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‘Designers must try to use more local materials’

By Retail4Growth Bureau | June 06, 2024

In this exclusive conversation with Retail4Growth as part of the ‘Business of Design’ series, Dhruv Karla, Principle Architect at I'm D'sign Studio, shares his observations on the trends and challenges in the Indian retail design industry, and underscores the importance of technology integration, sustainability and collaboration to drive growth. 

Dhruv Karla, Principle Architect at I'm D'sign Studio

“The Indian retail design industry is witnessing significant growth in sectors like food and indigenous clothing, with consumers spending more in these categories. However, cost-cutting is a big challenge and the industry is still evolving in terms of using adopting advanced technologies and trends seen in other countries,” says Dhruv Karla, Principle Architect at I'm D'sign Studioin this exclusive conversation with Retail4Growth as part of ‘Business of Design’ series.

Dhruv also feels that one of the biggest pain points for the retail design industry is clients' focus on ROI and sales concerns. 

Tech is both good &challenging

Dhruv also emphasises the importance of technology in retail design, although as he points out, it comes with its own challenges. "Sometimes, technology can be a challenge, especially when integrating advanced features like facial recognition and tracking, but there are also opportunities, such as electronic price tags and advanced signage systems."

Go local 

Sustainability is another crucial aspect of retail design that Dhruv highlights especially in terms of the use of local materials and eco-friendly practices in retail store design projects. "Designers must try to use materials that are more Indian and local in nature, for example, we used recycled metal and waste plastic boards in a recent project."

Balancing creativity and functionality 

Dhruv also feels that it is important to strike that delicate balance between creativity and practical considerations like budget constraints and space limitations. "Practicality always comes from experience and things that work. We try to predict what will be relevant five years down the line and design accordingly."

Collaboration is the way to go

Further, speaking on the future prospects for the retail design industry, Dhruv says, “Collaboration with other professionals, such as architects and branding experts, is essential in retail design. The importance of each professional's role in a project's success cannot be overstated. Looking ahead, I believe that the retail design industry in India still has a long way to go in terms of adopting advanced technologies and trends seen in other countries.”

“Only innovation and creativity can drive growth in the industry. The use of technology and sustainability in experiential retail will be crucial in shaping the future of retail design in India,” he adds, summing up. 

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