HindustanTimes Tue,23 Sep 2014
Ready to let your imagination run wild?
Harini Sriram, Hindustan Times
New Delhi, December 18, 2013
First Published: 10:52 IST(18/12/2013)
Last Updated: 10:55 IST(18/12/2013)

If you’ve watched the movie, Life Of Pi, and marvelled at Richard Parker, the tiger, you probably know that the actual tiger was used only in a handful of scenes. The rest is CGI (computer-generated imagery), courtesy Autodesk, a leading design and software solutions provider. Autodesk India is also behind the graphics used in recent blockbuster Hindi films, including Chennai Express and Krrish 3.  With the evolution of design technology and its myriad applications, India is emerging as a strong market for innovative design, says Pradeep Nair, managing director, Autodesk India. “A lot of international firms are not just getting their designs done in India, but are increasingly designing for Indian sensibilities. Even companies like General Motors and General Electrics, for instance, are looking at positioning their products to meet the requirements of Indian clients, in terms of both design and functionality.”

With design taking centrestage the world over, India cannot afford to lag behind. Although a lot of designing does happen in the country, where do we stand in terms of R&D or innovation? Nair explains that it’s an area that needs more focus, and to address this issue, one needs to re-assess the college education system. “Students passing out of design schools have strong skills, but the industry believes that most of these students are not employable,” he says, “So there is this gap between what students learn and what companies really look for. This ­disconnect needs to be fixed by imparting industry-relevant skills to students.”

Autodesk is doing its bit towards exposing students to technology that the industry is using and working towards building a strong industry-academia relationship. “We provide our software free of cost to AICTE colleges and we train teachers and students. We have a tie-up with NIIT and we conduct design competitions for college and school students. We want students to be adept at using technology to solve real world business problems,” adds Nair. Giving an example, he says, “people have moved from designing in 2D to designing in 3D. We have a software called Revit that helps in 3D design. We have been told that students with a working knowledge of Revit have a higher possibility of landing a job in a good design firm. So we are working towards making students more employable, in a sense.”
In addition, Autodesk has launched over 20 design apps that can be easily used by students and consumers to perform a range of tasks right from editing photos to designing your own home. “There is a huge market for design apps in the country, and it’s an area that might be of interest to design-savvy professionals and students,” he adds.

In this context, Autodesk University, the flagship event of Autodesk, which is being conducted in India for the first time, seeks to bring design enthusiasts together. The forum, which is being organised tomorrow at the Grand Hyatt, Santa Cruz, Mumbai, aims to showcase the best of R&D efforts in the field of design technology. The event will include keynote addresses by innovators and thought leaders on industry trends. As Nair points out, “This is a great opportunity for design students to get first-hand information on what is really happening in the design space, world over. We will also be unveiling some of our own new technology and products for our clients in the field of architecture, manufacturing, engineering, media and entertainment. We will also be conducting certificate courses free of cost at the venue.”

Students passing out of design schools have strong skills, but the industry believes that most of these students are not employable --- Pradeep Nair, managing director, autodesk india

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