There are a sizeable number of Indian designers working at both multinational and Indian auto companies
New Delhi: All cars can trace their origin to a doodle—of a designer, that is.
As India becomes an important automotive market, with sales of passenger cars crossing two million units in 2015, almost all companies are pouring in dollars into getting designers on board. There are two objectives: first, to understand what sort of cars the country needs and second, to use that knowledge to build the cars.
Not surprising, then, that at the 2016 Auto Expo, there was a lot of talk around car design and designers. Dig a little deeper and you find that there are a sizeable number of Indian designers working at both multinational and Indian auto companies. Here’s a small list:
Ramkripa Ananthan: The head of Design at Mahindra and Mahindra, Kripa is the designer of XUV5OO and Mahindra’s latest offering the KUV1OO. She is a graduate from BITS Pilani. Speaking about Ananthan, Pawan Goenka, executive director at M&M said, “Kripa likes to hire young people as she thinks the older ones come with preconceived notions. We can mould the youngsters the way we want. Our designs are bolder. Many think they are quirky. Right or wrong, this is the decision we have taken."
Ramesh Gound:Based in Detroit, Gound is a senior creative designer at General Motors Co. Born in Jalgaon district of Maharashtra, Gound went into engineering and followed it up with a masters in transportation design from National Institute of Design (NID). Gound started out at the Renault Design studio in India. He joined GM in 2012 and led exterior design for GM’s Buick range of vehicles.
Moneet Chitroda: Based in Paris, Chitroda is a senior designer (interiors) at Renault Technocenter. How the Renault Kwid looks from inside is his work. An NID graduate, Chitroda joined Renault Design Studio in 2007. When he is not designing car interiors, Chitroda spends time biking. Super bikes are his thing.
Harish Kumar: Based in Detroit, Kumar is a creative designer with General Motors. Kumar moved to Detroit after a stint at GM’s design centre in Bengaluru where he worked on both interior and exterior design. Kumar is the designer behind Essentia, a sedan that Chevrolet unveiled at the Auto Expo on 3 February.
Rustom Mazda: Based in Turin, Italy, Mazda is a senior designer at Pininfarina. Post M&M’s acquisition of Pininfarina, Mazda is one of the designers who worked on the interiors of the TUV3OO. An NID graduate, Mazda was part of the team that worked on the Ferrari 458 Speciale. Mazda interned at the Renault Design studio in Mumbai and Fiat Centro Stile in Italy.
Lov Meena: Based in Gurgaon, Meena is a senior group head designer at Honda R&D India Pvt. Ltd. Meena did his postgraduate in product design from NID and then interned at TVS. He joined Honda in 2007 and has worked on several motorcycles.