Ramesh Manickam, Founder, Centroid
Ramesh Manickam an alumnus of IIT Delhi with specialization in Industrial Design is the founder and CEO of Centroid Creative Hubb, providing services in New product design and development. He has got over 12 years of experience in designing various products from Tractors to pens. He was also instrumental in starting the Design studio at Royal Enfield and designing the Legendary Thunderbird Motorcycle. He started Centroid in April 2005, with a passion to do good design, pushing boundaries in Industrial design in India and a vision to make a mark in the Design field.Ramesh was the National finalist and represented India in the International Young Design Entrepreneur of the year 2006, award conducted by British Council to nurture design entrepreneurship. For more details on Young Design Entrepreneur award click here . To follow Young Creative Entrepreneur Awards on Facebook click here
The product Halo Life Cell, a mobile security device designed by Centroid won the Communication product of the year at IFSEC Security Industry Awards 2008, which took place in Birmingham, UK. He was selected as TED India Fellow and attended the TED event at Mysore.
When and how did you start Centroid?
I am basically an engineer and always was passionate about design and sketching. After my engineering I decided to pursue my passion and enrolled in the course on Industrial Design at IIT Delhi. After that I worked at Royal Enfield. In 2005 I decided to start my own design firm and that is how Centroid was born.How was your experience starting your venture, giving up a corporate job?
I came out of Enfield because I wanted to design products other than bikes. I am not from a business background. Running my own company meant getting to know other aspects of the business other than the passion for designing. I definitely saw a market for the kind of services I had in mind. I saw that many firms wanted to launch new products and there were many design firms that offered end to end design solutions. There were companies that offered help with the concepts but I wanted to provide complete design solutions.
What aspect of the design process does Centroid take care of?
Our main focus is the look and feel of the product. We take care of industrial design part then we look into the detailed engineering, make product prototypes, and coordinate with the tool makers till the product is out in the market.
Should one have a strong technical knowledge to get into industrial design?
Industrial design is a marriage of art and technology. Conceptualizing the product, conceiving the idea and giving shape to the idea require you to be very creative. Later you need to implement these ideas so it is important that you know the technical aspect of the products you are designing. To be a successful industrial designer you need to have a flare for both design and technology.How was your experience been with Centroid?
Initial years were a lot of fun. I was very excited to see other products than just bikes. I had to take care of the other aspects of running a business which despite being challenging was very rewarding. I started experimenting as being a designer I wanted to design new products and ideas. We entered different verticals. There were many failures and successes. Every day I look forward to do something new.
Which are the sectors you work in?
Automotive, light engineering, consumer durables, FMCG are our major sectors. We have three categories of clients: well established companies that have excess workload or have new category of ideas, second category is medium scale industries who want to hire us as designers and come up with new products, third category is innovators, entrepreneurs who have new ideas and want to give shape to their ideas.
How was your experience with the Young Creative Entrepreneur Awards?
The YCE interested me as it aimed to reward creativity and entrepreneurship. For any entrepreneur creativity is a must but being in the creative industry, people tend to be too involved in what their passionate about and ignore the entrepreneurial aspect of their venture. Through the YCE awards I met many people who were not only very creative but also have built successful ventures. I got to go to the UK and interact with other creative entrepreneurs and attend many events. I met many designers; we went to Tom Dixon’s studio and spend the day with you which was a very memorable experience. We got an insight into the creative industries in the UK.
What are your future plans?
We want to provide concentrated support to the industries. We are at present concentrating on different verticals. We want to get into strategic consulting and come up with our own brand of products. We are thinking of having a line to cater to the needs of the homemaker.