Apala Lahiri Chavan

President, HFI Middle East Asia Africa Australia, CEO – Institute of Customer Research

Apala is a world-renowned expert on cross-cultural design, innovation and UX strategy. Her innovative and pioneering techniques have benefitted global giants such as HP Labs, Adidas, Nokia, Sony Ericsson, NCR, and Intel, among others. She is also recepient of the International Audi Design Award. Her passion is to envision how user experience can be inclusive, democratic and a change agent. She is also fascinated by changes in user experience across time and space.

Apala is a dynamic and creative instructor and author. Her keynote talks on contextual innovation, ecosystem research, internationalization, and designing for emerging markets have received acclaim in USA, Canada, Europe, India, and China.

She has developed a vast array of data-gathering techniques such as Bollywood Method, Bizarre Bazaar, and Funky Facilitator to help understand the user experience in diverse cultural and economic environments.

Apala also specializes in creating UX strategy for organizations that are looking at creating breakthrough user experience for their customers and other stakeholders.

Apala has been with HFI since 1999 as Managing Director, HFI India, and VP, HFI Asia, Chief Oracle and Innovator and Chief Design and Delivery Officer before assuming her current role.

She co-edited the book Innovative Solutions: What Designers Need to Know for Today’s Emerging Markets and her TEDx talk is Three Laws of User Experience.

Apala has also been the Vice Chair for Local Chapters, ACM SIGCHI and served as member of ACM Interactions Advisory Board



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