A global design with a Malayali touch

A Whirlpool washing machine or refrigerator has been designed by a team of experts led by a Malayali.

Published: 01st October 2009 12:32 AM  |   Last Updated: 15th May 2012 11:51 PM   |  A+A-


Hari Nair

KOCHI: Next time you walk into a household appliance showroom, know that the Whirlpool washing machine or refrigerator there has been designed by a team of experts led by a Malayali.

Hari Nair, with a mechanical engineering degree from Kerala University and higher studies from IIT Mumbai and Syracuse University, US, is the global director of Whirlpool Global Consumer Design.

“If we can understand the Asian aesthetic sense, mainly India and China, we can understand the rest of the world.

Whirlpool has developed a common visual brand language in Asia after studying the region’s ethnography,” said Hari Nair, in an interview with the Express .

“Ethnography adds a local flavour to our products. We launched a series of bright coloured washing machines and refrigerators in South- India (Kerala, Karnataka and Tamil Nadu) after studying the regional aesthetic sense.

South-Indians have a liking for vibrant colours,” he added.

Hari Nair said they conduct a three-level analysis before designing a product, stressing on the consumers’ emerging needs and changing lifestyle.

“(For example) When a refrigerator is launched in China, we provide more freezer space as the Chinese stock more meat compared with Indians,” he said.

“Now people are demanding, both in terms of utility and style. Our design centres strive to meet the consumers’ expectations and each product is designed to meet their requirements,” he said.

“Above all, the products for the Indian market are designed to appeal emotionally to consumers. In the US and Europe consumers rate a product only on the utilitarian aspect. But in India, consumers tend to develop an emotional attachment to the products they own,” he said.


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