India is fast-emerging as the 'transportation designers' hub for both global and Indian auto majors. With demand for new concepts and designs growing in the market, every auto major, wants to showcase conceptualised and designed vehicles in India.
"It is an opportunity. Many auto majors are exploring designing teams in India and not in European countries," said Harshit P Desai, head, industry relations and faculty, design management at Pune-based Maeer's MIT Institutes of Design.
To give a few examples, Mahindra and Mahindra showcased its electric sports car, designed and conceptualised in India. 'Kwid', the concept car from French car maker Renault's stable, was designed in India, so was the spunky looking Chevrolet's Adra, a concept SUV developed by Indian designers at GM's Bangalore technical centre.
To cash in on the growing demand, the Ahemadabad-based National Institute of Design has developed a faculty, which offers specially conceptualised and designed vehicles to auto majors. Other auto design institutes such as the Pune-based DSK Supinfocom is battling it out to provide the best combination of European concept for the Indian market and vice a versa.
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"The main challenge we face is with European car makers, who want Indian designs to meet European tastes," a student with one of the leading transportation design institutes said.
So, what generally are the main demands of domestic auto companies? "It can be multiple hybrid in one vehicle, especially cars," the student said.
But are Indian designers well paid compared to their counterparts in Europe? "Certainly, if you can be imaginative and build that imagination to design," said Sandeep Varma, lecturer, transportation design at MID Pune.