Ideas
Explore the world's #1 largest database of ideas and innovations, with 419,096 inspiring examples.
Trend Reports
Discover why 1,111 brands rely on our AI-powered Trend Reports to get better, faster insights.
Newsletter
Join 302,052 subscribers who rely on our weekly newsletter to keep up with need-to-know trends and insights.
Consumer Insights
Uncover major shifts and emerging opportunities with our exclusive PRO research.
Trend Reports
Discover why 1,111 brands rely on our AI-powered Trend Reports to get better, faster insights.
Newsletter
Join 302,052 subscribers who rely on our weekly newsletter to keep up with need-to-know trends and insights.
Dashboard
Join 289,599 Trend Hunters with special access to premium content, topic tracking and customizable tools through our AI-powered Dashboard.
AI + Human Methodology
Learn how Trend Hunter harnesses the power of artificial intelligence.
Assessment
Enhance your innovation potential with a deeper understanding of your unique innovation archetype and how your organization benchmarks.
FuturistU
Prepare for the years ahead with 100+ lessons, tactics, tools and frameworks with our full learning database.
Advisory & Services
Accelerate innovation and ignite disruptive thinking with our award-winning programs and research.
Trend Reports
Get fast, customized trend reports, presentations and deep dives 20x faster than traditional research.
Plans
Get started today with a free consultation, our self-serve tools, or a dedicated program.
Jeremy Gutsche
Ignite your event or virtual event with our CEO, a NY Times Bestselling Author and one of the top innovation keynote speakers.
Our Team of Speakers & Virtual Presenters
Inspire your group with our most popular speakers on innovation, trends, change and futurism.
Custom Training & Events
Bring the Future Festival experience directly to your team or co-hosted custom event.
Contact
Get in touch to learn more, ask a question or submit a tip.
About Us
Learn more about Trend Hunter and how we accelerate innovation.
Follow-Us
Join our 3,500,000 social media followers, on the cutting edge.
FAQ
Get answers to common questions about Trend Hunter.
Community
Stay on the cutting-edge with the help of the Trend Hunter community.
Team
Meet the team trusted by hundreds of leading businesses worldwide.
Jobs
Find opportunities to accelerate your career with the #1 Trend Firm.
News
Catch up on noteworthy Trend Hunter news and media mentions.
Join
Build a portfolio and put your trend-spotting abilities to the test.
Advertising
Supercharge your marketing by partnering with Trend Hunter.
Portfolio
Visit your public portfolio and browse your past articles.
Add a Trend
Write up an article and showcase your trend-spotting skills.
My Trends
Edit your articles and see how they stack up on the leaderboards.
Settings
Edit your profile, connect your social media accounts, and more.
Add a trend, customize your dashboard, or track topics.
Future Festival
Innovation Events
Join the world's top innovators at our in person events.
Free Webinars
During COVID-19, learn to innovate through chaos, navigate the new normal and maintain work culture from home.
Custom Training & Events
Bring the Future Festival experience directly to your team or co-hosted custom event.
Search our database of 419,096 cutting edge ideas.

Making Technology Magical

Nitin Chawla, VP of Strategy and Business Development, Disney
Amelia Roblin
September 18th, 2015

Related Trend Reports

Health, Life Stages, Lifestyle, Tech, Toys, Unique, Youth
Nitin Chawla has been working to infuse the Internet of Things with imagination. He leads a multi-disciplinary organization of creative, product, content, engineering and R&D talent, leveraging skills and capabilities from across The Walt Disney Company. The games that they have created are nothing short of innovative.

Nitin’s past experiences include more than eight years in management consulting at Deloitte, where he led the build-out of an innovative, globally integrated consulting venture with over 200 practitioners. Before that, he held brand management roles at Johnson & Johnson and J Walter Thompson. Nitin’s wealth of business experience, his value of multifarious teamwork and his motivation to explore the vast possibilities of technology have led to transformational ideas and products.

7 Questions with Nitin:

1. Please tell me about yourself, your role and your work with Disney.

As Vice President, Strategy and Business Development at Disney Consumer Products and Interactive Media (DCPI), I am responsible for the development and commercialization of Playmation––an active and imaginative play experience for kids that combines Disney storytelling and the latest technology (wearables, Bluetooth and the cloud) to bring make-believe into the real world.

In my 7-years at The Walt Disney Company, I have played multiple strategic, operational and business development roles in the U.S.A. and Asia. I led two large-scale acquisitions to expand our footprint in South Asia, and as general manager Disney Interactive, I expanded and operationalized our games business in India.

2. What makes an innovative culture? How do you create a culture of innovation?

Innovation is an integral part of the Disney culture and is infused into everything we do. Playmation in particular has been an exciting challenge to reinvent the world of play using the Internet of Things, wrapped in Disney storytelling. We assembled a diverse team from across the company, including, software and hardware engineers, Imagineers, game developers and physical product designers on this challenge more than two years ago. An entrepreneurial environment that fosters open, cross-functional collaboration has been the hallmark of the Playmation team. We take a practical approach to innovation that focuses on delivering cutting-edge products that are straightforward to understand and affordable. We are tirelessly focused on learning from kids and parents through continuous play-testing, and we pursue a rapid prototyping approach to build and iterate for an accelerated product development process.

3. What is the biggest challenge you face when innovating?

Like any path-breaking initiative, bringing Playmation to life came with its challenges. Our diverse team comes with a plethora of inspiring ideas that have to be quickly reconciled against commercial and marketplace realities to deliver the best play experience for our consumers. This process can often result in prioritizing some ideas and concepts over others through an open dialog within our team, in an environment that is collaborative and transparent.

4. Do you find inspiration or ideas from adjacent industries?

I am incredibly proud of what the team has accomplished with Playmation a very short timeframe. We are blessed to have access to world-class talent from across the company that represents the very best in innovation. Our biggest inspiration is Disney’s rich heritage of storytelling and unlocking imagination in new and immersive ways.

5. Looking to the future, how is your company going to be a leader in innovation?

Disney is a leader building play and entertainment experiences for decades and innovation is central to everything we do across products and businesses.

6. How does Playmation differ or expand upon the Disney Infinity experience?

The biggest difference between Playmation and ‘Toys to Life’ video games is that the primary offering for a video game is the software. Instead of using toys to activate a screen-based experience, Playmation brings the best digital technology to real world play, using connected toys, wearable technology and customized Disney stories to allow kids to actually play alongside their heroes and heroines.

7. How do you see the marrying of Physical and Digital content evolving in the toy space?

We are incredibly excited about the future of play that will emerge from physical products converging with digital storytelling. We believe that Internet-of-Things (IoT) technologies will transform the world of play, and that Playmation Avengers represent our initial steps in this impending phenomenon.