The Sage Archetype

-Pallavi Salvi

To know is to grow. Eagerness to know, seek information, understand, imbibe, inculcate and then pass-on, teach, explain, share – Here is a Sage personality; methodical and objective. An unquenchable thirst to know more; they have time, history and proven strategies on their side.

A constant desire to discover the truth, they use intelligence and analysis to understand the world. Their strategy is to seek out information and knowledge, become self-reflective and understand thinking processes. Their greatest gift is wisdom and intelligence. They are a trusted source of information and benevolent mentors.

Remember the great wizard Gandalf from The Lord of the Rings? He is a good example of a Sage personality. Some others from this archetype are Albert Einstein, Oprah Winfrey, President Abdul Kalaam, Amartya Sen, Mark Zuckerberg, Barkha Dutt.

Some may think that Sage does seem similar to a Hero or Explorer archetype. Sage is an essential driver of the Hero’s Journey, delegating the task of changing the world to their often younger, more naive and eager fellows. The Sage differs from the Creator in that they do not always use their knowledge to change the world, and very rarely do they desire to create something new––in this, the Sage might be closer to the Explorer. While the Explorer’s goals are outward, the Sage’s are inward.

How Sages Bring Their Brand to Life – To connect with their potential customers, they avoid sounding stupid. Instead, they communicate using facts, higher level vocabulary, and deep imagery. Their tone of voice is intelligent, factual, authoritative, and researched.

Sage brands provide expertise or information to customers, encourage customers to think, are based on new scientific findings or esoteric knowledge, are supported by research-based facts, want to differentiate themselves from others whose quality or performance is suspect. Even a 5-year-old child knows that when you need an answer to something – you Google it! Can there be a greater marker of brand success than becoming a verb? Also TED Talks, CNN, Nat Geo, IBM, HBR, Colgate, Dr. Fixit, Asian Paints are some examples of Sage brands.

Sage is like a guiding light, but as every light creates a shadow, so does a Sage faces fear of becoming opinionated, intellectually isolated, disconnected from reality and arrogant. But as long as the light shines bright on you, there is no better and competent Guru! The Oracle!


1992 - 1996
1997 - 2001
2001 - 2007
2013 - 2019


Deepa starts working at Hindustan Unilever Ltd., and after working there for a few years decides to take a career break to take care of her son. The family plans to move to Jamaica, and she wishes to resume working. There are not a lot of opportunities post a career break for her, and this makes her realise the plight of women all across the world who are trying to resume working after taking a break. The seed for Lumière is planted. Deepa joins J.A. Young Research Ltd. to get back to her roots, and ultimately decides to start her own firm under her CA's advise.



Start of Lumière Consultancy in Jamaica



The family is aching to return to India, and post the birth of her second child, Deepa gets an offer from HUL to rejoin them. She has an itch to make it on her own, and so declines. This results in a different type of engagement between the two, and Lumière engages exclusively with HUL by expanding their scope. Deepa builds a stronghold in consumer behavior, and Lumière develops into an entity of its own. Inception of 'Consumer Centricity', which is their future key to strength, begins. With an expansion in their work, they need more resources and a group of like-minded talented professional women to join the team. Lumière gives them solace, a place to grow, rebuild their careers, and achieve goals beyond their expectations. They begin with mentoring initiatives, with an urge to inspire young individuals. People approach them through word-of-mouth, references, and to create opportunities beyong market research, Lumière becomes a Pvt. Ltd. company.



An opportunity arises to be a part of something big, to analyse the growth mindset and the creation of a best practice document for sequential recycling. Lumière makes an impact across categories and branches into Product Testing and Category Creation.



Lumière touches ₹ 1 crore. Their brochure is presented at MRSI. The company turns 10, and Milind joins the team as an observer. This becomes the phase of Lumière's upheavel: from scaling up, digitization and automation of processes, to plugging in leakages across departments and accounts. Their billings reach ₹ 3 crores.



Rashmi Bansal dedicates a chapter of her book 'Follow Every Rainbow' to Deepa and Lumière. The company enters adulthood, and they facilitate change management for Lumière. The introduction of the Gallup Strengths to the portfolio is a game changer. A revamp of the technological infrastructure ensues, giving way to an articulation of Lumière 3.0.