GenZe Business Strategy

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For my DMBA Business Models and Market Insights courses, my team worked with Mahindra, one of India’s largest companies, and the CEO of their US subsidiary GenZe. We were tasked with helping leadership better understand their target customers while uncovering additional revenue streams and channeling opportunities for a new electric scooter they had designed for the college market.

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GenZe Business Strategy

  1. 1. 1 MOVING A NEW GENERATION CHUNG-YING YE • CURT ROLLISON • DAVE TIPTON MEG CAIN • MELISSA BREITENFELDT MAY 11TH, 2013
  2. 2. 3 CONTENTS EXECUTIVE SUMMARY 04 WHY BUSINESS MODELS? 07 CURRENT SITUATION 09 CLIENT OBJECTIVES 14 DETAILED RECOMMENDATIONS 16 Pop-Up Retail 22 Premium Parking Station 24 Flexible Ownership 26 SUMMARY & NEXT STEPS 28 DETAILED CANVASES 30 INTERACTION WITH GENZE 34 TIMELINE & RESOURCES 37 CONSULTING TEAM BIOS 38
  3. 3. Our qualitative consumer research found that transportation decisions are primarily driven by students’ desire for freedom. In order for GenZe to grow its customer base, the brand must find ways to prove that its e-scooters offer opportunities for freedom not found in other modes of transportation. Given these insights, Team Turbo recommends three business model pivots: ON-CAMPUS POP-UP: Create a rental station/retail outlet that will help GenZe expand beyond online distribution and solidify the brand experience while meeting student in their element. PREMIUM PARKING: Offer on-campus preferred parking and charging stations that provide unparalleled campus access and convenience. TIERED OWNERSHIP: Offer tiered levels of ownership: rent (semester, quarterly, monthly), lease, or own, in order to capture a larger share of students. EXECUTIVE SUMMARY M ahindra GenZe, a subsidiary of the Indian conglomerate Mahindra, is attempting to break into the North American consumer market with the introduction of an electric scooter for urban college students. Team Turbo has been asked to investigate possible business opportunities to offer GenZe scooters through flexible or shared ownership models in the Bay Area. Within the next five years, GenZe hopes to roll out a shared model across the country to coincide with their national sales strategy to shift American culture to a two-wheeler lifestyle. Our business model recommendations are framed by the Business Model Canvas - an approach to strategic planning designed to easily visualize and articulate a business’s essential customers, offering, structure, and financial details. By continuing to evolve its business model, GenZe is better positioned to withstand market shocks and grow into untapped and underserved markets. 5 SPARK A MOVEMENT
  4. 4. 7 Question: Why are business models important? Answer: “Business models tell a story. As that story is told, competitors change, the environment changes and the story told may have to adapt to sustain. Success is only as good as the authors’ ability to tell the story as the business environment in which it lives evolves.” - Melissa Breitenfeldt “Business models allow for a company to evolve. Even start-ups need to evolve their businesses, since their initial models may have flaws or can be made better. Improvements in science and technology change behaviors. Subsequently, businesses need to change as well.” - Curt Rollison “A business that does not build in an evolutionary ability will not deal with changing market trends. Failing to compete with a firm that does evolve leads to a kind of Darwinian destruction. A good, adaptive business model will prevent this.” - Dave Tipton “Companies must adapt and change to fit their environments. There are questions you need to be constantly asking to keep your brand relevant and successful and a good business model helps stimulate these questions.” - Chung Ying Yeh “A business will fail when the company rejects new changes in defense of their original plan, or when they’re no longer able to distinguish between routine convention and the fundamentals of their original business. This is where the building blocks of a good business model can delineate what made the company unique and stable in its infancy as well as respond to its new demands.” - Meg Cain Always be Evolving. Business models are the roadmap to a successful tomorrow.
  5. 5. 9 CURRENT SITUATION GenZe, a subsidiary of the Indian conglomerate Mahindra, is secretly attempting to break into the North American consumer market with the introduction of an electric scooter for metropolitan college students. After gaining popularity on urban campuses, GenZe hopes to roll out an expanded product line to consumers beyond campus. The GenZe scooter will feature a large touchscreen display and a broad array of wireless connectivity to support the untested assumption that Millennials and digital natives desire a transportation offering that goes beyond function and enters the realm of “gadget”. GenZe is attempting to make their product function as a “physical representation of a social network” by fostering freedom, connectedness, and harmony in its Build an electric scooter for college students, then expand to other markets. product experience. Currently in the alpha build phase, GenZe has yet to manufacture a full order of e-scooters. The firm is working towards a late Q4 2013 ship date, but timing continues to slip. Much of the design, build, and business planning process have been joint ventures with various student groups across the country in an attempt to build a product for students, by students. Chief of Staff: John Hohulin Chief Executive: Sanjay Bonde Organization Chart: Head of Corporate Marketing Shruti Tewari Chief of Consumer Engagement Terry Duncan Engineering Marketing
  6. 6. 11 COMPETITIVE LANDSCAPE Current Market: The current e-scooter rental market in the United States is non-existent. However, a few other well funded companies have recently introduced e-scooter concepts and are poised to compete. Key Competitors: Gas Powered Scooters The e-scooter’s largest direct competitor in the United States will be gas powered scooters. Given their relatively low price point, high gas mileage, and horsepower, gas powered scooters are a formidable competitor. Many students find security in the familiar gasoline powered paradigm and would prefer to own a scooter that could more easily transport a heavy load. Scoot Networks Beta launched in October 2012, Scoot Networks is a San Francisco based start-up that offers an electric motorscooter subscription service to Bay Area residents. Scoot has tiered membership pricing to provide value for multiple use cases - helmet included. The scooter connects to a rider’s smartphone via application for activation, navigation, and payment. Scoot currently has 35 scooters available at seven major SF transit hubs and plans to expand to other markets in 2014. Smart Car + Vectrix Partnership Smart Car and its parent company Daimler plan to launch a new electric scooter in 2014. The scooter is a collaboration between Smart and U.S. electric scooter manufacturer, Vectrix. These two companies’ combined knowledge and established dealer base could mean big competition for GenZe in the near future. There is speculation that this co-developed product will be inserted into Smart’s “Car-to-Go” urban shared vehicle service. ZipCar ZipCar has already entrenched itself on many college campuses with its shared vehicle business model. Anecdotally, ZipCar tends to be used more by students for getting off campus. Students use ZipCars for their cargo room and carrying capacity for “stock-up” trips to mass merchandisers and grocery stores or group outings. ZipCar has the potential to be a strategic partner. GenZe and Zipcar could partner to provide students with a “total transportation” package for both on- and off-campus vehicles. Gasoline Culture in the U.S. While not organized as a direct competitor, the U.S. culture of gas powered vehicle dependence may play a large role in the acceptance of an electric powered vehicle. Our qualitative research among college students uncovered the perception that gas powered vehicles are less of a hassle and more reliable than charging an electric vehicle. GenZe will be one of the first to market, and these perceptions will need to be addressed in order to generate purchase intent.
  7. 7. 13 CURRENT BUSINESS MODEL CANVAS VALUE PROPOSITIONKEY ACTIVITIESKEY PARTNERS CUSTOMER RELATIONSHIPS CUSTOMER SEGMENTS College Students Urban Professionals Self-Service Social Networks Personal Assistance Genze.com Mobile App No hassel, green transportation with magical connectivity Online Marketing On-Campus Promotions Website Development Street Team USA Manufacturing R&D Quality Control Scooter Service & Repairs Parent Mahindra 25-30% Gross Margin Brand Launch + Promotion Servicing Warranty Product Distribution Scooter Sales Upgrades & Accessories Student Collaborators University Admin Part Suppliers Telecom Carriers Large Employers KEY RESOURCES COST STRUCTURE REVENUE STREAMS CHANNELS GenZe’s business model - on one page. The Business Model Canvas is a strategic management and entrepreneurial tool. It allows firms to describe, design, challenge, invent, and pivot their business model.
  8. 8. ONE PAGE BUSINESS PLAN + OBJECTIVES Vision Mahindra wishes to break into the North American scooter market and convert urban car culture into a scooter culture. With the rental/shared model they wish to “scooter-fy” campuses across the country. Objectives: GenZe’s accelerated design and build process has compromised their ability to receive feedback from the customer, which increases the probability of a mismatched product market fit. Given the delays in the build process, we are doubtful that such a goal can be achieved in the time specified. OURCONCERNS Attention and investment in marketing elements like a website, customer service, and retail experience are essential to a successful brand introduction. We believe GenZe needs to start small and actively learn from real world use cases to ensure their scooters and business model are truly ready for a national roll out. Mission To provide a cool, no hassle, green transport with magical connectivity that is loved by college students and urban professionals. Strategies • Build a desirable and reliable scooter • Establish UC Berkeley as a test market • Emphasize the unparalleled convenience of GenZe • Offer flexible ownership Action Plans • Finalize scooter manufacturing • Perform market research to optimize pricing strategy and leasing time frames • Establish marketing channels and touchpoints • Prep pre-launch awareness campaign on campuses • Deploy brand and product roll out at UC Berkeley Manufacture and deploy 1000 scooters by the end of 20131 Provide ways for students to purchase and rent GenZe scooters at launch 2 Establish a brand presence on at least five campuses within a year of launch 3 15
  9. 9. 17 DETAILED RECOMMENDATIONS We had two main client deliverables for this project: 1) develop a succinct value proposition for GenZe, and 2) generate a rental model for distributing the product on college campuses. Developing the value proposition included stakeholder interviews and on campus intercepts to both understand the behaviors of students and uncover a need to correspond with the value that GenZe is offering. Constructing a rental model included researching all of the following: • Current competitive set • College students’ behaviors and lifestyles • University and campus activities and agendas • Current transportation costs
  10. 10. 19 Campus pop-up: We propose GenZe expands beyond online sales and into physical retail. We recommend offering a dynamic, on-campus, pop-up retail/rental center that can serve as a physical brand experience and meet target consumers in their element. Students spend the majority of their weekdays on campus, so why not bring GenZe products to them? Students will be able to try out the scooters in person and leave the shop with a rental scooter with a few taps of the iPad. This pop-up would be deployed during high traffic events on campus like welcome week, homecoming, and the start of each semester. In order to maximize early adoption and introduce consumers to a nascent brand, we believe GenZe needs to offer students the most convenient transportation option on campus. This can be achieved holistically by meeting students where they spend most of their day, offering unparalleled parking convenience, and ownership flexibility. Pop-Up Parking Renting Premium Parking: Many students have hectic schedules. GenZe should be the most reliable and convenient way to get from point A to B, fast. Most motorized transportation is only useful in reaching the perimeter of campus; from there, students must park or dismount and walk to the heart of campus. GenZe’s silent drivetrain and small frame give it the potential to be permitted access as far in to campus as a bicycle. With this extended range, GenZe should offer quick charge stations near popular lecture halls, athletic facilities, and other high traffic campus destinations. Despite the assumed convenience of a removable battery pack, a charging station provides the convenience of a safe parking space and provides the peace of mind of not having to compete with laptops for an outlet in class or forgetting the pack in the after class rush. Tiered Ownership: Campus life has a clear time horizon. Students make decisions based on the academic calendar. Many are hesitant to buy a vehicle that lacks the flexibility to “grow” with a student upon graduation. Others are only concerned with transportation while they are in session; summer breaks are spent elsewhere with new and different transportation needs. By offering tiered levels of ownership GenZe can cater to different student needs. The three tiers are: • Basic ownership. For those students who value the ability to upgrade, customize, or plan to stay around campus or the city long-term. • Lease structure. This tier allows students to “own” the scooter for a predetermined time that typically coincides with the academic calendar (semester, quarter, year, etc.). This encourages students who leave campus for the summer or holidays to use GenZe scooters while not having to bear the ownership cost when the scooter is not in use for weeks at a time. • Short term. Daily rentals could serve as a marketing tool. This limited time offering could be used in conjunction with the aforementioned pop-up to help familiarize students with GenZe scooters and introduce them to the joys of the two-wheeler lifestyle. APPROACH OVERVIEW
  11. 11. 21 VALUE PROPOSITIONKEY ACTIVITIESKEY PARTNERS CUSTOMER RELATIONSHIPS CUSTOMER SEGMENTS STUDENTS: Urban Customizers Campus Athletes Impressionable Opportunists Self-Service Automated Service Social Networks Personal Assistance Genze.com Mobile App Pop-Up Retail Green transport that makes getting around campus easier than ever before Online Marketing On-Campus Promotions Website Development Street Team Leader USA Manufacturing R&D Quality Control Scooter Service & Repairs Parent Mahindra 25-30% Gross Margin Brand Launch + Promotion Servicing Warranty Product Distribution Pop-Up Construction Charging Station Parking Spaces University Fees Scooter Sales Scooter Rentals Premium Parking Passes Student Collaborators University Admin Part Suppliers Telecom Carriers Street Team Pop-Up Builder KEY RESOURCES COST STRUCTURE REVENUE STREAMS CHANNELS INTEGRATED BUSINESS MODEL CANVAS UPDATES Upgrades & Accessories R ethinking the value proposition. Our research found that students value freedom over connectivity. By tweaking GenZe’s value proposition to focus on providing students with the most convenient way to get around campus, GenZe can provide a sense of freedom unmatched by the competition. College students desire convenience, not gadgetry from their transportation. With this new north star, our team developed three synergistic solutions focused on providing students with the most freedom possible. REVISED VALUE PROPOSITION: GenZe’s eco-friendly scooters make getting around campus easier than ever before.
  12. 12. 23 N ick, an “Urban Customizer,” really loved using his scooter to get to the next party; he was always the first to pull up to any hot campus event. It’s his senior year in college and he is trying to take advantage of his last year. However, he sold his gas powered scooter at the end of last semester because he was tired of trying to drive his scooter and use his iPhone to get directions while on the go. He almost ran into a parked car one time! At the start of his senior year, he was looking at new ways of getting around. To his surprise, he was able to test ride a GenZe scooter during homecoming weekend and loved it. Nick wanted some of the upgraded features, so he immediately went online to the GenZe website, added external speakers and touchscreen display to the scooter, and signed up to rent one for his final year on campus. It was delivered to his apartment the following week with a full charge. BUSINESS OPPORTUNITY: We propose modifying GenZe’s sales and revenue model by extending beyond a website sales platform and offering a temporary or “pop-up” mobile retail center. This will be a mobile store that can hold a number of scooters to be test driven and distributed on the spot. Students will be able to try out the scooters in person and leave the pop-up shop with a rental scooter using a mobile device such as an iPad or a payment application. If the students do not purchase the scooter at the mobile station, the website is still available to them for purchasing or rental options. This pop-up would be deployed during high traffic events at the beginning of the school year such as Welcome Week or Homecoming weekend. These times are ideal for brand introduction, as students are not yet settled into the school year and are still organizing their living spaces as well as their modes of transportation for the semester. BENEFITS: GenZe has the opportunity to couple the transaction and the introduction of their brand. Not only will students be able to physically connect with this product - feel it, ride it, test the speeds or weight capacity - but these pop-up stations can also serve as a physical representation of the GenZe brand and the experiences the brand has to offer students. Furthermore, these pop-up stations blunt the tremendous expense of permanent retail stores. The pop-up stations can go around multiple campuses for each event, during each semester, and have the ability to adapt and change based on different campus schedules or conflicting university events. RECOMMENDED APPROACH: CAMPUS POP-UP
  13. 13. 25 RECOMMENDED APPROACH: PREMIUM PARKING R yan is a sophomore at Cal who recently won the starting point guard spot on the basketball team. His classes are spread out at really inconvenient classrooms across campus. It’s the beginning of the semester, so he has two practices a day with weight training in the afternoon. One of his teammates has a gas powered scooter, and Ryan was seriously considering shelling out the money to get one so that he could get around campus faster, but he doesn’t want to deal with trying to resell it when he graduates. While he was researching his options, he found that the university recommends the GenZe scooter, a company that rents scooters out per semester and offers premium parking places across campus just for their scooters. He signed up to rent the scooter as soon as he could, and he couldn’t be happier with the amount of time and money he is saving. He is able to park and conveniently charge his scooter at the best spots on campus, and is now able to show up to practice early and get the best seats in class. BUSINESS OPPORTUNITY: We propose initiating an on-campus preferred parking/charging station program. College students have to navigate their demanding schedules on a congested, hectic campus. Premium parking represents more than convenience to students; it represents saving time, increasing their productivity on campus, and having the freedom to do other things. By offering the package of premium parking with charging stations, GenZe can offer students a way to save time as well as a convenient way to charge the scooter. BENEFITS: By eliminating crucial pain points (relieving hassles and decreasing campus travel and parking time), GenZe can develop a better relationship with their target customer and differentiate their offering from other modes of transportation on campus. Moreover, they can keep their value proposition of no hassle, sustainable transportation consistent.
  14. 14. 27 RECOMMENDED APPROACH: FLEXIBLE OWNERSHIP P olly, an “impressionable opportunist,” is a junior at Cal and usually walks with friends to school from off campus. However, Polly’s friends walk home earlier, so she finds herself forced to take the bus. She isn’t used to taking public transportation and is really uncomfortable doing things alone. One weekend while tailgating at the Cal vs. Stanford game, Polly noticed that GenZe scooters were being offered to students for test drives. She was hesitant at first because she had never ridden anything like a motorcycle or a scooter before. However, when she discovered it was electric, she was less intimidated and enthusiastic about trying it out. After riding it around, she discovered how easy it was to drive and immediately knew that this would solve all of her transportation issues. She rented it for the last half of the semester and never had to wait around for a bus again. BUSINESS OPPORTUNITY: We are advising that GenZe offer students tiered levels of ownership: renting out scooters by the semester, quarter, or month, as well as selling them it to lease or own. Students should be given the freedom to choose a rental timeline that matches their schedule. College students have different budget timelines according to their class schedules and university payment plans. Moreover, many students change their housing situation each year they are in school. Meaning students can have radically different transportation needs every twelve months. By offering BENEFITS: By offering these different ownership options for the scooter, GenZe will be directly aligning themselves with how their users makes purchases, and therefore have the potential to attract more customers. The tiered level offering is an economical tactic against other competitors that can only offer a singular form of ownership. OWN LEASE THE SPARK TO RIDE
  15. 15. Beyond our business model recommendations, we want to conclude by highlighting some key opportunities and final suggestions for GenZe. 1GenZe should strive to provide a product that enables students to get around campus with less hassle and more fun than any other form of transportation. 2Convenience is more compelling than “connectivity” and “gadgetry.” In order to gain customers, GenZe must embrace this attribute as a brand pillar. Critical Next Steps • GenZe must form relationships with Universities and their administrations to secure premium parking areas, install charging stations, and to discuss offering campuses sustainable solutions for their vehicle congestion or future population projections. • Going forward, GenZe must focus on the value they are providing their customers. What they are offering is transportation—this is the need that they can fulfill. This is their core value, and all the gadgetry and industrial capabilities would not only be inoperable but would hold no value on their own. Additionally, a focus on this value would allow them to be unconstrained from technological barriers and widen their scope of possibilities. • To initiate these recommendations, GenZe should institute a beta test on the UC Berkeley campus. Cal’s existing scooter culture and administrative 2020 campus vision make it the ideal GenZe testing grounds. Furthermore, we have validated our recommendations through extensive stakeholder interviews and campus intercepts at this particular site. Additional highlights: Because scooters are not a current popular market in the U.S., GenZe should provide a public platform to educate potential users about the difference between gas powered scooters and electric scooters and clearly communicate why GenZe is the optimal scooter. College students are not familiar with current scooter brands, models or styles, so the introduction of a new brand will not threaten the product and will not be a deterrent to potential users. The electric motor or the “sustainable factor” of the product is not a significant purchasing driver. Students already believe that driving a scooter, whether electric or gas powered, is a more sustainable option compared to other forms of transportation. Purchasing decisions are two pronged; if students were to buy a scooter, they would want to physically interact with the product as well as research it online. College students depend on the internet for their own personal research; they want to look at what other people have and why they have it. Students preferred the option to rent over the option to own because their need for the product is temporary and dependent on them being a student. Furthermore, this preference uncovers why some students do not consider scooters as a form of campus transportation. Therefore, GenZe has the opportunity to offer something that no other company is currently offering. GenZe must include Universities and their administrations as important stakeholders. Transportation is a major concern on college campuses and many Universities have laws or infrastructure in place to discourage vehicle use on campus to decrease overcrowding and vehicle congestion. Furthermore, many Universities are seeking long-term sustainable solutions to deal with increasing student populations and their transportation demands. SUMMARY & NEXT STEPS O ur goal for this project was to uncover a need and apply it to GenZe’s value proposition so that the company can offer an effective rental model that can be successfully and quickly implemented. We had a unique challenge in that our main objective was not to create a product around a specific need but to engage with GenZe’s current product and uncover its corresponding need. By revealing the need of convenience and simplicity, we were able to better communicate the value that GenZe was offering to its customers. Because we were able to integrate these needs with GenZe’s value proposition, we were able to create deep and authentic work for GenZe through our rental model and additional findings and recommendations. Finding this value for GenZe was at the core of our work because of the emphasis on value being able to transcend any features or gadgets associated with the product. 29
  16. 16. 31 DETAILED CANVASES VALUE PROPOSITIONKEY ACTIVITIESKEY PARTNERS CUSTOMER RELATIONSHIPS CUSTOMER SEGMENTS STUDENTS: Urban Customizers Campus Athletes Impressionable Opportunists Social Networks Personal Assistance Pop-Up Retail Green transport that makes getting around campus easier than ever before Access to GenZe scooters in-person for trial Easy sign up Social Media Campaign On-Campus Promotions Website Announcement Mobilize Street Team Street Team Education Marketing Materials Branded Experience 25-30% Gross Margin Pop-Up Build University Fees Pop-Up Transportation Staff Hours Giveaways Scooter Sales Upgrades & Accessories Student Collaborators University Admin Street Team Pop-Up Builder KEY RESOURCES COST STRUCTURE REVENUE STREAMS CHANNELS INDIVIDUAL CANVAS: CAMPUS POP-UP The next three pages detail the individual business model canvas elements each of our recommendations would generate if deployed individually. Although we would advise against such a plan. By executing these initiatives individually, GenZe will miss out on the synergistic nature of our three concepts
  17. 17. 33 VALUE PROPOSITIONKEY ACTIVITIESKEY PARTNERS CUSTOMER RELATIONSHIPS CUSTOMER SEGMENTS STUDENTS: Urban Customizers Campus Athletes Impressionable Opportunists Self-Service Social Networks Genze.com Mobile App Green transport that makes getting around campus easier than ever before Own a scooter only while you’re in school No need to resell Scooter only when you need it Online Marketing On-Campus Promotions Website Page Street Team Scooter Service & Repairs Quick Delivery Multiple Leasing Options Servicing + Warranty Product Distribution Refurbishing Scooter Leases Refurbished Sales University Admin KEY RESOURCES COST STRUCTURE REVENUE STREAMS CHANNELS INDIVIDUAL CANVAS: TIERED OWNERSHIP VALUE PROPOSITIONKEY ACTIVITIESKEY PARTNERS CUSTOMER RELATIONSHIPS CUSTOMER SEGMENTS STUDENTS: Urban Customizers Campus Athletes Impressionable Opportunists Self-Service Social Networks Genze.com Mobile App Green transport that makes getting around campus easier than ever before Online Marketing On-Campus Promotions Website Announcement Street Team R&D Reliable Hardware Station Location Charging Station Build Parking Spaces University Fees Facility Maintenance Increased Scooter Sales Premium Parking Passes University Admin Part Suppliers KEY RESOURCES COST STRUCTURE REVENUE STREAMS CHANNELS INDIVIDUAL CANVAS: PREMIUM PARKING
  18. 18. 35 PROJECT DEBRIEF
  19. 19. 37 We were collectively excited by the urgent challenge of introducing Mahindra GenZe into the American market as well as the possibilities surrounding an electric scooter. Our client did not have any clear expectations or goals for our team. However, our team did have expectations for them. Our goals as a team were to better understand the value a company brings to its customer and how a business model can best capture and add to that value. Although our client was not familiar with the Business Model Canvas as a tool, they did understand their target consumer and agreed to help us with this group goal. The team had the opportunity to kickoff in person with John, Mahindra GenZe Chief of Staff, Terry, Chief of Consumer Engagement, and Shruti, Head of Corporate Marketing. After the kickoff, we were connected with Melissa Brandao, the General Manager of Mahindra GenZe, to be our day-to-day contact. She set the objective of helping Mahindra GenZe to develop a business model surrounding scooter sharing. Because the company is still in “stealth mode”, they were hesitant to offer any amount of data; they did not give us production costs or even a working pricing model. They did not offer us any action plan surrounding strategy or tactics to introduce the product either. Eventually Melissa provided us a small digital image of the future product, their working marketing pitch, and some vague scooter pricing parameters. With all of this information, we started a weekly conference call with Melissa to update her on our research journey as well as get any feedback or new information from her and the company. It became very clear to us that in terms of data, guidance, and access to resources, we were on our own. After realizing that we were not going to get any more resources or real guidance from our client, the team decided to approach this challenge with two goals in mind. 1) to accept the push model being used by the company and learn how to work with them instead of against them, and 2) focus on the value proposition of the company by committing to engaging with consumers to uncover product-market-fit. However, midway through the term, we unexpectedly learned that Melissa Brandao, our main contact, had left Mahindra GenZe. Although there were three weeks’ worth of miscommunication, no communication, or misdirection, we were able to connect with a new GenZe contact, Sanjay, the CEO of the company. Sanjay wanted us to present our research and recommendations to date during their internal conference in Ann Arbor, MI. Meg Cain represented our team, presenting our work in a consolidated deck, and gained a lot of insight about the company by attending the conference. In conclusion, our interactions with our client, from start to finish, ended up mirroring the same experience that we discovered people desire from a scooter—freedom. Although we were initially offered little to no guidance and were restricted from data and research, we found ourselves operating with very few constraints and little interference. It was because of this that we were able to dig into customer insights and develop authentic and honest business model recommendations for GenZe. INTERACTIONS WITH GENZE PROJECT TIMELINE Team Turbo formed Meeting with Bob Email with GenZe Team meeting Team presentation Meet GenZe in person Conf. call with GenZe Fieldwork Secondary research 1WEEK 95 133 117 15 16 172 106 144 128
  20. 20. 39 Melissa Breitenfeldt Melissa is a lead designer at Minneapolis based Polaris Industries and has also provided design services to clients ranging from large corporations to professional cycling teams. She can easily translate the essence of a company or product’s personality into a clear, concise, and bold design. In her spare time, Melissa also creates striking, abstract, mixed media paintings which have been commissioned by private collectors and shown in galleries. David Tipton Raised to be a master carpenter, Dave has spent the last three years honing his industrial design talents in the fields of ergonomics, industrial prototyping, and sustainable environments. Over the years, Dave has also envisioned, won, and overseen the completion of multiple large scale community projects in the Sacramento, CA area. He has taught furniture design and construction for twelve years and plans to continue teaching college courses throughout his career. He is currently one of nine dual master’s degree candidates at California College of the Arts seeking an MFA in Design and an MBA in Design Strategy. Meg Cain Meg’s occupational background is business management and sustainable city planning. She worked for the City of Fort Collins for two years developing strategies to educate city employees on their personal environmental impact to initiate sustainable behavior, integrate environmental education into the public elementary school system, and compile and analyze city data for the annual City Sustainability Report. After realizing the inconsistencies with environmental initiatives, Meg pursued the DMBA program to find better ways of understanding people’s behavior and needs, in order to discover opportunities to integrate business and sustainability. Chung-Ying Yeh Chung-Ying is a communications engineer from Taiwan. With advanced degrees in Electronics and Communication Engineering, Chung-Ying has spent the last five years working at the intersection of wireless communication and hardware design. Realizing there was a disconnect in his career between techniques and product design, he came to the California College of the Arts to learn how to apply design thinking to technology development. Curt Rollison Curt has spent the last five years helping Fortune 500 companies better understand their consumers as a senior manager of design strategy at Bovitz, Inc., a design-driven research and strategy firm based in Los Angeles, California. His projects tend to explore how to make meaningful impact at the intersection of media, emerging technology, and the customer journey. With experience in both qualitative and quantitative methods, Curt blends an education of business and design to develop meaningful data visualizations, strategies, and insights for his clients. CONSULTING TEAM

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