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TRENDS IN DESIGN EDUCATION II

MORE CORPORATES ARE HIRING DESIGNERS AND OFFERING SALARIES UPTO 50 PER CENT HIGHER

Dr. Gupta is a renowned opinion leader on design education in the country. You can respond to the article at deanoffice.design@gdgoenka.ac.in 

An Economic Times story of February 28th this year first reported as a story, the fact which we in the design industry have known for past couple of years. Corporates have discovered the potential of designers! They are hiring them, in large numbers and often at salaries higher than engineers or managers. Design students are being picked up by companies such as Microsoft, SAP Labs, TCS, Cognizant, Mindtree, Infosys, Wipro and InMobi, as well as e-commerce players such as Amazon, Myntra, and Flipkart for salaries anywhere between Rs 4-18 lakh, as compared to entry-level salaries of tech graduates at Rs 2.5 lakh to Rs 3.5 lakh per annum.

The trend has been more recently seen in Indian IT firms who have lately started focusing on verticals such as product design and emerging technologies like mobile and cloud. These firms look towards design students for both physical products or hardware design, and virtual products such as software, websites and virtual media. Websites of most companies have just a few seconds to grab the attention of potential customers or end-users. They need to use a multi-sensorial, audio-visual kind of approach to tell their story or sell their product. People from a coding background like software engineers might find it harder to connect with their customer base as compared to design students, who have the training to connect companies with customers better. Design graduates are also found to be more articulate, social and interactive, and thus better at understanding a client’s requirement. Their training in ‘design thinking’ or the so called out-of-the-box thinking makes them much better at coming up with innovative solutions to problems.

Earlier, students used to be picked up by start-ups that made mobile apps till some years ago. But now, its recruiters include names such as Myntra, Amazon, Flipkart and Snapdeal in e-retail, in addition to Infosys and Wipro in product design. At Myntra, design students are hired to work in conjunction with marketing teams, quality control, user experience and for the online equivalent of visual merchandising. Microsoft India Design Studio hires designers to work with product managers and engineers and provide key differentiation through design and user experience.

SAP Labs, in fact, is planning to launch a collaborative course in design for IT. According to a senior executive of theirs, the demand for design students in IT outstrips the supply, which is driving up salaries. The company has been recruiting freshers from D-schools for the past two years, and is considering ramping up the process. SAP Labs has design centres in the US, Frankfurt, Dublin, Istanbul and Tel Aviv.

IT companies is just one example. Most industry sectors are realizing that their ‘design-spend’ is often more than the ‘R&D-spend’ (see image below). Its only in some high technology sectors such as aerospace, chemical and electrical instrumentation that R&D takes over the focus. 

A tentative listing of corporates known to be hiring designers is given below:

SECTOR

COMPANIES

Automobile

Ashok Leyland.  Avon Bicycles.  Bajaj Auto. Daewoo Motors. DC Design. Eicher Motors. Force Motors. Ford India. General Motors India. Hero Cycles. Hero Honda Motors. Hindustan Motors. Hyundai Motors. Kinetic Engineering. Mahindra and Mahindra. Maruti Udyog. Mercedes Benz. Reva Electric Car. Royal Enfield Scooters India. Tata Motors. TVS Motors.  Volvo

Communications

Idea Cellular. Reliance Infocomm. Tata Indicom

Consumer Industries

HMT. Titan. Tanishq. Swarovski. Welspun. Bombay Dyeing. Debeers

Home Products

Bajaj BPL. Bharat Impex Crompton Electrolux  Godrej Appliances  Philips India Tata BP Solar Usha International  Videocon  Whirlpool Industries

Retail

Globus  Westside  Pantaloon Retail

e-Commerce

Amazon, Myntra, Flipkart, Snapdeal

IT

Microsoft, SAP Labs, TCS, Cognizant, Mindtree, Infosys, Wipro, InMobi, Adobe

 

 

GD Goenka University
GD Goenka University
 
11-JULY-2014
 
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2 Comments
 
23-JULY-2014 Anupama Pasricha
I agree. "Design Thinking" is the need of the times. It is different than logical and scientific thinking. It embodies creativity, has a user-centered focus, and uses systems thinking lens.
 
 
12-JULY-2014 Chhaya Mehrotra
I totally agree with Dr.Gupta when he says design students are taught better to connect companies with clients. Certain basic tenets of design education, I believe, go a long with any design entrepreneur or individual with a career in design. It's much easier for them to balance functionality and aesthetic and work on design based on the client brief.. I guess that's one big reason why corporates should prefer them or offer higher packages. An insightful article for students and design enthusiasts alike.
 
 
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