Through her Sense of Aesthetics, Mridul Sawhney is Creating Powerful Identities for the Brands Across

By: WE Staff | Monday, 10 October 2022

Mridul is the one who, even as a little child, dreamed of using her incredibly talented aesthetic sense for the service of mankind. She hustled her way to this dream, beginning with gigs as a freelancer all over the world and moving up in the fashion industry. In a conversation Mridul walks us through the most important developments in the Indian branding industry as well as the strategies she employs to stand out from the competition.

Visual communication designer, Mridul Sawhney from NIFT, Bangalore is on a mission to refine India visually. She offers a variety of services, including art direction, photography, graphic design, styling, and more, and has worked with over 30 brands in India to help them develop an iconic brand image. In 2017, she co-founded AM Branding & Co. with Aviral Rungta, the agency's logical half and her companion in crime, life, and business. The moniker AM is a combination of the founders' first initials, Aviral and Mridul Sawhney.

From start-ups that are just finding their feet to the big leaders, AM Branding Co. is known for its no one-size-fits-all formula to success. They focus on taking a brand to the next level with unforgettable, honest, BS-free, and exceptionally powerful brand identities. As much as the design instinct plays a huge part for them, they also rely on stats provided through hardcore knowledge, strategy, and research to amp that instinct. An important feature you ask? They are extremely allergic to clutter, chaos, and clichés.

“Our goal since day one has been to create a benchmark when it comes to branding & visual communication for Indian brands. We want to build iconic brands that get global recognition & are known not only for their product but their strong visual communication and authenticity,” says the Mridul Sawhney.

About Mridul Sawhney

Mridul is equipped with a Fashion Communication degree from NIFT Bangalore, where she was able to evolve her already keen design sensibility. She began working as a freelancer at the early young age of 17. She tried everything, from styling projects to designing brochures, writing content, and photography, and even selling outfits at trade shows. With a front-row seat to the growing popularity of Instagram during her education, she mindfully honed her craft to rise about the clutter on social media rather than to blend into it. When asked about the current trends in the branding industry, she says, “When I started out, Instagram had just become the next big thing, so over the years, I have seen this platform evolve & have worked with brands who then started out on it and created a huge audience. It is an ever-evolving platform, so one needs to keep up with the trends - currently, reels are dominating our feeds, which isn’t all bad, but I do personally want Instagram to push still visuals/photography, too since that is what we all fell in love with.”

After her stint as a brand consultant for JJ Valaya, she then moved to the role of creative head for fashion house Nikasha where she headed marketing, PR, branding and sales. Finally, after four years of college and a freelance time plus 2.5 years of employment with Nikasha, she co-founded her own branding agency with her business partner Aviral Rungta. She was instrumental in establishing their visual tone too, as she now does for brands at AM Branding Co. “Creating a Visual DNA for a brand is something that gives me life, where we define a whole new personality & aesthetic that becomes the language they live in,” says mridul.

No One-Size-Fits-all Formula to Success

Every individual or a brand is different, and their brief is different; it is the job of branding experts to read their minds by having creative discussions & create something which is close to their visualisation. Mridul Sawhney understands what it takes to tell the world the story of the brand in a way that is power-packed, inspiring, and effective.

Having worked with over 40 brands in the last few years; Mridul has figured out that the greatest technique is a “no one fits all formula”. Her brand tries to be unique in their own way every single time by creating something new, and authentic that really takes off well. They build bold brands by offering the full suite of art direction, photography, styling, graphic design, social media management, web design and brand consulting.

What Works for AM Branding

"The fact that we have always believed in finishing a project so well that it makes noise once posted online - that word of mouth gets us our next client; organic growth has been our go-to since we started out. Very early on in the business, I learned not to be greedy for money but be greedy for building good positive relationships," says Mridul.

In addition to the best services, they also regularly review their marketing strategy and adjust their tactics as necessary to stay ahead of the curve and ensure that they reach the target market effectively.

Sharp, iconic & timeless is what clients expect from collaboration with AM Branding. “When our client comes to us for a renewal month after month, we know we are doing justice to them. For us, relationships matter the most; energies matter, so when we collaborate with a client, we make sure to deal with utmost clarity; we never overpromise or under-deliver. We stay true to our timelines (of course, creative delays happen but keeping the client in the loop is most important). The idea is to stay honest, ethical, punctual & respectful during the collaboration, so the client feels like they are not just hiring us but working with us and are very much a part of the process, " Mridul explains.

AM Branding for Women Entrepreneurs

Mridul loves being associated with women entrepreneurs. 80% of her clients have been women who have built a fabulous space for themselves in this industry.It is not only creatively rewarding but also enlightening to be affiliated with these strong people and share in their path, says Mridul. "When women help women, wonderful magic happens," she adds.

Mridul also urges female entrepreneurs in the branding industry to be as authentic as possible and to avoid falling prey to trends all the time. "Stay true to your storytelling style," advices Mridul. People enjoy a personal touch and are curious about the person behind a business, so the more you can connect with your audience, the more they will do the same for you.