How design can supercharge startups in India: Mohit Jayal on the launch of Motherland Strategic Design, an organization that desires to make use of design and enterprise insights to equip enterprises for the long run


For those who’ve ever flown India’s ‘6E’est airline, had a jaw drop spontaneously at a Royal Enfield showroom or used #IncredibleIndia to tag a vacation pic, you’re presumably accustomed to the manufacturers created by the founding staff of Motherland Strategic Design, a vibrant design and non-traditional advertising companion for manufacturers that’s been making headlines lately, particularly for his or her quirky tasks similar to JDH, an City Regeneration Undertaking that goals to revive the Walled Metropolis of Jodhpur to its former glory. Effectively, they’ve even created their very own co-cranded high quality amenity kits at low unit costs for OYO.

Are they an promoting company? A design boutique? A artistic sizzling store? Effectively, we caught up with Mohit Jayal, one of many founders, in a freewheeling interview to search out out.


Mohit Jayal

1. Why did you begin Motherland Strategic Design?

It sort of began itself. We had been attempting to deal with our city regeneration challenge in Jodhpur and our varied shopper merchandise ventures, however our buddies from the Enterprise Capital and startup neighborhood had been eager to utilise our experience as strategic advisors, so it simply began occurring. After a number of profitable gigs, we realised that it was a complementary enterprise, so we determined to dedicate extra time and sources to it.

2. What’s Motherland Strategic Design’s genetics like?

Our core staff members share a really particular mindset throughout the broader brand-building trade. All of us have spent the final decade specialising in sub-disciplines like experiential design and firm tradition. Collectively, this has led to an uncommon mixture of strengths when it comes to expertise, experience and international networks.

three. How is Motherland Strategic Design totally different from the standard promoting companies on the town?

We don’t do any promoting in any respect, in order that’s one huge distinction! The important thing distinction is that we don’t promote communication concepts to our companions, we work with them to co-develop buyer expertise, firm tradition, new services, and so on. So fairly totally different.

Motherland Workplace

four. What’s Motherland Strategic Design’s secret sauce to getting it proper?

Our single largest energy – or secret sauce as you name it – is the power to function comfortably on a line between between two excessive mindsets: hard-nosed commerce and high-grade artistry. Most corporations and people are inclined to gravitate in direction of one excessive or the opposite, however we’re fairly joyful to exist on the intersection of those two mindsets.

5. You’ve been behind a number of the largest manufacturers in India, what are your key learnings from them?

We’ve learnt that it’s a must to go means deeper than standard advertising technique if you happen to actually need to construct a model that prospects and workers really like and respect. And we learnt that this affection and respect is the one method to construct sustainable worth.

6. What was your most outstanding model transformation?

Many had been enjoyable, however Royal Enfield was most likely essentially the most outstanding as a result of we had been a part of the gang that Sid Lal assembled when he re-engineered that firm and its merchandise from scratch – and he (relatively courageously!) gave us free rein to re-engineer the model and expertise from scratch too. Collectively we reworked it from a rusty, near-extinct dinosaur right into a gleaming, newly related international star model

JDH City Regeneration Undertaking

7. What in accordance with you is your most iconic piece of labor?

There are numerous issues we’re happy with, so it’s laborious to say. Jodhpur might be essentially the most iconic as a result of it’s a spot, not only a product. Placemaking is considered one of our favorite missions.

eight. Motherland Strategic Design’s work typically goes past the standard. Inform us about your most unconventional challenge?

Once more, most likely Jodhpur as a result of the ambition and obstacles are equally large, so there’s no scope for standard pondering. We’re additionally promoters, so the stakes are excessive!

9. You’ve lately partnered with OYO, Snapdeal & Magicpin. Inform us concerning the options you create for them and insights from the partnership.

We’ve accomplished a great deal of very numerous issues with these ventures. With Snapdeal, we helped to sharpen their positioning and convey it to life with out getting sidetracked by formulaic e-commerce methods. With magicpin, we helped articulate what they actually stood for, after which developed an in depth rollout plan to assist infuse this into each single side of name behaviour and firm tradition. With OYO, we labored intently with Ritesh and the management staff to develop services like OYO Townhouse, OYO’s firm tradition initiative, F&B fashions and far more.

The important thing perception for us from this partnership? These ventures are led by a number of the smartest, most visionary founders within the new enterprise world, and every of them strongly endorsed our view that there’s a large want for strategic design pondering on the management stage – it was extremely reassuring to have our speculation validated by high weapons. Btw: numerous our case research can be found at

OYO Townhouse

10. Why do startups in India want a non-traditional advertising companion like Motherland Strategic Design?

As a result of strategic design is a strong differentiator. A latest McKinsey article quoted somebody who properly stated, ‘Capital will not be a moat’. Very, very true.

11. Do you consider within the energy of storytelling? How do you discover one of the best story for a model?

Greater than storytelling, we consider in figuring out a powerful narrative for the model. All of it sounds a bit like jargon and advertising B.S. *however* the fundamental goal is to uncover what the corporate stands for after which set up the relevance of that within the minds of workers, prospects, society at massive.

12. In what methods is Motherland Strategic Design’s pondering much like that of a startup?

We’re placing our backsides on the road as founders of our personal enterprise; and we companion some extraordinarily intelligent entrepreneurs as effectively – so we’re fairly accustomed to the startup vibe! Like each entrepreneur, every of us has these moments whenever you get up at four a.m. pondering ‘how the f#@% am I going to get this accomplished?.

13. How ought to a startup method their communication technique?

They shouldn’t trouble with communication technique in any respect to start with – however they need to spend money and time on designing the product and expertise on the highest doable normal. The identical applies to stuff like model id and storytelling, and so on. – it’s extra essential to face for one thing and keep true to it. Cool logos, tales, adverts, and so on. will decay rapidly if you happen to don’t have a soul and an actual mission. Tradition will outlast campaigns, values will outlive valuations.

14. Why do you consider in partnerships and never shoppers?

The client-agent relationship is essentially flawed. It normally is determined by one staff attempting to promote an concept to a different staff, which regularly turns right into a sport of persuasion ping-pong that’s indifferent from enterprise realities and actuality typically. Significantly better to work in a multi-faceted staff that mixes pure enterprise with pure creativity to be able to discover a path to victory. Sounds utopian, however occurs on a regular basis!

15. What are the sort of partnerships and collaborations would you be eager on exploring throughout the ecosystem?

Something the place we can assist elevate the standard of product, service, expertise, socio-economic profit. Not revenue for the sake of revenue (although revenue is an effective factor, too!).

16. What are the income fashions that Motherland Strategic Design works with?

A variety of choices, used standalone or together relying on the context: fee-based consulting, fairness participation, co-investment alternatives, retail channel partnerships for our merchandise, IP royalties, sales-linked income, and so on.

17. Lastly, what recommendation do you might have for startups who’re new to the world of name id and storytelling?

Name Motherland (or discuss with query 13)


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