Deepa Prahalad, Author and Innovation Consultant

Deepa Prahalad, Author and Innovation Consultant

Deepa Prahalad is an author and Innovation Consultant. She has co-authored a book called, ‘Predictable Magic: Unleash the Power of Design Strategy to Transform Your Business’. Deepa Prahalad also writes for the Harvard Business Review.



We have heard a lot about Innovations, but less about Innovation Consultants in organizations. Our guest for today is an Innovation Consultant. Let us learn together about the roles and responsibilities of an Innovation Consultant.

Our guest for this episode of our show, Deepa Prahalad, is an author and Innovation Consultant. She has co-authored a book called, ‘Predictable Magic: Unleash the Power of Design Strategy to Transform Your Business’.

Deepa Prahalad also writes for the Harvard Business Review. She has been elected as a member of The International Academy of Management. She has also been ranked 34 on the Inaugural Thinkers 50 India List.

About Deepa’s role as an Innovation Consultant

Deepa tells us that the Innovation Consultants help organizations or individuals in bringing their ideas to life. Explaining further says that generally there is a lot of data, research and many answered questions in the minds of organizations and individuals about how something should be done or taken care of.

There is a process of continuous learning and experimentation. Innovation Consultants really help to Shephard that process along.

What made Deepa move out from being an entrepreneur to n Innovation Consultant

After Deepa graduated from business school, she started working with a medical software startup, where they were trying to reduce the errors of prescription behavior. Since it was a small and new team, they were learning a lot from the feedback.

She says it was a fun learning process and a successful exit.

Talking about why she shifted from entrepreneurship to Innovation consulting, Deepa says that business was a short-lived stint after graduating. Innovation Consulting is something that resonates with her. Since she was a kid, she used to travel a lot and got to learn from different cultures.

She says that she always enjoyed the intellectual sparring and exchange of ideas. She was always interested in work that creates something good for everyone. This is why she shifted to Innovation consulting.

How are design and strategy connected?

Deepa tells us that earlier, people used to look at designs as an aesthetic element and a marketing aspect of the product. However, she believes that now it has a very different view. Now, your intent or your purpose statement of strategy is what we want to do and design is how we are gonna do it.

From the consumer perspective, Design is how the consumers judge one’s execution abilities.

Good growth strategy

To develop a good growth strategy, an organization really needs to understand consumer needs. She also believes that one of the most overlooked ideas in winning growth strategies is this idea of emotional connection.

Brands need to emotionally engage with their consumers to keep themselves alive in the market.

The connection between Innovation and Inclusion

Deepa believes that Innovation is now being inclusive on different levels. She says that when she was a kid, the skin tone crayon used to be a single color, now the crayon companies are including different shade ranges to color skin.

All of these little details give people validation and a sense of self-worth. Innovation and Inclusiveness give people confidence that they can make a difference.

More about Deepa Prahalad

The International Academy of Management

Deepa tells us that the focus of The International Academy of Management now is to decide what businesses can do to create a better world. Deepa considers herself privileged to be a part of it.

About Deepa’s book titled, ‘Predictable Magic: Unleash the Power of Design Strategy to Transform Your Business’.

Deepa says that writing this book was a wonderful experience for her. She wrote it 10 years ago when people were really fascinated by design. She wanted people to learn that product design is not just about the perfect color or texture.

What a good design does is that it makes people feel good about themselves. It makes an emotional connection with the consumers and then the organization can reinforce that with the narrative around the product or service.

Failures and Learnings

Deepa advises keeping going. She says that when you fail, you should invest that time into relationships. You should spend more time with your friends and family.

They can support you to move on and help it become a funny story of your life.


Deepa Prahalad is an author, speaker, and innovation/design strategy consultant with an emphasis on emerging markets and social innovation. She has worked with start-ups and large multinationals, and researched and co-authored the book, Predictable Magic: Unleash The Power of Design Strategy To Transform Your Business, which was selected by Fast Company as one of the “Best Design Books of the Year”.

She is also a frequent blogger on the Huffington Post, Harvard Business Review, and other publications.

Deepa holds a B.A. in Economics and Political Science from the University of Michigan and an MBA from the Tuck School of Business at Dartmouth.

She is an elected member of the International Academy of Management and was ranked #34 on the inaugural Thinkers 50 India list. She is a member of the Marshall Goldsmith 100 Coaches program, selected from among 16,000 applicants worldwide.

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