East met West as RKS Design Inc. and Elephant Strategy + Design announced Oct. 14 that they have formed a partnership.
The cooperation links the full-service, Thousand Oaks, Calif.-based RKS consultancy with Elephant Strategy's brand-focused design practice in Pune, India. Ravi Sawhney, RKS president and chief executive officer, and Sudhir Sharma, Elephant Strategy founder and director, announced the joint venture during the Connecting'07 World Design Congress, held Oct. 17-20 in San Francisco.
The firms recognize how product makers and service providers are pursuing globalization in emerging markets.
``We believe this [partnership] is the beginning of a trend'' to connect resources of midsized, culturally diverse design firms on separate continents, said Tom White, RKS executive vice president, in an interview.
``We see a huge qualitative jump this partnership can offer to brands in India and the Asian region,'' Sharma said in a news release.
Under the agreement, RKS licenses use of its patent-pending Psycho-Aesthetics methodology to Elephant Strategy. The platform enables a firm's customers to identify sources of market demand, pinpoint audience tastes and preferences, and refine ways to reach goals with newly launched products.
RKS was formed in 1980 and employs 30. Elephant Strategy was established in 1989, employs 80-100 and focuses on emerging markets.