Wally Olins, regarded as one of the foremost practitioners of modern brand design and identity, is bringing his design shop Saffron to India. The Mumbai operations of the design firm will have two Indian partners, namely veteran ad man Bobby Sista who will operate as president of the Mumbai location and Rajesh Kejriwal. The agency is currently looking at hiring a business head for the company as well as a creative head and a design team.
They already have a client management team in place.
Speaking exclusively to Campaign India, Olins revealed that Saffron's India business is already at work, with two clients on board, namely Apollo tyres and Bajaj.
The company, which has three main locations in the world, including Madrid (where the company was founded) along with London and New York, will now have Mumbai as its fourth point. Preferring to term these operations as locations, rather than offices, Olins explains that while work is in progress on any given project, it's usually likely that they are using multiple locations around the world for the same job.
Olins elaborates, "For Swiss Re which is a very big client of ours, the job is run from Madrid, the creative work is done in New York and the account is managed in London. We are looking at a staff strength of between 80 to 100 people all over the world soon. Our four locations will work as one company, we do not have separate profit centres. For us, Mumbai will be another location that will fit into the other three. We have about 60 people now. In Mumbai, we are looking for creative people and expect to add 10 to 12 people in the next few months."
Elaborating on their India plans, Olins explains, "We realized that we had an opportunity here when people approached us for work. India is important for us for a couple of reasons. Firstly, it's clear that the hegemony that Europe and USA have enjoyed till now, is breaking down. It's no news to anyone that India, China are moving very quickly. So we have decided to move to Mumbai and start an operation here, which will be very similar to our operations in the rest of the world."
To read Wally Olins' detailed interview, read the anniversary issue of Campaign India dated September 12th.