Thulirkal – Entrepreneur, Aynka Satkunananthan

CTYA’s Blog has started a new Feature on Fridays, Thulirkal. Thulirkal meaning bud reflects the young Tamil youth we will be featuring. These youth are the buds of our community, and are growing into strong, achieving young men and women! 

This week, we’ve brought you Aynka Satkunananthan!

Aynka Satkunananthan is a serial entrepreneur living in Toronto, Ontario, Canada. He is the founder of Ankit Designs (web, print, & design), Co-founder of AlterEgo Beats (clothing, music management & production), Co-founder of K.I.S.S. Hosting (website domain & hosting services), and Lead Designer at MyVerse (free online resource for teens). Aynka is a creative thinking advocate and is always emphasizing the importance of being analytical.

Aynka is a proud Ryerson University Entrepreneurship Alumni, and attests a lot of his understanding in business to the relationships he’s built through Ryerson. He is currently managing multiple businesses, but is always looking for ways to give back. He is obsessed with finding and adopting technologies that promote self-growth, and make life easier. He enjoys helping others, and is always looking to do just that whether it’s with a new venture, or just lending a hand. 

CTYA Blogs: So let’s get warmed up. Ok, now don’t think, just say what comes to mind first. 1,2,3…

Inspiration? My parents
Favourite Sports Team? Toronto Raptors
Sweet or Spicy Food? A mix of both but more so spicy
Introvert of Extrovert? Introvert
Quote you live by? “The destination is inevitable…it’s the path you take to get there that’s the variable.” – What this means is that I’ve always known I would be successful but just the how is really what I didn’t know.

CTYA Blogs: As a founder of Ankit Designs in 2010, tell us about the services you provide, what sparked your interest in starting this venture, and key clients you have had the opportunity to work with.

Growing up, I really did not know what I wanted to do or who I wanted to be, I just knew I liked figuring out how things worked and I was interested in changing inefficiencies. Not knowing what to do after high school, I decided to attend Ryerson University and majored in Entrepreneurship where I learned what I was truly passionate about, business. Through the process of getting my Bachelor of Commerce degree I decided to start a business and be my own boss. I knew what I was good at, so the only question was, how do I turn it into a business? So I started learning about web development and spending hours on graphic design tutorials. I actually started my business after I picked up my first paid client.

After my first client, it became clear that I was still rookie but I KNEW I could figure out how to run this business, after all I loved figuring things out. After writing a poor attempt at a business plan and gaining more experience, I created Ankit Designs on August 10th, 2010 and started helping clients with revamping their website, graphic designs and started a print division. The name was inspired by one of my closest friends, Ankit Chhibber who passed away in a fatal car accident in 2009. He was not only my biggest fan but also one of my best friends and the reason why I started this business. Five years later, I now manage a team of ten people locally and four internationally. We work with both small and large businesses who give us the opportunity to continually grow and improve our business.

CTYA Blogs: You are an example of a youth who has pursued his passion and successfully established himself. As a self taught graphics and web designer, what do you feel were the hardest challenges you had to surpass?

Just like anything, my success did not come over night as there were many obstacles and challenges that I faced developing this business. The biggest lesson I learned about being an entrepreneur was it’s not just about the daily hustle, it’s about having outstanding work ethics where you view every success as a small step towards the big picture and the failures as a learning lesson. Being an entrepreneur built me personally and professionally as it was not about just finding clients but also getting support from my family and friends to believe in my idea. Being raised in a traditional South Asian home (as you can imagine) there is a lot of pressure to become either a doctor or an engineer and there is a constant pressure to exceed their expectations. At one point I sat down and realized that trying to get people to listen to your idea over and over again is just a waste of energy, and that it was time to SHOW them how successful I can be and not just talk about it.

Although my parents did not support me at first to run my business, they are my biggest inspiration and one of the reasons for my success today.  For so many years they worked hard to raise my two siblings and I as they have sacrificed everything for us – I only hope I can do the same for them as what they did for me. I am also inspired by many of the greats such as Martin Luther King Jr., Obama, Bill Gates, Steve Jobs and Mohammed Ali where they showed me that during the rough times, you just need to grind it out and show perseverance in the face of adversity.

CTYA Blogs: What’s next for Ankit Designs? What is your long-term vision?

With Ankit Designs, moving forward we want to expand our service on an international scale. With clients already starting in USA, France, Germany and Saudi Arabia, this will only be the BEGINNING of our expansion.

CTYA Blogs: How do you manage stress?

I do have a life outside of Ankit Designs, for a long time I took my work with me to parties and social gatherings; I was the guy that came with my laptop to a bar. Nowadays, I believe that down time is one of the most important ways to get your creative juices flowing. Whether it’s just hanging out with friends or watching the Toronto Raptors play, I ensure I put time into my day to just relax. I meditate, read and try to improve on one thing everyday and there is a constant effort to always get better, and be better.

CTYA Blogs: What is your advice to upcoming youth interested in starting a business?
For those of you who want to start your own business, just go for it and do not accept no for an answer. There will always be people questioning you and it is your job as the entrepreneur to prove them wrong.  If you want to start a business, there are two questions you should ask yourself – “Does this add value in someone’s life?” and “Why do you do what you do?”. My answers are “Yes, this adds value in many lives” and “I do what I do because I simply want to help people”, that is all that matters at the end of the day.

CTYA Blogs: Finish this sentence. “To me, Tamil youth are…”

some of the most motivated individuals on the planet where we are no stranger to hard work and perseverance.

Thank you for joining us today Aynka! We wish you the best on all your future endeavours! To support and connect with Aynka, you can find him on, LinkedIn, and Facebook.

For more information or to suggest a youth to interview, please feel free to email us at!

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