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Time travelling 1600 yrs Brand positioning, design and development for a Venture Fund

Design thinking often takes you to unlikely places. But surer places.

1600 years is long in the tooth, very long. But a journey as long as this is warranted for an India focused venture growth fund, that seeks to partner bold ventures from India that endeavour for the world podium. Especially for a fund that has the privilege of bearing the trust of both, investors including sovereign funds and battle hardened entrepreneurs on the look out for the right partnerships. The need to stay true to "trust" willed us for this time travel.

Tailoring a brand's design & reimagining the website

The task at hand for us was to help Iron Pillar Fund, right - position, re-imagine and design their brand and website, the latter being their pulpit. The idea was to seek a path that did justice to what they do really well and who they are.

It started with a few casual conversations on method. We believe instinct, if followed through wrongly could have counter-productive consequences. The need for a deliberate but iterative approach to brand design found favour with a fund that understands progression well. And being a house of multiple disciplines possessing a collective wisdom of 188 years we believe, made the case stronger for NYUCT Design Labs.

About Iron Pillar Fund

Iron Pillar Fund was founded in 2016 by a team of richly experienced professionals who spanned the entire value chain of venture investing. They had served with distinction across key global capitals, had managed large funds and seen first hand how new enterprise and technology reshaped traditional models. Buoyed by the shared vision of a return of the Golden Age for India, they were the first to identify the clear white space in India for funding and partnering ventures in their growth stage. They are today invested in by both the Indian and US Governments apart from a diversified group of institutions, family offices and technology entrepreneurs from the US, Europe, West Asia, Singapore, China and India.

Needless to say the onerous task of building this venture fund from scratch had left them with little time to clearly define and design their brand. This was an opportunity to tailor the brand design to suit Iron Pillar. Made to measure.

Our approach - method & imagination

We believe that brands and enterprise are served best through a blend of business & imagination.

Method to design

The task at hand had several interlinked components and building blocks to it. A brand design made with solid foundations makes for a longer life cycle.

The strategic arenas, drivers of differentiation and relevance, the brand platform, positioning, design & content, staging and development of the website & associated technology.

#1 Diagnostics, the preamble

Over several interviews, chat sessions and a few de-rigueur mining sessions. the team dug deep with the client, to help articulate the brand and its values and drivers. Often it's what was left unsaid, that provided the clearest answers.

#2 Clarifying the white space

Iron Pillar Fund had clearly outlined their space of operational excellence having been established to address the need for funds and support during the growth phase of ventures. Further research on peers and insights into the venture space helped us articulate the promise that Iron Pillar Fund embodies in an industry that often spoke in similitude, got wound up in alphabets and mystified entrepreneurs.

Insights were also shared where the recommended strategy of NYUCT Design Labs joined rank with independent research undertaken amongst CEOs, Limited partners and founders.

#3 Establishing the north pole

Going back to lessons in history and chemistry helped in this brand journey. Inspired by the element Fe & a tall rustless pillar of promise in Delhi, the idea was to go back to the values of both to establish the design focus. Given that the fund sees the end to end value chain of investing, exits, and business building, here design needed to reflect the core business proposition.

We travelled back 1600 years to draw some answers.

#4 Positioning and relevant differentiation

Iron Pillar Fund clearly addressed the solid, middle core in the venture fund ecosystem that offers stability and scale to mid career ventures in their growing phase. The more we heard, and researched, the more convinced we were that this was a fund that was daring to beat the normal and genuinely believed in the return of the golden age of India by partnering bold innovative ventures. These ventures are the iron warriors for the promised Golden moment.

#5 Brand design & visual idioms

The bridge between the talismanic Iron Pillar erected in the first Golden age and the promise of a return of the Golden age powered by a progressive India, its innovations and ventures in the times to come governed the idioms. Progressive India has been a constant inspiration. A vision for India, a mission for the world.

Design and idioms took inspiration from both the talismanic pillar and the solid unruffled element Iron.

#6 Building an immersive platform

Design & technology worked in sync at our end, to reimagine the website.

Benchmarking, user journeys, interaction design, feature development and content creation pursued function and form.

Design thinking + technology at work

The website is a brand's alter-ego
Tall, rustless and iconic. Informed by the past, vision for the future
Design adventures with an award winning artist. Recreating the Iron Pillar

Bold yet understated

The brand's design reflects the bold, progressive yet understated qualities of the fund which has been quietly reinventing the growth space in the venture value chain.

Promises truly need to stand tall and rustless. Much like the Iron Pillar, one of the world’s most intriguing structures. Dating back to India’s golden age, 4th century A.D., the pillar betrays no sign of either rust or damage and confounds scientists and metallurgists even today.

Shades of Iron, colours to own

It is the colour that a brand wears on the heart that a brand truly owns. Phosphoric red is a colour that Iron Pillar Fund wears well, with its grounded approach. This is a colour where vitality meets mettle.

Tone of credibility

Apart from India, the firm has a presence in Mauritius, Palo Alto, Shanghai, and Singapore. In a short period since being established Iron Pillar Fund has demonstrated steel by being a rare case of an investment fund that holds the confidence of the U.S. and Indian Government.

Progressive content

The brand is inspired by India's trysts with innovations and progressive thinkers right from a classical age till today where models like the green revolution, Aadhaar and Amul continue to hold sway. The Iron Pillar Fund, is an India focused fund rallied around a vision of a return of the Golden Age driven by innovation ventures.

Venture founders, the Iron warriors

Team Iron Pillar Fund believes that the founders of the bold new ventures from India are the ones who walk the iron path. They are the iron warriors that promise tomorrow's gilded age.

Always trust led

The hectic world of venture finance, whether raising funds from LPs or seeking exceptional entrepreneurs is always, first about people. Faith begets capital.

Iron Pillar Fund as a brand lays great emphasis on the need to demonstrate transparency and impact at every stage. That the team believes is a constant and consistent moral compass.

REIMAGINING VENTURE FUND DESIGN

Venture Design from consulting to last mile execution, with NYUCT Design Labs. We blueprint, design and build ventures from 0 to 1 and beyond with design thinking, technology and an interdisciplinary approach to solving a problem or starting an adventure.