The more we see ourselves, the more we contemn what we see

Video calls are forcing us to look at ourselves

How brands can appreciate, celebrate & enhance time

In both popular culture and business conversations, time is often referred to transactionally.

Beyond Rainbows of June

“I used to leave newspapers around, open on the pages that had a flashing rainbow.”

Quantum joins ESOMAR Vision & Values panel

We are proud to announce that Quantum's very own Rekha Nair will be a guest panelist for ESOMAR's upcoming "Vision & Values" event.

The younger generation’s search for financial freedom

Brands and businesses need to understand that the typical communication of safety, security and saving for retired life does not engage this consumer.

Sri Lanka’s MARCOM Collective rallies for economic growth

The pandemic thrust many industry sectors into crisis, with many being supported by the government with financial handouts. However, it is interesting to note the industries that are bouncing back are those that collaborated and supported each other through their industry bodies.

Consumer Pulse - The thrill of thriving in a crisis

One of my favourite writers, Paolo Coelho writes in his recent book ‘The Archer’, "The archer cannot always choose the battlefield, so start your training again and be prepared for an unfavourable situation."

Working women feel the pressure in pandemic

An already-challenged female workforce is now under even greater pressure.

Quantum Cityscape: Kolkata

We explore the impact of Covid-19 on urban spaces through the critical lens of semiotic inquiry, shedding light on the overlooked and the unfamiliar.

India is watching more frank sexual content, but is that a good thing?

Various local OTT platforms (such as ALT Balaji and MX player) in India boast of high viewership figures for mature content – a genre that is witnessing heavy investment and is slated to grow further.

Webinar Video: Managing risk during Covid-19

In this webinar film we explore three levels of risk mitigation that have emerged since the onset of COVID-19.

Re-igniting brands by leveraging archetypes

Covid-19 has unleashed a new reality across the world. Our comfortable, familiar and taken-for-granted life has been taken away, leaving us perplexed and in a prolonged moment of contemplation.

Popularity of locally originated memes in India

In an attention starved world, memes grab attention.

Masking Up – Semiotics of social responsibility & cohesion

Through this piece, we have attempted to hypothesise the reason for differential adoption of masks globally.

Why AI might help us love our work

The best art evokes an emotional response. This is true not just of paintings and artistic performances but also of great architecture and design.

Quantum Celebrates 30 Years!

Like all journeys Quantum’s journey over the past 30 years has been magical and full of wonderous landmarks and happenings.

Neglecting the future is not an option

Short-termism reigns even though interrogating the future is a critical survival skill for companies. 

How can brands deliver GREAT VALUE during these times?

It is human nature to freeze when thrown into unfamiliar territory. It is a state of pausing, canceling or limiting action.

The future of risk

Modern societies were built on the successful management of risk at an everyday level on the principle that if individuals trust each other, it will pose minimal, if not any harm to self and that public institutions exist to create safe public spaces.

Watch our webinar: Design Challenges in the Food & Beverage Experience

How do we use design to intentionally navigate the complexity emerging from the crisis, and not just stumble into predictable defaults?

Covid in Indonesia: Weaving threads of introversion into a collective fabric

Arguably, human response to a crisis is determined by a complex interaction between the nature of the threat and the cultural values that underlie it’s psycho-social fabric.

COVID-19 & Bangladesh: Search for connection

Like the rest of the world, Bangladesh is also faced with questions it never faced before with the pandemic.

Maintaining reciprocity in Asian cultures amidst a pandemic

The concept of reciprocity is characteristic of any functioning society – it has existed in pre-modern communities which relied on bartering, as it does today.

Explorers under lockdown

How Covid-19 disrupts experience culture and the millennial identity.

Watch Quantum's Covid x Culture Series Webinar

Watch our latest webinar here - “Designing for the Gender Experience”.

India: Tradition meets social distancing & brands meet a new consumer

Embedded deep within the psyche of South Asia are ancient cultural paradigms of purity and pollution.

Convenience Stores: from corner store to cornerstone in people’s everyday life

Across Asia, convenience retail channels are experiencing stable and record growth with a predicted 6.6% growth rate up to 2022 according to a forecast by IGD.

An MRSI Webinar : Where to look for insights and solution?

Are we looking at the right place for the solutions? Where to look for the insights?

Consumer Pulse - Changing perceptions around media & entertainment

This week the India Consumer Pulse explores "Changing perceptions and behaviours around media and entertainment.”

Watch Quantum's Webinar Series: Designing for tomorrow

Watch the first episode in our webinar series here - Winning in the New Normal.

Coping with social isolation and it's emotional ramifications

As a species man is socially and naturally conditioned to form emotional bonds and attachments to survive.

Consumer Pulse - Changing perceptions around food & beverage during COVID19

This week the India Consumer Pulse explores "Changing perceptions and behaviours around food and beverage."

Consumer Pulse - Perceptions of time amid COVID19

This week our Consumer Pulse is looking at "Perceptions of time amid the COVID19 pandemic".

Consumer Pulse - Role of Women in India during COVID19

Take a look at Quantum India's Weekly Consumer Pulse where we will be exploring insights into Indian consumer behaviour affected by the COVID19 pandemic.

Down the COVID hole: Inspired by Alice in Wonderland

Alice in Wonderland was published by Lewis Carroll in 1865. It is a tale of a bored young girl Alice who falls down a rabbit hole into a fantasy world that is inhabited by strange animals and strange occurrences.

Quantum hosts MRSI Webinar Wednesday 20th May, 2020

We are excited to announce that our very own Anju Joseph, Partner & Business Head, India will be hosting a MRSI Webinar.

Consumer Pulse - The rising trend of ‘Pay Now Enjoy Later’ among the local businesses in India

This pandemic has changed our lifestyle in more ways than we know. Purchasing behaviour is one such aspect undergoing dramatic shifts, especially when we look at informal shopping & payment systems in India.

Aspirational Femininity in China - How brands can better engage

Whilst conducting research with post-90 females in Tier 1 China we discovered that there is a fundamental mismatch between notions and ‘standards’ of femininity with actual aspirations of younger women in China. It raised questions around what aspirational contemporary femininity is today and how can brands understand it in order to better engage their female consumers?

Consumer Pulse - Togetherness in India: A Contemporary Lens

The evolution of homo sapiens tells us that togetherness of communities was an important factor that helped people survive and live longer.

Crisis & Opportunity: Role of Brands in Social Resilience

Brands often talk about brand purpose, championing causes and demonstrating corporate social responsibility. It is in times of crisis when such purpose talk can be strengthened through real and meaningful action.

Consumer Pulse - Smoke on the water

An opinion on which category is the biggest competition to cigarettes.

Quantum Consumer Solutions officially launches in Shanghai

Clients, collaborators and well-wishers gathered on 29th November to celebrate the grand opening of our Shanghai studio inside a beautiful green house on Fan Yu Road. After one and a half years of being operational it was exciting to finally host our official launch party for the China market.

Consumer Pulse - What do luxury brands stand for today?

Historically, luxury brands anchored their identities in exclusivity, high fashion, status and prestige. However, in a landscape where consumer’s needs and realities are shifting, these values are shifting too, adopting a more human-first approach to connect and build trust.

Consumer Pulse - The Search for Meaning

“I want to find my purpose.”
“I need to find myself.”
“I want to do work that fulfills me.”

Consumer Pulse - Chefs Table

Ever found yourself in a fine dining Thai restaurant and wondering what could have possibly led you here? Why are you about to fork out a questionably large sum of money for a cuisine you could satisfactorily enjoy at a more modest establishment just around the corner?

Consumer Pulse - Beyond the Periphery

Travelling to new places is gradually becoming part of the lifestyle of Bangladeshi people, especially for those in the metropolis.

Consumer Pulse - Original fakes & how to approach Shanzhai culture today

A decade ago, articles chronicled the audacious use of Obama in Haff-Comm’s advertisement for their ‘BlockBerry 旋风 9500’ product, which ran on a Windows interface with 3G capabilities.

Consumer Pulse - Weddings, an exercise in branding?

Everything needs to perfect.
It must be memorable.

Consumer Pulse - A new social structure in the making in Sri Lanka

When the structure of the socio, demographic, cultural, political and economic fabric is in motion, one can anticipate significant change. Are we, as business leaders, sensing the winds of change? What does it hold for us?

Consumer Pulse - Systems Thinking: A new lens on complexity

Men and women who have spent careers trying to understand and shape human collective behaviour have always encountered immense complexity. From scholars to policymakers, social activists to business strategists, innovators to marketers - all have grappled at some point with the challenge of ‘cracking’ human behaviour at a societal, or even global scale.

Quantum & Google: Driving offline sales starts online

Quantum is proud to have undertaken a Path to Purchase project for Google across six markets in SEA — Indonesia, Singapore, Vietnam, Thailand, Philippines, and Malaysia — covering both rural and urban areas with over 125 in home immersions.

Quantum Originals: A syndicated study on Tamil Nadu

Quantum India is excited to share with you our new syndicated study to understand and unravel the mystery that is Tamil Nadu and how brands can leverage this understanding.

Consumer Pulse - The phenomena of close captioning

It’s a weekday night, you settle onto the couch, turn on the TV and select what you want to watch. Chances are, if you’re young enough, you’ve also enabled close captioning (CC) or subtitles.

Quantum Sri Lanka is speaking at "Understanding Consumer Psyche & Behaviour Workshop"

We are excited to announce that Quantum's very own Roshani Fernando and Neomal Marambe will be speaking at the "Understanding Consumer Psyche & Behaviour Workshop" on August 21 at The Kingsbury Hotel, Colombo.

Consumer Pulse - Quantum @ Rise Hong Kong Conference: High Tech & High Touch

RISE is touted as the largest tech conference in Asia – a gathering of “people and companies that are redefining tech”. Tech leaders, business leaders, start-up entrepreneurs, top investors and enthusiastic change makers have come together for 3 days to share stories and ideas around designing better solutions to tackle complex global challenges.

Consumer Pulse - Redefining the urban “jungle” & reconnecting with nature through micro & community gardening

As the existential threat of global warming looms over our planet affecting every corner of our globe, one finds it hard to ignore the mounting grimness affecting our sunny island. Like the rest of the world, we Sri Lankans are beginning to experience the adverse effects of global warming.

Consumer Pulse - Fitness is fast becoming a brag-worthy social currency in Sri Lanka

While going through your Instagram feed, have you observed how ‘fit-fluencers’ are trying to woo you with their online coaching discounts, healthy eating habits, newly launched activewear brand or with their in-home training tips?

Consumer Pulse - Sri Lankan street vendors respond to the rise of the experience economy

The last great economic shift from an industrial to a service economy gave birth to the concept of ‘customer service’. This was the wrapping around the traditional commoditised offerings for a long time as a way to sell better and make a difference in the lives of the consumer.

Consumer Pulse - Key take-outs from the iab SEA+India MMA Conference in Jakarta.

The past year saw the rise of a myriad of emerging technologies and new digital marketing channels – from AR/VR, live video streaming to artificial intelligence in Indonesia. But among all the digital channels, mobile penetration is hitting a high, therefore having just a mobile-friendly approach in digital marketing is no longer enough – brands must be mobile-first!

Consumer Pulse - Gender roles in Indonesia

Gender roles are deeply ingrained in Indonesia with a clear understanding of what the man must do and the woman must do. It is a sharp demarcation of roles with no ambiguity whatsoever. The man is the provider in the family and the woman the nurturer. These roles are guided by religion and tradition and one is socially conditioned to perform these activities without challenging or questioning them.

Consumer Pulse - DesignUp Asia 2019 - A Quantum Perspective

Designing for Humans

Designers and practitioners from all walks of life came together to share their learnings, perspectives and case studies on design-in-technology. The fundamental theme across all of these discussions was very clear: It is most critical to design for human beings – people with different qualities, personalities, skills and capabilities. Designing for their complexities.

Thoughts on a documentary - it’s all about The Choices

Being exposed to film and media studies for the past five years, my work attempts to capture human experiences that can start conversations about a plethora of subjects, The Choices being one of them.
While I was interning with a production house in Mumbai last year, I noticed that there was a general pattern in which the men and women employees looked at their personal life in general, and parenting decisions in particular.

Consumer Pulse - The growing need for reconciliation brands for a nation striving to rise above a crisis that was aimed at creating division

21st April 2019 turned out to be a tragic surprise for Sri Lankans. The Easter Sunday attacks placed the country in the limelight, causing deaths to hundreds. The entire nation is keen on not giving rise to another tragedy that is reminiscent of the civil war that took place for 30 years in the country. Hence, harbouring unity & togetherness is considered to be the only antidote to prevent another disaster.

Consumer Pulse - Fashionable Identities

How might we design for individual identities among millennials seeking to differentiate themselves through product choices and experiences?
Beyond the basic needs such as food, shelter, clothes and security, there are also higher needs for novel experiences, to differentiate oneself with unique identity markers, and to enhance quality of life through the consumption choices one makes.

Crafting strategies to alleviate urban loneliness

During Singapore Design Week we held co-design workshops on designing for urban loneliness. Sixteen or so strangers filled the better part of a workshop space spread across the first floor of the Design Centre on Middle Road in Singapore. Their motivations to join our ‘Urban Loneliness Workshop’ were varied but the task assigned was common – kick off exploration for strategies that alleviate urban loneliness in metros, cities and towns.

Ek ‘Prem’ Katha

The Mumbai office recently hosted a guest session by the Chief Strategy Officer of Ogilvy & Mather- Prem Narayan.

Quantum & Analogy host Designing for Urban Loneliness workshops for Singapore Design Week 2019

Quantum & Analogy partnered up to create and run two workshops during Singapore Design Week called Designing for Urban Loneliness.

Quantum & Analogy host Designing for Trust in the Post Digital Age workshops at Singapore Design Week 2019

In partnership with Analogy we hosted a workshop series on Designing for Trust in the Post-Digital Age from the 14th to the 17th March. The objective was to devise new ways in which human & machine interaction can be made more trusting and transparent.

How to ride the wave of consumer sentiment in the country?

 

The most powerful example of consumer sentiment and its impact on the economy is Sachin Tendulkar’s cricketing career. It is a widely documented fact that Tendulkar's career coincides almost exactly with the Indian economic revolution that began in 1991 with Manmohan Singh's liberalisation reforms. The newly rich Indian middle classes of the 90’s saw Tendulkar as the embodiment of their aspirations, and data and statistics show that the rise in our economy nearly coincides with the ups and downs in his career graph.

Quantum is at Singapore Design Week: March 4th to 17th March

Quantum is excited to share that for the first time we will be participating at Singapore Design Week (SDW) 2019. It is a great honour to be selected to connect with Singapore’s diverse and talented community through design. We are conducting two workshops along with our partner Analogy.

Thinking positively about negativity

Brands have traditionally been built upon strong positive communications that are intended to drive engagement by evoking uplifting emotions such as joy, happiness and optimism.

Exerting soft power through Indian-ness and Chinese-ness

Countries that hold global leadership positions have a keen knack for balancing aspects of power that speak to the head and the heart. Which means, not only do they place emphasis on economic ideology, but also ‘softer’ aspects such as culture.

Myanmar, where Buddhism and the material intertwine

What do you think about when you think of Buddhism?
Peace, meditation, nirvana, and perhaps a certain detachment from the material?

Is Chinese masculinity in crisis or an opportunity for brands?

Acrush is the latest hot boy band to appeal to the insatiable taste for “little fresh meat” – young good-looking male celebrities, in the mainland Chinese popular culture scene. While the appeal of good-looking men as desirable partners should come as no surprise, the preference for a boyish androgynous appearance as “good looks” has raised eyebrows and stirred some debates about the state of Chinese masculinity. It might come as a greater surprise to the uninitiated that Acrush is made up of five young women whose crossdressing is so convincing it has challenged gender norms for both men and women.

Brief Answers to the Big Questions (2018) by Stephen Hawking

The book addresses some of our universe’s most fundamental questions from a uniquely humanist perspective.

Education & design thinking

Business of Education
Education is a business of creating human capacity. So, schools today are manufacturing more and more human capacity. The question is – what is the capacity for? The simplest answer one gets is to go out and make a living but education leading to employment is an incomplete answer. Has the whole and soul of education been reduced to only putting food on the table? Is there nothing else? My hypothesis is that the whole role of education is to build human capacity to solve problems. According to a report by the World Economic Forum on skills of the future, complex problem solving will be the number one skill that would be needed.

Five minutes with Nish Bhutani on platform strategies, network effects & WeChat.

We spent time with Nish Bhutani, CEO and Founder of Indiginus, Mumbai to discuss the future of digital, the evolving world of digital platforms and how businesses can unlock the power of platforms for growth.

What does digital mean for our business?

We asked some of our Quantum team their thoughts on digital today and what it means for our business.

Consumer Pulse - La Dolce Vita Indonesian Style

Who has not dreamt of La Dolce Vita, a fresh summer night and sitting astride a Vespa in Roma? The little wasp (Vespa in Italian) has rapidly become the icon of freedom since the Second World War. But not only in Europe. In Indonesia, the Vespa has also had large success and today this is the biggest community of Vespa in the world after Italy, with more than 60 000 of them.

Consumer Pulse - The plastic crisis in Indonesia

Plastic pollution in Indonesia is at serious epidemic levels. Of the approximately 2.4 million tons of plastic waste that makes its way into the oceans each year, Indonesia is said to contribute 200,000 tons of this from its rivers and streams. The plastic pollution from Indonesia is so high, it is second only to China who is the world’s largest contributor.

The rise of green beauty

Today a growing number of consumers across the world are rejecting chemical-filled skincare products and cosmetics for pricey, plant-based and seemingly fewer toxic alternatives. It is a thriving sector — one that some experts think could change the beauty industry for good.
If figures are anything to go by, global reports show 8 to 10 percent per year-on-year growth in the organic beauty segment, with the global market estimated to be worth just under US$22 billion by 2024.

What heroines can teach us about the future of empowerment

Even in adulthood, superheroes remain an endless source of fascination perhaps because it so aptly captures the daily drudgeries of the working life. Some of us relish the fist-delivered justice served to megalomaniacal bosses like Lex Luthor, others bask in the fantasies of being a gazillionaire genius like Tony Stark.
Still, the typical male superhero narrative paints a rather lonesome reality, one in which conflict and alienation are endlessly recycled, and which reproduces the male worker’s exclusion from his family by fetishizing the modern work-life schism and overtime work culture.

Consumer Pulse - Colombo’s deadly garbage disaster sparks a move into sustainable practices

On the morning of 14th April 2017, when people were preparing for new year celebrations, a large section of the Meethotamulla garbage dump in Colombo collapsed on surrounding houses, killing many people. Since 2013, there had been many unsuccessful public protests against dumping garbage in this area. The garbage dump had grown up to twenty acres and was about twenty metres in height when it collapsed.

Consumer Pulse - Hyper-localised fast food

When I travel to different countries, I am always struck by the sheer variety and uniqueness of street food. It is one of the most exciting ways to experience a new place, by sampling the street food you can get a feel for the culture.
As cities grow more similar, and urban culture more global, fast food is something that stands out for its highly localised innovation. Fast food brands are able to stay with their core, authentic propositions as well as add amazingly different product and menu profiles for their own specific market.

Artificial Intelligence and the future of consumption

The year is 1816. Mary Shelley and Percy Bysshe Shelley are spending the summer with Percy’s best friend, the poet Lord Byron. Lord Byron proposes that they all amuse themselves by each coming up with a ghost story. What Mary dreams up became one of the world’s most visionary works of literature, filled with several abiding questions on the limits and liabilities of science, and the moral dimensions of technological progress.

Consumer Pulse - Shifts in the Indonesian retail industry

General trade Warungs, the ubiquitous street-side stores in the neighbourhood, and modern trade supermarkets & hypermarkets come to mind when thinking of retail in Indonesia – both at opposite ends of the spectrum. One designed for convenience and proximity and the other for excitement, entertainment and experience.

Consumer Pulse - For Sale: The Culture of Nostalgia in Singapore

Head into any tourist visitor centre in Singapore and you’ll be confronted with a medley of iconic visuals such as local designs of signature dishes, Singlish phrases and well known housing blocks, playgrounds and shophouses. They’re popular with tourists and Singaporeans alike, fulfilling the quota of kitsch, nostalgia and heritage that consumers desire.

Take a closer look and you’ll realise that many of these heritage icons are fast disappearing (or have disappeared already). The famed animal-themed playgrounds, such as the Dragon, Dove, Pelican and Tortoise, which once characterised housing estates built in the 1970s and 1980s, have been replaced by safer and more generic plastic playgrounds. The last Dove playground in Dakota Crescent has been one of the only ones to narrowly miss it’s demolition date last year. You might think a playground is just a playground, so why the fuss?

The purpose of purpose: Why does it matter to the consumer?

It is now beyond doubt that purpose is critical for branding and how brands perceived as meaningful are benefitting from significantly higher share of wallet globally. The Millennials are also being referred to as “pro-social” or even the “purpose driven generation”.

We all know that purpose works for the business, feeds the topline, keeps the bottom line healthy and also creates better engagement with consumers. This is backed by statistics, academic work and expert views but why does purpose work for the consumer and why do they seek purpose?

Consumer Pulse - Urban Wars

Sao Paulo is an urban beast. Like any great metropolis, it has an imagined ‘ideal’ face; sanitised, skyscraper-ridden, and sufficiently Americanised – and a dark underbelly; overcrowded, crime-ridden, torn by racial violence, and in the throes of political and economic crisis. And like anywhere else, these ideas of the city are constantly at war.

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