Thursday 19th October 2017

    Design Thinking is making inroads in all sectors

    The second edition of CII Summit on Innovation Ecosystem held recently in Mumbai brought a varied group of people from a car designer to a social learner, from an aviation major to a ball bearing manufacturer, from a watchmaker to a polyurethane leader all exploring how design was being harnessed to create sustainable businesses. The participants articulated key arguments within the Indian and global context to encapsulate the transformations in how we live, create and communicate. Read On ..

    Dr Gopichand Katragadda, Chairman, CII Task Force on Innovation Ecosystem & Chief Technology Officer, Tata Sons set the theme for the summit and highlighted the role CII (Confederation of Indian Industries) played at the national level on design and innovation. "All these initiatives are creating a tremendous buzz in making India an ‘Innovation Driven Nation’ in the near future. A prosperous India will augur growth of all other regional players in South East Asia and in Asia as a whole," he mentioned.

    Design Thinking, as the summit was titled, is the most powerful enabler of innovation because of its inherent capability to unravel customer insights which lead to the development of innovative products and services that meet the increasing aspirations of a discerning population. A renewed interest in design thinking in Indian industry and the design community’s reciprocation with local and global contemporary designs is leading to innovations that are at par with the world.

    In February, the CII had organized the 2nd India Design Show in Delhi to put forward ‘Design’ as a vital part of economic development, system operations, and overall quality of life. It showcased the design capability of India and orchestrated a platform that brought together myriad manifestations of design and presented them as a unified force to the people and industry. In addition to the exhibition, the conference on ‘Design Innovation for Manufacturing’ was organised, focusing on design-led innovation, positioning India as a global design and manufacturing hub.

    Speaking at the Mumbai summit, Dilip Chhabria of DC Design stated that in an automotive-rich market like India, it was necessary to assess where one stood in terms of design, as the market structure and product positioning was always unique for a country like India with diverse culture and hence a unique design approach was the need of the hour. "At any given point of time, there were some 4800 shapes and sizes in the world of automobiles. While in India a design was considered desirable for a period of 12 months, in the West it was just nine months. In such a scenario, the styling and design of a car which conferred emotional benefits on the consumer and daredevil styles and designs could be the only salvation for the auto majors to survive," said Chhabria, a veteran designer who has breached the business concept of car building segment in Europe, having created some of the iconic models for Aston Martin, General Motors, Ford, BMW, Renault, Toyota well as Indian OEMs (Original Equipment Manufacturers).

    Stressing on Design Thinking as the most powerful enabler of innovation, Abhimanyu Nohwar, founder director, Kiba Design & Expert Advisor on Design Innovation at the National Innovation Council (2012-2014), Planning Commission, Government of India said the future generations would be called on to solve some of the most challenging problems ever created and faced by man. "Our children will need to master systems-thinking to envision multiple methods for addressing complex challenges like renewable energy, world hunger, climate change, and ultimately, the design of a better world," he said.

    Underlining the role of design, Shishir Joshipura, co-chairman, CII-Western Region Taskforce on Innovation Ecosystem and Managing Director & Country Head, SKF India said that Indian companies have realized that innovation is not just a one-time activity but a continuous process. In their quest to identify newer sources of creative thinking and innovative solution, they are turning to the design community’s ability to help them and the designer’s ability to imagine possibilities and help realize them.

    According to Somprabh Singh, Head of Design & Technology, Titan, Design Thinking drew upon logic, imagination, intuition, and systemic reasoning, to explore possibilities of what could be - and to create desired outcomes that benefited the end user.

    As the Design Director and location manager of Philips Design India, Abhimanyu Singh stated that his creative team delivers global as well as regionally specific design solutions operating in both professional and consumer markets. "It is through an intimate understanding of the diverse needs and complexities of a customer or consumer-driven market that our design team is able to deliver the appropriate level of creative differentiation," he stated.

    Ardhendu Pathak, Vice President, Technology Scouting and Knowledge Management, Airbus Group said for an aeroplane manufacturer the objective is to have some deep thinking on all the aspects of aviation - not just planes, but their interaction with airports, with passengers. "Everything from in-flight entertainment to how the pilot is going to fly the aeroplane and providing the best comfort to one travelling in a hollow tube involved design thinking which is presented to the entire engineering community to find the right kind of solutions," added Dr Pathak.

    - Hiren Kumar Bose


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