Mohammed Shah, with a Masters in Design, IIT Kanpur, had an inherent urge to start his own designing firm. After spending 18 months in the industry, he began D-Cube Designs, based in Chennai, with the intention of providing end-to-end solutions which include research, conceptualization, electronics design solutions, product development, part engineering and design, prototyping, testing, manufacturing, production and assembly services. The core team comprises mechanical engineers who have sound knowledge in engineering design, plastic part design, model development etc. They outsource prototyping activities and have developed a vendor to match their needs.
“Starting a design studio is easy, but sustaining it is not easy. If there is a network, and you start with projects in a pipeline, things become easier. Starting from scratch and without a portfolio is not easy,” says Mohammed on the struggle that went behind setting up D-Cube Designs. Initially, he targeted small enterprises, but many people didn't know about “Industrial Design” or “Product Styling”, so he went about teaching people about their benefits. A few clients took the courage to explore but with a small budget at hand, it was not easy to manage. In order to build a portfolio, the team worked without getting paid. Having struggled initially with resource management, they now use lesser resources, but does large volumes of work with good quality and delivers it before time. “I introduced some of my vendors to my clients and burnt my own fingers, all a part of the learning experience,” he says.
“As a designer if we work just for money, we'll never make it big. But if we love what we are doing and always put customers first, then success will be ours,” says Mohammed, emphasizing upon the importance imparted to “designing” at D-Cube Designs. For the past 3 years he has depended on word-of-mouth marketing and referrals. Even then he has managed to get around 50 clients and almost all of them have worked with them for more than one project. For some, D-Cube Designs has designed more than 15 products!
The projects that D-Cube Designs takes are meant for a cost-driven mass market. So, clients, who range from start-ups to small and medium enterprises (SMEs), will not have to take the risk of an “oddly innovative” concept for the product. Also, the payment is made on a project basis or a retainer contract.
The D-Cube Team has also worked for International clients from US and UK. They participated in the India Show at Singapore, where they met many Government Officials. The red carpet spread for entrepreneurs willing to invest in Singapore left everyone awestruck.
Mohammed has aspirations of developing D-Cube Designs as an “Innovation Only” firm that can churn out lots of ideas supported with working models. With no particular ambition of getting into product manufacturing, he is more than willing to stick to his strengths: Product Research, Conceptualization, Concept Development and of course designing. Apart from that, funding is one thing he is positively looking forward to in order to ‘design’ his success!
Try D-Cube Designs for your designing solutions, here.
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