Driven by Passion
POOL|POOL 84

Transportation designer Swaroop Roy gave up exciting opportunities with auto majors to pursue an equally fulfilling career in academics

Were you always passionate about automobile design?

SR: I hail from the North Eastern state of Tripura where we don’t have any major exposure to the variety of automobile brands. In the 1990s Doordarshan used to telecast two programs based on automobiles, Knight Rider and Street Hawk, which inspired me to start sketching. That’s how it began for me.

Later, I did my BE (Mechanical Engineering) from BIT Durg in Bhilai. I used to have a subject on Automobile Design that I loved. It added many new perspectives to my budding mind regarding the various technical aspects which makes a car roll on wheels. Gradually I developed a passion for automobile design by sketching lots of cars and also reading about them. One day a senior who had seen me sketching a bike motivated me to appear for the CEED exam conducted by IITB. The day I gave the CEED Exam I got an appointment to meet Ratan N Tata, chairman TATA & Sons, to present a portrait to him. He asked to see some of my other work, and spent 45 minutes on my portfolio, after which he offered me a scholarship under Tata Trust for my higher studies! He also told me about the TATA Motors Design Studio. That moment was very special and motivated me a lot. I cleared the CEED Exam and got admission for M.Des at Department of Design IITG. During that period I kept on pushing my abilities so that I could one day be a part of TATA Motors Design Studio.

How did formal design education impact your career?

SR: The multidisciplinary nature of the M. Des program gave me lots of freedom to explore my varied interests. Even though my prime focus was automobile design, I got an opportunity to explore typography, graphic design, product design and photography. I learned to see design in totality. I was privileged to get guidance from eminent design professors who encouraged curious discussions on any design topics, which actually opened my mind to adapt design thinking as a thought process.

DoD, IITG provided me a platform to get in touch with professional automotive designers through the Summer Internship. At the end of first year I applied to TATA Motors Design Studio in Pune for an internship. Entering TATA Design Studio for the first time was like a dream for me. I was surrounded by amazing sketches and renderings and it was my first exposure to how designers apply design principles to real projects. All the designers were very experienced and talented and yet humble and ready to mentor me. Whenever I approached any designer with my sketches, they would address it with great care and give me feedback along with words of motivation. My design education taught me how to be confident as well as creative as a designer and deliver my best in terms of problem solving, design skill sets and design thinking.

What was it like when you actually entered the field?

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