Kanaka Ananth’s destiny in the toy design industry links all the way back to her childhood. She narrates incidents through her life, piecing together small details that linked up to lead her to shape Maniams, along with her late brother, Karthik Ananth, to the unique design firm it is today.

Everyone who knew Kanaka as a child, recognized that she was destined to do something in the creative industry. While growing up in Mumbai, she not only competed in every drawing or painting competition she could get her hands on, but also collected accolades in popular competitions hosted by Camlin and Young World (A subsidiary of The Hindu.) It was her family’s move to Germany, early in her childhood, that greatly impacted her. “Everything in school was so hands-on. Even history and geography were taught practically,” she recalls.

Her family moved back to Mumbai soon afterwards, only to decide that they wanted to get in touch with their South Indian roots. Her father’s new position as the CEO of South India Viscose Pvt Ltd (SIV) led them to Coimbatore, where they decided to build a house. “That was when I met an architect,” Kanaka says, “My father would always try to get everyone involved in everything that happened in the house,…


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