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New Development Bank

Client:                                         The New Development Bank

Organization / Institution:               DY Works

Role:                                           Co - Strategist 

Collaborators:                               Kshitij Rajoria, Alpana Parida

Location:                                      Shanghai


The New Development Bank (NDB) is a multilateral development bank founded by the nations of Brazil, Russia, India, China and South Africa (BRICS). 

The core purpose of the NDB is to mobilize resources for infrastructure and sustainable development in BRICS and other emerging markets and developing countries (EMDCs).

Client Brief

Develop a brand that reflects the NDB's commitment to reform the future of multilateral development banking whilst setting it apart from the array of global multilateral development banks such as the IMF, World Bank, ADB, AIIB, EIB and CAF. 


Define Organizational Values 

Culture Code

Brand Strategy 

Brand Manifestations (Logo, design collaterals etc)

Website + Communication Material

Experience Design Guidelines


14 weeks (December 2015 - March 2016)

Key Contribution



Organizational Values + Culture Code

Brand Strategy

Website Experience + Architecture


Global Pitch for the Integrated Branding Rights for the BRICS Bank

Project Snapshot

3 leading agencies from each of the BRICS nations were invited to pitch for the integrated branding rights for the BRICS Bank. The mandate was to create a brand for the multilateral development bank such that it creates a strong differentiation from others on the landscape including the World Bank, Asia Development Bank. IMF. 

My employer at the time; DY Works was invited to compete in the pitch to represent India. I was a part of a two member team that worked alongside with the Managing Director to develop a winning strategy for the pitch. 

DY Works won the pitch after 4 competitive rounds and it was noted that it was our thoroughly researched strategy that resonated with the banks board of directors. I was then invited to co-lead the project management. 

Our Approach

This project was approached through 3 distinct phases:

1. Decode: Uncovering deep insights through a combination of research and semiotic deconstruction.

2. Disrupt: Questioning norms and encoding emerging codes to shape NDB's beliefs, values, core and strategy.

3. Design: Manifesting these codes across brand design intervention touchpoints. 

Findings & Opportunities 

Our findings revealed that every multilateral development bank expressed an identical set of promises - a global mandate and aiding development by being the financial messiah. Digging deeper we discovered perception challenges that were impacting the sector; they appeared superior and had a old world 'top down' approach towards development. They were process driven and appeared bureaucratic and authoritative. Their identities and communication had identical codes of design and tonality. These institutions were facing trust deficit and the NDB needed to communicate a truly new approach. 

Our Solution

Our approach involved facilitating NDB's embodiment of emerging cultural discourses which resulted in the formation of its brand values; transparency, collaboration, agility and transformation. These values were translated into its core, essence and personality. The tone of voice was determined and manifest through its identity, website, interiors and other communication avenues. 

Example: New Development Bank Brand Identity

The logo borrows from the mathematical concept of a Mobius strip that symbolizes the idea of continuous transformation. Its nature is not to disrupt but drive change in the existing system from within.

The logo consists of a triangle in motion at one end signifying balanced evolution. The other end, moving in the opposite direction, is a propeller that represents speed and dynamism. These two entities are held together by a wireframe, the skeletal basic of infrastructure. The logo is rendered in gradient of green that symbolizes sustainability. This constant motion symbolizes the values that the bank strives to live by – agility, innovation and continuous transformation.




The DY Works approach to research and strategy for the New Development Bank involved 3 distinct phases;

How We Got There
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Uncovering deep insights through a combination of research and semiotic deconstruction.

Questioning norms and encoding emerging codes to shape NDB's beliefs, values, core and strategy.

Manifesting these codes across brand design intervention touchpoints.


- Decode

Research Process



the landscape 

 Buzz Report

- Media Analysis

White-paper Journals

- Literature Reviews 

Research Findings

In-depth Interviews

- Financial Experts

- International Development Experts

- Financial Media Experts

- Potential Employees

   - Banking Professional

   - Graduate Students


Expert Opinion

Key Research Findings

Our research revealed that beneath the media hype that followed the announcement of the NDB, there were 3 key branding challenges that the bank would have to overcome:

Fall in public trust in financial institutions: The NDB was formed amidst global growing mistrust & dissatisfaction towards financial institutions. Studies such as the Edelman Trust Barometer (2015) revealed a general decline in trust in the banking industry, especially amidst the informed public from BRICS and other developing nations. The defining events of that time, such as The Great Recession of 2008 & the Occupy Wallstreet Movement were expected to significantly shape how the role of a new financial entrant such as the NDB would be perceived in the media, the market and as an employer brand.

Establishing a unique identity in an already crowded ecosystem: Since 1944, after the establishment of the Bretton Woods institutions, there has been a proliferation in multilateral development banks. By 2015, the NDB along with China's AIIB, were the latest to join an array of such institutions. This growth in the number of MDBs were raising a number of concerns amongst the international relations, political economy and industrial organizational circles. The concerns were rooted in the rationale behind creating countervailing institutions that were perceived as inefficient duplications. The absence of a unique identity and an open dialogue to address such concerns appeared to threaten the perception of the new institute. 

Setting the right public expectations: The creation of the bank was widely perceived as a symbol that demonstrates the frustration faced by emerging economies with the slow pace of reforms pertaining to their positions within current dominant institutions. Stories in the media portrayed the NDB as a direct competitor to the World Bank, implying a clash between developed and developing economies to play a larger role in global governance. However the NDB was formed to supplement — not substitute  —  existing multilateral financial efforts with the aim of improving the current financial system by providing a better representation for emerging economies and protecting their needs. Setting the right expectations was key to the NDBs brand perception. 


- Disrupt

Semiotic Deconstruction

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Our research revealed that beneath the media hype that followed the announcement of the NDB, there were 3 key branding challenges that the bank would have to overcome: A unique identity, open communication and most importantly, demonstrated behaviour.

The NDB was envisioned to be a partner in development that would go beyond the conventional codes of multilateral banks. To fulfill this founding vision, we conducted a semiotic deconstruction to arrive at an evolved set of codes that bank would represent, operate and be recognized by.

Tools Used

*DY Works Semiotic Process


Greimas Square


Key Discourses

Brand Essence

*DY Works Brand Essence 

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- Design

New Development Bank  - Design Manifestation Process

Brand Values

Brand Core

Brand Essence

Brand Personality

Brand Guideline

Design Manifestations

Communication Guideline for PR Team

- Archetype, Attitude

- Tone of Voice

- Communication Style

Culture Code for HR Team

- Hiring Policy

- Culture Blueprint

- Training Activities, Practices

Design Guideline 

-- Logo 

- Fonts

- Colours

Experience Design for Architectural + Interior Design Contractors

- Layout Guidelines

- Colour Pallette

- Materials

Website UX Design

- Tone of Voice

- Communication Style

- Information Hierarchy

- Document Synthesis

Design Manifestation Examples

New Development Bank Logo

Design Manifestations
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The Mobius Strip of Continuous Transformation

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NDB Visiting Card.jpg

Website UX Design

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Experience Design Guideline

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