Onio is one of the top design company: Business world Dec. 05 
Onio Design, Pune
Major thrust areas: Electronic consumer gadgets, perfume and cosmetics, engineering products, design research and trend forecasting, strategic consulting
Number of designers: 5
Number of clients/MNC clients: 50/15
Projects completed/ in hand: 200/5-7
Select clients: Volkswagen, IKEA, Infosys
"We are encroaching on to the space of management, strategic advisors and advertising companies. Integrated design solutions are being offered and our clients are happy," says Manoj Kothari, director, Onio Design. It is a strategy inspired by the leap made by global design firms like IDEO, Frog Design and Fitch from designing products to becoming strategic advisors to businesses. Another area that Onio has got into is defining future trends, for which it works with Style Vision, a Paris-based consumer trends forecasting company. Auto major Volkswagen is one client that's interested, and has been taking presentations from Onio on possible trends in consumption attitudes. Call him a futurist, though, and Kothari protests: "Trend prediction is valuable for companies and definitely applicable, while being a futurist may be exciting, but is a bit abstract."

Be that as it may, being capable of predicting trends has allowed Onio to advise companies on product and service categories that they could get into. So, brand strategy, products and communications, all goes out from under one umbrella. An integration that attracts projects like setting up a series of fashion accessory stores in Paris. Says Kothari: "At least companies who had never looked at design (or designers) are making a beginning." Traditional consultants, take note.

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