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Fractal Ink Design Studio Going Beyond the Ordinary to Provide Unique Customer Experiences

Fractal Ink Design Studio Going Beyond the Ordinary to Provide Unique Customer Experiences

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[L-R]Geeta Suthar, Co-founder & Director-Business, Priyanka Agrawal, Co-founder & Director-User Experience,Tanay Kumar, CEO & Co-founder, Creative DirectorWe live today, in the ‘Age of Experience’. These times are defined by a customer that has become more aware, more discerning, more demanding and more vocal than ever before. To stay ahead of the game, companies that have been product centric, must evolve into those that put the customer at the center. They need to employ game changing thinking and leverage disruptive technologies to craft unique experiences that engage and excite.

Customer Experience or CX, is defined as the experience an organization provides its customer at every touch point of interaction, throughout the customer’s journey and the lifecycle of the business relationship. And this, is what Mumbai headquartered Fractal Ink(FI)specializes in helping its clients do – from defining and planning the entire CX roadmap of an organization, to designing and executing each intervention as a best-in-class experience. It provides services across the CX spectrum that includes, Digital Strategy, UX, UI, front-end engineering, motion graphics and more.

Customer Experience or CX, is defined as the experience an organization provides its customer at every touchpoint of interaction, throughout the customer’s journey and the lifecycle of the business relationship. And this, is what Mumbai headquartered Fractal Ink (FI) specializes in helping its clients do – from defining and planning the entire CX roadmap of an organization, to designing and executing each intervention as a best-in-class experience. It provides services across the CX spectrum that includes, Digital Strategy, UX, UI, front-end engineering, motion graphics and more.

The Early Years
Established in 2010, FI was formed when four designers discovered a common vision and a similar ethos. Three of those designers continue to run and grow the company - Tanay Kumar, an alumnus of BIT Mesra and IIT Bombay leads the team as its CEO and Creative Director, Priyanka Agrawal is COO and heads Strategy while Geeta Suthar is the COO and heads Business. Starting from humble beginnings, today Fractal ink is a celebrated name recognized for its specializations in user experience, user interface designs and offering digital design services to clients from multiple domains. “We started with six people, from an initial setup in a garage-like office. While facilities were limited, our dreams and intentions were not restricted. Luckily for us, we were at the right place at the right time. The industry saw a rapid growth in digital technology adoption during the first five years of our partnership. The country was going mobile – the penetration of mobile phones was wide, deep and very quick. Industry realized that the way to reach its
customers was through the phone and it felt like everyone wanted an app designed. That is when we kick started our journey towards offering compelling and usable designs, driven by deep understanding of consumer behavior and our clients’ business,” shares Tanay.

Proclaimed as One Of The First Companies In The Country To Focus On Ux Design, Fractal Ink Built a Mature Ux Practice Across Verticals Like Banking and Finance, Media And Entertainment, Lifestyle And E-Commerce and Enterprise Solutions


FI witnessed a turning point when Microsoft launched its new GUI called Metro UI in 2012. When Microsoft focused on UX/UI and wanted to compete with IOS and Android, they needed a design house in India to support them through this journey. After a test project, Microsoft engaged with the firm directly for three years retaining on an average six to eight people. They introduced FI to a wide range of large corporates and interesting start- ups, recommending that they work with the studio. Adding to the above, Priyanka says, “We wanted to be the early-movers. We knew that across the globe, user experience was gaining prominence, but in India the awareness of the discipline was very low and we saw an opportunity to evangelize and then own this domain. But initially, people didn't even understand the term - User Experience. We introduced the process in a few projects and tried to get our clients to realize the benefits it brought. It was a shaky start, but over a couple of years, they saw the value in the structured thinking and collaborative process."

The Fractal Growth story
India has a very strong technology story and is recognize dall over the world for its prowess in software development. It is fairly easy to access and hence no longer gave companies an edge over the other. All things being equal, design and experience stood out as the differentiator. “We saw this realization and shift in the importance that design and user experience was accorded, by about 2013. The C suite started getting involved in discussions and brainstorming and Design Thinking took centre stage.” Says Geeta. Blending creativity and technology, FI revolutionalized customer experiences over the next 3 – 4 years. Proclaimed as one of the first companies in the country to focus on UX design, FI built a mature UX practice across verticals like Banking and Finance, Media and Entertainment, lifestyle and e-commerce and enterprise solutions.

Rightfully aligning the firm to meet the customers’ objectives, says Geeta, “As proponents of customer experience, the experience we provide to our customers too is designed to be exceptional. We never think of ourselves as vendors, in fact we dislike the term. We think of ourselves as partners and our clients too start to think of us in that way after working with us.” “We rarely lose clients. Once they work with us, they continue to work with us over a wide range of needs. This is primarily because the client relationships and the end product are most important to us,
and we leave no stone unturned to deliver the best possible solution some times even at the cost of profitability. We are an extremely passionate bunch of designers and it shows in every interaction with us” interjects Tanay.

Thorough research and detailed processes with added bursts of inspiration has enabled the company to deliver compelling solutions, some of which have become gold standards in industries. From designing entire ecosystems for new businesses and customer centric e-commerce experiences to simplifying complex workflows involved in enterprise solutions, FI delivered them all, earning respect and accolades in equal measure.

“The culture at FI is something we are very proud of. We are a studio that recognizes and rewards talent and is very growth oriented. We run several training programs regularly that span across design skills as well as soft skills and run a ‘buddy program’ which ensures that all the juniors get mentored and ingrained with the Fractal ethos,” says Priyanka. She is joined by the other who say that the company also believes in celebrating together regularly. Birthdays are celebrated, as are new project wins or the delivery of projects. Efforts are recognized with monthly awards internally always keeping the spirits of the studio high. Geeta adds – “The three of us are extremely accessible. We are not locked away behind closed doors and everyone can come and speak with us at any time – and they do!”

Scaling Up
Fractal ink Design Studio has come a long way over the last eight years, establishing itself as one of the leading names in the digital strategy and design space. Currently based out in Mumbai, the firm intends to spread its wings across Gurgaon and Bengaluru in the coming days. The leading experiential design studio in India, was acquired by the Dentsu Aegis Network at the end of 2016, and has been rebranded as “Fractal Ink Design Studio - Linked by Isobar”. This acquisition gives the company access to even larger projects and the opportunity to offer combined services with other DAN companies bringing integrated and holistic solutions from Startegy and Design to Media and Marketing making the proposition compelling.

As future plans for growth and scale, Fractal ink is aggressively adopting new age technologies such as virtual/augmented reality and sound design to create next level experiences for its customers. It is also strengthening its current offerings by growing its research practice and augmenting that with a usability lab in the studio, both services seeing good traction in the last few months. The firm is also investing its energies and teaming up with government bodies to make positive differences to the lives of the citizens of the country at a ‘bottom of the pyramid’ level. Signing off the conversation, Tanay says, “We never had the plans to grow the company into what it is today. Our main focus was to present ourselves as compassionate partners to our clients and be honest towards what we do. We are a group of designers, who started the company and everything that we did, we did with passion and with commitment towards making a difference through design. That has worked enormously in our favor and has brought us success. The desire to continue to make a difference has not dimmed, and we are pretty sure that we will continue evolve in the years to come.”