Agency Profiles

Kahani Designworks

Kahani is a young communication design practice. We love a good story and we’re passionate about using design to tell interesting, engaging stories. The kind of work we enjoy doing brings together people, ideas and inspiration from life, literature and art.

Is Kahani Designworks primarily an illustration and design company? Do you also work on brand building and corporate identities?

We do many different kinds of creative and strategy work including illustration, graphic identities, publication design and digital design. Every kind of assignment we take up has the same objective: communication. So whether the need comes from industry, the arts or social entrepreneurs, we work with every kind of client.

Tell us about your designers. Did they go into fine art or design schools? How do you pick them up?

Everyone that’s been part of our team at the studio went to design school. It’s not a requirement, but it happened that way because we’re always looking for people who bring rigour to their work. That’s something that seems to come from formal education, though it’s not a rule. What we do ask of our team is that they commit to the studio culture and work ethic, because we’re not a media house or ad agency and the rules of the game are very different.


Codesign: Agency Profile

Codesign : By Rajesh Dahiya and Mohor Ray, Founders of Codesign

What made you start Codesign?
What made us start Codesign, what has sustained it so far and what we continue to look forward to is the same – a desire to keep growing through the work we do, without being compartmentalised by scale, media and trends. The idea was to create a rich environment that encourages asking questions and rethinking briefs, with the rigor of hands-on ‘making’. An important thread that has always stayed strong, is the love of content—making sure that design is building on appropriate and rich content, and not acting as a prop for it.

Tell us about your designers. Did they go into fine art or design schools? How do you pick them up?
All the designers in our team currently are graduates from design schools. However this is not, nor has been, a pre-decided condition of working with people. We look at people’s work, and even more importantly how they approach it; build on it—and how they can inspire us back to push our own boundaries.

At the heart of our work is people, and that’s where we look for inspiration—in the way they live, the dreams they dream, the things they trust, the things that make them happy. Through conversation and observation, there is much that we learn which inspires our work. The composition of the studio is diverse by choice, brings several influences and interests, from music and food to crafts and calligraphy, into play with each other. This often brings surprising, new flavours into the way we develop ideas.

In short, there’s no checklist. It’s work, it’s partially gut instinct and it’s a shared dialogue between both a potential hire and us on expectations, responsibilities and the future.

How would you define the design style at Codesign?
We would hope there’s none at all!
And that answers part of the question below.

What does Codesign do which sets it apart?
With a carefully curated team of designers, from diverse backgrounds and with varied interests, we work in an environment that is always evolving and hands-on. For us, no two projects are alike. Therefore, our approach is built anew around each project—by learning from its unique context, and delivering through meaningful engagement with content and meticulous craftsmanship. This approach has enabled us to work with clients across scale and sector, and challenge both our own and others’ notions of design and its relationship with the end-user.
Over the years, we have chosen to steer the practice in a manner that scales expertise and experience, not numbers, while retaining attention to craftsmanship and curiosity to learn more, do more.

Lastly, we are drawn to and choose to invest our energies into self-initiated projects like Dekho (, UnBox Festival (2011-13) and now Rising ( Self-initiated projects, which come straight from the heart. They are almost always, like most great ideas, from things we love, things that irk us, things we want but cannot find and so on. Therefore all our self-initiated projects have come from within—from people, ideas or experiences within the studio team—shared partially or wholly. They contribute greatly to professional practice—through keener insights into both the process and practice of design in the context of culture and society.

Were there any particular role models for you when you grew up?
Mohor: I can’t really think of any. Though when we first got cable (TV) and I saw MTV, my jaw dropped and I thought this is as cool as it will ever get. Clearly I was wrong. I’ve seen a lot many cooler things/people since then.
Rajesh: None in design. I didn’t even know there was a such a profession. I was mostly inspired by sportsmen and athletes, which is not odd as I studied in a sports school.

Who was the most influential personality on your career in design?
Mohor: To a large degree, and at the risk of sounding biased—Rajesh. He’d taught me briefly in design school, and has continued to be a mentor since. As the founder of the practice, he lay down a lot of the basic moral and creative framework that we work within, and I think what keeps Codesign growing. MP Ranjan, who never attempted to compartmentalize design efforts as a teacher in foundation years, and has been a large influence urging not just me, but generations of design students to look at design through multiple lenses. And Orijit Sen & Amardeep Behl – for running their design practices with a big heart, passion and responsibility, in the face of come-what-may.
Rajesh: Itu Chaudhuri. I worked in his studio as an intern and later as a professional designer for a few years. I understood my whole design education, in retrospect, by spending time with him. I do not know of anyone else who can share his or her knowledge so selflessly. He taught me how to think, to question principles, embrace logic, and above everything else… inspired me to be a good human being.

Are you working with any brands?
We recently concluded the first phase of brand identity redesign for Royal Enfield. This was especially challenging considering it is more than a century old brand with a cult following. Our work with the redesign is in tandem with the overall brand vision towards consolidation, growth and diversification.

We’ve been working over the years with Asian Paints, developing content & design of a colour magazine for architects and interior design, called Colour Quotient. The content here is the real brand hero, and it has been an interesting journey shaping it bit by bit through the last 3 years.

One of our newest engagements this year has been with the champions at Breakthrough, an organisation that works in the are of gender violence. We have redesigned the bi-lingual identity of their popular ‘Bell Bajao’ campaign that encourages people to take action against gender injustices. The second has been to brand a new programme to sensitize children in semi-urban parts of Haryana on issues of gender equality and rights, through workshops and activities.

In production currently, is a book on the works of contemporary Indian artist Bharti Kher that we designed.

All this and continuing efforts on our new platform on visual communication for change called Rising ( Rising began as a reaction to the world around us and issues that affect us, through the lens of Codesign’s core competency as visual communication designers. While a large percentage of projects were being commissioned by for-profit clients, the occasional project in the development sector, gave us room to think about leveraging the same skills of communicating and change-making to address social issues.

How did the opportunity to design the D&AD Annual come about?
We met Laura (President, D&AD) at a gathering in Delhi to announce the D&AD awards. We got talking about design, toddlers and other things that excited us, and eventually said our goodbyes hoping to do ‘something’ together when the opportunity came. It was a few weeks later that we heard back from Laura and her idea to bring together 5 creative practices from across the world to design the 2014 Annual.

Tell us about your design for the Annual. How did you approach it?
There is a beautiful dichotomy in the canvas that we design in and for. There’s the ‘hidden’ framework of order that the designer works on. And there’s the ‘visible’, vibrantly chaotic frame within which design artifacts are eventually displayed and consumed. For the opening pages of the ‘Design’ section in this Annual, we wanted to bring together the two into one composition: distinct visuals of underlying structures, and the usage/consumption from everyday life. The intent is twofold – a celebration of the beautiful contrast, that is, in many ways, representative of everyday life in India; and a reminder to step out of our studios, into the ‘real’ world, to find inspiration.

What do you feel about the state of design in India? Do you feel that our collective aesthetics need to improve?
The present is an interesting time to be practicing in India. The awareness of what design can do is growing across all sectors – commercial, cultural, even political. It’s boosted by successful real-life cases of better user engagement and experience through design. Design can successfully straddle both macro and micro levels of user experience, which makes it an especially powerful tool in a country like India, where reality is often fragmented between the old and new, big and small, local and global.

There’s always room for improvement in everything. But we are largely on the right track. Moving beyond questions of form and style, it is heartening to see instances of work, which are Indian in their form of query, and therefore a truer response to our environment. That to us, is an authentic representation of the Indian identity. The identity will continue to emerge, not as a set of guidelines, but through an increased sensitization to the lives of end-users—paving the way for design which complements both the diversity and transformation of culture.

What advice do you have for aspiring creative professionals? Would you advise them to take on graphic design as a career option?
•    Design is not a career option, it is almost a life choice. So you’re never going to be “off-work”—whether you are trekking, cooking or dating. Everything has the potential of inspiration, you’ve only to learn to spot it.
•    Work hard, with your heart in it and respect every bit of the process, from the big idea to the colour-proofing.

Who would your design team like to take out for dinner?
Wolfgang Weingart. He’s got some stories!

What’s on the company iPod?
There’s no company iPod or playlist. If you walk across the studio it is likely you will encounter everything from jazz to thumri, Kishore to Metallica and Hinglish to Malayalam, in five minutes flat. Of our 2 studio dogs, Saaboo has been known to show a liking for the saxophone, while Ninja hates percussion instruments.

Codesign can be found here online.


Open Minds poster


The Codesign studio, Gurgaon


Colour Quotient magazine covers


D&AD Annual 2014, page 430


Royal Enfield crest




nbox poster

The HotStart : Agency Profile

TheHotStart is a crowdfunding platform that aims to help raise funds for the most creative and innovative projects in India. TheHotStart has been conceptualised to help creators and funders get one step closer to realizing their dream projects. While helping raise funds is one thing, TheHotStart also acts as a preliminary validation point for a concept. Another benefit is the word-of-mouth marketing that it attracts. Barely a few months since its inception, TheHotStart has already helped fund some great one-of-a-kind projects like Kalyaanam – a 10 minute short film that got selected in the London Indian Film Festival, gives you a glimpse into the life of a would-be-bride, Rhythm of Love – the first crowdfunded jukebox musical in India and Taan Bekro, a documentary based on the struggles of Rajasthan’s ‘Sapera’ tribe.

What made you start TheHotStart
It almost happened by chance. In June 2012, our cofounder was with a couple of his friends at a pub in Manhattan, New York. The friends were discussing how it was difficult for Indian projects to succeed on US-based platform. The big challenge was the geographic divide between the funders and the location where the project was going to be executed. And, therefore, potential contributors struggled to see value in projects. That really was the origin. There appeared to be a genuine market need to connect people with people who had the funds to power their ideas. Over the next six months, the idea of creating a high quality crowdfunding ecosystem for creative and innovative projects in India started to take shape.


Ting: Agency Profile

Ting is a creative and digital agency based out of Chennai and Mumbai.

What made you start Ting?
A hot summer day, a flat tyre and a long chat was the lethal concoction that killed our jobs and mothered TING!

Back then, we were a bunch of freshers working in different ad agencies, discussing our jobs and how we were all frustrated with serving coffee, cropping images and proof reading. Over that road trip is when we decided to throw in the towel and start our own agency.

Two offices – one in Chennai and the other in Mumbai, our laptops, the friendship, and faith we had built in MICA is the foundation of our passion, our work, our agency; TING.

Concept Digital : Agency Profile

They (our clients) had a vision and we had a dream. They actually demanded and made us realize the need of the hour. Since the scribble on the wall said, Go Digital, go forth and conquer, we went North! They helped us carve a niche with the opportunities they gave us and brand building, communication – the entire gamut got a digital boost.

Any background on naming Concept Digital?
Respect for the Mother Brand! Why would we ditch the banner we were born with? We take pride in being associated as To the Manor Born!
We had the privilege of being born with a silver spoon in our mouth, as Concept had been a vanguard in advertising in its heyday! So we cruised along with the name and carved our digital identity, as digital was our new avatar.

What has been the reaction of clients and industry to this kind of thinking?
Our digital birth got a red carpet reception as it was keenly awaited by all our clients – they were already ready for it. Minimizing cost and maximizing reach and effectiveness, what more could a client want? So digital was like manna from heaven.


NH1 : Design and Brand Consultancy, Delhi

We are a year old Brand and Design consultancy based in Delhi. At NH1, we believe design is not just a form or an idea, but an approach to creative problem solving. The journey is as important as the destination. The quality of an idea and its execution is something we refuse to compromise on. We work very closely with our clients, and they get to interact with the team directly involved in the actual design process – nothing gets lost in translation.

What made you start NH1?
My better half – my husband needed to re-locate from Bangalore to Gurgaon. With 10 years of experience under my belt working with R+K and VGC (which has been great), I didn’t want to start looking for another job… so figured why not give this a shot.

How did you get started working on brand building and corporate identities? Why not any other form of design?
So far it has been an organic process. Our first few projects were for branding – these were exciting and a lot of fun to work on. But we do focus on other verticals of design as well – currently the team is also working on Chocolate Packaging, Editorial & Web Design.


Wow Makers : Agency Profile

We are a young, dynamic creative agency based in Cochin. We make superb designs while helping people, making friends, winning hearts and having fun! Our mission/obsession is to make you go “Wow!”

What made you start WowMakers?
Two reasons: To make lots of money, and to make it by doing what we love. We have one life; don’t waste it by living someone else’s dream.

Tell us about your designers/animators. Did they go into fine art or design schools? How do you pick them up?
Actually, most of our team members don’t have a degree in fine arts or design. Many of them weren’t even designers to start with! The fact that we’ve come this far speaks volumes for their raw talent and learning ability. That’s how we hire team members: their talent, attitude and willingness to learn.


Chirpy Elephant : Agency Profile

We are tightly knit, pint sized shop with an eclectic bunch of talent. “We believe the ingenuity of any well crafted communication should sport a lively, engaging, mammoth idea and bring a massive smile to all concerned stakeholders.”

What made you start Chirpy Elephant?
My partner Jairam and I (Leela Ram), were feeling jaded, working for top MNCs and shops where it was all about toeing the line, humouring clients and heavy emphasis on billing. We felt we were moving away from the core reason of why we joined and enjoyed advertising. Besides we strongly felt, we were on a creative crusade to raise Chennai’s brand communication standards.

Tell us about your designers/animators. Did they go into fine art or design schools? How do you pick them up?
We have a fine mix of art talent. Our senior most resource is well rounded with local, national and international work exposure. We have Viscom grads that were handpicked because they had an eye for the ridiculous and also because they hailed from small towns, this helped bring fresher perspectives to the table and ensures a sane work culture.

How would you define the design style at Chirpy Elephant?
Very polished and contemporary with inspiration drawn from diverse cultures.

What does Chirpy Elephant do which sets it apart?
We have the resoluteness and gumption to turn down clients who refuse to buy good work. We chase good work at all costs and not the monies. That’s one reason why we are among the very few shops hailing from Chennai, that has won the admiration of clients and peers across India.

Were there any particular role models for you when you grew up?
Well inspiration comes from everywhere, country music doyens Don Williams, John Denver, Sporting Legend Steve Waugh, Advertising greats Bernbach, Ogilvy, Belgian Art Genius, Erik Vervroegen, Ogilvy’s – Tham Khai Meng, Ace illustrator – Tiagio Hoisel, Maverick Entrepreneur – Branson, stand up comedians and all kinds of people…

Who was the most influential personality on your career in Brand Building?
Anand Bhaskar Halve (Chlorophyll Brand and Communications), when it comes to positioning Subrata Sen Gupta, Anand Siva ex Saatch & Satchi and Akshara…

How important is the focus on a great brand idea?
It’s everything!

Do you function like a traditional advertising agency? Or would you call yourself more of a graphic design/branding agency?
We are ideas shop. Period! The work culture is fun loving and laid back. But there is a strict adherence to meeting client goals and deadlines.

What do you feel about the state of design in Brand Building in India?
Bombay largely and to some degree Delhi and Bangalore is upping the ante; I strongly feel the rest of the country including Chennai has a lot of catching up to do.

Any other Indian agencies you admire?
We adore the work coming out of the all time favourite O&M (at least we admired what they did till a few years ago) very recently it’s been Happy and Taproot to a large degree.

What advice do you have for aspiring creative professionals? Would you advise them to take on graphic design as a career option? Or Advertising and brand building?
Please understand what you are getting into, don’t enter this industry without truckloads of passion, perseverance and patience. Do the hard yards, identify mentor agencies and spend some time honing the skills before you venture out on your own and seek fame. Why just graphic design? there are enough functional roles that will catch the fancy and fuel ambitions.
Who would your design team like to take out for dinner?
Some dear clients who have shown immense faith in our creative leaps and some doyens’ in the industry.

What’s on the company iPod?
A mishmash of the latest Tamil chartbusters and at times some good old country music.

Mac or PC?

Viral office signage

Young Ones Launch

NAC Store Launch

Half the Praise






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Merry Men : Agency Profile

Merry Men is a media neutral creative agency that loves audacious ideas,  challenging the status quo, and of course being merry. We bring together the best of what a traditional and a digital agency have to offer – loads of experience, passion for ideas, a sound understanding of building brands, and youthfulness. We also pride ourselves on our strong ethics. For example we never test any of our concepts on animals because it would piss off our co-founder- Wagger, the in-house dog.

What made you start Merry Men?
When I saw the kind of integrated work that was happening abroad, where brands were taking ideas seamlessly across media and changing the rules, it made me want to do the same for brands in India. Basically a desire to create an agency that could be and act as a media-neutral solutions partner to brands.

Tell us about your Art Professionals. Did they go into fine art or design schools? How do you pick them up?
Actually we have never cared too much about art schools. A lot of agencies only pick art graduates but at Merry Men we look for nimbleness, flexibility and of course a good design sensibility/ taste. In fact almost all our art people have been from a non-art background. Our last art director was a trained pilot, and one of the guys in the current team actually came for a copywriting interview.

How would you define the design style at Merry Men?
Because we work trans media we have no defined style. We adapt according to the medium, brief and the idea. We believe that a style ties you down and it’s important to never get tied down. In fact we are proud that no two pieces of work done by us look or feel the same.

What does Merry Men do which sets it apart?
The ability to understand what’s needed in different media and deliver integrated solutions. We are also not an egoistic bunch. So we are always looking at co-creating, collaborating with talented folk and even jamming with the client to come up with awesome work for the brand. We love taking risks and experimenting, this we believe is the only way to create new ideas.

Do you think the advertising business in India is undergoing a change?
Yes, it is. Digital is no longer the stepchild in a marketing budget and has almost gone mainstream. Clients no longer want a digital idea for 10,000 Rs. Plus ideas are entering the digital workspace. Social Media is the bus that everybody wants to be on right now. Mobile is still nascent but growing. Which is why traditional agencies and networks are busy gobbling up agencies with any of these specialties.

Were there any particular role models for you when you grew up?
When you’re young your role models are based on mostly on bedtime stories you hear. One such story and role model was Robinhood, who led his Merry Men to victory against a might army simply because they believed in what they were doing and used unconventional warfare techniques. It told me that size was irrelevant and the only thing that mattered was how much you believed in your idea. It was the reason we called the agency Merry Men.

Who was the most influential personality on your career in Brand Building?
Bill Bernbach. Piyush Pandey. KS Gopal (EX NCD of Contract), Josy Paul, Richard Branson and Alex Bogusky.

How important is the focus on good brand idea in Merry Men?
Very important. We love good ideas. But increasingly the focus is on ideas that can spread.

Is there any particular work that you have done which has helped build a brand?
I don’t like talking about the past, so let me tell you about something we did recently. For a new dairy brand called Milky Moo which wanted to tell people that their milk didn’t have to be boiled, we created TVCs and other work that showed people in pop culture who boil a lot or get angry, like newscasters (one in particular) and moms-in-law in TV soaps. The idea was to have a calming influence on the entire country and tell them that neither they nor their milk needs to boil anymore. The campaign went across mediums, from TV to print to in-store and even social media, and really helped the brand clock healthy sales and register high awareness of their core proposition.

What do you feel about the state of design in Brand Building in India?
It’s at a very interesting juncture. Though our traditional design skills like print and brand identity are very good, we are not as good in the digital space. This is because art colleges are still not teaching students digital design in a big way. If designers want to remain relevant and competitive they need to master both.

Internet speed at Merry Men?
Seriously? Okay, fast.

Is it difficult to find good people for work ?
Absolutely. The number one problem.

Any other Indian agencies you admire?
None really. But i do like the work that’s coming out of Creativeland Asia and Happy Creative Services.

What advice do you have for aspiring creative professionals? Would you advise them to take on advertising as a career option?
Join advertising only if your desire to express ideas for a brand is so strong you don’t mind the sleepless nights, reclusive lifestyle and loads of hard work.

Who would your team like to take out for dinner?
Narendra Modi. To get to know the real man.

What’s on the company iPod?
Stadium Arcadium by Red Hot Chilli Pepper.

Mac or PC?
Mac. Most definitely.




Education Campaign 1 copy


Redeem copy





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Tailor: Independent Brand Building Company

Tailor Team_02

Tailor is an independent creative agency based in the green Chembur suburb of Mumbai and is spearheaded by four senior Creative Directors. Founded by Kaushik Mitra (ex-Leo Burnett) in mid-2010, the team includes ex-colleagues Kiran Chandorkar (Art), Gopal MS (Copy) and Sadanand Narvekar (Art). The senior team have between over an average 15 years of experience across categories and have won over 100 domestic and international advertising awards. Tailor works by spending quality time on each brand, understand the category, and then gain insights on the potential consumer who will buy into the brand. The focus at Tailor is customised creative ideas.

Why are you in advertising?
When I was growing up in Calcutta in the 1980s and 90s. I used to enjoy quizzing, reading the newspaper, Reader’s Digest, India Today and various other magazines. In school, I used to enjoy writing essays, as writing let me interconnect my learnings from various fields. I learnt about the existence of ad agencies from a close friend in school whose family owned an agency. Before that I used to think companies create their own ads. The quality of ads on mainline newspapers were quite smart in those days, and I started looking out for the key number. Soon, I became familiar with names such as Trikaya Grey, Ogilvy, Contract, Clarion. Secretly, I started imagining a career as an ad writer, though publicly I opted to study science in class XI and was preparing to crack the American universities. Luckily, I didn’t receive 100% scholarship in the American colleges that accepted me and I opted to major in Economics from Calcutta University. It was in this phase that I could become more brave and started applying at agencies. In July 94, I started off at Clarion Calcutta as a copy trainee at a princely salary of Rs 2000. After that, I have never had to consider another profession. Even now, when I hear about ex-colleagues dabbling in Bollywood, it does not excite me. Advertising is what I love, though I agree it can serve as a training ground to almost any other profession.

What made you start Tailor?
Though I love advertising, I hate watching ads on TV. Most of the ads today are rubbish. I zap channels to run away from stupid stuff that tries to entertain, but is usually completely disconnected from a product or its benefit.
I think in the last few years specially, our business has become completely personality driven. Today, National Creative Directors and Chairmen are more famous than the agency they work for. They try to protect and enhance their reputation by doing a certain type of work. Even the people they surround themselves with are usually meant to extend their style or line of thinking. Somewhere, the need to do work according to a brand’s personality has been completely forgotten.
I started Tailor in mid-2010 because I didn’t want to be part of this trend. I first invited Kiran Chandorkar (ex-Leo Burnett) to join me as Art Creative Director. Then together we invited Sadanand Narvekar (ex-McCann) and MS Gopal (ex-Ogilvy) to come in as additional art and copy Creative Directors. We had all worked together in Leo Burnett, Mumbai, and were familiar with each other’s strengths. The idea was to create a common platform where a variety of ideation and design skills could merge and help us provide a wider, richer set of solutions. We wanted to avoid falling into the trap best captured by the expression ‘Those who only carry a hammer tend to look upon every problem as a nail.’
Tailor in its ownhumble way attempts to provide bespoke, customized solutions. Every job for us starts from the scratch and is decided not by what we are strong in, but by what is needed for a particular client and the situation the brand finds itself in. There are no recycled scripts or ‘one size fits all’ solutions. In fact, they need not even be ads. They could be product design or a service innovation, and later ads to communicate the same. I think this is what advertising agencies were meant to do but somewhere started competing amongst themselves with their own self-branding.

What has been the reaction of clients and industry to this kind of thinking?
At Tailor, we like to stick to the work and not really go around hogging the limelight. In fact, this is my first interview in media where we are talking about the company and its philosophy. I think, most large-sized network agencies are inward looking and they continue to do what they think is working for them. I don’t think they stop to analyse what’s wrong and correct the course very often; unless the pointers come from a regional who’s who.
I find clients to be more open. Though we still end up doing a lot of print, outdoor, television and ads for the traditional media, there are many clients we meet who are looking for alternative thinking. They are open, they’re willing to hear ideas. We have presented a condominium design to a builder client. A popular newspaper got excited when we shared with them a totally new design of their paper starting from the front page. So the process has started with more and more independent agencies joining in, focusing deeper`on a tighter array of brands and thinking of unlazy solutions.

Do you think the advertising business in India is undergoing a change?
As a culture, India doesn’t change very quickly. We take longer to attach and detach, and that’s a good thing. But in the last few years, many independent agencies have started and are churning out some of the best work on view. We can see the reactions clients have to this change also. Today, some of the India’s most valuable brands such as Pepsi, Times of India, Airtel and Audi are hiring independent agencies for work which is cheaper-faster-better. This is great news, and we seem to be following what happened in America 20-25 years ago with the start of Widen-Kennedy, Carmichael Lynch, Crispin Porter Bogusky and many others.

Is there any agency which serves as a role model for you while building Tailor?
The word ‘agency’ reeks of a broking house model. You choose the media and give us an X percent commission. You choose a filmmaker and give us a Y percent commission. We are not a broker. Tailor is an independent brand building company which works on a fee model and we are not consciously modeling ourselves on anybody, though we are sure we are not the only ones thinking along these lines.

Is there any particular work that you have done which has helped build a brand?
Yes. Most of the work we have done in the short span of three years or so has greatly helped our clients. The target audiences and product categories have been different every time. For instance, we helped the Times of India Group launch only their second regional language newspaper in the last 50 years (after Navbharat Times). This was the launch of ‘EiSamay’ (Modern Times) in Kolkata. The brand decided to urge the modern-day Bengali reader to not just bask in the rich heritage of the past, but to create his own niche in the world. The tagline translated into English was, ‘Make these times your times’.
Since most of the TV channels in West Bengal are owned by rival groups, we put together a music video to be played in clubs and concerts. For that, we got together India’s first folk-rock band which started in 1975, and five subsequent bands that have taken the genre forward. The theme of the launch commercial cum music video cum brand anthem was to show how the baton of creativity is taken forward by subsequent generations. The newspaper is today the No.2 read in Bengal.

Similarly, we helped the US-based Topps Sports & Entertainment Co. launch a trading card game in India based on IPL. Targeted largely at kids and their parents, the Cricket Attax cards encourage a game of T20 with all its player auctions and strategies, but without needing a large ground, the bat and the ball. There are many more examples of brands which we have launched successfully available on the Tailor website.

How important is strategy to having good creative?
The thinking behind the work has to be smart before the work can be smart. At Tailor, we spend a lot of time understanding brands, the category and the consumer before we start the process of creative storytelling. Though we are a creative driven brand building company, our first focus is strategy and finding the right insight.

How can aspiring fresh talent work with you at Tailor?
This is something we talk about quite often at Tailor. When we meet starry-eyed youngsters who have just graduated from art and communication schools, we see most of them not quite sure where to start. Most of them want to start at a big agency because of their reputation. Some of the lucky few manage to get in; until they start working on stuff nobody else wants to work on, and then they just disappear into a huge cesspool of talent. This creates huge amount of disillusionment.
Then there are others who don’t know how to present ideas and worse, what is currently wrong with their portfolio. So they just keep hearing from Creative Directors ‘We will get back to you’ and never hear what they need to hear.
Sadanand Narvekar, senior Art Creative Director at Tailor, is very keen to change this. He spends a lot of time meeting fresh art graduates, tells them what is right, what is wrong, and sometimes when they need more time than just one-two meetings, he takes them under his wing and trains them until they become industry-ready. I think this is a great way to learn on the job what they can’t teach you at the art schools.
Who would your creative team like to take out for dinner?
Our creative team has a very diverse set of inspirations. I know it is fashionable for Creative Directors to look at non-advertising people for inspiration, but for me the people who motivate me to perform better at work are usually the advertising greats. I think I will pick Marcello Serpa.


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The Tailor office looks as inspiring as its work: