Give us a bit of background about how you came to be an entrepreneur.
I was born and brought up in a business family. So, naturally, I inherited the entrepreneurship mindset while being creative at heart. After completing my school education, I earned a Chartered Accountant (CA) degree, further giving me an entrepreneurial edge.
After that, I completed my MBA, which helped me learn about building brands and people management. All these experiences made me confident enough to start my branding agency.
Can you share with us the inspiration and motivation behind the founding of DesignerPeople?
I was always creative at heart. During my childhood, I used to love watching TV ads and jingles more than the series or movies I watched! Basically, my inspiration was my love towards media since childhood. I noticed that I was the only kid waiting for the ads to play between movies and series and not the other way around.
Even when I went to shop with my parents, I was more interested in the vibrant packaging of products and noticed the small nuances in colours and product packaging. All these finally led to the birth of DesignerPeople.
What prompted you to embark on this entrepreneurial journey in the world of branding and design?
I love travelling. During my travels to various countries like UAE, Australia, and New Zealand, the one thing that caught my eye the most was the modern retail stores with dynamic and vibrant products. It made me think, “Why can’t we, in India, have such beautiful packaged products, especially food?” or “Why is the average Indian buyer unaware of packaged food?”
In India, such modern retail stores took a long time to emerge.
It changed the branding and packaging scenario as these stores allowed customers to choose the products from the shelves themselves, enhancing the role of branding. That is how my quest for offering great packaging designs began.
Give us insights into the major offerings of your agency.
We offer comprehensive branding solutions. We believe that every business, no matter the size, has the potential to become a brand. So, we help businesses become brands and get the right recognition and audience through the following services:
- Brand Design
- Brand Identity
- Brand Story
- Brand Positioning and Architecture
- Packaging Design
- Packaging Shape Design
- Social Media and SEO
- Web Development and so on
And how does Designer People support people with its offerings and services?
A few years ago, before we started, only large businesses could afford to become brands and manage their brand identity. Most Indian MSMEs and SMEs can’t afford big advertising agencies and hence lack the appropriate brand recognition.
Our mission was to help Indian businesses of any size establish their brand presence and compete with international brands. So, we built ‘DesignerPeople’ for Indian businesses and acquired 9000+ clients in just a few years.
How is it different from other companies?
Most other agencies target bigger businesses since building a brand for them is easier. On the contrary, our motto is only and only to raise Indian companies to international standards. We want each and every business to be recognised the way people recognise Coca-Cola, McDonalds, L’Oreal, etc.
Every business has the potential to do immensely well; it’s just the way they showcase their brand image that brings them success. At DesignerPeople, that is what we do: we tell the brand’s story beautifully through its brand positioning, packaging, etc., so that it appeals to people.
How do you and your team at Designer People stay innovative in an ever-changing market to create lasting brand identities?
We are always above the line when it comes to innovation! As I mentioned earlier, I always had a knack for exploring new brands and products. We also participate in a lot of events in India as well as internationally, like Dubai and Germany.
It helps us stay up-to-date with the upcoming trends. We also read a lot about what’s happening or what’s next in the world of design.
Did you have a mentor to guide you through your professional journey?
Yes, Anush (Malik), my partner in life and business! He has always supported and guided me. I think it has been a great professional journey since I always have him by my side.
Building a successful branding agency requires a deep understanding of client needs. Could you tell us about a particularly challenging client project that pushed your creative and entrepreneurial boundaries? How did you navigate it?
Yes, we have a Singaporean client who imports their products from India to sell them in Singapore and Australia. Initially, it was challenging since we had to take two different markets (Singapore and Australia) into account for the same line of products. But I love challenges! Challenges make me think and work more efficiently.
So, during the brand creation for Zenko, we had numerous brainstorming sessions and exchanged a multitude of concepts as well. In the end, we did pretty well and created this compelling narrative and design for the brand, which helped them gain popularity.
Your agency has played a significant role in shaping numerous brand identities. Could you share a project that holds personal significance to you and walk us through the creative process that brought it to life?
I believe every project holds a special place for me since it comes with many learning curves. But, I do have one project where I had this personal inclination towards creating product designs.
During the development of the Cornitos Nachos and Salsa designs, I got so much intact towards the project. Sometimes, I even felt like I could taste the nachos and salsa by looking at the packaging design! It was so good and an amazing experience.
The intersection of creativity and business can sometimes be complex. How do you balance artistic vision with the practical demands of running a successful branding agency?
I think the key to this is staying true to what you love. Although we face many challenges in making a design practical through standard font size, mandatory product information, etc., we also ensure that our creative vision is noticed amidst those.
It is a skill that we, as a design agency, have developed throughout the years. Also, it’s not actually a challenge for us anymore; it’s more like creating diversity by striking the balance.
Designer People’s work has likely touched various industries. Can you discuss how your agency tailors its approach to maintain consistency while accommodating the unique needs of diverse clients?
We love creating unique designs for diverse brands and products. The three things that help us attain our design goals are our patience, innovative mindset and intense research.
How would you like people to remember you and your company?
For clients: Remember us as your business partner who loved your product and innovations as much as you loved them yourself since it is the love that brought us together to create attractive and successful brands.
For others: We are the company that helps you make memories with your favourite products!
Aspiring creative entrepreneurs look up to your journey. What advice would you offer to those who aspire to venture into the world of branding and design, balancing creativity and entrepreneurship?
Be patient. Rome wasn’t built in a day. You might not achieve success in one day or even a few weeks. You need to have years of patience and practice. It was the same for us, the DesignerPeople team. So, just be innovative and flexible and keep up with the good work!