Couples who are also co-workers face a distinct set of challenges. Mridul Sawhney and Aviral Rungta is one such couple. And to avoid bringing work-life complications home, these two, as Founders of AM Branding Co., a Delhi-based full-service boutique creative and branding agency, always keep three golden rules in mind — learn to listen, be honest and leave office matters in the office.
Born and brought up in Delhi, they first met in 2015. “Aviral had messaged me on Behance after seeing my portfolio. He was looking for an art director for his newly launched eyewear brand Tocca Di Legno. We started working on a freelance project and did not meet each other for three months. When we finally met for a photoshoot, we totally hit it off,” adds Sawhney, 27.
After a few months, they started dating and realised how much they loved brainstorming and building things.
“He brought a sense of balance in my life as he used to patiently listen to my big plans and everything I wanted to achieve,” recalls Sawhney, a graduate in fashion communication from NIFT Bengaluru. “When I met him, he already had a full-grown business Herbal Tobacco Company, but he was always enthusiastic about my vision.
While working on projects involving packaging design, social media design, and website design, I realised that I had an eye to understand what the client needs and translate it into an effective visual communication deliverable.”
In 2017, they launched AM Branding Co. that was a product of all those things they wanted to achieve. “As soon as the AM (Aviral & Mridul) Branding Co. page was launched, we had a flood of designers dropping in DMs and getting in touch to know what we could do for them. It was unexpected and reassuring,” adds Rungta.
Their second innings began with them finally tying the knot in 2018.
While Rungta promised to give her experiences – they have travelled over 70 cities in four years, Sawhney continues to make their home a beautiful and happy space.
“Being the creative one, I am in charge of all gifting, packaging, ideas, coordination, etc., between both the families,” she shares. In fact, Sawhney is of the opinion there is nothing more beautiful than sharing your work life and your personal life with your partner.
“What more could you ask for? Relationships are all about supporting and building your partner,” says Sawhney.
While Sawhney is a dreamer, Rungta plays the role of reality check. This is how they strike a balance and settle for things that are doable. Together they deliver projects like social media design, website design, photography, styling, branding, graphic design and packaging design.
“I look at the backend and management aspect and Mridul takes care of the creative front. There are days when one of us gets excited about something new, while the other one points out the practicalities.
Then, there are days when some new ideas really click and we apply them. So, ours is a 50-50 contribution,” says Rungta. Shikhar Dhawan, Anita Dongre and brands like Anavila are their clients. “We also have a long-term relationship with Saaksha & Kinni, Nikasha, Kunal Rawal, Arpita Mehta, Jayanti Reddy, Anushree Reddy, Lara Morakhia, Aisha Rao, Beyond Square Interior,” adds Rungta, 30.
Lockdown took a toll on one aspect of their business – photoshoots. Sawhney says, “But, we used this time to take on branding and website projects; fixing the missing aspects for our business. We went on to create three websites – beyondsquare.co.in, tanyaghavri.com and thediyaproject.com.” Both admit that they are strong-headed and don’t agree with each other. “But we agree to disagree,” points out Sawhney. And with endless ideas and a lot of work, they dream to grow together.
Fun fact about Aviral: “He sleeps a lot when I am not in town or go to my mom’s place. I guess he is scared to get bored without me, haha!”
Fun fact about Mridul: “She has major issues with colours. Everything around her needs to be in a colour palette she likes or she gets anxiety.”