In 2005 Maruti Suzuki Driving School established a new standard of driving training in the country and the endeavor to bring skilled, safe, and trained drivers to Indian road has only evolved further since. Currently in India there are 500 outlets of Maruti Suzuki Driving School. The brand has been rebranded in 2019, keeping in mind the brands values which were- Caring, Reliable, Expertise and Innovative.

First, Higgs Boson and Co began with understanding the customers and their world and found out that our learner is conscientious, aspirational, and social. S/he seeks experiences and collaborations. As their first point of interaction to the driving world, we want their experience to be a wholistic and lasting one. Keeping this goal in mind, Higgs Boson and Co have designed a learning journey using the brand values, that is Caring by providing guidance and being responsive; Reliable by being convenient, safe, and transparent; New Age Progressive Tech Enabled through novelty and customizations; and delivers Expertise.

  • As the brand identity is changing and market perception of Maruti Suzuki as a brand, it was crucial for MSDS to keep up with pace
  • MSDS had been started as a CSR project for Maruti Suzuki, but later on plans were being made to install a full-fledged business model and make MSDS a sub brand of MSIL sales channel.
  • Local driving rapidly increasing, it was important for MSDS to offer a better experience to clients and create a better learning technique.
  • Better learning technique should be created keeping in mind brand values and innovative techniques acted as a major USP for MSDS.
  • The objective was to bring all MSDS under the umbrella of the new Maruti Suzuki identity and making them dynamic and welcoming in nature.
Before and After (Brand Revamp)

Higgs Boson and Co. conducted research to see how the retail space for MSDS was being used to promote the brand and gain new customers. The research showed us various flaws which kind of played a negative role in promoting MSDS. Research revealed inconsistent/ cluttered branding in the retail space which shifted the focus from MSDS.

In the interiors of those retail spaces, we saw that classes were being conducted in the reception area due to a smaller number of enrollees and the classrooms had dim lights. Many elements used were inappropriately placed which showed lack of planning while designing the retail space.

In the new design for these retail space, Higgs Boson & Co made changes to rectify the mistakes and came up with solutions, which were:

  • Space designing standards to be created for consistent look & feel.
  • Minimum area guidelines to be created.
  • Modular & Flexible usage of furniture.
  • Reflection of Brand values in Design ques.
  • Use of MSIL approved color palette.
  • Façade should connect with the viewer.

Maruti Suzuki Driving School strives to deliver the best learning experience to its patrons.

It is the first point of one-on-one interaction where beginners start their driving experience and trust in Maruti Suzuki as a brand is established. We aim to achieve customer satisfaction by providing a one-of-a-kind experience that is caring, reliable, expertise-driven and new age progressive tech-enabled. The ability to demonstrate complete experience results in delivering satisfaction to the customers.

The customer journey involves:

One of the focuses being delivering satisfaction to customers while creating an experience. While doing so Maruti Suzuki values need to be reflected in space design and utilization. The design concept needs to be a fusion of simple yet technologically advanced environment that promotes faster learning for customers.

Design of the Maruti Suzuki Driving School

The design objective will be based on functional requirements of the driving school facility, a standardized spatial identity has been designed for Maruti Suzuki Driving School derived from the brand values. Design clues inspired by the real-time driving experience to create a welcoming and receptive learning environment. Use of sustainable materials & anthropometry to ensure premium aesthetics & better space utilization.

The new MSDS space design involves the retail space being divided into five zones, namely:

  • Welcome Zone: Welcome Zone is the first interaction point for prospective students and hence it is designed keeping in mind that it should be warm and inviting. The purpose of the welcome zone is to assist customers, introduce them to Maruti Suzuki Driving School and make them aware of the facilities and benefits which they can avail at this facility. Overall, welcome zone consists of the reception for all the queries and to collect information of all the possible aspirants, the waiting space for customers and the discussion table for first-hand interaction with instructors.
  • Simulator Zone: The customer journey ends at the most important part of the training before actually driving a car. A simulator is placed at the entrance of the facility to attract walk-ins. A glass partition makes it a distraction free environment to keep the learner focused during simulation training. An instructor is seated adjacent to the simulator to closely monitor the driving behavior of the learner and guide him through the session. Simulation experience helps trainees to familiarize with the technology and the basic nitty-gritties of the vehicle.
  • Learning Zone: An organized space for theory classes, it is an important space element of Maruti Suzuki Driving School where customers learn driving rules, road & safety signs, traffic signals etc. Demonstration of engine parts and tools help them understand basics of vehicular technology and how to use it. It is an opportunity to provide people with an interactive and digital way of learning how to drive under the guidance of professional instructors.
  • Admin Zone: Admin zone comprises of basic amenities like toilet, pantry & back office. It is an office room provided for staff seating, maintaining records, keeping books for trainers/ trainees. It is laid out in a way to give the admin zone a clear view
    of the Maruti Suzuki Driving School entrance. Subject to functionality & space availability, four seats are provided. The furniture has been designed to ensure both comfort and efficiency.
  • Walkway: In Maruti Suzuki Driving School, the experience must be immersive. A bold Walkway is designed to emulate and bring out a real time experience, an essential
    part of the driving school which reflects the space concept in a single view. The clean entrance corridor is a part of the common space which connects all zones of Maruti Suzuki Driving School.
Inspiration for the design:

Higgs Boson & Co design team drew inspiration from the imagery experienced while driving while designing the design concept. The flooring, lighting, walls and all other elements are derived from the road experiences.

The corridors of the walkway have been inspired by highway, a wide stretch leading from one zone to another. The waiting bench placed at the welcome zone is inspired from outdoor public seating. The on-wall decorations around the store contains of road signs and traffic signage and lastly a traffic light indicator, all of these to provide a real time experience.

For the external façade, it is signed with the objective to visually draw the customer to the Driving School and to be appealing on an aesthetic level. Thus, the external facade is basic, simple and calm in its look and appearance.

The visual triggers that are kept in mind while designing is having a clear glass. The reason being, the façade creates a visual connection between Maruti Suzuki Driving School and customers through the clear glass which attracts them. For an independent set up with a blue ACP and white alphabets. Blue front ACP facade with white-colored letters reflects the basis and calm nature of the facility. On the other hand, for an integrated set up with Blue front ACP facade with white-colored letters.

The pylon for MSDS will be made in two shapes i.e square and rectangular, dimensions for square flag pylon will be (600 * 600) and rectangular being (300*600). Both will feature backlit fret cut acrylic letters.

Creating a new learning experience to engage and motivate Maruti Suzuki Driving School clients. In an industry where brand is the ultimate differentiation, MSDS, the Maruti Suzuki’s affluent initiative, wants to strengthen its market position and build its reputation as a prograssive brand.

Selection Criteria & Design Guidelines:

Various conditions are needed while selecting the site suitable for MSDS, which vary from height restriction of the building, connectivity to the store and whether the image and visibility of the store is clearly visible, etc.

While designing the plan for the MSDS, four things were kept in mind by the Higgs Boson & Co design team. They were:

  1. User Satisfaction: Welcoming & Interactive space designing for complete user satisfaction.
  2. Cost: Cost effective and sustainable material selection
  3. Standardization: Guidelines for placement of elements, zoning & layout to bring in uniformity among all driving schools.
  4. Elements:Use of symbolic design elements to reflect MSDS values & create a better connect with customer.

The reason behind keeping the above mentioned thing in mind is that MSDS has 600 outlets and a uniformity in design needs to be maintained, so selection procedure becomes easy because it has to match the criteria’s suitable for the site.

Layouts for different facilities:

The MSDS site selection depends on whether it’s an Integrated or Standalone Facility. There are three types:

1)Type 1(Consolidated)
  • Consolidated space allocated for Maruti Suzuki Driving School facility.
  • Common utilities such as toilets, pantry and admin to be shared with Arena/Service.
  • The facility will be treated as integrated setup.
2)Type 2(Fragmented)
  • Distributed welcome and simulator zone.
  • Learning zone to be consolidated with existing meeting/training rooms of Arena/Service.
  • The facility will be treated as integrated setup.
3)Type 3(Adjoining/ Standalone)
  • Consolidated adjacent structure to Arena/Service/Nexa/ Nexa Service/ Commercial.
  • The facility can also be separate from any MSIL structures.
  • Space components will be taken the same as a standalone facility.
Manual | Readers Guide

Maruti Suzuki Driving School manual provides the user with the guidelines for a standardized Center design. It elaborates details of space planning and materiality, on-site. As the respective site conditions are different for each Center, standardization helps a customer by giving a sense of familiarity and brings about confidence in the brand.

These manuals uses simple and easy to understand language with illustrated pictures. For ease of understanding, this manual can be considered to be divided into 3 sections

  1. Ideology
  2. Spatial details
  3. Element details

Ideology- This part of the manual describes the philosophy of the driving school space. It talks about the objectives to be kept in mind while constructing and maintaining the space. it also contains information about the aspired customer’s experience to help align theory to space.

Spatial details – This part lays down the formatting of the actual space. It contains information on everything related to space and construction of the same, including zones, maps, floorplans, layouts, lighting, and interior.

Element details- This section narrows down the smaller elements which compose the space. Information regarding materials, furniture, and related annexures can be found in this part.