My old time friend who was in between jobs was sulking like a child refusing to go to school at the prospect of reporting to work in a well branded multi-national. He was saying, the growth will be kind of automatic and there will be a lot of internal leg pulling and politics on the way. Hmmm….
Another surprising thing I noticed in the conversation with the engineering elite working for top companies(accenture, motorola, infy etc) is that they are not very conversant with the world changing trends and developments, say for example, web2.0 and the democratization of tech in general. More than the lack of awareness, I was taken aback by the apathy: They simply don’t care. That is sure sign of stagnation.
In this context the observation by Ashwini Deshpande of Elephant Design, who gave an interesting talk at the India Innovation Summit has lot of relevance. Hope the design community wakes up to the perils:
At the end of my session, I got a question from one of the designers
in the audience. He wanted to know whether we will see exponential
growth in design in India just like what happened to IT. I would
repeat my answer: Nowhere in the world has design seen the kind of
exponential growth that IT is experiencing. Let us not have that
illusion. Design is not going to be a quantity game: neither in
terms of number of people nor in consulting revenues. In every
developed country where design has been around for years, it is
still a virtue of quality. That said, I also believe we are standing
on a dangerous spot right now. World has woken up to the fact that
India can offer design services. IT in India made the decision of
accepting back-end work as a start. Indian IT companies have had to
work very hard to break out of the image of cheap back-end services.
If we make the same mistake & welcome back-end design services, we
may not ever come out of it as we will never have the strength of
numbers. So let us not…
The choice of quantity over quality by the IT industry has put it in a (negative)spiral. There is a major manpower scramble and there is poor quality due to that. And the spiral reinforces itself.
The choices made by IT pioneers were at a different point in time, when, it was customary to have slides ready about Taj Mahal, snakes and tigers ready during a outsourcing biz pitch. Now it is a different window of opportunity and will the India Design Community learn from the experience of the IT community?
India/Bangalore is unattractive for hi-tech startups like Riya.com to the extent of closing down Bangalore office.
Fastcompany on Philips design unit: With iPod, and iPhone success of of Apple, Design is the new mantra. And IT types love new mantra from their clients. Just amplifies Ashwini’s concern that Design in India is in a ‘dangerous’ point.