Santosh Desai, the managing director and CEO of brand management consultancy Future Brands, has picked up 30 per cent stake in DY Works from its erstwhile promoter Sanjeev Malhotra of Alia Group, for an undisclosed amount, according to a press release. Desai acquired the stake in his personal capacity.

Future Brands continues to hold 60 per cent stake in the private company and the remaining 10 per cent is held by Alpana Parida, president, DY Works who will continue to lead the agency.

An alumnus of IIM Ahmedabad, Desai was president of McCann-Erickson, India before moving to Future Brands. Alpana is also from IIM (A), same batch.

"We'll be looking for future synergies between the work Future Brands is doing and design work DY Works does. Given Santosh’s in-depth knowledge and wide experience, we are confident of building synergies through culture-based design and rural-focused brand amplification strategies. We'll be working together on some projects," said Alpana.

"We'll be focusing much more and building design for India in product innovation and creating brands which are more India-specific," she further added.

"DY Works encodes solutions through design, thereby creating designs that impact market shares and brand valuation, additionally, an approach embedded in culture is common to us as well. For brands to succeed in India – we need an understanding of the Indian cultural context, of dimly lit kirana stores and changes in consumer mindsets," Desai said.

Founded in 1997 as DMA Branding, it later merged with Yellow design and renamed as DY Works. The firm's clientèle portfolio includes Mahindra, L&T, ITC, Marico, Godrej and PepsiCo.

It has offices in Mumbai, Delhi and Bengaluru and is currently undertaking an extensive rural research to understand the emerging consumer. It has 85 member team.

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