Creative Economy - Shaping the Future of Design

United Nations Conference on Trade and Development (UNCTAD) has introduced the topic of the ‘Creative Economy’ in the world economic and development agenda.

Created On: Dec 17, 2019 16:26 IST
Modified On: Dec 17, 2019 16:26 IST
Creative Economy - Shaping the Future of Design
Creative Economy - Shaping the Future of Design

United Nations Conference on Trade and Development (UNCTAD) has introduced the topic of the ‘Creative Economy’ in the world economic and development agenda. As per its 2010 report “Creative Economy is adequately nurtured, creativity fuel culture, infuses a human-centred development and constitutes the key ingredient for job creation, innovation and trade while contributing to social inclusion, cultural diversity and environmental sustainability.”

The creative economy is an emerging concept dealing with the interface between culture, creativity, economics and technology in a contemporary world, which is totally dominated by sounds, symbols, images and texts. Being the most dynamic sector, the creative industries are providing new opportunities for developing countries.

Creative economy is looked upon as one of the major contributors to the growth and development of the state. With a large number of global and national companies setting up their operations in the state, there will be need to supply quality manpower to meet the increasing demand.

The report, titled ‘Creative Economy: A Feasible Development Option’, by the United Nations Development Program defines creative industries as “cycles of creation, production and distribution of goods and services that use creativity and intellectual capital as primary inputs.” The report shows that while international trade slumped 12%, global exports of creative goods and services increased more than twofold to $592 billion in 2008 from 2002, when the figures were first measured.

The report found that during the period examined “it has been widely recognized that culture not only is an integral part of the country’s development strategy, but also generates income, employment and export earnings.”

As per the recent study by the Oxford Martin School, nearly half of US jobs will be automated in next two decades. It is incorrect to assume that automation will reduces the number of available jobs rather, automation will increase total job opportunity and naturally the individual capacity of a worker. This newly job opportunity, will demand advanced skills and creative people.

Undoubtedly, if we talk about creative economy in Indian context than need of a large number of quality professionals who can drive the growth in this sector will be increasing gradually. The proposed university will instrumental in creating this workforce and thus add to growth and development of the State economy.

Table 3 shows, the total manpower requirement of India in 2020 for selected sectors. These sectors are the ones, which employ a substantial number of Designers. Going by the conservative estimates, a total a workforce of 7 million designers will be required to meet the industry demand in 2020.


Manpower requirement  ( in millions)

%  of Designers in workforce

No. Of

Designers       ( in millions)





Architecture and Construction




Gems and Jewellery




Consumer Electronics




Furniture and furnishings




Leather and related goods




Media , Gaming and Animation and IT




Organised Retail




Fashion , Textile and Garment (Organised + Unorganised sector)








Table 3: Total manpower requirement and Designer’s workforce of India in 2020 for select sectors (NSDC Skill Gap Analysis Reports, 2013)

The demand of design domains such as graphic design, industrial design, and human computer interaction are already witnessing an unprecedented growth. The number of design consultancies and the in-house Design studios in the large industries are also expanding. With better access to capital and markets, more designers are starting up their own setup, which further multiples the opportunities for Designers. The existing companies are consolidating further by adding more services to their portfolio within diverse design disciplines.

Multinational corporations are focusing on India as a new market for trading their products / services. They understand that successes elsewhere may not necessarily translate in a similar way in India. They will need to understand the market, the sensibilities of the people and respond to them through their offerings. Global corporations will need to work with Indian designers to understand the local market. To better understand the Indian consumer, to meet the needs and aspirations of this assertive, active, enlightened consumer, Indian businesses and multinational corporations will need to take assistance from Indian designers. This puts a spot light on the design industry as never before.

Table 4 shows state wise distribution of Design studios in India.


% of Design studios





Delhi / NCR




Tamil Nadu


Andhra Pradesh




Table 4 shows state wise distribution of Design studios in India.

(India Design Report, 2011)

Akin to the demand in multinational companies, the increase in the demand of designers can also be witnessed in government sector. The ambitious government initiatives like Make in India, Smart Cities, Skill India, Digital India and Startup India Standup India are likely to create more jobs for designers, according to recruiters and headhunters.


The demand for designers are gradually increasing. Many government, public and private institutions agree to the fact that adopting design thinking and its methodology will responds quickly to the changing business dynamics and empower individual contributors. And because design is empathetic, it will help in driving more thoughtful and human centric approach to business.

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