Ever wondered which apps and devices the heads of companies and the people behind your favourite gadgets are using? That's where our weekly column Personally Tech comes into the picture, as we take you behind the scenes to see what products leaders from different walks of life love and swear by.
We particularly love startups, and have taken a look at the kit being used by the people running some exciting new startups such as online insurance portal Coverfox, travel planning startup TravelTriangle, and chat-based concierge GoodService.
This week, we caught up with Clovia Lingerie CEO Pankaj Vermani, to get a look at the apps and gadgets that he loves. Clovia is an online portal that sells lingerie through its website. It's a field that's still pretty narrow in India - the main competition is Zivame, and Clovia also functions as a private label selling its products on other e-commerce sites such as Amazon and Jabong. Here's what Vermani told us about the contents of his backpack.
1. Describe your technology setup - what computer/ phone/ tablet/ camera/ gaming console/ other gadgets do you use?
Pankaj Vermani: Till last year, I operated with a full Apple set-up with an iPhone 4, iPad 2 and a MacBook Pro to complete the ecosystem. However, I jumped ship to an Andriod phone now - to a Xiaomi 4i - which has blown me away with its value proposition (I ended up buying two, back-to-back).
This is backed by a Sony Smart TV, which I use for videoconferences via Skype and other messengers and talks to the iPad for streaming content. I still keep the iPhone as a backup for running some apps (that are available only on App Store) and testing our mobile site experience. I also have a Kindle Paperwhite for leisure reading.
For gaming it was a Nintendo Wii setup, which has been defunct for a while now, thanks to the long hours going into building Clovia, because we're still a startup that's growing fast and that takes up most of my time.
2. What are three apps (mobile/ tablet or PC/ Mac) you couldn't live without?
Pankaj Vermani: The most important is probably Gmail - the quintessential lifeline for my business interactions. WhatsApp is also important, because it helps interact with various teams within Clovia, including production, sales, and tech. We are planning to replace it with Slack now, but so far WhatsApp has been a good communication tool for distributed teams.
(Also see: Why Using WhatsApp for Work Is a Terrible Idea)
3. Which is the one gadget (other than your phone) you never travel without?
Pankaj Vermani: Unquestionably my MacBook Pro laptop. It is my powerhouse of work, entertainment and personal management. It's backed by a 2TB Seagate drive to complete a bank of movies, music, and work related libraries. That, along with some headphones, is what I need to keep me happy in journey of any duration.
4. What is your dream gadget/ technology setup?
Pankaj Vermani: My personal Mac book Pro (I wouldn't change it for anything) connected to a 27-inch Apple Thunderbolt monitor, connected with Bose speakers in a small sound proof room, with a minimum 100Mbps line. That's not asking for much!
5. How has technology changed the way in which you work?
Pankaj Vermani: I think mobile has been one of the biggest drivers of growth in the consumer space and efficiency in the technology space. Today I'm 24x7 connected to my teams, customer feedback, sales performance, production status, and my loved ones, all on a 4-inch screen.
Our entire team Clovia is completely integrated into a single mobile ecosystem to drive a common goal with instant communication around it. We use tech in every way - from trying to understand a customer's needs to recommending him what might serve him or her best.
For details of the latest launches and news from Samsung, Xiaomi, Realme, OnePlus, Oppo and other companies at the Mobile World Congress in Barcelona, visit our MWC 2024 hub.