Connector Spotlight: Amina Saigol
Tuesday July 28, 2020
Q. Tell us a bit about the projects you’re working on.
As a Product Strategist, what I love about my work is the opportunity to learn and build across sectors, siloes, and communities. This was extremely useful when I was working Connected’s Return-Tech Report, which was written to inspire the product development community to seize the change brought by COVID-19 and build for our new normal. In addition to the impactful insights and opportunities we uncovered, I’m particularly proud of the cross-disciplinary product thinking and foresight approach we took to develop our unique point of view on the topic.
Presently, I am thrilled to be running a (remote) Product Thinking Workshop for one of the world’s leading auto manufacturers to identify new platform development opportunities for utilizing vehicle data insights.
Q. What’s the most interesting challenge about the project?
The Product Thinking Workshop has four main challenges that we help client teams solve:
- Align the team on the business goal and problem
- Understand user jobs, pains, and gains
- Ideate on development opportunities
- Plan next steps to test and validate the proposed solutions
Really understanding why and what we need to build before going into execution mode is what excites me about this challenge—along with creating an impactful workshop experience in a virtual setting.
Q. Where did you work prior to Connected?
Before Connected, I was at Idea Couture, a strategic innovation and experience design agency. As an innovation consultant there, I gained applied experience in Design Thinking, helping clients from healthcare, telecommunications, finance, retail, food, fashion, and even pet care, to solve complex problems and innovate their product, services, and strategies for the future.
Joining Connected was the ideal next step for me, because I can now marry my strategic expertise with technology to build better products that are launched into the world!
Q. What achievement are you most proud of in your career to date?
For me, big wins are when I’ve been able to influence a client to change their thinking, look at the problem in a new way, or take an uncharted approach. For instance, on a recent project, my team and I created a strategic roadmap for new product concepts that made our client re-evaluate their entire brand positioning, opening up new spaces for them to play in. Along with learning something new on each project, I hope I can positively impact everyone I work with.
Q. Do you have a mantra you live by?
“Look at the bigger picture” and “stop and smell the roses.” One speaks to my desire to build better futures, while the other grounds me in the present.
Q. What do you love to do outside of work?
I’m always planning my next trip. With international travel on hold, I’ve embraced the great Canadian outdoors and become an expert hiker, camper, and bug swatter.
Having grown up in Pakistan, being a food adventurer, maker, and eater is in my DNA. As of late, my partner and I have been obsessed with finding the best shawarma in town – Alzaeem is our current favourite!
Of course, watching every hyped movie/tv show, with the occasional Bachelor/Bachelorette binging also happens. And, finally, being a crazy cat lady (my cat is crazy, not me).
Q. If you were stuck on a deserted island, what album, movie, and book would you take with you?
Album – Can I cheat and say Spotify’s 80’s Synth Pop playlist for the dancey nostalgia?
Movie – Greta Gerwig’s Little Women for love, liberation, sisterhood, and the romantic-era outfits!
Book – Elif Shafak’s, The Forty Rules of Love for spirituality, transformation, and hope (all things you need if you’re stuck on an island).
Q. Describe yourself in three words.
Perceptive, Versatile, Fun-Loving.
Q. And finally, what’s your favourite product and why?
Google Maps, because I would literally be lost without it (new driver here!). I also fully rely on the ratings, reviews, and photos features to discover and try new restaurants, services, and sites around me.