Passion and hard work accompany success. Vince Lombardi quoted once, “Leaders are made, they are not born”. Priyanka Agrawal is one such leader, who has come to the forefront of business with her hard work and dedication, which in turn moulded her to be a best-fit in order to stand amongst the world’s top most talented entrepreneurs.
Priyanka is the Co-founder, COO and Chief Experience Officer of Fractal Ink Design Studio–Linked by Isobar. After graduating in 1999, as an architect from BIT Mesra, Priyanka started her own firm called ‘Ambiaance Designs’ in 2001 along with her life partner, Tanay. In 2006, they sold off that company and went to London, where she pursued her Master’s in Design. Later on, she worked with DMGT (The Daily Mail Group) in London where she got exposure to the field of User Experience in its full glory.
In 2010, she landed in India with high aspirations and big dreams of starting a new venture. That’s when the foundation for Fractal Ink Design Studio Pvt. Ltd. was laid with her fellow co-founders Geeta, Hemant and Tanay.
As a Founder and Chief Experience Officer, Priyanka aims to be a consultant and makes clients aware of the various possibilities in their domain. She tries to show them the vision of what they can do, rather than just look at the competition and trying to mimic them. “I think my biggest strength is ideation and looking out for disruptive solutions. Diversifying their thoughts using design thinking principles and then converting them into the right solution is my prime goal,” asserts Priyanka.
Priyanka always tries to create a balance between Research and Analysis with proper science behind why and how they should be implementing solutions, at the same time push boundaries and build an innovation layer that might require a leap of faith to see if it succeeds. When it comes to honest opinions Priyanka’s clients always trust her. According to her, the biggest win is when they keep coming back for it.
Priyanka attributes her success to her biggest mentor and inspiration in life, her Dad, who has given a perspective to look at this world with an immense amount of optimism. In her journey, Priyanka relies on two other people as well, Geeta and Tanay, who are not only the Co-founders but also a great support system who help take the vision of Fractal Ink to greater heights with their amazing energy and talent.
Fractal Ink Design Studio
Fractal Ink Design Studio has grown from an initial setup in a small garage like office with 6 people, to around a 100 people company, as seen now. The company has come a long way in establishing itself as one of the best in the craft of Experience Design.
Fractal Ink is built inside out on the philosophy of “User Centric Design” approach. The Experience Design studio focuses on understanding the clients’ business needs and the users’ objectives and addressing them with innovative ideas and solutions that are effective and engaging. The organization’s work spans over sectors from BFSI to e-commerce, enterprise to devices and everything in between. The company works with top global consulting firms to provide digital design services to their clients. The underlying bedrock idea in establishing Fractal Ink is to push the boundaries of experience design and to be persistent in the efforts to look for ‘What next’ rather than ‘What is’.
The Boxing Ring
Priyanka believes in long-term partnerships and not on one-time clients. Fractal Ink has clients sticking with the company for the past six years, where it keeps innovating with them and adding value to their core business. This happens only because the company doesn’t think like entrepreneurs but as honest and passionate designers. Fractal Ink’s process is not driven by change request and sign off closures but getting to the absolute right solution for the client.
“We also, fight a lot with our clients. Our premise is if we are not questioning and reasoning enough, we are giving you ‘what you want’ not necessarily ‘what you actually need’. For the very same reason, we have named our boardroom “THE BOXING RING”. If you are not fighting it out, you are not thinking enough,” says the COO.
The Ups and Downs
All successful personalities etched in the entrepreneurial world history have great stories to tell. Priyanka, an outstanding entrepreneur of today’s age, also has an interesting life experience to share, which inspires many of the budding aspirants to take strong decisions that may turn their lives upside down. Both risk and success are the two faces of a coin. Priyanka has gone through all the ups and downs in her career, before creating Fractal Ink. She shares her experience here.
“The biggest risk in my life was when I left my job one random day on the back of a freelance opportunity. I still remember, Tanay was completing his Masters in IIT Bombay and I was working for some 10,000 per month salary. One evening, on my way back home, I got a freelance offer over a call, for some 30,000 to execute a project. The only thought that came to my mind was that this will sustain me for the next 3 months and I am sure I will find something else too during this period. Next day, I walked up to my boss and put my resignation in.
That to me was the craziest thing I have done and since my husband is equally crazy there was no resistance. I am so glad today because there was no looking back from that moment. This set the momentum of taking risks in our lives quite early in our career and we kept this randomness drive our lives. We did it the second time when we packed bags to move to London to start from ground zero and again the third time when we moved back from London to Mumbai to build something greater.”
Priyanka doesn’t call herself successful yet, instead, she gives all credits to the fantastic partnership between her and the fellow co-founders. “If we didn’t work well together as a team we would have failed miserably. We fought, we cried, we voiced our concerns openly. We resolved, we hugged and we moved forward with double vigour,” asserts Priyanka.
A Piece of Advice
“I think a positive attitude is all that matters. A positive and happy mind creates wonderful solutions. ‘Failure is the pillar of success’ is what my advice to all my peers,” says Priyanka.
Fractal Ink runs Friday sessions to motivate the teams, where they connect with each other as human beings and celebrate. It is a mix of talks, workshops, project sunset reviews, domain knowledge or just a fun activity. The company also runs an experience lab where it encourages people to come and experiment with new technologies and create solutions.
Priyanka affirms that mediocracy shouldn’t be an option for success and honesty towards work should never be compromised. A book that greatly inspired her as a creator is Ayn Rand’s ‘Fountainhead’.
Small Step Taken Today
“I really don’t have a set plan, but yes as of now we are ready to ride the wave of big data, internet of things, AI, Machine learning, AR, VR and the biggest of all, experiences created with voice or sound where we will see humans getting out of the black mirror and start engaging in real conversations with technology,” proclaims Priyanka.
More hard work and be more connected to all the people is the key mantra to success. Keeping clients happy and making them grow is the small step Priyanka takes today to foresee a big success tomorrow.