Armed with an education in design from India and Japan, Dipti Varghese set her sights on creating innova- tive communication strategies for multicultural audi- ences. It is this approach that has allowed Design@Bay to cross boundaries both geographically and creatively over the past 17 years.

How was the company born?

Design@Bay was officially registered in 2000, with the Coega Development Corporation and the NMB municipality among our first major clients.

Winning the design competition for the Coega Project and the coat of arms for the Nelson Mandela Metropolitan Municipality created the impetus for formalising the business.

I obtained a masters degree in design in Visual Communication from the Industrial Design Centre at the Indian Institute of Technology in Mumbai.

After my masters, I had a once-in-a-life- time opportunity to work in Tokyo with one of the most eminent and innovative design gurus of our time, Sugiura Kohei, where my design thinking was challenged and expanded.

My role as a design educator and promoter at the former UPE (now NMU) further enhanced my design outlook.

Design thinking for effective communications for all spheres of life has embraced and encouraged me to work in the development and upliftment of an inclusive society.

What is your core service?

Strategic branding and communication is at the heart of our business. This includes developing powerful brands through an integrated business development strategy, with design thinking at its core, strong marketing and effective public relations.

What are some of the biggest inhibitors your business faced initially?

You need to dream big. Business has its ups and downs, but mistakes are part of the learning process. What is important is to lift yourself up, surround yourself with positive influences and never give up.

Who has been your role model in your approach to the business, and why?