'The greatest joy is going seeing your product being sold'
He describes himself as sombre and admits to being an introvert. And if you were to meet Kaustubh Goswami, chances are that he would turn up in something black.
There are means and methods, however, which you can use to draw the 25-year-old out of his shell. Mention the latest audio system to be released by Bang and Olufsen and you will find colour added to the product designer's demeanour. "Even if it didn't give out any music, I would just buy it to keep on my table. It just looks so wonderful," he gushes.
Before you can accuse him of having betrayed his own 'functionality first' mantra, he is quick to explicate the functional advantages of the iPhone: "The very process of using your fingers to do tasks - enlarge, reduce, scroll through images - makes it a delight to use."
The one thing that excites Kaustubh about these products is their sheer simplicity. "They are not too cluttered, they are not too ornate. I love simplicity, which is what I try to achieve in my designs," he says.
Kaustubh, who claims to have always had a knack for problem-solving, adds, "As a child, I enjoyed making things, creating stuff - Lego houses, paper planes, reading up old books which teach you how to make a cannonball from a ball-point pen."
Working for design company Desmania gives Kaustubh an opportunity to design water purifiers, displays for retail establishments and a host of other projects, which he is not at the liberty to disclose. "The greatest joy," he says, "is going out into the market and seeing your product being sold."
The sheer variety of these products is what made him choose Desmania over Bajaj Auto once he had got his master's degree from the Industrial Design Centre (IDC), IIT-Bombay.
Loving every minute of the job that pays him Rs 4 lakh to Rs 5 lakh a year, the decision is not one he regrets.
Kaustubh and IIT go back a long way. He first heard of the institute's design centre in Class7. "A friend told me about it and I knew that there was a place you could go to and learn about designing things, absolutely anything," he says.
While graduating in engineering from Vidya Vardhini College, Vasai, he and a friend participated in IIT's Techfest, designing a robot that could play dog and the bone. They won that contest and Kaustubh came a step closer to realising his true potential as a designer. He refers to his two IDC years as "days that he enjoys the most."
IDC was also where he met his wife Geetanjali, whom he married just four months ago. With a graphic designer for a spouse, design has now become subject of a breakfast conversation or two.
As for the future, the avid reader and photographer believes in a measured "step-by-step approach." He concludes, "I am really loving all that I am doing now and the way my life is going. That is what's most important."