Designing her Success Story

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Designing her Success Story

With the art of designing being her lifelong passion, Aparajita Ninan found herself working with the best organisations right from the day she made her career choice and it finally led to being the Co-founder and Creative Director of Nao Spirits & Beverages where apart from creating winning brand designs, she champions the cause of gender equality at the workplace. Aparajita firmly believes that the time has come to put gender bias in the past and move on towards more exciting horizons.

As a graphic designer, the variety of projects that Aparajita Ninan has done over the past 13 years has been quite amazing. From being closely associated with organisations such as UNICEF, WHO and WWF to being a specialist in designing book covers at Penguin Publishing, Aparajita has also worked with leading authors, including Jhumpa Lahiri. She then progressed to the role of Creative Head at Sesame Street India where she led projects focused on simplifying information for children in the form of floor games, board games and flashcards; emphasising themes such as love and health. It is all these put together that finally gave Aparajita the momentum to move over to brand designing and take on the role of Co-Founder and Creative Director at Nao Spirits & Beverages Private Limited. Her design approach prioritises functionality over aesthetics, keeping an eye on the future relevance of brands. “Transitioning from agencies to brands gave me more creative autonomy, which allowed me to align my work more closely with my personal vision,” she points out. These experiences have significantly shaped her perspectives and contributed to her personal and professional growth.

Emphatic Vision

As a designer, Aparajita is committed to having a clear vision and sticking to it. Everything that she does professionally revolves around this vision. And she feels that what is wonderful about being a woman is the innate empathy and ability to understand various perspectives. “This empathy influences my design process profoundly. I listen attentively to the needs and desires of others and create designs that cater to those needs. For me, it is about understanding and responding to what is truly needed,” is how she describes her design’s approach.

Promoting Equality


Over the course of time, Aparajita has also observed that in terms of gender status, the workplace has changed a lot. In her organisation, thanks to collective efforts within the team that challenge old-fashioned views, it is a person’s work that counts and not the gender. “At Nao Spirits & Beverages, our marketing team comprises mostly women, not because we planned it that way, but because we focus on who can do the job best,” she states. Thus, together they make sure that everyone feels included at their company.

To that extent, Aparajita feels that better policies can be structured if more women get involved in making decisions. And she is quite vociferous about taking it as her responsibility to champion gender equality and challenge gender norms. Aparajita admits that challenging these norms requires energy and dedication. In this context, she works hard to redefine expectations and empower her women colleagues to challenge the status quo and shift the focus from gender to skill and accountability.