In conversation with Abhilasha Dafria for YourStory.in, Bikram Mittra, founder of Trampoline Design tells us how they bring together function, ergonomics, aesthetics and brand values to create products and experiences that deliver value where it is cherished the most: With YOU, the end user.Also, Bikram was one of the finalists at British Council’s Young Design Entrepreneur Awards, 2010. To know more about the Young Design Entrepreneur Awards, click here. Follow the Young Creative Entrepreneur Awards (YCE) on Facebook
Bikram, in a line tell us how you define your startup, Trampoline Design.
Trampoline is an Industrial Design, Product Innovation and 3D Branding Consultancy.
When was this started, and what is your prior work experience & educational background?
Trampoline was started in 2010. I graduated from NID Ahmedabad and then did my Masters from the Royal College of Arts in London. I then worked in London for a few years in consultancies such as Priestmangoode and The Division. I consider these years in London as my most important years as I was exposed to projects with some of the biggest clients in the world as well as the privilege of working with some of the best design teams around.
Following my experience in London, I saw that there was an opportunity in India for an industrial design consultancy that can provide industrial design services to manufacturers at a level that would be equal to that in Europe or the USA, but with the ability to work with local requirements and at suitable costs.
I have always felt (and still feel) that in the last 10 years, India has created very good graphic designers, textile designers, film-makers and so on, but has been weak when it comes to producing good product designers and world class product design. We at Trampoline Design feel that we can change that in whatever small way possible.
What are the services you offer under industrial design?
We work across many domains including Consumer Electronics, White Goods and packaging. We also work on some projects in furniture design and brand development.
Could you tell us a little about your clients?
We work with a wide range of clients from Multinational Consumer electronic companies such as Samsung and Pentair to Indian companies such as Ritu Kumar,
How big is your team?
We have a core team of 4 people, but work with a strong group of independent consultants depending on specific project requirements.
How do you hire creative design talent for your projects? We prefer to work with a network of independent senior designers from India and the UK on a project basis.We have found it hard to find young industrial designers who are able to work at the level that we expect. Design is a very subjective field and becoming a good industrial designer comes with a lot of hard work and exposure, not to mention talent.
How much capital was required to startup Trampoline?
We did not need to raise a large amount of money as all we needed was an office space and a few computers. The problem was finding the first few clients and presenting them with a strong value proposition.
Do you have any vital tips for budding design entrepreneurs?
I am too passionate about my field of work to see myself as an entrepreneur rather than an Industrial designer. However, if I had to give a few tips, they would be:
Get the best exposure first: Get a lot of exposure in India and internationally and work really hard for the first few years of your career. Get a strong foundation.
Take risks now: India is developing at a rate that has never been seen before. At this moment, the youth of India are in a unique position where they are potentially pioneers in many fields that have never really found prominence in the past (industrial design for example). Hence, if you have an idea, this is the best time to take a risk and push it.
Keep a focus on Ethics: An entrepreneur should not only be responsible for the financial outcome of his or her enterprise but the ethical outcome as well.
How do you see the design ecosystem evolve in India? What kind of support system is required for industrial designers according to you?I feel many fields of design such as graphic design already have a strong ecosystem in India. Product/Industrial design still hasn’t developed that kind of backbone. With the country developing at a fast rate, I feel that there will be a strong demand for product design in the next 10 years. Hence it is important for both the Government as well as the Private sectors to question where the next generation of designers and innovators are going to come from.
How was the experience at YCE?
The experience at YCE was especially helpful as it took place at a time when I had just moved to India and needed to meet as many people in the design-related industry as I could. I thank the British Council for that and I wish the YCE team all the very best!