Tanay Kumar: Heart-Driven Leader Transforming Virtual Ideas into Designer Reality

Tanay Kumar,Co-founder & CEO

Tanay Kumar

Co-founder & CEO

Too often the business is all about doing what your head tells you rather than your heart. Traditional leadership styles are the ones that are usually focused on taking an analytical approach that leads to the success of the business organization. But for Tanay Kumar (Co-founder & CEO, Fractal Ink Design Studio – a renowned UI/UX design studio), it is more of a call from the heart than the mind. Having experiences that braced Tanay’s belief of how to actually be ready for anything in life, this succinct stint was the moment when he saw design as a much bigger game-changer. His brainchild Fractal Ink was established in 2010, and specializes in user experience and user interface design & offers digital design services to clients from multiple domains. Combining creativity & technology, the company has revolutionized the custom build experiences by placing design on forefront to deliver the best digital experience across borders. Spearhead of Visual Design & Design Strategy, Tanay has been successful in propelling digital design segment to another level, which enabled the company get recognized as one of the top studios who have been contributing to the industry seamlessly.

The Chronicle Unfolds
An ingenious entrepreneur & idea hamster, Tanay’s story is quite inspiring. Having spent childhood in a town like Jamshedpur where engineering & medical were the only career options, he broke the stereotype by opting design as his line of education and business, because the destiny had other plans for him. His parents always stood by his side as the strongest support pillar throughout his journey, although they had limited understanding of the future of this career choice.

After graduating as an Architect from BIT Mesra, he joined IIT - Bombay to pursue visual communication. It is during his days at BIT Mesra that he met his better half – Priyanka who is not
just his soul mate but also his co-founder and business partner. Tanay mentions, “Coming from a small town like Jamshedpur, Mumbai took me by surprise. The two years at IIT made me look through the city & the opportunities that prevail. That’s when the decision to start off in Mumbai took a concrete place in my mind”.

Instead of scanning the screen all the time, Tanay encourages his workforce to explore the world and creativity around them

However thought and reality have two different faces. Post his architecture course, Tanay and Priyanka joined an architectural firm comprising of three people (including them). Having their first job in hand, the desire to perform the best made them put in all their energy & enthusiasm. Since it was a small office, every task from cleaning washrooms to preparing tea for clients was done by themselves. Learning that every work is worthy, he states, “These chores may sound trivial but taught me the importance of every little detail that goes in building a company. Being empathetic and respectful towards people in every role is an outcome of the experience we have gone through. Till date that's the ethos I still live with.”

These first hand experiences laid the foundation of his entrepreneurial journey. Since the architecture job was insufficient for what he was aspiring for, he decided to quit and start off his first company with Priyanka named Ambiaance Designs in 2001. Although there were many check-posts (trust issues, client cheating, and unpaid projects) slashing their pockets in the beginning, but all these were not enough to stop him in fulfilling his dreams. What kept him going was his ambition to achieve his goals & passion to convert it in reality.

By now, Tanay was familiar with the quintessence of the architecture industry. Grabbing opportunities at the right time has always been Tanay’s expertise; After a few years in Mumbai, Priyanka and he sold off their first Business and moved to London in 2006 to try new shores. While in London he didn’t take much time to realize that India would soon catapult itself into rapid digital growth. It was now the moment to create a new business with User
Experience Design at the heart of it. Together with his peers – Priyanka Agrawal, Geeta Suthar & Hemant Suthar, he incepted Fractal Ink Design Studio Pvt. Ltd. in 2010 to bring a wave of change in the UX/UI industry. This was a major kick-creative-start of his journey, a switch from rocky straggly path to lucid platform towards success.

Building Bond & not Bondage
There is a long history of corporations wherein the intense bossiness was the reason for incoherent correlation between the boss & employees. But the young preneurs like Tanay have turned the table round. Tanay, being a self-professed entrepreneur, admits of being too friendly & not domineering with his employees whom he always refers to as his ‘colleagues’. Leaders like him guide, not direct, that helps them brace close relationship with their colleagues. Instead of scanning the screen all the time, Tanay encourages his workforce to explore the world and creativity around them.

The Grounded Success
For a person like Tanay, whose heart is in business & business in heart, money has always been a by-product, for he values skill over currency. He asserts, “When you are connected to what you do from heart & not only from mind, the growth comes very naturally because you start being very passionate about it”. Avowing that his fervor & honesty towards work has helped him conquer world, both digitally & personally, Tanay avers, “Never ever in the whole journey you should actually be dishonest about what you are doing”. Skimming days of discouragement & distress, Tanay today stands as a proud CEO claiming that “I am living the life of my dream”.

While a mentor to many UX groups and design incubators around the country including IIM, Ahmedabad & CII design committee, he also helps educational institutions & design schools in formulating design curriculum around industry. Having foot in the boar across India (Bombay, Gurgaon & Bangalore) & Asia-Pacific, Tanay intends to have monetary & knowledge based geographical growth globally. Having blueprints to expand Fractal Ink to the next level, he is committed to pour his life-time experiences in carving a new path for experience design. He plans to leverage new age technologies such as virtual/ augmented reality and sound design to create next level of experiences for people using everyday objects around us.