Krishnan was a proud man ! The day was fresh in his mind when Ria called to let him know that she landed a job at BMW Motors in Germany as a part of the Engine Research team. He had rubbed his eyes in disbelief on hearing the news over phone, that his bubbly daughter was going to be employed by one of the finest car makers in the world !

Remembering Ria’s childhood, he talked about her often as a gifted child who never needed tuition to understand science. She was a natural at science and excelled in projects. When the time came for college she accepted admission into BITS Pilani for a degree in Mechanical Engineering. After doing an internship at Mahindra she decided to pursue a Masters in Mechatronics in Germany. After graduation, She secured this job at BMW  where she had been working since 6 years.

As Krishnan’s thoughts meandered, there was only one thing occupying his mind. Ria needed to settle down in life and he needed to find her a good match. She was good natured and cheerful but he realised that her qualification would make it difficult to find a match for her. He had been looking for a groom unsuccessfully for the last 2 years. Most grooms were either under qualified or too old for her, atleast thats what he thought. He wanted nothing but the best for her!

“Ria, what do you think about the profiles i sent you last week”, asked Krishnan. “They were sent by one of mom’s friends. She thought they matched well with your profile”, he continued. “But dad, why are all these profiles of Engineers and Doctors. All the profiles you have sent me fall in one of these categories. Are there no other professions?”, asked a puzzled Ria over phone. Krishnan cut her down, “you are an engineer so we need to find someone like you, right !”. Ria knew it was futile to argue with dad .But she did go through a few profiles rejected by him and was curious about one of them. She had infact contacted the prospective groom for a conversation over phone. Her dad wasnt happy, but since Ria was old enough to make her decisions he agreed to it reluctantly saying, “he is not an engineer. I think he mentioned in his profile that he was a designer. ”

After several email communications, Ria decided to speak to Akash over phone the next monday. After the customary greetings, Akash enquired casually, “what do you do? I heard you work at BMW”. Ria spoke at length about her career and her work as an engineer at BMW’s R&D department. As the focus shifted to Akash, Ria asked, “what about you. I heard you are a designer and work for Tata Motors. I was really intrigued by your background especially the fact that you are not an engineer and still working at Tata Motors”. “Yeah, thats correct. Iam a designer at Tata Motors. Since childhood i was curious about cars, not from a technology perspective but more from the design angle. I used to think how could the same company manufacture multiple models such as sedans, SUVs and hatchbacks. This led me to think about design and i was hooked. Against the advice of my parents i decided to pursue design since i was very good at drawing. After specializing in Industrial Design i currently work with the exterior design department in Tata Motors where i give engineers design specifications which they implement. Infact our team was involved in the design and rollout of Tata’s latest SUV- Hexa,” explained Akash. Ria was impressed not only by the calm and collective demeanour of Akash but also his perseverance and determination in carving his own offbeat path. Having worked at BMW she knew how important design was in making vehicles that met customer needs all the way from conceptualising the design of the interiors of the car (seating and dashboard) to the choice of functional components in the overall car . This was so different from an engineers role and more customer driven, something she always wondered about. It required great drawing skills and creativity.

“Wow!, working as a designer at Tata Motors is such a fascinating job. I used to interact with several designers at BMW. But to work as a designer at an Indian car plant with all its practical and market challenges requires so much creativity and shrewdness,” she remarked. Akash added, ” I guess we both are on complementary sides of the same industry and understand the importance of each role”.

She had also looked at Akash’s linkedin profile which mentioned him as an Industrial designer at Tata Motors. She very well knew that industrial designers were the interface between car makers and the market and it was their vision that was actually implemented by engineers. Her thoughts came back to how wrong her dad was in rejecting Akash’s profile. In India where every engineer was choosing the easy way out by going for an IT (Information Technology) career here was a guy who stood by his beliefs and did what he enjoyed the most. And what made his achievement even bigger was that he did it without pursuing engineering but arts and here he was working with engineers and helping them implement his designs !

Moreover she could sense the humility in Akash’s voice and decided to meet him in person on her next visit to India.

Go through interviews from career professionals in Industrial Design