1. Product design is one of the most in-demand skills in the current marketplace. There is a serious shortage of good product designers.
  2. One common thread in my experience has been that you have to look through limitations and focus on opportunities. There are always limitations whether it may be money, content, competition etc. But thinking about opportunities is what makes it fun and challenging.
  3. Track down successful product designers and contact them when you are a student. Ask them for an interview, mentorship and skype chat. The more you interview the more you’ll start to see themes and trends.
  4. The pursuit of elevated product design is both difficult and rewarding.

Profile Details

Name — Guneet Gill

Profession — Product Designer

Company — LBD Makers, Delhi

Age — 30

Gender — Female

City — Delhi

Industry — 3D Printing

Where have you been born and raised?

I was born in Bathinda, Punjab and was also raised there. I did my schooling from there and after my 12th, I moved with my aunt to America and did my graduation from there.

What is your family background? Who all had the most influence on you and how?

I have been raised in a rich yet illiterate family. My father is a landlord and my mother is a housewife. My aunt (my father’s sister) had the most influence on me at that time, she was the only well-educated and working woman in our family. And My aunt is a computer engineer in America.

Please give us a summary of your career.

After my 12th, I went with my aunt to America. I was admitted there to a university for a degree in engineering. But engineering was not my cup of tea. So, in the very first month, I changed my course to product design.

After my graduation, I worked in an MNC for two years but somewhere I was not satisfied. I always wanted to come back to India. I applied online for many jobs in India and finally was hired by a Gurgaon based company. Now I often get a chance to go on international trips. I visit America once or twice a year.

Which institutes are best for the education/ training of this profession?

The best colleges in India are NID (National Institute of Design), IIT Bombay and IIT Guwahati.

The entrance exam for Bachelor’s (B.Des.) is called UCEED and for Master’s (M.Des.) is called CEED.

What are the costs associated with the education /training of this profession?

The tuition fees per year in India is between 60,000 to 1.2 lakhs/annum. There is a very little difference in fees of Bachelors and Masters degree.

What are the typical entry-level jobs in this profession?

You join as a Junior Product Designer. As you gradually gain experience, you are promoted to bigger roles in the company.

What is the range of remuneration one expects when starting out in your line of career and industry?

Depends on which institute have you completed your course from. If you have completed your studies from the top 3 institutes, which I have stated earlier, then your income will be as follows:

Starting Out — Rs 60,000 to 80,000 per month

5 years of experience — Rs 80,000 to 1.2 lakhs per month

10 years of experience — Rs 1.5 lakhs to 4 lakhs per month

Please describe your work as a Product Designer?

Iterative product design is a lot like subtractive sculpture. You have the raw material and an idea that what the actual product looks like. Then you guide the workers or if it’s a sample, you construct it on your own.

After the sample is prepared, its sent for evaluation. After evaluation, you have to make changes as recommended and then keep doing this multiple time till it’s approved.

What are some of the positives that would encourage someone to consider the Job as Product Designer?

With design thinking coming prominently in every industry, product designers have a great opportunity and responsibility to shape up the next generation of user-centric product. In today’s world, everyone needs a designer working along with your company.

This career doesn’t limit you at all. You keep on learning new things, new designs and new techniques. Here you open one door and 9 more gets open by themselves.

The salary you get is quite satisfying. Moreover, you also get to travel on the company’s expenses.

This is a job with a lot of exposure and lots of free coffee.

What are some of the challenges that you would want someone to be aware of when considering Job as Product Designer?

You have to consider your college of education wisely. One wrong choice and you have to pay for it heavily.

Secondly, the schedule proves to be hectic. Sometimes, the workload is so much that you have to go through sleepless nights.

Also, in the starting years of your career, you face a lot of rejection. Seniors reject your product designs, not because there’s a mistake but because you are new.

What are the relevant trends/skills that are commanding a premium in your job profile?

We product designers are hired to design and make new products every day. The product that is liked by the consumer is considered as a premium.

Although nowadays every product is made with a little touch of technology, so knowing technology products in Design domain is very important.

What kind of person would be happy in your career?

A person who is full of consideration, consciousness, and craft would be more than happy in this career. To be successful in this field, one must know how to plan conservatively, should be punctual and a good listener.

Give another choice what would you do separately as far as your professional selections are concerned?

I would want to be involved in the designing, so maybe a fashion designer.

What would be your advice to students or professionals who are just starting their journey on a path similar to yours be?

It is an exceptional career choice. You’ll be making an amazing career choice by pursuing this field. But you should choose an institute, which has ample experience in this field.

Read the interviews of a few product designers of some big companies like facebook and google and you’ll know the extent of impact they are creating.

So, if you are thinking to take it as your career choice, go for it.

Liked this Interview? You might want to check out our Interaction with Archana Saluja, Senior Fashion Designer.