Adani Case Study
The Adani Group started in 1988, as a commodity trading firm. Today, it has grown to become one of India’s leading business houses, with operations in Australia and Indonesia and ambitious plans for international expansion.
In the financial year 2011-12, the group’s revenue will exceed $7 billion. The board believes that the Group is now of a scale where it needs to manage its brand actively and professionally to prepare for the future. As a first step, Adani appointed Wolff Olins in the summer of 2011 to develop a new corporate brochure and website to tell the Adani story. The project is now complete and the results are ready for publication.
Wolff Olins' work started with an extensive qualitative and quantitative research study. Those interviewed were policy-makers, officials, business leaders and journalists as well as Adani’s own staff, managers and promoters. The research focused on perceptions of Adani and other large business houses in India.
Until now, the Group has described itself as a ‘business behemoth,’ with a wide variety of operations. Wolff Olins’ research quickly revealed that beyond a small group of customers, investors and commentators who knew the group well, there was either ignorance or misunderstanding of who the Adani Group is, how it has grown and what it does. The situation inside the Group was better, but most employees understood only the part of the Group in which they worked.
Wolff Olins’ brief was to develop a new corporate brochure and website. But the first step was to make a bewilderingly complex group easily comprehensible. Wolff Olins clustered the bulk of the Group’s activities under three headings: ‘resources’ comprises coal mines & trading (and in the future it will also include oil and gas as well as coal); ‘logistics’ denotes a large network of ports, Special Economic Zone (SEZ) and multi-modal logistics- railways and shops; ‘energy’ involves power generation & transmission and gas distribution.
Adani is unique amongst both Indian and international groups in operating across this entire span of activities. More importantly, the potential for integration across the three clusters offers Adani and its customers unrivalled advantages in terms of cost and mitigation of risk.
The importance of this integrated model becomes clear when Adani is seen in the context of India’s economic development. The engine of the economy has been, and will continue to be, the growth of the middle class, whose insatiable demand is placing great strain on the nation’s infrastructure, its ports, transport and power supply. A demand the government could not meet without the private sector support. The growth potential is huge not just in India but in many other emerging markets. The volume of activity across Adani’s operation will grow anything from four to tenfold in the next decade.
The new Adani corporate brochure and website tell this story of integration and economic development. The logic behind the new brand is encapsulated in the phrase ‘Thinking big. Doing better.’ This is not intended to be an advertising strap-line but simply a shorthand to explain the spirit in which the Group works.
‘Thinking big’ captures both the scale of the group’s activities and the ability to see new potential. ‘Doing better’ means both the Group’s history of delivering on its promises but also hints at a wider social benefit.
Adani has also chosen to adopt a new visual expression to symbolise the modernity and international potential of the Group’s business as well as the simplicity of the integrated model. The story, with its associated identity and a new communications, is launched to Adani’s employees and customers on 23rd February 2012.