What happened in Vegas: A look at Refresh 19 – Freshworks’ annual user conference

At Freshworks, we take pride in building great software. Over the last 10 years or so, we’ve worked hard to bring to life powerful, easy-to-use software that scales well. Today, we have over 220,000 businesses using us. 

On the second day of Refresh 19, our user conference this year in Las Vegas, we unveiled a coffee table book that articulates the principles we follow to make great software for our customers. The book draws upon aspects of everyday life, companies, and innovations that inspire us. We call it Indian Democratic Design.

Indian Democratic Design showcases a powerful set of innovative product design principles grounded in simplicity, self-reliance, scale, craftsmanship, and affordability. Democratic Design is derived from India’s rich cultural history and rooted in the world’s largest democracy. 

Marcus Engman, former Head of Design at IKEA


“Be it the simplicity of yoga, the self-reliance of our Swadeshi movement, the scale of Indian elections that involve 600 million voters from the southernmost seashore to the northernmost mountain top, the craftsmanship displayed by our artists who continue our ancient shipbuilding traditions, or the ingenuity of our engineers whose Mangalyaan rocket shot to the  moon for the cost of a Hollywood movie, India is pushing the boundaries of what is possible,” our CEO, Girish Mathrubootham, said.

The concept of Democratic Design, pioneered by renowned designer Philippe Starck and then embraced by IKEA, promotes products built for common masses versus the elite few. Whether it’s an app for rideshare, affordable hotels, payment systems, cloud software — or even great-tasting beer — this design and development approach, focused on the end-user, has been embraced by India’s fast-growing product and service ecosystem. 

Marcus Engman, former Head of Design at IKEA, spoke at the launch about how democratic design principles at IKEA complement Indian Democratic Design and how both reinforce the viability and sustainability of building great, affordable products that can scale for the masses. 

“I am proud to be associated with Indian Democratic Design and this emerging movement. We have the same source of inspiration: our passionate commitment and research into the everyday life of the many people — how they live, work, and play,” said Engman. 

Refresh Community by Freshworks

We also announced that the Refresh Community, a platform for our customers and users to share insights, best practices, and problems, is coming soon. The Refresh Community by Freshworks will be the place for all things on customer experience – where people can network, ask questions, and share thoughts, ideas, and perspectives.


Roundtables, demos and workshops

We also hosted round tables and discussions for more than 700 attendees on topics ranging from the impact of artificial intelligence on businesses, predicting customer experience, and the role of customer support in building customers for life, to unlocking the power of automation for customer engagement, integrating apps to Freshworks, and reimagining sales engagement. 


The Refresh 19 event also featured a large demo area where we walked customers through our new products. Our partners and over 18 sponsors also exhibited their products and services. 

Yoga, Bollywood, and more fun

And as always, we didn’t forget to have fun while we were at it. If the first day was about basketball legend Shaquille O’Neal and parties, we began the second day with Yoga and a little Bollywood-style shake-a-leg. 


And that’s all folks! Until next time!