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creative , imaginative , resourceful
I was born in Calcutta, India and my parents immigrated to England when I was just four years old. My father is Chinese and my mother is half Indian/half English – so I’m quite a mixture of different cultures. Growing up in East London, I attended the local Roman Catholic grammar school where I quickly realised I wanted a career in the creative arts. My father was a marine engineer and considered art to be nonsense, so my choice of graphic design was based on my ability to earn a salary and be an artist at the same time.Back in the mid seventies not only had my parents never heard of graphic design but neither had my careers teacher. However, I was determined and managed to secure a place at St. Martins College of Art and Design in London - the first college in England to specialise in graphic design and still one of the best.In 1975 I began my first job as a Junior Designer at a graphic art studio called Art Integrators in London’s Baker Street. Here I learnt about design from a team of highly skilled specialists – I’m a big fan of computers and the amazing things they can do but in my opinion nothing can replace a true graphic designer’s eye for colour, typeface, proportion and the quality of a picture. Over the next 15 years I worked within 4 different design partnerships rising from junior designer to head of design and then becoming a partner. The agencies were all based in and around London’s Oxford Street and all had blue chip clients including Rank Xerox, Grand Metropolitan Hotels, Holiday Inns, Osborne Building & Civil Engineering, British Airports Authority, Elida Gibbs, General Accident, and Rank Hotels to name but a few.In 1992, the recession under Margaret Thatcher, really began to bite, design work became scarce, and I often found myself with time on my hands. My father by contrast was over burdened. He had gone into catering and owned and ran a large number of Chinese Restaurants in London’s fast growing China Town. Having expanded rapidly, he found he needed help on the management side of things and asked me to help.We worked together for six years, it was fascinating and I learnt a great deal about business but I really missed the creative aspect of work and realised I didn’t enjoy working just to earn money. However, computers had arrived in design studios, things were being done differently and I knew getting straight back into design would be very difficult.So, with a young family to support, I decided to use the skills I’d learnt with my father and purchase a catering franchise – buying the Haagen Dazs flagship ice cream cafes in both Windsor and Bath. I moved my family to Bath and ran the cafes for over three years. I learnt about other aspects of business management and was able to begin designing again producing marketing material for my own cafes. On seeing my work Haagen Dazs head office asked to use some of it across the chain and invited me to sit on their Marketing Advisory Board. For a number of different and unexpected reasons, the cafes proved unprofitable. I decided to sell and while the cafes were on the market I was lucky enough to secure a job as Creative Director in a design consultancy in the Barbican, London. I spent nearly three years commuting daily to London. Although I loved the job, the travelling and all the hold ups with Great Western trains eventually got to me. Three years ago I decided to take the risk and set up my own design consultancy, Imagine Design Associates, in Bath. This was a good decision as, although the first year was tough, I now have a strong client list with a good mix of both London-based and local clients.Further Information:Member of Rotary Club of BathVice-Chairman, Federation of Small Businesses, Bath BranchMarried with five children. Interests include tennis (Lansdown Tennis Club) and golf (Bath Golf Club).
Running my own graphic design companies
Managing to sell my Haagen-Dazs Cafes and avoiding near bankcruptcy
Graphic and web design, advertising, marketing, new media, business, computers and of course - people.
I have had many struggles in life and managed to come through OK. Despite having a hard life, I feel I have been lucky and still managed to be successful. I have always enjoyed helping other people. I believe you get out of life what you put in.
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