Chief Brand Strategist
assion is the only thing that keeps one motivated and only passions, great passions can elevate the soul to supreme things. This was that constant force which encouraged Ankita Nandkeolyar, who at that point in time was only 16 years-old to step into the creative world of branding and communication. It turned into a nice side hustle, and eventually gave her the confidence to do what she loved doing. For many, teen-age is considered to be filled with dreams and infinite imaginations, but for some their zeal and enthusiasm to learn something new and get a sense of the real world excites so deep that they start identifying their inner desire, extreme interest, and others.
Such is Ankita, an avid Arsenal FC fan who is interested in experimental cooking and diverse cuisines. For this Pune girl, the first year of the college itself was enough to make her believe in the practicality of the real happenings taking around. In no time, she made up her mind to join an advertising agency and undergo an internship. It was not really easy for her. Making continuous round– up’s to the ad-firm and finally being able to convince the senior management, she finally got the opportunity to work there. Her stints which started as an intern gradually promoted her to be a full-time account manager. But her thirst didn’t end here. That’s where adding fuel to her passion began.
Going ahead, she decided to take up the challenge of knowing more about how branding and communications that has evolved over the years. Given to the situation, life meant to be explored and she pushed the envelope by moving to Italy and decided step outside of the comfort zone. Spending ample time, garnering exposure while working with big brands, Ankita was quick enough to notice the gap that existed in creating a brand in India which deemed to be very functional. Mean while, India was going through the start-up wave. Each day show ushered a lot of great ideas. There was a need for an extended arm that could assist those upcoming brands. Also, Ankita who had traveled across the globe never wanted to be a cog in the wheel instead desired to create a dent in the universe. Combining all her passion, interest and utmost desire, she ventured firebrand – an approachable and strategic branding and communications agency.
“For me, the truth is that great success in business grows from just one tiny seed. I wanted to create value and long-lasting impact with taking charge of my own situation. This true calling was so loud that it helped me to establish Firebrand, which instantly reflects with my personality, i.e., being a person who is very passionate about a call,” she says.
The store of fiery ideas, a result of insatiable curiosity and relentless determination did not happen in a day. Blessed to be raised in a family where women are taught to be fearless, unapologetic about their choices, loved & celebrated, she recalls her dad as a man with nerves of steel while her mother as a selfless being which can be interlinked as a trait that is ingrained in her and the business.
“I have known Ankita for the last 10 years. Seeing her evolve from my colleague to now being an entrepreneur has been inspiring and motivating. She is a practical leader, tough yet empathetic, carries the charisma and confidence. Her vision to help start-ups and small businesses to establish its distinct identity has made Firebrand a respectable name in the design world,” says Darshika Bhagat - Digital Marketing Strategist, who has been working with Firebrand since 2017.
Breaking the Stereotype in Business
While seamlessly enhancing relationship to successfully building communications for renowned MNCs such as Tata, Louis Philippe, Westin Hotel, Amdocs, Ankita was always of the firm belief that women are equally ambitious and driven as men but stands unique in EQ (emotional quotient) which gives them the edge.
Firebrand started as an all-women collaborative platform. Today firebrand leverages its best to fuel one’s imagination through fresh approaches, disruptive strategies and maximize the brand’s potential. Under her guidance, it has been able to garner a respective position in the market as a Strategic Branding & Marketing Communication Consultancy. Their ‘strategic processes set them apart and takes a business from an idea to market. Some services of them include Opportunity Mapping, Brand purpose discovery, Brand identity design, Communication design, Website design and Digital marketing.
Team Firebrand goal is never to become a 100 people company but to stay learned, focused and niche. The company has successfully completed projects in the US, working on one in Europe and various projects in India. Many of their consultants are also based overseas right from Toronto to Poland and is looking to contribute aggressively to the North American market in the coming years with setting up offices there. Ankita sees the future in terms of scaling higher, extending geographies and become a top branding studio in India.
Panel 1 :
Education & Degrees:
. A distinction holder in Economics from Fergusson College, Pune
. Graduated 1st with top honours in Masters in Brand Strategy & Communication from Istituto Europeo di Design, Milan, Italy
Panel 2 :
Awards & Accolades :
. Won the Foxglove Awards presented by afaq.com for Best Brand Design from India in the year, 2018 and Best Brand Design from Western India 2017
. India’s Best Design Awards presented by pool magazine for Best Strategic Design 2017
.“100 Most Influential Martech Leaders 2017"organised by World marketing congress