In 2010, FruitBowl was co-founded by Faisal Amin and Dedeepya Reddy. The company is a creative digital marketing agency of the freshest minds brought together to conjure the most creative effective solutions to all the brand challenges. It has successfully served more than 300 accounts which include national giants like Reliance Energy, Mumbai Metro, Hilton, TATA, Vadilal, Zodiac, BMW, Saint Gobain, Sansui, and more. The company has also won numerous prestigious awards like Asian Consumer Engagement Forum, Drivers Of Digital Awards, etc. Today, FruitBowl is a formidable name in the industry with a strong physical presence in three countries; India, USA and France, and has a marquee of 300+ happy clients and award winning campaigns. FruitBowl’s co-founder Faisal Amin has been featured in the list of Top 50 Digital Marketing Professionals in India. He has also been featured on the list of The 30 Most Influential Young Entrepreneurs of 2016.
What made you start FruitBowl?
As a budding advertiser, I had a humble beginning. Post my management studies, I worked with a few companies and realized the fact that decision-making processes in big places were often a tedious process, I planned to take control and go solo. Cutting out unwarranted time on discussions and meetings, I focused more on getting result oriented decisions with low time slack. The result of putting this decision making to the test was Fruitbowl Digital.
Tell us about your designers/animators. Did they go into fine art or design schools? Or software? How do you pick them up?
The design team is headed by Rajdeep Patil who has great sense of designing and an OCD for alignment and detailing. His sense of fashion reflects through his work. The design team is filled with immense talent and professionals skilled in different strides of art from minimal to intricate detailed work. The recruitment process is as stringent as it needs to be yet, it allows for plenty of creative liberty. We have a benchmark of required experience for most designations but based on portfolios and assignments given, exceptions are made at times which has brought brilliance in the form of artistic outcomes.
How would you define the design style at FruitBowl?
We strongly believe that less is more. We focus more on creating visually speaking artworks which are self-capable to communicate the message. We try to convey a strong message while keeping the graphics to a bare minimum. After all, too much clutter is the devil’s bread and butter!
What does FruitBowl do which sets it apart from other digital agencies?
What sets FruitBowl apart from the squash of digital agencies is our finesse to understand what is good, our tenacity to strive for the better and our perseverance to settle only for the best. We are in a constant pursuit of incepting the best ideas so as to shape the most unique experiences for our brands. FruitBowl’s brand management theory is based on strong interpersonal relations with clients and strongly reflects in the way we go about doing our thing to ensure client satisfaction is always on the high. Apart from this, we also seek to get the best professionals. Their fresh perspective on creativity coupled with our perseverance towards achieving the best helps us determine what’s best for the business. Simply put, talent and passion meets and it’s a win-win situation for both ends!
Were there any particular role models for you when you grew up?
Steve Jobs. Ambition and innovation were two of my favourite words as a child. He was and his work still is nothing but an inspiration. And yes, there were also a lot of lessons learnt from our dear Homer J. Simpson, at least on what not to do!
Who was the most influential personality on your career in Brand Building?
Dedeepya Reddy. When it comes to creativity, ingenuity or everything else for that matter, I believe that I struck gold when I met her. She even pretends to laugh at my jokes which keeps my confidence in place.
How important is the focus on good design in FruitBowl?
200%. Everyone enjoys “Eye Candy” and we strive to not only make our designs a treat for the eyes but for the mind as well. After all, nothing clicks unless it makes you think, isn’t it?
Do you function like a traditional advertising agency? Or would you call yourself more of a graphic design/branding/social media agency?
The latter. We believe in excelling within every individual department which in turn churns out excellent results through expertly coordinated efforts.
What do you feel about the state of design in Brand Building in India?
Design in India is still, to an extent, restricted perhaps due to the fear of being an embarrassment to mummy and papa. Jokes apart, with the tidal wave of westernization, we don’t just get influenced but we also get to influence people with our views and collective inventiveness and creativity, by taking design to a level where nobody has ever ventured to.
How do you think that the digital arena will provide communication solutions to the clients?
It’s all about being present where the audience is. While the world is going digital, your first choice for communication should also be digital. Be with them when they need you. The need will always be there. Only the ones who remain present shall prosper.
IS Digital Marketing only limited to Social (Facebook, Twitter, Pinterest etc)? What else is there? Can you illustrate with an example?
We broadened our horizon of creative impact by exploring and conquering new ways to reach an audience. Examples of this would be Emailer marketing, Influencer marketing and that’s just scratching the surface. However, we strongly feel It should be more about social life rather than just social media which makes a difference.
Any other Indian ‘Digital Agencies’ you admire?
Every other agency in this business is a competitor. And we admire each and every one of them. You get to learn a lot from them. However, when it comes to competition, it’s us against ourselves. We feel our biggest competition is the last best thing we did and we consistently strive to outdo our achievements.
Can you share a successful case study of one of your campaigns?
Sure. We have a few on our Youtube channel like the one for Reliance Energy’s ORM activities.
Social media is often used for traffic/traction etc. Do you have any examples where it’s used for brand building?
Reliance Commercial Finance’s Kissey Kamayabi Ke Season 1 and 2 aired on TV channels like Zee Business and Zee News. We used Youtube and Facebook as a channel to ensure we reach out to the right target audience and create awareness about the brand and to increase the show’s viewership on the digital plane as well as on T.V.
What is your dream project?
Although we’ve had the privilege of working with some big international names, We’d really like to have the experience of working with a leading fashion brand like Zara. Fashion brands have a unique sense of style, a sort of enigma which makes them alluring to work and collaborate with.
What advice do you have for aspiring creative professionals? Would you advise them to take on Digital Agency as a career option? Or Advertising and brand building?
I’d not just say “Follow your passion” even though I’m not against it. But coming from a place of creativity, I’d add to this otherwise common phrase. “Don’t just follow your passion, but let your passion be inspired by every bridge or river, rise and fall, nook and cranny and even every rickshaw or chai wala that you come across.” Inspiration and lessons for life can be taken from anywhere. We just need to learn how to read the book of life.
About taking up a digital career, the future is digital so definitely “Yes!” because without advertising or brand building, we might as well go back to the dark ages of trade, which was restricted to just word of mouth.
What apps do you commonly use on your phones?
Apart from Facebook, Twitter and WhatsApp to keep a tab on social happenings around us, Snapchat has taken a serious place of late. Instagram will always be a worthy mention and the likes of Youtube and the rest will always find a place in our smartphones. Discreetly, some might use Tinder but we wouldn’t know!
Mac or PC?
At the risk of sounding cliche, once you go Mac you never go back. Did I also mention that Steve Jobs was a role model?
Who would you like to take out for dinner?
Oscar wilde. A tête-à-tête with him would be to revel in language at its most distilled and powerful. If not him then maybe Warren E. Buffett. The quintessential business man!
What’s on your iPod?
Bruno Mars. MJ. What can I say? One’s music is full of soul and the other is pure legendary!
What’s your Twitter Handle?
@BakarAmplifier which is actually inspired by a broken amplifier that I owned as a kid. The “Bakar amplifier”, like my neighbor’s kid called it, worked better than his amp. Even the next one he bought couldn’t match the level at which my amp spread the message of me and my music. Just like FruitBowl’s outstanding work!