Entrepreneur: Mridul Sawhney
Business Name: AM Branding Co.
Welcome to Entrepreneurs of India #startupstories episode 118
The boom of Instagram has shifted the focus of content from words to visuals. Visual storytelling became the primary tool of brands to persuade their customers. Mridul Sawhney, a graduate of NIFT Bengaluru, realised the potential of visual language and she co-founded AM Branding Co, a luxury branding studio, along with Aviral Rungta.
Unlike others, AM Branding focuses on nurturing a new visual language in India. As entrepreneurs Mridul and Aviral simply don’t follow a trend. Instead, they strive to build a unique visual language.
Today, AM Branding Co. is at the forefront to create visual content for brands and products. It gives visual identity to each client and does not stick to a one fit formula for all.
“Operating out of our creative den in Saket, New Delhi, we are a small team of creative professionals on a mission to refine India visually,” says Mridul who also heads the creative department of AM Branding Co. She shares her entrepreneurial journey and the elaborates on the challenges in her business.
1) How did you get your idea for this business?
With the birth of Instagram, it was a new addiction to stay online 24/7. While I was studying at NIFT, Bangalore I wanted to make some quick cash for my college fee & started brainstorming ideas of how I could do that by designing a solution online for designers.
With overflowing visuals on Instagram, I started to realise a need to refine visuals. One effort let to several opportunities and I started working for designers to design their social media accounts.
2) Why is now a good time for this idea to exist?
Today, everyone measures your success by your Instagram account. Sad reality but it is a fact. Essentially for brands it has become more and more important to tell their story right for several reasons like connecting with their audience, placing their product, increasing brand value and more.
What better way than to do that through the most visual social media channel today – Instagram. Therefore, every brand today needs to create their brand language and tell a story – That is what we are trying to create, Iconic Brands that have a strong visual identity across all communication platforms.
3) What was the reaction from your family when you first decided to become an entrepreneur?
They always knew it, it did not come as a shock to them. They have always been super supportive of whatever decisions I made. Since the age of two years I always knew I was born to make a difference, it just took me a couple of years of education to figure out how!
For me, I am on a mission to refine India visually and put it out their on the graphic design/branding map of the world. I hope to see a time where people can look into all clients for branding inspiration from all over the world. Luckily, I met my partner who brings the logical side to our business to help us take a closer step every minute.
4) What was your biggest mistake in business and what did you learn from it?
We have made several mistakes in our business in the initial stages and continue to learn from it. But, if I had to pick one I would say I have learnt it the hard way that verbal contracts only go so far in India, you need to put everything down on paper or in our case emails!
5) What is your biggest obstacle in the next 12 months and how will you overcome it?
Our biggest obstacle is outdoing our own level of quality and expanding our team. We are holding constant training sessions for our team, literally on a daily basis to push them to outgrow their own level every single day.
For us, AM Branding Co. is not only refining a brand’s visual tone but we are providing them with a 360 degree branding solution. We are on a constant look out for young talent, for someone who is willing to make a mark in this field.
6) What habits contribute to your success?
The day I learnt about the law of attraction and positive thinking, it changed my life. I started reading about how you can design your own life. Once I started putting it out in the universe, with the faith that thought become things, there was no looking back.
We human are trained to believe that there is a power higher than us, for me it was my Golden Book. A book where I started meditating & defining how I wanted my life to be.
This form of meditation has really transformed and shaped me as a person. It might sound book’ish but the biggest thing you learn is that you are the creator of your own destiny.
7) If you had the opportunity to start this business again what would you do differently?
It has only been a year and a half since we started this company. I would probably learn to say ‘No’ more.
8) What is your favourite inspirational quote?
Your heart knows the way. Run in that direction. -Rumi
9) Where do you find inspiration?
I find my inspiration in the happiness of my family. I live to create happy moments with them, to enjoy life to the fullest. What else is there in life?
10) What is your favourite book?
Oprah Winfrey’s What I know for sure!
11) What advice would you give to someone starting out?
Listen to the world but follow your heart. Keep trying till you succeed & pen down your goals. If you put it out their in the universe, it will create opportunities.
As an entrepreneur, Mridul took advantage of Instagram’s immense popularity to build her business. When the whole content for promoting brands became a matter of visuals, AM Branding Co. positioned itself at the right place. As a creative agency, it served the right set of customers who sought visually impressive content to push their businesses.
So always pay attention to the changing trends in the market. That’s how you can grow your business. A big thanks to Mridul and team for stopping by to share their story.
Click here to follow AM Branding Co. on Instagram
Check out the recommended book now!