About Khoj Lab

At Khoj Lab, we can reach diverse audiences through our multi-cultural, multi-lingual, women-led team of designers, strategists, and planners. Together we speak English, Hindi, Cantonese, Mandarin, French and Spanish and have worked with organizations all around the world.

We bring years of experience of consultancy (both internal and external) for Fortune 500 companies and multi-billion dollar corporations. We work with innovation labs, strategy teams and operations functions to ensure impact from innovation efforts. We are unique in our ability to bring an operational view to innovation.

We bring expertise in user research, process innovation, customer experience, business strategy, and lean methodologies. We work across industries including technology, architecture, manufacturing, healthcare, consumer packaged goods, retail and the non-profit sector.



Advocates for the end-users with a unique mixed-method approach to design research that allows people to think differently


Strong team builders with expertise in growing in-house-design research innovation capabilities


Fierce collaborators who know how and when to engage stakeholders for alignment and faster decision-making


Integrators with a knack for connecting the dots between discrete innovation activities to align with overall strategy


Our Mission

Help our clients tackle implementation bottlenecks and realize full value from all of their innovation efforts.

Shilpi Kumar

Founder, Khoj Lab & Innovation Catalyst

Shilpi Kumar has over 15 years of professional experience as a Design Strategist, User Experience Researcher, Industrial Designer, and Design Educator. Before founding her own consulting firm, Shilpi worked with GE Transportation Digital and Herman Miller where she worked closely with the operations and strategy teams to define an integrated business process for new product development and align innovation ideas to company strategy.

Shilpi specializes in taking an inclusive approach with an eye on bringing together diverse perspectives from people across the organization. This approach helps innovation and strategy teams understand the whole view of innovation, draw on existing organizational strengths, and enable quick adoption of innovation ideas.  By framing the right questions to users, customers and internal stakeholders, she is able to get to the root of the problem, figure out what next to make, or how to re-imagine a brand. Most importantly, her expertise lies in prioritizing organizational initiatives to align with where the market is heading and what customers really need.

Shilpi has a Masters of Design Methods from the Institute of Design at Illinois Tech Chicago with a focus on Innovation/Design Research/Strategy, a Masters of Design from the Industrial Design Center at IIT Bombay, India, and professional BArch from BIT Mesra, Ranchi, India.


Catherine Pansard

Senior Design Research/Strategy CONSULTANT

Catherine has spent her career as a consultant studying what behaviors and processes make employees succeed or struggle within their organization,  and finding ways to scale the identified success routines to make the entire workforce adopt them. 

Using both her business and design experience, she helps companies innovate by bringing user perspective and design methods into their strategy and processes. As a design researcher and strategist, her passion is to improve user experience to increase business performance.

Catherine has a Masters of Design Methods from the Institute of Design at Illinois Tech Chicago with a focus on Design Research and a Masters of Management from EM Lyon business school, France, 1999.

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Helen Tong


Helen has over 7 years of professional experience as a design researcher helping organizations develop innovative new products to drive business growth. She is passionate about uncovering hidden human insights that are revealed by digging through loads of user data and secondary research. She brings a multi-cultural perspective with her experience working on global innovation teams in China, India and US. She has helped stakeholders of multiple CPG companies (SC Johnson, Steelcase, and Radio Flyer) better understand and empathize with end users through visual storytelling. She has also worked for many years in the healthcare industry improving hospital workflows and patient care with the integration of new technology systems.

Helen has a Masters of Design degree from IIT Institute of Design with a focus on Design Research/Strategy, and a B.S. in Human Factors Engineering from Tufts University in Boston, MA. 


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Tommie Collins, Design Intern

Shalaka Dighe, UX Researcher

Ashwin Chikerur, Artist + Designer

Nicole Ciminello, Experience Designer

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Keta Patel, Experience Designer


Mallika Mhatre, Designer Researcher


Dhayan Kumar, UI/UX Designer