Senior Associate - Business Design & Strategy

Delhi, India Full-time

Job Purpose and Description

As a Senior Associate for Business Design & Strategy you will partner us in our efforts to catalyse innovation and disruptive thinking amongst businesses and nonprofits alike. This role is imperative for bringing a rigorous research-based understanding of the varied contexts in which we operate - cutting across for-profit and not-for-profit sectors and across a wide range of domains - and helping frame and manage the innovation process through which a highly skilled but diverse team within Quicksand can engage with the challenge at hand.

Quicksand’s work involves partnering a wide range of businesses on aspects of customer experience, design thinking, organisational change and transformation, product development and other innovation mandates. While in the business domain, principles of sustainability and social responsibility are increasingly finding resonance, the social sector is also turning to the private sector for its ability to innovate and provide a clear value proposition to its customers. We are looking for individuals who are excited about straddling these domains and bring with them skills and experience in integrating consumer research, a design-led process of experimentation and prototyping and a sound knowledge of business strategy.

Some specific responsibilities of this role are:

Strategy & Research

  • Take a leading role in planning and designing innovation studies, based on the principles and methods of human centered design, including but not limited to defining research goals and outcomes, designing research probes, planning activities and deliverables at each stage of the process and clearly articulating innovation outcomes
  • Help teams and clients frame the challenge at hand through extensive secondary research and analysis. Supplement the primary research data through macro analysis of trends and opportunities in the given domain
  • Conduct, moderate and steer field research studies using in-depth interviews, focus group discussions and ethnographic enquiries
  • Develop frameworks to distil key insights and communicate critical concepts
  • Create strategy presentations that illustrate the viability (business models), feasibility (technical knowledge) and desirability (customer understanding) of the proposed innovation
  • Take the lead role in writing concept papers, research reports and strategy notes that document the project outcomes
  • Managing the human centered design process is a fundamental responsibility in this role, which involves an active participation as a core team member right through the design process - assisting in ways your skills would allow through the phases of research, synthesis, reporting, ideation, iterative design, and testing


Project Management

  • Anchor all project management related activities - manage client expectations, communication, project deliverables, timely delivery, project scope, and financial discipline
  • Manage project profitability by keeping a control on project timelines, budgets and resources deployed
  • Collaborate with a team of peers, juniors, seniors and external partners to successfully deliver a project, ensuring that roles and responsibilities are properly defined and gaps or lapses if any are proactively addressed to avoid compromise of quality in any fashion
  • Identify new competencies that the studio may need and build partnerships with external agencies to deliver on project mandates


Business Development

  • You would actively participate in business development, taking the lead in identifying areas of interest for the studio, conduct extensive research, and manage a pipeline of potential opportunities
  • Assist in developing proposals, thinking through an appropriate process in response to the request for proposal and managing client communication to clarify and iteratively modify the proposal and have a firm grip on project finances
  • Identify new areas of growth for the practice (including new client segments, new practice areas) and proactively build, manage, and convert a business pipeline
  • Contributing to thought leadership at Quicksand by writing blog posts, articles, social media bytes that summarise your experiences from various projects and independent enquiry



You need to be passionate about exploring aspects of the world through a critical and constructive eye. You’d be an extremely talented manager, with good observation, interaction skills, and a co-creation attitude. A strong work ethic is mandatory and you would be the kind of person who thrives in a collaborative, multidisciplinary, startup environment with minimal supervision, and be willing to take ownership of various aspects of studio and personnel development. You would have worked in cross-cultural settings and would be equally at ease talking to various stakeholders. You would be able to think on your feet and be resourceful and creative in preempting problems and identifying solutions. You’d be skilled at working within time constraints, limited resources and ensuring high quality outputs in fixed timelines. Finally, and most importantly, you are skilled and experienced with strategy development and implementation, as well as project management.

Some specific qualifications you would need to have are:

  • A Bachelor’s or Master’s degree in Business Design, Business Management or Liberal Arts from a leading program in India or abroad
  • 4-7 years of professional practice in your chosen field/s
  • Examples of problem solving where you have led project teams in the design of successful and creative solutions and strategies developed on a foundation of insights about people
  • Evidence of an interest, awareness and knowledge of human centered design, design thinking and allied fields
  • Excellent written and oral communication skills in English. Knowledge of any other languages (including Hindi) would be a definite plus but not mandatory
  • Ability to think critically and have exceptional attention to detail
  • Previous experience of independent handling of budgets and contributing to business development activities
  • Some evidence of independent creative work would be viewed very positively
  • A roll-up-your-sleeves attitude towards your work



The position will be based in Delhi, India with frequent, project related travel to other studio locations. It will also involve a chance to meet and work with consumers across the spectrum for projects, as well as travel to workshops, client meetings and the occasional company offsite!



A compensation package commensurate with your skills and experience will be designed for you.




About Quicksand

Quicksand ( is a leading design strategy and innovation consultancy in India, recognised globally for its expertise in user-centered design. Our work spans both for-profit and not-for-profit sectors across emerging markets, and has involved envisioning innovative new programs, products and services that are future facing, and still rooted in the everyday reality of people they aim to serve.

Quicksand was set up in 2005 in New Delhi, and now has studios in Bangalore and Goa as well. Our work over the last 13 years has contributed to a global discourse on human-centered design and design thinking— a new approach to creating solutions that are sensitive and relevant to the end user while driving business and social impact. We make this possible through our expertise in learning from the field— distilling meaning from the lives of people, communities and cultures - and applying this knowledge in building solutions that are at the intersection of business, technology and design.

Today, Quicksand consists of close to forty full-time employees and consultants with diverse profiles and qualifications - ranging from management, technology, engineering, product design, communication design, design research, new media, film and photography, sound design, social sciences and entrepreneurship.

Some of our noted clients include The Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation, Unilever, World Bank, Wellcome Trust, Nokia, Unicef, Samsung, Cisco, Google and Coca Cola.


Working at Quicksand

In the interest of full disclosure, the Quicksand office structure is likely different from what you’re used to. We are a collection of professionals with diverse backgrounds that are united by an ideology, not an industry. We are passionate about applying user-centered processes to improve people’s lives and a typical project requires everyone on the team to roll up their sleeves and dive in.

Our work tends to be a mix of collaborative as well as independent, self-driven effort. There will be times when you are asked to take on responsibilities that may fall outside of those specified in the job description and at other times you’ll be expected to lead the team on a skill or a domain you specialise in. You will have the freedom to explore, create, and push-the-envelope.

This seemingly fluid nature of operations can be rewarding and frustrating in equal measures. We expect team members to figure the balance of openness vs structure they need at work, and unlearn top-down structured approaches that they might have experienced in other organisations or previous engagements.We expect to learn as much from you as you will learn from us.

Finally, regardless of the position you are applying for, there are a few traits that define us as individuals and as a team. We value a strong work ethic and thrive in a collaborative, cross-cultural, multidisciplinary, startup environment with minimal supervision. By extension, it is part of our job profiles to reach out to people - regardless of whether they are our clients, users or partners - and build genuine, respectful relationships that can make work both meaningful and fun. We value thinking on one’s feet, being resourceful and entrepreneurial. Deadlines energise us and no matter how constraining the circumstances may be, we would never drop our standards of high quality work.


Get in Touch

In case this resonates with you, please apply via the Recruiterbox posting with your most current resume/CV, a portfolio of work samples and projects that demonstrate your skills and credentials, and links to relevant online work, personal website, and/or blog. Please also include a thoughtful cover letter that shares a bit about yourself, and why you are excited about working with Quicksand. Submissions without these essentials will not be considered for the position.

In the course of our initial conversations, we might also require you to work on a small case study, which would help us gauge your skills and also enable you to understand our requirements better.

We look forward to hearing from you.

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