MNC firms hiring to cope with this demand

With customers increasingly demanding easy-to-use software, multinational IT companies are looking to hire more product designers. German software major SAP is planning to hire as many as 400. Currently, it has a total workforce of 4,000 employees and it plans to hire one product designer for 10 software engineers. In the past, companies hired the majority of IT professionals for their programming skills.

However, in the iPhone and iPad era, the earlier methods of designing software are becoming redundant, according to industry watchers. Business software, which is considered “boring” with regard to aesthetics, is coming under pressure from users who want a better look and feel.

Growing consumerisation

With this trend coupled with growing consumerisation in the enterprise products segment, SAP Labs, the research and development arm of SAP, is looking to hire people who have experience in designing User Interface (UI) and who understand business holistically. “Companies are departing from their earlier strategy of build-and-market to consumers, to designing products that fit in with consumer needs,” said V. R. Ferose, Head of Globalisation Services Organisation, SAP. These designers have been working on projects of SAP Labs such as ‘charitra’, a social networking Web site, and work around search analytics for enterprises.

Some others have started hiring product designers too. “We have 60 product engineers working on various cloud service apps,” said Reji Baby, Vice-President of R&D, SnapMylife, a product start-up. While Google does not reveal the number of designers based in India, Rajan Anandan, Country Head, Google India, says designers are working on future products for the Indian market and shaping technology experience in a different way compared to the way it is consumed at present. Companies are also asking their employees to learn skills across domains to fill the huge void of product designers in the country. Research and development talent at multinational firms in the country is growing at a rate of 9 per cent every year and is expected to reach 250,000 by 2015, according to Zinnov.

venkatesh.ganesh@thehindu.co.in

(This article was published on November 29, 2012)
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