the hour so that all the stakeholders could work in a collaborative manner to co-create design solutions for the ends users.
Tell us about yourself, your previous jobs/ventures? What were you doing before this startup?
During the course of the last 2 decades, I have worked extensively in the Real Estate Sector of India, with varied work ranging from Research, Advisory roles to Product Development and Operations. I have also honed my marketing skills in one of the most aggressive divisions: the Mortgages unit of a Multinational Bank. I was a key member at setting up the Real Estate Arm of the same Bank. Following my stint in the corporate world, I went on to a softer side of Real estate, designing Residential Interiors. While at it, I continued to spend a lot of time and energy on Research and Consulting taking up individual and collaborative assignments.
Where is your startup based out of? Why do you think that is the best place for you?
Although our office is in Mumbai, I mainly work out of Pune from my home office. Having said that, I believe, today we carry our work in our pockets on our smartphones. So besides the face to face meetings, I am always working.
As a startup founder, what are you paranoid about? What keeps you awake at night?
Project wise profitability is very important for me.
While we do take risks I believe that if your story/product/service is not known to the right target the potential of the idea is lost. I have come across people with great ideas but they turn a victim of their own ideas as while it captivates them both on the time and money front, but, because they do not reach out to their target, they are unable to make business sense of their idea. I definitely don’t want to be a victim of my ideas. So I keep thinking of creative ways to spread the right message among the right set of people.
Who are your competitions and how are you better than them?
We are at a unique space and do not see anyone as competition. Ours being a collaboration platform we have created a collaborative environment and the intention is to work together and co-create with the best of the industry.
How hard is it to have a work-life balance as a startup founder and how do you manage it?
Today there is hardly anything called a balance as we live in a blended space of the physical and digital. I try and give some method to the madness by managing priorities. My time is completely merged while serving my family as well as doing my work.
Have you raised funding? If yes, then we would like to know the details. If no then please tell us if you are looking to raise.
Since Gallopper’s inception in mid-2014, industry behemoths like Godrej Interio, Shapoorji Pallonji Real Estate, Pidilite Industries, Hafele, Berger Paints, NKGSB Bank, Network Media-Aquascript, Ambuja Cements, Ultratech Cement, Creaticity, Grover Zampa Wines AccessWork, Box8, and several Educational Institutions have supported us in various ways like sponsorships and other forms of partnerships. We remain indebted to them and are hopeful that we will be able to embrace a much larger community over the coming years.
What’s the biggest misconception people have about you? Why do they have that? What’s the reality?
One set of people think we provide just media services through the Talks we organize and the projects we write about as a part of the broadcasting arm, while another set of people only recognize the research skills. In reality we are as much one as we are of the other. Infact our broadcasting services provide opportunities to brush shoulders with the best people in the industry and this then rubs off on all the research and consulting projects we take up (many a times jointly with the same set of people).
What gets you excited about this company?
I truly enjoy the fact that I get to interact closely with some of the best designers on a regular basis. This set of people are high achievers backed by their perfectionist approach to work. There is just so much to learn from them. If I am not interacting with people, I am doing research and reading work related stuff, which I also enjoy just as much. The learning process is never ending and really brings a lot of happiness.
Tell us how a day in your life looks like? Your schedule for a day right from the time you get up till you hit the bed at night.
My day begins at 5.00 am and the first hour of my day is dedicated to my kids as I have 2 young daughters who need to be packed off to school quite early. Following this I go for an hour long walk. This is usually the reflecting time and the planning time for the day ahead. This is a very important time for me as it sets the tone of the day. Beyond the first two hours, the day is not very structured. The remainder of the day mainly comprises of work. Unlike most people I do not have a structured time to sleep and a light nap is good enough to regain energy to continue working. So when I am exhausted I just switch off from everything around me.
Tell us about your team and how did you meet each other?
The interaction with my team is through a mix of phone calls, texting and emails besides weekly meetings.
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