She was only seven years old, a girl in her native Delhi, India when she became fascinated by watching her brothers and sisters draw their biology diagrams. By the time she was nine; Nisha Sawhney was actively participating in art and design competitions and winning them. Nisha Sawhney: CEO of SnS Design, was only seven years old, a girl in her native Delhi, India when she became fascinated by watching her brothers and sisters draw their biology diagrams. By the time she was nine years old; Nisha Sawhney was actively participating in art and design competitions and winning them.

Nisha developed flair for art and design and after secondary school; she entered the School of Planning & Architecture in Delhi. In 2003, with a Bachelor’s Degree in Architecture and a Masters in Industrial Design, Nisha moved from Delhi to New York City to begin a new life and career. She discovered that she was not keen on the routine 9 to 5 career life. Nisha applied for freelance work and landed her first project within a month but she was not content with working for someone else; shortly thereafter, SnS Design was born.

Global Woman Magazine had an in-depth conversation with the CEO of SnS Design.

GW: What inspired you to study Architecture?
Sawhney: Living in India, the inspiration for Architecture was all around. Old rustic architecture blended with the growth of modern India. I was inspired by old magnificent architectural buildings, the way natural materials and engineering minds work together to create a perfect structure for different weather conditions. I always enjoyed sketching a great deal; buildings, gates, interiors and furniture.

GW: You were Valedictorian when you received your Master’s Degree in Industrial Design. Why Industrial Design?
Sawhney: Industrial Design incorporated many of the theories used in Architecture, but allowed a more dynamic approach. It allowed one to experiment more with different materials, forms and processes. I was always very curious to learn how an idea can be brought to fruition relatively quickly. Industrial Design quenched that need and gave me great knowledge about aesthetics, ergonomics, detailing, manufacturing process and materials.

GW: In order to inspire some of our young readers, please share with them exactly what Industrial Design entails.
Sawhney: Industrial Design entails a passion to identify and resolve flaws in products; to come up with creative and innovative solutions to improve the design and experience of a product. If you have a desire and curiosity to learn from the real world’s examples and to know that you can do something better, or build something more unique than what is already out there, then Industrial Design is definitely for you.

GW: Tell us about your company, SnS Desgin.
Sawhney: Sns Design, Inc. was started in the winter of 2003. There was certainly a demand as more companies were seeking innovative products to differentiate themselves from the competition. I started out by designing a baby crib. I later moved to shoe design and on to more advanced products such as AC units and electric car charging stations. I have also designed graphics, packaging, exhibitions, websites and point of purchase. The clients range from Fortune 500 companies to small manufacturers, entrepreneurs and inventors. Now we have clients in Switzerland, Israel, China, Brazil and India.

GW: Prior to founding of SnS Design, you worked as a Product Designer and Project Manager. How do you compare running your own business to being an employee?
Sawhney: Running your own company is definitely more challenging and you learn new things each and everyday. When I was an employee for a company, I was not aware of all the challenges that come with owning your own small business, such as book keeping, marketing, financing and hiring. The bright side to having and running my own business is the luxury and freedom to run it the way I want, work on the projects I am interested in and choose the clients with whom I want to work.

GW: How do you determine what products you will design and feature?
Sawhney: I try and seek out innovative and challenging projects. That does not always pan out; at times you get products that are fairly simple, and as a business you try your best to redesign them and bring light to a product that otherwise might be dull. You feature any product because you hope to do the best in any product you do, if you are not, then don’t take the project. In the long run, it will only hurt your credentials.

GW: obviously, SnS Design has been very successful. What is your vision for the future?
Sawhney: I want to expand my services. I was just helping my clients from concept development to prototype and vendor sourcing but for 2010, I want to help my clients from filing patents, product design, manufacturing, finding investors and retail testing and marketing. I also want to add more Fortune 500 companies to my client list. Later, I want to help women and men from poor countries to start their own design and manufacturing companies and export it to the U.S. and Europe.

GW: How do you see the role of women changing in the world? How can women help to empower each other?
Sawhney: Women have great natural skills; multi-tasking, organizing and caring. In today’s world a woman’s perspective is very important to help make a meaningful connection with their environment and social network. There are more women business owners than ever before and we need to continue this trend upward. Together, we can empower and help each other in many different ways. We can share our experiences and expand on the networking culture that exists today online, to link up and provide help to each other.

Nisha wants young women to be focused and passionate, never forgoing an occasion to grab any opportunity to learn and sharpen their skills. She said, “Stay in touch with the changing tastes and traditions; be innovative and stay away from mediocrity.”