The self-taught design maverick who changed the course of his career
Ravi Bonda first joined Amazon nearly seven years ago as a Customer Service (CS) personnel. It wasn’t before two years of working in the CS division that Ravi was first given a design role. Noting his creative bent of mind and his flair for sketching, Ravi was given the task of designing communication for the Human Resources (HR) team. Ravi aced the challenge of creating something that was interesting and ‘noticeable’ enough for Amazon’s employees.
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“For the next three years, I worked on designing almost all HR requests—from emailers and dashboards to graphic designs. I tried to represent dry data as interesting infographic elements that caught eyeballs,” says Ravi.
It was while working on the annual showcasing of year-end achievements of the division that Ravi decided to create videos instead of the usual presentations. Shares Ravi, “That is how I began to explore designing concepts like time lapse that I currently work with.” This was also when he realised the need and potential benefits of having an in-house design studio in the organisation. With that thought in mind, after three satisfying years in a graphic design role with the HR team, Ravi set out to scale new challenges within the organisation by setting up “Studio126” for Amazon’s Customer Service division.
Ravi’s design team of three (including himself) supports the operations team with branding and communication for new launches and various other projects. Their design concepts play a vital role in framing Amazon’s brand story in India.
“I love the freedom that Amazon has given me in my work space. The trust that the leadership has in my work is what has really helped me to evolve and learn a lot of new skills. This is what I love about Amazon. This is the crux of what has kept me going—and growing—in the organization for the past seven years,” smiles the design lead of Studio126.
Sketching for a Cause
When Ravi got an opportunity to use his artistic skills for a corporate social responsibility (CSR) project, he poured his heart and soul into it. The project involved a CSR programme on an orphanage—the Care and Love Orphanage in Hyderabad—that Amazon India has been partnering for the last four years. "It started out as an incredible experience that led me to discover my own hidden potentials,” he shares.
Ravi didn’t stop at doing the creative work for the project. Instead, he started to sketch for the charitable cause, donating all the proceeds from the sale of his sketches to the children of the orphanage.
The Man and His Bike
When he’s not designing, Ravi is a die-hard traveller who regularly takes off on long bike trips across the country. “I believe in taking breaks from work at least every six months. I love travelling and I love riding my bike. I’ve covered stretches from Hyderabad to Kerala, Vizag, Pune, and even to Nepal,” shares Ravi. “I also like to shoot travel photos and travel videos, apart from sketching portraits of the people I meet on my road trips.”
This designing wizard finds his daily inspiration from Amazon’s leadership principle of—“Learn and be Curious”—and rightfully so, as he says in his own words, “I am a self-taught graphic designer, photographer and video editor.”
Here’s to wishing Ravi many more new skills to master on his journey ahead.