Friday, June 18, 2010

Designing Innovation for TVS

The TVS Corporate Design Innovation Workshop (10/06/2010)

Our last workshop as a part of this leg of SPREAD was the TVS corporate design innovation workshop held on the 10th of June, 2010, solely for the employees of TVS motors. This workshop was slightly different from the rest as it was specially tailored for TVS. We had around 25 participants from various departments and branches of TVS. There were people from the brand innovation team, sales team, engineering team and even the advertising and PR team, all from the Scooty division.

Here’s a little introduction to TVS motors. TVS Motor Company is the third largest two-wheeler manufacturer in India and one among the top ten in the world. TVS was founded by T. V. Sundaram Iyengar in 1911. It is the only automotive manufacturer in India to get the prestigious Deming Prize. This prize is given to organizations that have achieved distinctive performance improvement through the application of TQM in a designated year. TVS Motor Company has its origin in Sundaram Clayton Limited, Moped Division, started in 1980. The factory was started in Hosur, Tamil Nadu in southern India. The first product launched was a 50 cc moped, which appealed to the masses because of its capability to carry two people. In the same location, the same promoters started another company in 1984, in collaboration with Suzuki Motor Corporation of Japan, for the manufacture of 100 cc motorcycles under the brand name of Ind-Suzuki Motorcycles. Subsequently in the moped division was bought by Ind Suzuki Motorcycles in 1987 and the company changed its name to TVS Suzuki Ltd. Even though the company started producing all kinds of two wheelers like mopeds, scooters and motorcycles, the collaboration with Suzuki continued for the motorcycles only. The collaboration with Suzuki Motor Corporation ended in 2001 and since then the name of the company changed to TVS Motor Company. The company now develops all types of two-wheelers through its own in house R&D facility and manufactures in three locations in India, Hosur in Tamil Nadu, Mysore in Karnataka and Baddi in Himachal Pradesh. It has recently started a new manufacturing plant in Indonesia to cater to the South-east Asian market. TVS also gave us the Scooty (launched in 1998) which was a scooterette aimed at women. It is now the 2nd largest selling scooter in India today.

Carlos started the day off at 10:00 am with a welcome note and had the participants introducing themselves. After, that we had a presentation by Mr. Srinivas which dealt with understanding a multidisciplinary approach and problem setting. He took us through a presentation of TVS (more specifically the evolution of Scooty through the years). Following this was a case study on mobility and transportation in the Dominican Republic by Carlos. There were other case studies on successful companies (like Samsung, Nokia, DesignTaxi and Smart) and their practices. The session also included an introduction to the design argument framework and rapid prototyping. All through the session. Jayesh and Kiran from Idiom made caricatures of everyone sitting in the room (shown above).

We also had a practicum session, where the group was split into teams of 4 and 5. Their aim was to come up with a transportation solution for today’s Indian woman. They were given the option to choose what type of woman (college girl, house-wife, corporate woman etc.) they would like to target and were given chart paper, photographs, designers (from Idiom) to help them visualize their idea and a host of other material. As usual, this resulted in some fantastic ideas. The teams presented their ideas one by one and there was an open house discussion and critique session following which there was a small presentation on Pixar (w.r.t how they think and work). Our final session, led by Carlos, was a comparision of Design management led approach.

This was our final workshop for the month of June and we were happy with the result. We hope to have more Design innovation workshops for various companies in the near future. Carlos flew back to New York the next day. He said he's be back soon though. For more information on our initiatives, keep watching this space. We will be back shortly.

 Posted by Rahul

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