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The Fellowship is a five-month program that enables Product Managers to learn about inclusive design and then build prototypes of inclusive features and integrate these within their company's products.

Underrepresented users represent large markets with trillions of dollars of purchasing power. Building inclusive products for these users creates both business value and social impact.

Technology products – across different sectors such as health, education, mobility, e-commerce, media, financial services – are really powerful and add substantial value to the lives of their users. However, they also leave behind millions of users with marginalised identities – in terms of gender, disability, LGBTQIA+ users, age, indigeneity, religious minorities and more – because they are not designed for the unique needs of these users or are not accessible. 

This is a missed opportunity. For instance, making health apps more responsive to women’s health issues, e-learning platforms accessible to the visually impaired, and fashion apps inclusive of diverse body types, can unlock new user segments and drive substantial revenue growth.

The Inclusive Product Management Fellowship (IPMF) is designed to make it easier for companies and their product teams to build inclusive features for their products. 

Over five months, 20 Fellows from 10+ companies, will learn about inclusive design, meet users from such underrepresented backgrounds, and get significant design and prototyping support from the IPMF team. The focus will be on building deployment-ready feature prototypes that can be included with their company’s products. 

The Fellowship will have a mix of in-person sessions in Bengaluru and some virtual sessions with global experts. Fellows should be ready to commit about 10-15 hours on the knowledge sessions and then about 50-60 hours over 3 months working on their prototypes. 

Why is this important?

Structure of the Fellowship


Inclusive Product Management Foundations

The Fellowship will kick off with Month 1 being dedicated to expert talks and interactive workshop sessions focusing on Inclusion 101 and Inclusive Product Management. These sessions will be lead by global and Indian experts in inclusive design as well as the core team from Belongg, Dalberg, The Product Folks, Mission Accessibility. 

Further, Month 1 will also have deep user-immersion sessions with 8-10 users from diverse identities coming in to speak about their experience using technology products from different areas, the challenges they face, and the opportunities for innovation. This will enable Fellows to get grounded in the real-life context of these users and build empathy. 

Collectively, these sessions aim to equip fellows with a deep understanding of inclusive product design principles and the importance of addressing the needs of marginalized identities. This will set the stage for Month 2 which will focus on ideation and development of problem and opportunity hypotheses for specific products and the selection of specific statements to work on. 


Ideation & Finalization Of Problem + Opportunity Statement

With the foundational learning and initial user interactions in place, in Month 2, Fellows will work closely with the IPMF core team to generate ideas focused on either a) addressing problems that users with marginalized identities face within their products or b) opportunities to add significant value to these users through some features within their product. 

Initial brainstorming will lead to a long list of ideas which would be analyzed, and supported with research and data by the IPMF core research team, the Fellows would shortlist 1-2 key problem/ opportunity segments that have the potential to add significant value for a large number of users from one or more underrepresented identities and also generate significant business value for their companies. For instance, Fellows from a health app could decide to work on making the selection of medical tests and the accompanying UI more sensitive to the unique needs of transgender users. 

Throughout this process, Fellows will have access to a panel of underrepresented users (curated by the IPMF team) to test their initial hypotheses and understand this better. Fellows would also get vertical-specific knowledge packs from the IPMF core team that would help them sharpen their problem/opportunity statements.


User Immersion, Prototype Development, Testing, & Refinement

With their problem / opportunity statements, the Fellows will now segue into developing a better understanding of the problem, rapid prototyping and testing, and then refinement of the prototypes. 

  • User Immersion: Fellows will engage directly with users representing a wide range of marginalized identities as relevant to their problem statements—encompassing gender, disability, sexual orientation, age, and religious or caste minorities—to uncover nuanced pain points and gather insights into their experiences with existing product. The IPMF team would help with user recruitment and facilitation of these user research sessions.
  • Prototype Development and Testing: Leveraging insights from user immersions, Fellows will develop prototypes using tools like Figma, along with demo videos and audio clips. These low-medium fidelity prototypes would then be taken back to the target users to get rapid feedback. The IPMF team would ensure that designers with expertise in Figma, graphic design, and film editing are able to support Fellows in this process. 1-2 rounds of user feedback sessions and iterations would take place in this timeframe. 
  • Constant Refinement & Creation Of Medium-High Fidelity Prototypes: Feedback from user testing sessions will guide ongoing adjustments and improvements to the prototypes, with an emphasis on inclusivity and accessibility. By the middle of Month 5, the goal would be to have medium-high fidelity prototypes ready for all participating companies and products. 
  • Demo Day/Showcase: The Fellowship would culminate in Month 5 with a Demo Day, where Fellows would present their finalized prototypes. This event would be attended by senior leadership from the participating companies, interested media and press, impact investors, and would serve opportunity to attract media attention and potential partnerships, showcasing the transformative potential of inclusive product design.

Ongoing Support

Throughout the IPMF journey, Fellows will have access to regular networking opportunities, community-building events, and mentorship from industry veterans. This structure would not only bolster their skills and standing in the inclusive product management ecosystem, but would also make it significantly easier for them to action these opportunities.


Expert classes on inclusive design principles, inclusion diagnostics, user immersion, and interactive games to simulate diverse experiences.


Develop ideas for inclusive features, shortlist based on business potential and impact

Build & Test

Design and build prototypes for inclusive features; testing sessions with underrepresented users; ongoing mentoring


Refine features based on feedback; prepare business case and pitch for internal stakeholders


Inclusive Design Foundations

Kicking off with an intensive 8-hour schedule spread across four sessions, this module lays the groundwork for understanding inclusive product design.

Identifying Inclusion Opportunities & Developing The Business Case

In this comprehensive module, fellows delve into the intricacies of identifying inclusivity challenges within their products, focusing on the diverse Indian context.

User Immersion and Insight Gathering

Diving deeper into the user experience, fellows will embark on a comprehensive user immersion journey.

Prototyping and User Testing

As fellows transition insights into action, they'll receive hands-on support from the fellowship team in prototyping and user testing.

Presentation and Impact Evaluation

In the final stretch, fellows prepare to showcase their projects on Demo Day, with comprehensive support from the fellowship team in fine-tuning their presentations and evaluating the impact of their work.

Application Instructions

We are looking for Fellows who have deep personal interest in and also work at companies that have organisational commitment to product inclusion.

The Fellowship will create impact only if two pieces are in place: a) The personal commitment of product managers who join as Fellows and b) Organisational commitment towards product inclusion within their companies. 

The application form, thus, is designed to asses both of these dimensions. 

  • Applicant commitment: The application form has sections through which individual applicants can showcase their dedication to inclusivity overall and product inclusion inspecific, detailing their experience, motivations, and the nature of product inclusion goals and opportunities they might want to focus on. We will look for some evidence of a structured plan to utilize the Fellowship to implement meaningful changes in their product designs to better serve diverse populations.
  • Evidence of organisational commitment and buy-in: Following the individual commitment, the application form also assesses the support and endorsement from their companies. We expect companies to provide their endorsed candidates with the resources, support, and organizational backing necessary to translate Fellowship learnings into tangible product improvements.

We highly recommend that interested applicants 

  • First download the form and read the illustrative filled-up form 
  • Take a few hours over a few days to think about the questions and then fill up those sections on separate document
  • Also discuss this with their product leadership team and get their buy-in and support
  • And then finally up the form through the link

We might schedule a call with some of the shortlisted candidates in case of any followup questions.

Fellows can apply by filling the application form. We recommend first downloading the form, the illustrative filled up form, spending 4-5 hours over a week putting together answers & the endorsement letter from senior management. And then revisiting the link to submit. 

Application deadline is 9pm IST on the 26th of April 2024 | Selection announcement: 6th May 2024 | Commencement: 20th May 2024

Application FAQs

Applicants to the Fellowship must complete a detailed online application form, sharing their experience, motivation, and how they plan to benefit from and contribute to the program. Shortlisted candidates are then invited to an interview stage to ensure mutual fit.

Ideal candidates are mid-career product managers and designers from tech companies, startups, and social enterprises who have a passion for inclusivity and a commitment to applying the insights gained during the Fellowship. While previous experience in inclusive design is advantageous, it is the commitment to learning and applying inclusive practices that is paramount.

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