Ranjan Das

Ranjan Das: Disrupting consulting practices with Fox&Angel

Written by: Lubna Reshi

Name: Ranjan Das | Designation: Business Consulting and Services | Company: Fox&Angel | Place: New Delhi

(June 22, 2023) Ranjan Das, an entrepreneur with a passion for entrepreneurship and a deep interest in the world of business, founded AppplCombine, a successful agency specializing in brand development and marketing strategies in 1998. Recognized as a leading agency, AppplCombine laid the foundation for Ranjan’s future endeavors. He also established Fox&Angel, a vertical integration of AppplCombine, aimed at disrupting conventional consulting practices. ET BrandEquity named him the 2022 the winner of the coveted Shark Award, which he calls the result of relentless pursuit of excellence, innovative problem-solving, and a deep understanding of the client’s industry.

Born as the fourth to a classical singer mother and an engineer father, Ranjan’s childhood was the perfect blend of practicality and the arts, and he learned early how to maintain a balanced approach to work and life. Growing up in Delhi, Ranjan knew that his interest lay in entrepreneurship but went on to explore sales and marketing roles after his graduation. However, he soon realized that he needed to follow his calling for business and founded his first agency, AppplCombine, in 1998.

Tapping the evolving business landscape

The venture proved to be immensely successful for Ranjan and laid the foundation for his future endeavours. “AppplCombine quickly gained recognition as a leading agency, specializing in brand development, marketing strategies, and innovative solutions. Over the years, we built a strong client base and delivered impactful results,” he tells Global Indian.

As he saw the business landscape evolving, Ranjan identified a new opportunity to assist brands in expanding internationally – which led him to establish Fox&Angel. A vertical integration of AppplCombine, Fox&Angel guides brands towards global success, with a deep emphasis on brands trying to enter the Indian market.

Ranjan das

Ranjan Das.

Building Fox&Angel

The concept of Fox&Angel stemmed from various pain points experience by businesses and brands, as a result of convential consulting models. “Big or small, all of these consulting brands seem to have been limited by inertia of no change and clients believe this is the best that they can get. Conventional Consulting sees Strategy and Implementation as two separate practices with no or very low correlation support.”

Ranjan found that clients would often end up with consultants who possess a broad range of skills but who lack the specific expertise needed for the job. It’s like trying to fit a square peg into a round hole, it simply doesn’t work. Consulting companies also tended to have lots of costs that don’t contribute to the quality of services delivered. “They are overburdened with dead costs that don’t offer any value to their services and solutions, making their services prohibitively expensive.” Rigid models also inhibit the process, “driven by spirals of hierarchy, consulting practices and teams that are not as agile and dynamic as one would want them to be.”

Fox&Angel was intended to disrupt these conventional methods and instead, provide client-favouring practices optimising professional talents and resources. Headquartered in New Delhi, it is supported by its own subsidiary in Singapore and strong allies in USA, UK and other European countries; it is spread across all major cities of the world through its collaborative matrix.

Creating a network

While founding Fox&Angel was exciting, Ranjan found that the key challenge was reaching out to potential clients, and creating awareness about the company and what it aimed to do. “We utilized various channels to reach out to people, including industry events, networking, and online platforms,” he says.

The team leveraged their existing connections and partnerships to build a strong network.  With a strong focus on thought leadership and sharing valuable insights through content creation and speaking engagements the team made strides towards success. While existing connects were helpful, the answer lay in consistently delivering quality results, to gain the trust of potential clients and to build a reputation as a brand.

Key Strategies and challenging clients

Dealing with challenging clients is a part of our journey, Ranjan admits. He has learned that empathy is a crucial cornerstome of effective entrepreneurship. “Actively listening to clients and bringing a solution-oriented mindset to the table,” as Ranjan explains, is their mantra.

It’s also vital to provide tailored solutions rather than generic, rigid ones and to align with the long-term goals of the clients. As they grew their experience and established a spotless track record, more brands approached them. “The biggest take away for our clients is the choice they get to make in choosing the team that works for them. As marketeers, under the aegis of AppplCombine, they have successfully guided numerous brands through complex market expansions, mitigated risks, and identified untapped opportunities for growth.”

Ranjan Das.

Stay ahead of emerging trends

Monitoring and staying ahead of industry trends is a crucial part of being in consulting. “We have a dedicated team that constantly monitors industry trends, conducts extensive market research, and participates in industry conferences and forums. This allows them to stay informed about the latest developments and insights.”

It’s important to understand, Ranjan explains, that “every client has unique requirements.” It allows them to customise their solutions. “We ensure that our clients receive up-to-date strategies and recommendations that align with their evolving needs,” Ranjan explains.

How to multiply efficiency

Technology and data analytics drive Fox&Angel’s practices, Ranjan says. This means staying abreast of the latest technology, tools and platforms to gather and analyse data. “It enables us to make informed decisions and provide actionable insights,” he explains. That’s how he ensures that efficiency is multiplied and helps him gain insight into valuable market trends and consumer behaviour.

Cultivate long-term relationships

Ranjan maintains that while approaching a client, the focus is always on maintaining a long-term relationship.  “The client is always the most important,” Ranjan says, speaking like a true entrepreneur. For this he has built a three-pronged approach: delivering exceptional results, providing ongoing support, and fostering open and transparent communication. ‘Walk the talk’ is a mantra we follow and swear by,” he chuckles.

Providing continuous support and staying engaged even after the initial project is completed goes a long way towards creating and maintaining long-term relationships. “We value open communication and make sure that we are actively listening to our clients’ needs, concerns and feedback,” Ranjan explains. “IT allows us to cultivate long-term relationships that are built on mutual trust and respect.”

Achievements galore

In 2022, Ranjan was named the winner of the ET BrandEquity Shark Award. “I was able to achieve this recognition by consistently delivering value and exceeding client expectations. Our team’s expertise, creativity, and strategic thinking played a significant role,” he says, adding that the award is a validation of the team’s commitment to excellence. “It motivates us to continue raising the bar for ourselves and our clients.”

Ranjan has worked in over 30 domains from the last 25 years, strategizing and marketing for over 75 top MNCs and National Brands in APAC, EMEA & USA markets. “I have launched over 12 global brands in India besides shaping and launching more than 15 successful large start-ups in APAC, the USA, the Middle East and Canada.”


Starting your own business can be an exciting and challenging endeavour. Here are some important pieces of advice.

  1. Clearly define your vision: Start by clearly defining your business’s vision, mission, and goals.
  2. Conduct market research: Understand your target market, competitors, and industry trends.
  3. Build a solid business plan: Create a comprehensive business plan that outlines your business structure, target audience, marketing approach, financial projections, and growth strategies.
  4. Seek mentorship and guidance: Connect with experienced entrepreneurs or industry experts who can provide valuable insights and guidance.
  5. Focus on delivering value: Always prioritize providing value to your customers.

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