Design entrepreneur Niladri Mukherjee believes that successful product design happens when the design team sits at the strategy table as a partner and is able to question and provide insight and inputs on the direction that a company takes. As Founder and Managing Director of New Delhi-based Glue Design Pvt. Ltd., he has been able to ensure that his team is engaged in some path breaking product design indeed!
The company currently works in two verticals: Services (Product Design and Retail Design and Strategy), and Products (Quiktile and Titch pitch). Today they are on the verge of closing the second round of funding from strategic investors, with a team of 40, which will soon grow to 60 across a few cities. It’s now in Glue’s DNA to constantly question themselves objectively and rectify the course of their journey.
In the late 1990s there were barely any products being developed indigenously in India – most were either imported or reverse engineered by the companies. Glue Design’s vision was to take up a problem that was specific to India and design and engineer a solution to it. They would fund it themselves and take it to market, believing that if design could solve problems, then it should demonstrate how they could be solved.
“Big change can only be effected where one works at reaching a point of inflection, – Niladri says, – this is the point where the ‘idea of the change’ does not need to be ‘pushed’ any more as it is absorbed and then propagated rapidly and ‘pulled’ by the ecosystem itself. Today the world is full of ideas. It’s not about the ideas anymore but about the method and the resilience to execute them.” “Remember, it’s never the idea that is big; it’s the execution that makes the difference!”
Focus of Glue Design has always been on positively affecting the business of the client, making sure that the expected benefits to the end-user accrues in the form it is envisaged.
Niladri reflects on the market change:
“The last almost-three decades have seen a monumental shift in how consumers consume, and how people use things, and more importantly, how they view their lives. We have transitioned very rapidly from almost a no-choice society to a too-much-choice society in just 25 years.”
He advises to young designers:
“Consider yourself a student for life and gradually you will find the voice that is yours which itself in a truthful way in everything you create. Be patient and enjoy the journey!”
Read this story in POOL 79.