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From Clueless IITians to Internet Sensations – The Minimalist Story

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The Minimalist is a design, digital and advisory firm that believes in the power of “Less is more”. In just 2 years of starting up they have worked with over 150 clients and have garnered over 150,000 followers.

As they sat in an auto to reach their internship office, Sahil Vaidya and Chirag Gander, two students at IIT Bombay saw people hitting stray dogs just for fun. Sahil wanted to do something about it and Chirag, who is a passionate and creative designer pointed out that they could create a poster on the issue and highlight it in a simple yet hard-hitting way.

Sahil says, “I really loved humor, writing and drumming. Meeting Chirag made me realize that we could synergize and make use of our complementary skill sets to create something BIG. That is how I got interested in the idea of starting up.”

That is when the name “The Minimalist” was coined- with the vision of conveying a thousand thoughts through simple and powerful visuals. “Chirag was extremely passionate about design and I was passionate about writing and humor. We decided to bring these together and started The Minimalist to create thought provoking designs” says Sahil

They started working on different concepts and launched The Minimalist as a Facebook Page in 2014. People started to take notice of their breakthrough ideas and soon their traction increased multi fold.

In just a month’s time they were awarded the Kyoorius Red Elephant, India’s foremost student design award.

They started campaigns on issues that no one was talking about like Superstitions, Menstruation and Child Labour. They were widely appreciated for the effective use of sarcasm and new-age designing. They kept on talking about issues that’d make every Indian pause for a while and think before appreciating the depth of the underlying messages.

Sahil tells us, “The fact that The Minimalist was garnering a lot of followers right after we started it led me to believe that there was a lot of potential in what we were trying to do. I knew nothing about design until I met Chirag, who later became my cofounder. We used to travel to our internship together. He was extremely passionate about design and I was passionate about writing and humor. We decided to bring these together and started The Minimalist to create thought provoking designs”

The Minimalist, soon became a brand and they got their first client in January 2015. They have since worked with brands like Cca Cola, Xiaomi, Hexaware, L&T Infotech and many more. “We help companies craft their brand strategy & design, communication design, packaging and space design” says Sahil “Our digital team does 2 things primarily: a) Helping companies design and develop websites, products and apps b) Managing social media presence for brands”

We asked Sahil about taking on entrepreneurship at an early age and he says, “It’s fun because growing an organization is a really, really big challenge. It is full of growth and new learnings, and I really enjoy working on something that allows me to indulge my creative juices.”

Chirag and Sahil say that their greatest inspiration are Bootstrapped founders who have slowly built huge businesses.

The Minimalist too is Bootstrapped and has no plans to raise funding in the near future.

The Minimalist today employs 40 people and has worked with some of the biggest brands.

These IIT graduates, like their cohorts did not sit through placements. And it did do them good!

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