Award-winning design agency based in Dubai, Brand Creative, has recently opened a new branch in Kerala, India, where a team of five will not only share the workload with the Dubai office but will also take on work from their respective area.
“It wasn’t about world-domination,” jokes Carla Conte, creative director, Brand Creative. “One of our most senior guys came to me to tell me that his house in India was completed and that his wife wanted to move back to raise their family; he also told me he didn’t want to leave Brand Creative, and we definitely didn’t want to lose him.
“So we went back to him with an offer, to make him a director in a new office in Kerala. Because we’re self-financed to begin with—we never went to the bank to get a loan—we said we would finance the India office, but we also wanted to be hands-on with who comes in and becomes part of the team. This is not a satellite office with people and faces we don’t know…we have about five people in India and we have 13 here, so it feels really strange because I couldn’t imagine a time when it was going to be more than four people.”
Conte insists that the decision to expand was a people-based decision rather than one centred on strategic growth. However, she does recognise that the new dynamic has allowed the Dubai branch to focus more on creativity, with the India office being more technically inclined.
In addition to the recent change in work process, Conte notes that because she has one of her most senior staff based in the Kerala office, the firm is now able to take on projects in India.
Conte confirms that Brand Creative has witnessed a double-up in profits this year. She explains: “It’s phenomenal the amount of people who have approached us, even from an international realm…interest has come even from Europe. So we’re working on a project in Italy, we’re working with Germans on the Abu Dhabi terminal. In terms of figures, we’ve almost doubled from 2013 to 2104. The end of the year for us is February and we’re already forecasting for next year and within the first four or five months, we know what we’re working on which was not the case going into 2014 from 2013.”
Brand Creative is currently working on The Avenues mall in Oman, which should be finished come April. Additionally, Conte notes that a number of requests have already come in from India with the opening of the new branch.