When we started MindTree in 1999, the world did not need yet another software services company. We told ourselves that to justify our existence, we had to stand out from the crowd. To start with, we said three things to ourselves: we will build an aspirational company, one that would create shared wealth and finally, a company that would have a social conscience. Between then and now, it is a hugely satisfying feeling that MindTree has fulfilled all the three promises. Today, we stand on a foundation from which we ask ourselves, what do we need to ready the organization for 2020? The last 14 years have passed in a blink and 8 years to 2020, are just half of that length of time! That single question led us to think about the MindTree Brand. What did it mean yesterday and what would it stand for in the days ahead?
In the past 14 years, whoever has come in contact with us has invariably gone back impressed with our culture. Whoever has worked with us has said we are nice people to do business with. In other words, we have been a culture-led company. As we look at 2020 and our ambition to build a significant, memorable company, it wouldn’t be enough to be culture-led. No one entrusts a significant, transformational IT assignment because someone is a good guy. The CIO of a Fortune 50 company looks for expertise even before looking at culture. Thus, the future requires us to build a company that is led by expertise and backed by culture. People must choose us for our expertise and stay with us for our culture. This requires us to rethink our mission, values and the overall MindTree Brand. For this, we took our first step in 2011.
We looked at many strategic branding advisories around the world and settled for Siegel and Gale based in Los Angeles and New York. They came with great recommendations and even as we started working with them, we were blown away by their expertise and professionalism every step of the way. To begin with, they researched what the MindTree brand stood for and what it could aim to achieve. They reached out to 15000+ MindTree Minds; they spoke to hundreds of our customers, prospects, analysts, opinion leaders, competitors and media-persons in many countries. The result of their research and recommendation was vetted at each step by a dozen-member Brand Council set up with MindTree leaders. At the end of a year-long exercise, a series of things emerged. To start with, a brand story. What is a brand story? It is a simple one-page statement that tells us who we are.
The Brand Story
“Some believe in the power of numbers.
Some believe in the power of technology.
We believe in the power of people. And the impact people can have on technology.
Our roots grew from this belief that people with diverse points of view could come together to build a different kind of technology company. One that put people, those who work with us and for us first.
And this belief drives our vision for tomorrow to build technology experts who are focused on one goal: helping our clients succeed.
Today, a wealth of information is opening up a world of possibilities. Realizing those possibilities takes more than numbers. It takes more than technology. It takes people. People who can turn the potential of information into meaningful solutions. Solutions that simplify businesses. Improve governments. Propel societies forward.
We are Mindtree. We engineer meaningful technology solutions to help businesses and societies flourish.”
The all-important statement in the Brand Story is the last one. It is in fact MindTree’s new Mission Statement for the next decade. This Mission Statement has two parts to it: a promise and a purpose. The promise states what we do and the purpose, why we do it.
“We engineer meaningful technology solutions” is the reason for our existence. The why we do what we do is “make businesses and societies flourish”. We spent long hours discussing every word in the statement and debated its nuance. We particularly liked the idea that at MindTree, our work impacts not just businesses but societies and that we go beyond making them successful; our intent is to make them flourish.
The idea of flourishing is such an uplifting concept; it makes our work so much more worthwhile and aspirational.
What good is a Mission Statement unless it is backed by values? After all, an entire organization must align itself and every individual must know what values she must embrace so that the Mission comes alive. For the first 14 years, we were driven by a set of 5 values: Caring, Learning, Achieving, Sharing and Social Responsibility. These created the foundation but now the organization needs a very new set of values that would sharply focus on what we are set out to do: build a memorable organization by 2020. From this point, the three values we will embrace are: Collaborative Spirit, Unrelenting Dedication and Expert Thinking. Large, transformational IT is essentially about these three elements. Projects succeed or fail because of these. The difference between an individual’s competence and professionalism are these three values.
We want every MindTree Mind to stand out for how they collaborate with each other in MindTree and beyond MindTree because the solutions we put together may come from many different sources. Gone are the days of monolithic competence. Today, solution architecting is more like quilting.
We want MindTree Minds to be relentless in their determination. Not everything in our industry is about glamour. We have to stay with a problem until it is resolved. Some of the work we do is mission-critical and never ending. It is not an easy thing to make businesses and societies flourish. We have to develop a long view of time in most of the work we do for our customers. Some of our customer relationships are as old as MindTree. We continue to work with Avis and Unilever for 14 years and it is very common to see that kind of bond between MindTree and our other customers.
Finally, the MindTree Mind of the future is an expert. Expertise is not just about a domain or a skill but in everything else we do. At the point of contact, a MindTree Mind must come across as someone who is expertise-led. Someone, who can be completely trusted with the highest level of competence; no second guessing.
With the Mission and Values settled, we were ready to change many things about the MindTree brand. Some of these will become visible as we go along, like a new tagline, a new way of spelling our name MindTree and above all, a new logo that brings alive our new values. From now on, here is what we will look like:
MindTree never had a tagline. Now we will.
Welcome to Possible.
It is both an invitation and an expectation. It is a simple expression of our Brand Promise.
We are dropping the “T” in MindTree. Instead, we are making it a simple, one word: Mindtree. Now we will be just that. Do note the color of the lettering: it is very Gen-Y. Solids like Black and Blue are passé. Also, simple is the new sophisticated.
Finally, the logo. It depicts the meeting of minds and technology. It speaks of humanity and a forward-looking momentum. The vibrant strands of colors are a tribute to our rich history and the diversity of our advanced skill-sets.
So what happens to the old logo? Mindtree Foundation will be its custodian and will inherit it as its’ own. And what happens to the Living Logo every Mindtree building has? The living logo with a tree and consecrated earth from all parts of the world at its base will continue; going forward, only the colours that form the platform around the tree will change.
With the new tagline, depiction of our name and the vibrant new logo, we are turning a new leaf. This huge exercise will begin to present itself through many forms of communication. From the way Mindtree Minds will present themselves to our customers to the website, from the identity cards to the signage a lot will change.
While Siegel + Gale has created the new brand identity, we have partnered with Ogilvy, the leading global advertising agency to execute it in detail. Our digital partner in this massive effort is pepper square. In order to maintain integrity across many the forms of communication, we have retained Lumos Design. And of course, leading the pack is our marketing team at Mindtree that truly demonstrates our new values: the collaborative spirit, unrelenting dedication and expert-thinking. Welcome to Possible!