Wednesday, August 31, 2005

Made for India

That India is a different country is something that we all know and accept for god or for bad. Designing a product for India means taking this "difference" into account.

Many of us have cordless phones in our homes. Some of us have timers in our washing machines that promise to do the job at a delayed time. TVs also have timers, though we usually never venture on that side of the controls. My music system is an import and it is designed assuming that the system is always powered on.

So what happens when there is a power failure?

My cordless is as good as a paperweight and I run to my regular instrument. The washing machine resets the timer (incidentally Godrej says its washing machines, in the ad on the right, has a memory back up) or stops mid cycle and starts all over when the electricity is back. Digital clocks (one of those things used only in the US) lose time and go kaput when the electricity switches on and off.

Nowadays though, cordlesses are available with battery back up, as are washing machines (above). As for clocks, well, we always run them on battery!

But coming back to the point that I started off with, product designing for India often has to take such uncertainities (which are taken for granted elsewhere) into account. The Nokia 1100 is an example of a "Made for India" (it was marketed as such) brand and featured a torchlight, dust resistant keypad and an anti slip grip. With the growing importance of Indian markets and consumers perhaps we will see some more innovation coming our way.


Gameboys said...

Good point...going slightly off base, there was a time when my alarm clock broke and I used the sleep timer on my TV for my wake-up call :)

@mit said...

Nice point ... I have been thinking on this front for some time too....

I am sure all the giants will me tweaking their products to "fit in"

JM said...

What about the fact that in many categories, we find companies hawking products that are a generation old. I still remember when the PS2 was already a hot selling number in the US, Sony introduced the PS1 in India. The lag is reducing, but it is still there. Recently, I went to SP Road in Bangalore to buy a DVD writer. The models that were selling were introduced in mid 2004 in the US and since then a couple of additional models had been introduced there. What else do we expect in the land where the Ambassador is still being produced?