Nine Years of Going Bananas

July 1, 2023
Prashant Chari

Today marks 9 years since Savio and I went bananas and started Teen Bandar! It's hard to believe that it has been nine wild years since we collected our first cheque. It feels like time has flown by, and as we look back on our journey, we can't help but feel a mix of nostalgia, pride, and ….old.

They say the journey is the destination, and our journey with Teen Bandar has been nothing short of a rollercoaster ride. From the early days of uncertainty to the heights of success, we've experienced ups, downs, and everything in between. We've found ourselves in rooms and situations where we definitely didn’t deserve to be, but those experiences have shaped us into who we are today.

Unforgettable Moments and Resilience

This year has been one for the books, filled with unforgettable moments and remarkable achievements. We've traversed the length of our country, battling extreme weather conditions and overcoming obstacles to deliver fresh, original, and captivating content day in and day out. From creating inspiring songs, reels, mini documentaries, to crafting compelling ad films, we've reached millions of people and made an impact.

Amidst the triumphs, there were days when we felt overwhelmed and doubted our ability to succeed. We shed tears, lost belief, and questioned ourselves. But true to our spirit, we persevered. Looking back, I realise that those challenging moments shaped us, made us stronger, and instilled in us the resolve to leave a lasting mark.

Embracing Change in the Age of AI

As we enter our tenth year, we find ourselves contemplating the impact of AI on our industry. The rise of artificial intelligence has raised concerns about the future of our jobs and the evolving dynamics of creative work. It's a valid question to ask what more we will be able to do as technology advances.

In the coming years, we believe that the lines between specialists and generalists will blur. It will become increasingly important for individuals in our design, film, and development teams to embrace a more versatile skill set. In this era of AI, taste and creativity will be the true differentiators for agencies, while speed and technical prowess will take a back seat. We are entering a phase where being a tinkerer and tweaker will be ever more essential.

Collaboration and Human Craftsmanship

Looking ahead, collaboration with AI will be key to thriving in the next decade. Rather than seeing AI as a threat, we should view it as a powerful tool that can enhance our creative process. Those who embrace this collaboration will be better positioned for success than those who resist it. As they say, adapt or die.

This author certainly needs to improve his generative AI skills while inserting team photos into a blog!

However, amidst the abundance of computer-generated content, we mustn't lose sight of the value of human-generated thought and craft. We start to put a premium on human creativity and originality. After all, it's the human touch that brings authenticity and emotional connection to our work. Let's ensure that we strike a balance between leveraging technology and preserving the unique perspectives and skills that only humans can provide.

This will be the edge that, together with our team, we will strive to make our own. We have some of the industry’s finest talents in our corner, and our new creations will be a collaboration between man and machine. 

Prioritising Self-Worth and Future Aspirations

In our journey, we've made sacrifices and faced tough decisions. One of the significant sacrifices was choosing to walk away from clients who started to take us for granted. It may have seemed arrogant at the time, but it was a decision to prioritise our sense of self-worth and the value we bring to the table. In this ever-changing landscape, it's essential to make choices that align with our core values and foster our growth.

As we move forward, we find ourselves wondering what Teen Bandar will be remembered for. The next year holds the promise of sowing the seeds of our future aspirations. We aim to develop our own content, pursue unique ideas, and find innovative ways to integrate great brands into captivating storytelling. Our impermanence is inevitable, but we strive to make a dent in the universe and create a lasting impact.


National Geographic recently made a significant announcement: their last staff writers have been laid off, and the iconic magazine will no longer be available for sale starting next year. This news struck a chord with me, taking me back to the time when Savio worked with the Indian publisher of National Geographic - before we embarked on the Teen Bandar journey. It was during their launch event that Savio gave his good friend (me) the opportunity to contribute to the event's environment design and prepare a presentation for Commander Dilip Donde—a true adventurer who achieved the extraordinary feat of solo-circumnavigating the globe without motorised assistance. I still hold dear my extensive DVD collection of National Geographic magazines, spanning their entire history.

The brand's legacy represents a celebration of exploring the unknown, and it serves as a reminder to keep our passion for making an impact alive and to provide a lens through which people can see the world. While Commander Donde accomplished his remarkable feat alone, in my own journey, I couldn’t have gone solo. Fortunately, I have Savio by my side, running ahead, setting the pace, and sharing this remarkable (and sometimes, torturous) journey with me.

As I reflect on National Geographic's influence and the accomplishments of Commander Donde, we continue on the Teen Bandar journey, driven by the desire to make a lasting impact, shape unique narratives, and offer a thoughtful perspective to those who engage with our work.