Industrial designing and packaging are some of the most essential selling points of a product and one entrepreneur perfecting the art is Sibusiso Mkhwanazi with his Sintu Design: Rooted Innovation studio.
Founded in 2017 by the Centurion, Pretoria-based creator and director, Sintu Design specialises in concept development, design thinking, product development and computer-aided design.
Mkhwanazi’s journey started with a job at the SA Bureau of Standards, where he developed products for the engineering and manufacturing sectors for mass production and distribution.
“So my first major product was designing a prototype for a watch for blind people. I then wanted to diversify as time went on but also involve the youth and work with them in this specialist field of industrial design and packaging,” says Mkhwanazi.
“I had realised that the South African concept of innovation is different compared to other countries; many innovators depend on corporates, the private sector and government to invest in their projects.
“In the long term, there is no guarantee of a return on the investment for both the funders and the innovators.”
In 2017, his design studio established its Sketchathon programme, with the sole purpose of training and educating the youth in design, concept sketching and prototyping in schools – from primary to high school level.
“There is a dire shortage of industrial designers in the country but so far we are making inroads in filling the void.”
Two years ago, the 26-year-old decided to focus on packaging design as his specialist field. He says having a well-presented and packaged product is just as important as having a good business plan.
“It’s just like the Chinese, many people believe they are highly skilled innovators, but you will find that it’s not the case.
“What they do best is to manufacture the same product but packaging it differently. It has worked for them.”
This week, he held a seminar for a health products multinational on how to run a business using the paperless system.