With a passion for brand building, the sky is the limit for Yogesh Bafna

Posted on 15 Oct 2017 11:05 in Inspiring Stories
by Siddharth Deshmukh

Young, energetic and endlessly passionate entrepreneur Yogesh Bafna tells us a fascinating and inspiring story - in his words.

I got a call from this young man in his 30s asking for a time if he could come and meet me. Wow, I was already exhausted, it was a long day for me, I was in my already 4th meeting of the day. But, I just could not say NO, his passions and energy on the phone was so high for me to say no. I got my energy back!


Former Creative Director at Affinity Express where he started as a proofreader, just because he doesn't know computer. Today he is a successful entrepreneur, this itself was enough for me to learn more about this young man and his journey from proofreader to Co-founder of Branding and Advertising Agency.


When he walked into my office, he looks so tired and exhausted, but his passion for this business and excitement to share his story was so high that within 15 min he was ready and talking unstoppable!


Entrepreneurs always have boundless energy!


As we sat down with tea, the conversation kicked off with Yogesh he being a self-made man and what it was like. Reminiscing, He talked about his childhood, and how he grew up with a passion for art in the conservative business family.


Here is Inspiring Story Of Yogesh Bafna, Director of Optimist Brand Design - A Brand Strategy Consultancy.


As the youngest child in the family, Yogesh was pampered by all, but this changed when it was time to select, what he wants to learn and become in life. Though he still feels his mother and elder brother understood his dreams.


Art Above Family Business

“My father wanted me to get into the family business.”


Yogesh even worked in the family shop for 2 years, but that was not his destiny. Yogesh really loved art, expressing himself using different forms of art. His love for art took him to Abhinav Kala Mahavidyalaya in Pune; there he decided to take up Fine Arts & Design. At that time in his class, there were only 9 students, as more and more people wanted to become Doctor or Engineer than the following career in art.


In 2002 Yogesh complete is graduation as B.F.A (Bachelor of Fine Arts & Design). But instead of he get encouragement at home, he has been questioned, what is next? What will he do for earning? At that time common misconception in the traditional family was, art means painting the Film Poster!


There was a small fight between father and son, and Yogesh decided to give up and started working in family Jewellery shop unit 2005, but his heart was not at rest. Finally, he gathered courage and breakaway to follow his heart.



Next journey …

For Yogesh, it was time to prove himself, but before that earn some money to survive. This proud man always wanted to be self-dependent.


Entering and leaving Affinity Express

Yogesh joined Affinity Express - outsource creative service agency in 2005.


Here is an interesting story, how this young boy got this job. Though Yogesh was Bachelor of Fine Arts & Design, the world was little ahead. All design work was done on a computer using different software, but Yogesh could not operate a computer then (Sad side of the education system in India). So most of the interviews he failed, just because of this reason. Finally, Yogesh decided to start applying for Marketing jobs, but was he fit for that role even?


During an interview with Affinity Express CEO, he again faced the same question, same answer and same problem, but luckily CEO suggested him why not try his hands at proofreading? Because as commercial artist they also took his English Language and grammar test, where he scored 99.99% 


Yogesh jumped on the opportunity and took up this job, which he needed badly at that time to survive.


“Survival is the ability to swim in strange water.”
― Frank Herbert, Dune


But this young man will not stop there, he took this as a challenge, and not only excelled in his job but also started learning computer and went back on his journey as a creative artist. When Yogesh left Affinity Express, he was Creative Director in the company.


"I was fortunate that they trusted me, provided with the opportunity to climb from proofreader to QC, Account Manager and, finally Creative Director. It was transforming experience; I learned so many things about business. I enjoyed every moment of what I was doing.”


But after a point, he wanted to do something more challenging. Something of his own. Like any restless young man, he wanted to build his own world. 


“I thought if I can work hard for other business why can’t for self? If I fail I know I can return to industry and find a new job.” 


A new venture

At Affinity Express Yogesh Bafna, Aniket Sathe and Prasad Patankar become good friends. With their shared love for creativity, it was only natural for Yogesh and his friends Aniket and Prashant to want to turn it into a business. Thus, they co-founded Optimist Brand Design


“I wanted to build the most credible brand development company in the nation and to reform small brands to major and known brands over the period.”


He fondly remembers on 4th July 2008 (Independence Day of The United States Of America), all friends were on company bus from Balgandharva to Hinjewadi and discussing future, Yogesh coin the idea of starting own venture, and within three days they regained. Though at a time it was scary and difficult in early days, all of them was sure they could make it.


Building and Running a Company.

In Yogesh's own words -

"Startups who struggle to increase business are good clients for us."


As we started working, we offered Logo Design, Brochure Designing, Web design, etc. to startups and small business who struggle to increase their business.


But I early on realized that my communication skills and way I put up a proposal to a client is nothing but 360-degree Marketing Strategy. 


At a time and even today, most of the companies offer these services as separate services. They are specialized in one or two functions such as marketing strategies, communication strategies, artwork, and advertising. But no buddy provide all under one roof. There is a significant gap and a huge pain in collaborating with all stakeholders to promote the single brand.


So in the year 2015, at Optimist Brand Design we decided to start offering complete solution under one roof to create and prompt 360-degree brand strategy for our customers.



Like most entrepreneurs who juggle multiple roles early in the business, Yogesh to find difficult to manage time and find himself sometimes completely lost. Many a time he finds he is not able to cop up with time and other times Yogesh feels excitement and energy he has is not matching with others, they seem to be not on the same level as his.


Managing time, being efficient and improving team productivity are some of the challenges he wishes to tackle in coming days. Shimbi Labs will help him to resolve these difficulties with automation and process setting through Shimbi CRM in coming days.



Multitasking Entrepreneur and Family Man

In his hectic schedule, Yogesh still finds time for his wife and his 3-year-old son Mithraan. Yogesh never forgot to mention how is wife Dr. Sejal Bafna supports.


"Dr. Sejal Bafna my wife supports me and understands my business priorities. Because of her I could focus on my business."


He is also passionate cook & love to cook for his family on occasions. This young man frequently visits many places to explore lifestyle, culture, and behavior of local people.


“Portrait being my best subject, I am a keen observer, it helps me in my profession.”


I always watch my steps and advice same to young wannabe entrepreneurs not to be carried away by success and be aware of surroundings. Observe.


We concluded the talk with his vision for the business. 


“To successfully create and position 100 brands in the market.”


I wished him best for all future endeavors.


When we said goodbye, I left with this thought: for some job is a burden for Yogesh his work is his hobby, his passion.


About Optimist Brand Design

We brand. We strategize. We plan. We design.
We create. We campaign. We are ‘The advertising agency.'

We strive for marking that milestone which will emerge as the rare event for our clients. We thus ensure that our clients are the aces who drive their sector through.

Our creations and our plans work strong and walk with the current times. We carve trends, we brand strategies, and we sign off deliverables that account for uniqueness and specialty.

We dare ourselves to bring out the bestest of best in everything we think, to everything we do. We push ourselves hard enough to create the destinations, with our optimism, being the fundamental intake for our creative diet.


Get in touch -
Optimist Brand Design Facebook Page | Website


Information is purely based on interview contents, we at ShimBi Labs done best to verify all information provided, but we can not guarantee the accuracy of all contents.



About the author

Siddharth Deshmukh     
Founder and CEO of ShimBi Labs. Working with Small Businesses and creatively solving their real business problems using technology is my passion. Love #Startups.

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