Designing for India’s consumers

Nandini Lakshman has written a great article for BusinessWeek on designing for India’s markets. Attending the CII NID conference last week was apparently her first foray into the design industry. Thanks, Nandini.

Here’s a snippet and it just so happens that we were able to photograph a different bank in Kilchipur village, distt. Sawai Madhopur, in rural Rajasthan.

But even Indian companies have committed gaffes. When an Indian bank opened one of its branches in the rural heartland of the northern India state of Rajasthan recently, it offered up a space with all the modern day trappings—granite flooring, plush sofas, and a safe deposit vault three times the size of an average rural home.

The glitzy façade did attract locals. But they were not comfortable in the bank’s space. The sari-clad women and their turbaned husbands who were at the bank were completely out of sync with the modern setting. While the women, with their heads covered, sat on the floor as a traditional mark of respect for their menfolk, the men—accustomed to squatting on the floor—curled up their feet on the sofa.

At the safe deposit vault, where villagers store family jewels and land-related documents, there was no screen to shield a couple inside from prying eyes. So a woman used one end of her sari to cover her husband while he pulled out a safe deposit box.

Bob

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