Abstract Chemical product design is concerned with the design of specialty products such as formulated products, specialty chemicals, etc. Chemical product design is becoming increasingly relevant to chemical engineers as chemical process industries (CPIs) are shifting away from the traditional commodity products to specialty products. In this article, the nature of the specialty product industry is discussed in detail. It is felt that this vital area is under-represented in Indian chemical engineering curricula and this has to be remedied immediately so that fresh chemical engineering graduates are able to adapt to the changing scenario. The teaching of chemical product design in other Universities abroad is considered and a discussion on our own experience at VIT University is provided.