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The Convergence Of Many Paths - Meet Brand Strategy Expert Neel Singh

Neel Singh is an entrepreneur, business leader and creative with over 20 years of experience in the intersection of brand strategy, change management and design thinking. Neel consults organizations helping them become a driving innovator in their industries and he regularly mentors entrepreneurs on their growth. Neel co-founded Tropoly, a brand transformation and strategy firm and is an advisor to YELL, an organization bringing entrepreneurial learning to high schools.


Hi Neel! Tell us a little bit about yourself.


Hello! I'm Neel Singh, an entrepreneurial soul hailing from Vancouver. Growing up with two parents who are highly accomplished writers, the fire of creativity was instilled in me from a young age. My sister, who holds a Ph.D. in philosophy only furthered my appreciation for intellectual curiosity. I've got what some might call a "multipotentiality" gene, which means I’m naturally driven to explore many areas of interest and become talented in several of them. Throughout my life, I’ve immersed myself in drawing, animation, music, writing, and photography. And professionally I’ve successfully built my repertoire across strategy, marketing, operations, technology and creative. I've been both an entrepreneur and an executive, and I continue to develop a path that is unconventional to most.


What is your business name and how do you help your clients? What kind of audience do you target your business towards?


My firm is Tropoly which I founded recently alongside two partners. We work with future-facing organizations that are looking to disrupt their industry. We provide brand transformation services which range from strategic branding to business model innovation to change management. What makes us different is the unique intersection of our experiences and our ability to harness technology and AI to augment our solutions.


We focus on working with high-growth companies that are heading towards a large milestone such as funding or an M&A, and we also work with established organizations that need external expertise to help them position and innovate into new areas.


What would you like to achieve for yourself and your business in the future?


For Tropoly we would like to make a difference in transforming industries such as education, finance, health and the environment to push humanity toward a future that thrives as the best version of our collective selves.


As a personal goal: It’s beyond me why we still teach kids through a system based on the industrial revolution which is so far outdated by the world we live in today. This needs to change drastically and urgently. I’ll be pushing to make an impact in the areas of education and entrepreneurship with the hopes of creating a symmetry between the education system and the “real world.” Some of this will be done through the work we do through Tropoly, and some will be done through my independent activities.


Tell us about your greatest career achievement so far.


I have led over 100 branding and positioning projects. Additionally, I’ve been an exec at a start-up in which we scaled through hyper-growth and into a publicly listed company.


Tell us about a pivotal moment in your life that brought you to where you are today.


With my non-linear path, I felt a loss of identity in my younger days. I knew I was creative so I applied to a well-known art and design school in Vancouver, only to have my application rejected. The projects I submitted were received very well, however, I didn’t show the thought processes and planning behind the work, so they docked enough points to deny my application.


I was shattered. I felt my true calling was in a creative field, and a certification from this school would validate that for me. However, this rejection was a blessing in disguise - it sent me down a path toward pragmatic thinking to supplement my creative work. I taped the letter of rejection on my desk, so it stared at me every day reminding me to ‘show my work’. As I progressed in my career, the methods I used to show my thinking morphed into the ability to design bespoke frameworks and models leading to strategic and creative outcomes. This has helped me tremendously across areas like research, strategy, creative development, pitching to CEO’s and presenting at keynotes.


For more information, connect with Neel on LinkedIn and visit his website!

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