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Malavika Rao

Malavika believes that life is most richly lived when you are always learning. After 15 years in advertising mainly at Saatchi & Saatchi - working first as business head and more recently strategy lead on a multitude of leading local and global brands in automotive, banking, beauty, tourism, transport, beverages and more in the dynamic Middle East North Africa region - Malavika has decided to hit the refresh button and go back to school. In a world that technology is changing by the minute she believes reinventing and challenging the status quo is not just necessary but an obligation to herself and the people she works with.


In her career working with various brands and brand custodians Malavika has found that the articulation of the problem has in fact been the biggest problem. A believer in Design Thinking principles and having dabbled in it a little, Malavika is thrilled to be joining the Branding program at SVA to master the strategic frameworks that can help identify the core issue to equally create the best cupcake shop in the world or put a man on Mars. She believes strongly that consumer centric problem solving combined with robust, engaging brand storytelling is where the magic lies and will always be timeless regardless of trend or fad.


Tri cultural in a way - born in India and still closely rooted; raised in and having spent most of her adult life in Dubai; college educated in and nurturing a long love affair with New York - Malavika is looking forward to discovering the good, the bad and the ugly as a resident of what she considers to be the greatest city in the world. In her spare time Malavika can be found feeding her wanderlust, the insatiable foodie in her, indulging in her love of the aesthetic, being truly humbled by outstanding theatre, burning up a dance floor or binge watching a wicked sharp Netflix show.

The curriculum for The Masters in Branding Program allows students to create frameworks to guide brand, design and business development, critically evaluate brand, business, marketing and design strategies and Master the intellectual link between leadership and creativity. Learn more...


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Debbie Millman
Chair, Co-founder


Emily Weiland

Director of Operations, Graduate Advisor


Steven Heller
Co-founder, Faculty Advisor