Dilip’s love for cars started with his fascination for doodling them on every surface at his home. Armed with a commerce degree and with no idea on what to do with his future was when he chanced upon an advertisement that said-“Do you want to be a car designer?” A surprised Dilip realized that his hobby could culminate into a career too. He applied to the Automotive Design Arts Center in California where he majored in transportation design. He cut short his stint with General Motors because of the red tape associated with working in huge corporations. The same Dilip goes on to become the automobile style guru and founder of DC designs whose repertoire includes designing expensive cars, executive jets, helicopters, designing yachts and making India’s first sports car, DC Avanti.
Dilip’s father ran an electronic manufacturing business where he was given a little space and an ultimatum of one month to do whatever he wants to. With a team of 3 on the design venture, he makes an indigenous design of a horn in the shape of a ring for Premier Padmini in the replacement market. Selling each of the piece at 40 rupees apiece when the making charges were only eight rupees meant that his hobby could be successful as a provider of bread and butter. He ended up making more money in the 1 month than his dad made in the whole year. In a wise move, his dad gave him the entire factory.
He designed his Gypsy in 1992 and vowed to give his all for the design because it was being done for him, it had the desired impact, people everywhere thronged to look at his now remodeled car. He sold the car to invest in his business. For a brief period, he had signed an exclusivity deal with Mahindra where he worked on the Armada and other concepts that later led to the creation of Scorpio. A non-conformist that he was, he quit being a part of the deal to concentrate working on any car that he is fascinated with.
Not only does he indulge in designing cars for India’s uber rich, he has the distinction of making the first prototype for the Aston Martin Vanquish that appeared in James Bond’s Die Another Day. His website describes him as someone with the sensibility of an artist and the mind of an engineer.
He believes that the toughest car to customize would be the Porsche 911 as he opines that it is difficult to alter something with a design as perfect as that. Dilip is quite the painter too, a hobby which he indulges in on Sundays. Also known to sculpt, he has a full-fledged studio in his factory where he uses the same materials as in his cars to make sculptures like plastic, acrylic, fiber glass and steel. These are then displayed in his showrooms in Mumbai, Pune and Delhi. In his own words-“Those who can’t afford to customize or buy my car can have a piece of DC design through my art work”.
Dilip’s DYPDC Center for Automotive Research and Studies offers both undergraduate and postgraduate programs in automobile styling which is based in Pune. In fact, before the end of the program, students are supposed to build an automobile to get their degrees.
In a list of glowing achievements that would trump most achievers, he has created India’s first sports car, DC Avanti. Chhabria reckons that this is the first Made-in-India sports car and was created with today’s youngsters in mind. The commercial launch was done from its dealership Aadivenoo Motors in Pune. Each piece of beauty was priced at 35.93 lakh rupees, available in three standard colors of red, white and silver, in addition to any customized color choice. This is the first time Dilip’s company has ventured into manufacturing segment of the automobile industry. Despite a slowdown in the automobile segment, Dilip’s DC Design would never go out of work because it caters to a niche market where money is nary a matter.
Not only would DC design 25 foot limousines, but they have also come up with design enhancer kits for small cars such as Tata Nano and other models like Maruti Swift, Toyota Innova and Honda City. The cost for the same would be around 50,000 to 150,000 rupees. These customization kits are shipped to Carnation Auto, a company founder by former MD of Maruti Suzuki
The services that are offered at DC designs are the following:
- Styling: Vehicles, Aviation and CAS.
- Show car & Prototype Build.
- Customized and Armored Vehicles Builds.
- Special Purpose Vehicles Builds.
- Bespoke Furniture.
The Dilip Chhabria Design Private Limited is credited with more than 600 designs boasting of an employee strength of 300.
Dilip Chhabria has made his passion grow to a stage where his company is the largest auto accessory manufacturer in the country. Catering to the needs of B2B and B2C firms and individual clients by providing innovative automobile design solutions, DC makes this happen through system integration, automobile styling and knowledge of the craft. The end result is an amalgamation of pure unadulterated automobile lust and genius on display. Dilip’s company has put India on the global map of automobile design. DC’s products bear a striking resemblance to its creator’s work ethics in terms of its design, finish and fulfilling requirements of a client.