In this weekly series we take a look at the apps and gadgets that people from different walks of life love and use regularly. We caught up with Vikram Chopra, the founder and CEO of Fabfurnish, an e-commerce startup in India that focuses on furnishings and other household items.
Chopra is a technology enthusiast and Apple fanboy, but he's generally excited about gadgets and getting him to list just a few things that he loved was a challenge. Read on to see more about the technology that he needs for work - and play.
Describe your technology setup - what computer/ phone/ tablet/ camera/ gaming console/ other gadgets do you use?
Vikram Chopra: I have been an Apple fanboy and loyalist since I first saw the big and beautiful blue-coloured Macintosh in my IIT hostel. I use a Macbook Air, iPad Air and my latest purchase was an iPhone 6. And yes, I plan to buy an Apple Watch as soon as it is launched. Until a few years back, I was using a Nikon SLR but now I have started using the camera in my phone which can do a pretty good job without having to carry a bulky gadget all the time. Apart from that, apps such as Camera+ improve the picture quality even more. I use a Jambox to stream music on the go and find it very cool as it is portable and has an amazing battery backup. As for the gaming console, I go with the Xbox One.
What are three apps (mobile/ tablet or PC/ Mac) you couldn't live without?
Vikram Chopra: Facebook - no matter how much we criticise it, Facebook is still the best way to stay in touch with friends. Shazam - it is amazing to be able to recognize any new music around. Apart from that, I feel it's a great way to build a library from music you hear in any language, in any corner of the world. I also rely on Uber - the app is a powerful global travel app that makes travelling in a new city super easy and hassle free. While I was in China recently, it helped me travel within the country without having to worry about explaining directions or getting ripped off. And a fourth app that I can't do without is Truecaller - it helps me keep a check on phone calls from numbers not in my address book making it easy to decide on which calls to answer and which ones to avoid.
What is one gadget (other than your phone) you never travel without?
Vikram Chopra: I always carry my Fitbit Flex with me because it helps me stay motivated and track my physical activity. It keeps me active and pushes me to visit the gym even while I am travelling.
What is your dream gadget/ technology setup?
Vikram Chopra: My dream gadget would be a 3D printer. It could have a revolutionary impact on e-commerce and especially on furniture selling. For example, what if I could 3D print miniatures of actual furniture we sell and the customer could order these 'samples' for touch and feel before they order the actual product. Such advancement would completely eliminate the need for physical stores. In future, we could be self-manufacturing products across multiple locations using 3D technology and hence reduce the delivery time and the quality would get even more standardised.
How has technology changed the way in which you work?
Vikram Chopra: Smart apps have radically improved my productivity. For instance, all my hotel and flight bookings automatically get clubbed in apps such as TripIt which makes it very convenient to keep a track of my travels. Google Now is not just an app but a virtual personal assistant which collates all my appointments alongside details of the individuals in the meeting, context, location and even the time. It feels wonderful to plan a day without having to waste much time in doing any homework. Apps like Evernote help me take notes on the go while travelling for furniture sourcing. The notes sync in real time with my laptop ensuring that the work updates are well documented and shared with my colleagues on time.
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