Santosh Desai, MD and CEO, Future Brands India, a subsidiary of the Future Group, has picked up stake in brand strategy and design firm DY Works.
Desai will own about 30 per cent stake in the outfit, which is majority-owned by Future Brands. DY Works CEO Alpana Parida will continue to lead the agency and remain a stakeholder.
Desai picked up the stake from promoter Sanjeev Malhotra of Alia Group in a deal completed 'two to three weeks ago'. In 2009, Future Brands helmed by Desai picked up stake in DY Works.
Speaking with Campaign India, Parida said, "Desai will gain around 30 per cent stake in the agency. Future Brands stays the primary stakeholder with around 60 per cent. I have a small equity stake in the company, and will continue as CEO. Desai continues as an advisor. We'll be looking for future synergies between the work Future Brands is doing and design (work DY Works does). What he does is culture-based and that's what we do. We also do rural work, and that's what his group does too. The synergies will be stronger. We'll be working together on some projects. We'll be focusing much more and building design for India in product innovation and creating brands which are more India-specific. That's going to be the real focus."
Desai said, “The synergy between strategy and design is relevant. DY Works encodes solutions through design, thereby creating designs that impact market shares and brand valuation, Additionally, an approach embedded in culture is common to us as well. For brands to succeed in India – we need an understanding of the Indian cultural context, of dimly lit kirana stores and changes in consumer mindsets.”
DY Works works across markets and has a team of 85 people spread across offices in Mumbai, Bengaluru and Delhi.
Desai, who is a classmate of Parida's from IIM (A), added, "There was a stake taken by Future Group (Brands) in the company already. I've been exploring the idea of becoming an investor in ventures that interest me. This (DY Works) is a business I know a little bit about, (but) enough that would interest me. It's run by someone who I know well, so it's a vote of confidence. It's an expression of me wanting to don the investor's hat sometime soon."