our ABILITY TO THIN SLICE, create CULTURALLY SENSITIVE DESIGN and traverse THE NEEDS OF A $2.5 BILLION PUBLIC-PRIVATE venture, led to A SUCCESSFUL long term PARTNERSHIP.
Dabhol Power was the first private-public partnership in the infrastructure sector to use Foreign Direct Investment. The landmark undertaking between the Govt. of Maharashtra, Enron, GE and Bechtel in the early 1990s came close on the heels of the country’s path-breaking economic reforms. A project of its scale and ambition was bound to have its share of problems, most notably the impact it would have on the ecology as well as the displacement of the local population. The benefits though clear would only fructify after a few years. The challenge for Dabhol Power was to come across as a sensitive, responsible company that took on board the interests of all its stakeholders, from the boardrooms of New York to the villages of Maharashtra.
The Brand Mark created needed to cue clean, reliable, environment-friendly power. It was imperative that its messaging also reflect the positive long term outcomes, and position the company as caring and inclusive. A simple representation of the sun was developed as the mnemonic, and was twirled around a central axis to resemble a chakra. For the western audience the relevance of the sun: life giving, life affirming and the largest purest source of power was clear. For the local Indian audience, the sun as well as the chakra: a symbol of positive energy was understood and appreciated, as it is deeply imbued in the culture. The essence of the Identity was governed by a sensitive approach to local colour, symbols and vegetation. The idea was to create a system that stood out within the power plant, yet remained contextual to the aesthetic sensitivities of the local inhabitants.
The Brand Mark and Identity resonated simply and strongly and with equal facility in the villages of Ratnagiri and on Wall Street. The successful implementation of a comprehensive signage system across 500 hectares at site and local design interventions, led to an ongoing partnership. rgd was handed the mandate for all design and corporate communication work for phase II of the project, as well as all the India specific design and communication needs of its parent company Enron.