Multidisciplinary Design by SaReGaMa Carvaan

Students feel inspired by motivating stories and case studies. These case studies should be of designs that are the result of collaboration among various stakeholders rather than the effort of a single “talented” designer. As the definition of creativity evolves in the twenty-first century, collaborative case studies are required. So, I’d like to direct your attention to a product named Carvaan, which was released by SaReGaMa, a firm that develops smartphone apps.

At first glance, Carvaan seems like the least intriguing design example as it does not have a celebrity designer or artist associated with it. So, what can a design student learn from the narrative of Carvaan? The short answer is that students will learn the nuts and bolts of the design thinking process.

Unlike commercial business ventures that are interdisciplinary, Carvaan is unique as it is a multidisciplinary ‘design’ activity with design thinking at its centre. The goal of commercial activity is to find clients for a product, whereas the goal of design thinking is to build a product for a customer. 

Creating a product for a customer starts with a story. Vikram Mehra, Managing Director of Saregama, talks about how initially the focus of his brand was “how to sell Saregama’s song collection (app) to a younger audience”. All of their marketing and consumer research focused on selling their existing song library. Therefore, they have done many consumer studies with young audiences to find out their preferences.

During this process, Vikram talks about an interview with a lady in Kanpur that made him shift his focus altogether. He said, “A lady in Kanpur, who for some reason decided to call me “beta”, said that the days of ‘Vividh Bharati’ used to be great. We didn’t know which song would be next but it kept playing on. Things are very complicated now.” She was right and the older crowd often avoids complicated apps. 

So, Vikram knew he had to create something for this older lady and others who shared the same perspective and feelings. This product includes every component related to its intended audience from the interface to the songs. 

It’s not just a great product design but an experiential product that combines different disciplines of humanities, communication, business mind and interaction design. Design educators need to use such case studies as examples of success stories that originate from empathy and have touched several consumers’ lives distinctively.

Prof. Manika Walia,
Dean, School of Creativity,
Rishihood University


1 – Bhatt, S. ( 2017), Carvaan: A product NOT targeted at Gen Y or Gen Z. ETBrandEquity. Retrieved October 04, 2017, 06:00 IST.

Apply Now