“Jo dikhta hai, wo hi bikta hai”, the phrase is true to the core when it comes to product branding. WOW Design, a Strategic Brand Design firm, was incepted out of this very vision and the love for branding.
“We are thoughtful in our approach and fresh in our creative execution. Our vision is to bring a paradigm shift in the branding space – staying globally competitive yet locally rooted”, says Deepti Kshirsagar, Founder, WOW Design.
Lead by a strong team of experts in research, strategy and design, and driven by creativity, passion, vision, technique, and of course the spirit of entrepreneurship, this creative venture is all set to spread the WOW effect!
Excerpts from an exclusive interaction with Deepti Kshirsagar of WOW Design:
Background of Promoter
When advertising and mainstream media was booming, I had categorically chosen to pursue Branding and that was after I got my first taste of it. I was fascinated by the idea of the stories behind the creation of brands. That’s when I began to hone my skills and learn the nuances
After gathering enough knowledge and experience, I found it right to put the same into practice as per my will and freedom. Design, especially packaging and retail, was evolving in India due to the advent of modern retail formats and there were very few players in this segment. It was a good opportunity to enter this segment with a value added offering at a value where we could shape emerging brands and not just the big names.
So I embarked on working on WOW Design from an extra room in my Charni Road home with merely a laptop along with Saiprasad Karalkar, a reliable friend and also an expert in his domain of post-production and printing technology.
The initial period- the challenges & the ecstasy of quick wins!
Like every start-up which is boot strapped, the initial challenge was to go on without taking back anything at the “End of the month for Months”! Thankfully, I had the place from where we could operate for the first 6 months.
The challenge for a specialized service offering was to get good resources that are passionate and patient. The challenge was to convince the clients to pay a good price for the specialized service offering to make them understand the difference between advertising and branding. We dealt with some problems with aggression and some with persistence. It had to be a right balance.
It is tough for a woman, because not many people take her seriously. I would suggest to not shying away from asking help from anyone for anything that you need to do for your company. Another issue is to manage the home front but I think women are born to multitask. I believe that the word “multitasker” is coined for women.
The journey so far!
The journey has been like a roller coaster as we service the most volatile sector that is FMCG. As I mentioned earlier, the idea was to bring about a change that included talking to a lot of mid size and small players in the FMCG sector. They are the ones with great products but a certain apprehensive and rather intimidated approach towards branding.
The amazing part of the journey was talking and educating brand owners about how design strategies can take their brands a long way. It was an overwhelming experience. While I had a few good clients like ITC and Abbot on board due to my past work rapport, I began networking with growing / mid size FMCG companies. I tried my level best to induct them the importance of branding.
I had initially commenced this business with Sai Prasad. We eventually approached Saswata as we were aware about his passion for marketing/branding and envisioned that it would add an edge to the marketing angle. That way we soon became a strong team of three professionals from three distinct core competencies which gave us an edge over the competition in the market.
Strategic Alliances & Partnerships
I believe 3 years from now in terms of scope & scale of the business enterprise, WOW Design now has a robust list of clients and a great repute in its core services of Branding, Packaging and Retail communication. We have now expanded our services to Space design and aim to be listed in the top 5 sought after Strategic Branding firms in India.
WOW has been self-sustained since the last 6 years, but we will look for funding in future in order to strengthen the core of the business as well as expand in terms of location and service offering.
Key moments of reckoning in business life
Being in the business of design for over a decade now, I have developed a great urge to mentor the young creative in order to help them find a key direction in this wide world of creativity. Those moments that I spend when I go for guest lectures to the art colleges are the ones I cherish the most!
As a continuation to this objective of putting my design experience into practice other than business, I had written to an International Association of Creative Awards. It was a moment of great joy and pride to be selected as a Jury member for the Creative Muse awards. The most notable aspect about it was that I was the only Indian on the Jury panel and the only Women member as well. Well, that is one of the highpoint in my business life so far, though I feel there are many more to achieve.
WOW Design was awarded as India’s Best Design Studio by IndiPool in 2016 which is an achievement worth reckoning and we will try to keep up to that year after year!
The feelings on getting the first big order/contract for your company
It’s been almost eight years now, but I still recollect the happiness when we got the first big project from Abbott helping them to launch one of their international brands or rather product in India from scratch. We had a small team then and the scope of work was enormous so we had those working overnighters, running to the printers, everyone in the team doing everything. That exhilaration was something else and it was euphoric when that brand and the branding efforts were applauded in Abbott’s international offices across the globe.