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Julie Zhuo, vice president of product design at Facebook. (LinkedIn photo)

WASHINGTON — The trade body of Indian IT firms NASSCOM has signed an MoU with Facebook to build a product design initiative to engage the country’s young entrepreneurs into becoming problem solvers and solution builders.     

Signed in Silicon Valley earlier this month, the NASSCOM-Facebook initiative is likely to propel innovative thinking and approaches to build solutions in key sectors where technology can play a transformational role, NASSCOM president R. Chandrashekhar said.     

“This is a joint initiative to catalyze the innovation ecosystem and to help design thinking. Today, we are at an infliction point, where the industry is at the next phase of revolution and moving towards the whole startup and innovation part, which is coming on the heels of the two decades-old-growth of the services company,” Chandrashekhar told PTI in an interview.     

“When we are looking at these product companies, design becomes very important. The MoU is intended to help develop this ecosystem and bring in the design thinking... The idea is to ensure that at least 500-plus product startups get enabled tools programs, more than 5,000 design thinking professionals get paid, and at least 50 or more award-winning products should come out of this whole initiative,” he said.     

With this initiative, NASSCOM plans to scale up the focus on product design and engage young entrepreneurs into becoming problem solvers and solution builders, Chandrashekhar said.     

Julie Zhuo, vice president of product design at Facebook, said the product design ecosystem is evolving swiftly, and, in order to seize this growth, we need to solve a few challenges, such as a growing need for skilled designers and better design tools to produce great designs more effectively.     

“At Facebook, we are passionate about design and would like to work alongside the industry to foster innovation in product design in India, a country known for great technology and engineering talent,” she said.    

The Product Council has been running design workshops and an annual design summit to create awareness of product design and its imperatives, said Ravi Gururaj, chairman of the NASSCOM Product Council.     

“The Design Initiative will aim to build and diffuse a design culture across our ecosystem, link up with academia, recognize outstanding designs and overall ensure India’s software products delivery delightful customer experiences,” Gururaj added. 

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