LDC Top 50 2022
Gush Mundae moved with his family from Delhi to Southall when he was five. “I couldn’t speak English and experienced a lot of racial abuse. I felt like I didn’t belong,” he says. He found his place in the hip hop and graffiti scene, which led to a career in graphic design.
He started his own London-based agency Bulletproof in 1998 and now employs 309 people across six offices globally. The company donates all of its pitch fees to charities, including Saavan’s Trust. “I’m a Sikh and was always taught about sewa: selfless service of others without reward,” says Mundae.
I’m a Sikh and was always taught about sewa: selfless service of others without reward. Last year we donated £113,000 in pitch fees to charity.”
What were your early influences?
I arrived in the UK when I was five. We moved here for a better life but the reality was very different. We swapped our four-bedroom house in India for a single room in a shared terrace. I experienced a lot of racism and was regularly stopped and searched by the police. I discovered the hip hop scene and got into graffiti. I had a natural talent for it and started getting respect for my work. My art teacher spotted my potential and encouraged me to study graphic design at college.
How did you get Bulletproof started?
I started Bulletproof in 1998 and roped in my college friend Jonny Stewart about nine months later. I bought contacts and would spend all day smashing the phones, work until midnight and then get the night bus home. It was just relentless. The turning point came a year later when we won our first big contract with Coca Cola.
What’s your ambition?
I’m a Sikh and was always taught about sewa: selfless service of others without reward. Last year we donated £113,000 in pitch fees to charities which are connected to our people personally. We build schools in underprivileged parts of the world – we want to help to change a life for the better through education.