Plum is an insights consultancy – agile, dynamic and rooted in the present. We help businesses find their unique cultural foothold across complex South and South-East Asian markets.
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Such markets in transition often appear easy to squeeze yourself into from the outside – but are societies in which orthodox and modern cultural idiosyncrasies share zip-codes and milkmen. These markets have core beliefs that are hard to breach.
Plum was forged on the fault-line of such cultural tensions, to inform business actions and decisions for tomorrow.
Insights and inspiration for businesses can come from unexpected sources. Tapping into this means not being bound by frameworks, definitions, methods, ways of working and fixed ways of seeing industries and businesses.
We bring insights to life through visual storytelling, immersive experiences, and a host of custom-built practices. We blend methodological rigour, empathy, and intuitive creativity in all we do.
A famous anthropologist once categorized all cultures as either ‘Coconuts’ or ‘Plums’. Coconut cultures, are tough to break into from the outside, but at the centre are soft, pulpy, and mushy. Some European and Scandanavian cultures have this same characteristic.
‘Plum’ cultures are easy to squeeze oneself into from the outside but have core beliefs (like the hard seed of a plum) that are hard to penetrate - reminiscent of Asian cultures.
Our work is like that – textured, with a strong sensorial quality. And at its core is solid cultural and strategic thinking.
to build resonant products and solutions suited to your unique challenge
We build collaborative, immersive spaces to brainstorm, reframe problems, prototype, and build creative solutions.
We facilitate creative workshops and plan capacity building sessions to embed insights into the company’s fabric.
the layers of culture that a brand exists in
Through ethnographic and face to face interactions,
studying living symbols of culture through semiotics, and more.
the consumer opportunity to inspire wider audiences
We create films, books, microsites, spaces, artifacts, and tools that help bring alive insights for diverse stakeholders.
Our team also helps visually manifest ideas concepts and propositions to develop with consumers.
Systematic explorations to enable product design
Reinventing and developing more resonant brands
For new products, services, brands, or categories
For primary or later stage communication campaigns
Some challenges we help solve
Category futures mapping
Projecting the evolution of needs through cultural analysis and other mixed methods
Spotting new trends and behaviours across dynamic markets
Foundational category or target exploration
Primary understanding of unexplored or fast changing audiences
Rewind and refresh
Offering a fresh perspective on an existing category using mixed techniques
Processes don’t lead to breakthrough work – intuition born of experience does. The width of talent on our team blends the rigor of human and culture centered research, design and product innovation thinking, and
cross-media story telling capabilities.
We are a team of Insiders, Investigators, and Creators.
sneha kapoor | director
I bring a decade of decoding cultural challenges for brands, products and services.
I am a trained and practiced Ethnographer and Cultural Studies expert having worked on the worlds biggest brands – Unilever, Pepsico, Colgate Pamolive, Twitter, Samsung, L’Oreal, and Microsoft among others.
Some of my most memorable projects include understanding how Indian food culture is evolving to fuel innovations for a kitchen technology brand and helping a global news brand develop regional language digital content for young people.
I hold a BA in Psychology and Anthropology from St. Xavier’s College, Mumbai and a Masters in Media & Cultural Studies from the London School of Economics and Political Science.
ravi menon | BUSINESS mentor
I am an Industry veteran who has held various leadership positions. With over three decades in the corporate world, I have worked extensively in India and the global markets. I have worked in segments as varied as FMCG, Construction, Healthcare, and IT and have been associated with brands such as Hindustan Unilever, IBM, HP, and HCL.
Extensively networked, I have played a role in mentoring both early stage businesses and industry leadership.
ira jain | innovations specialist
My expertise lies in adopting the human-centric, problem-solving approach of design thinking to create innovative and meaningful products, services and experiences.
In previous lives, I have been a UX and Qualitative researcher having worked in the technology and textile industries across Japan, US, France and India. Most recently, I founded a fashion retail start up and designed a range of intuitive fashion accessories for women.
I have a Master’s degree in Human Factors from Virginia Tech, USA and am the founder of Orange Innovation Studio. I partner with Plum on innovation and design projects.
advait gupt | creative specialist
At the age of 26, I quit my job as an as an investment analyst at a VC Fund to pursue opportunities in the emerging digital content space. My team specializes in interactive video content and immersive virtual reality experiences with a strong focus on online video.
I am the Co-founder of Supari Studios and partner with Plum on projects that require creative visual storytelling.
prarthana gupta | Project Manager
I started my career in the entertainment industry, in production roles, before moving into the world of market research. In the entertainment industry, I have worked with a mix of people across cultures, skill sets, and eccentric behaviours
Previously, I worked in market research at Flamingo managing projects across categories and brands.
I specialize in recruiting tough profiles and operationalizing projects across the length and breadth of emerging markets.
natasha nargolkar | SENIOR Strategist
With a diverse background in social sciences I have always been interested in bridging the gap between industries to create more holistic multicultural, multidisciplinary platforms of engagement and understanding.
As an anthropologist and ethnographer with a background in development economics and public policy, I have worked across several industries ranging from FMCGs, NGO’s ,governmental/International development organizations, Universities and think tanks all with the intention of creating more interdisciplinary dialogue and collaboration.
My research background and interests are spread across sociocultural and visual Anthropology, environmental conservation, Intangible Cultural Heritage, public policy and interdisciplinary academic research within the social sciences.
I have an M.Sc. in Anthropology and Development Economics from the London School of Economics and Political Science, UK, and have been a Research Scholar and graduate student of Development Economics at the University of Gottingen, Germany.
gayatri sapru | Senior Strategist
Prior to joining Plum, I was a consulting Anthropologist and worked with diverse clients from culture based start-ups, NGOs, F&B and Fortune 500 companies. My main interests have always involved understanding cultural nuances that affect ways of sensing the world - therefore linguistics, semiotics and ethnography form the backbone of my researcher toolbox. I am intrigued by emerging technologies and ways in which they both disrupt and accommodate local and indigenous knowledge systems.
I read for my Master’s in Anthropology at the University of Oxford and remain keenly interested in academia and ways in which theory can meet reality in consumer insights.
INDUSTRIES WE'VE CUT OUR TEETH IN
Tech, Lifestyle, Social Enterprise, Entertainment, Fashion, FMCG, Finance and more...
View all case studies
"I worked with Plum Insights for a project at Converse. Our project was managed impeccably well - from recruitment to field work, despite all the time difference (Converse is based in Boston) and a relatively wide scope of work.
The team used an effective and interesting mix of research methods, that helped us probe in the right direction and unravel some rich insights, but what particularly stood out was how the team managed to translate those learnings into precise and actionable recommendations.
The findings played a significant role in crafting the way forward for the brand in India. Would highly recommend Plum Insights to any international brands looking for an agile, enthusiastic and culturally attuned research partner in India."
Brand Strategy Consultant,
"We had a great time working with Sneha & her team at Plum Insights for our YouTube Channel Vitamin Stree. The research conducted was very in-depth and insightful, and has helped us structure not only the content & topics we put out on the channel, but the overall ideology of the channel itself."
Head, original content (non fiction),
"On behalf of the team, I would like to thoroughly thank you for the rich insights that you have churned for us! We have gained a lot from our experience with you, and your cooperation and commitment to us has been greatly appreciated. Throughout the process - right from designing the study, to field work, and eventually the final workshop which required multiple stakeholders to align on findings - we found Plum in sync with our needs and expectations. We particularly enjoyed our field experience with Plum where we were able to breach the typical 'client-agency' relationship constraints and collectively work towards a common goal. It was a pleasure working with Plum! Keep it up, and would love to stay connected with your team in the future."
Associate Vice President & Head,
MTV Beats, Research & Content Partnerships