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Driving deep customer empathy at Intuit

Designing a game to teach customer centricity and inculcate a global outlook

Intuit serves more than 100 million customers worldwide with financial softwares like TurboTax, QuickBooks, Mint, Credit Karma and more. Intuit helps put more money in consumers' and small businesses' pockets. In 2013 the company was expanding globally and wanted employees to develop a global outlook. The need was for engineering to think of flexible systems which can be configured and customised to different geographies with their own unique taxations.

Ideation & Brainstorm

Vasco da Gama after discovering the sea route to India in 1498. Painting by Veloso Salgado

Vasco da Gama was a famous Portuguese explorer who first discovered the sea route to India in 1498. We felt he represented the spirit of inquiry and urge to discover new lands. Phani Kishore was the visual designer on the team who came up with the name for the game. He played with the words to emphasise on the word 'code' by changing Vasco da Gama to Vas Code Gama. He also designed the collateral to promote the event.

Vas Code Gama - Discover & Build

post it notes with names of teams

Each team named themselves after a ship to start a voyage of discovery of new lands and new users.

A game was designed for engineering teams to participate in. Each team had to come up with a name for their ship and set sail on a voyage of discovering new lands. They have to approach and question a representative accountant to gain greater understanding of the financial practises.

They gain Jenga wooden building blocks for each answer they gather from the user. The team members take the wooden blocks (representative of code) to build the tallest tower (representative of software).

Teams building a tower with Jenga wooden blocks

The team which creates the tallest and most stable structure wins a prize.

Phani Kishore designed the campaign collateral and is seen distributing the prize to the winning team.


The game was a big draw and saw active participation. It saw an eager involvement and healthy competition from everyone.The audience enjoyed watching the teams scrambling to build the tower and encouraged them from the sidelines.

The initiative was adjudged the most successful in communicating the goal and engaging the employees. It was awarded the 'Most Creative Engagement' to build deep customer empathy.

Pudi Ravi receiving the award on behalf of the team

'Vas Code Gama' was awarded the 'Most Creative Engagement' for building deep customer empathy.



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