'Your mission in life is not merely to survive, but to thrive': Tanvi Malik, Co-Founder, FabAlley and Indya

The Proust Questionnaire is a questionnaire about one’s personality. It has its origins in a parlour game popularised by Marcel Proust, the French essayist, who believed that, in answering these questions, an individual reveals his or her true nature.

Tanvi Malik, Co-founder, Faballey & India started her fashion-forward western wear brand with Shivani Poddar. Tanvi is an Economics graduate from Delhi’s Lady Shri Ram College, and she also holds an MBA in Brand Management from MICA Ahmedabad. Her interest in branding and marketing led her to Titan, where she was a Brand & Product Manager for high-end watches before quitting her job to start her dream project. The duo soon launched an inclusive, accessible fashion brand for Indian women. Tanvi spearheads design, marketing, product and communication for the company.

Tanvi and Shivani envisioned a globally trendy fashion brand in India for women, specific to Indian body types and aesthetics. Both of them left their promising careers in corporate fields to follow their dream of entrepreneurship.

Here are Tanvi’s responses to our Proust questionnaire…

What is your idea of perfect happiness?

Being totally present and at peace in the moment - while knowing that my family and my work are all right.

What is your greatest fear?

Leaving behind unfinished business.

What is the trait you most deplore in yourself?

I can be too trusting. I really should know better by now.

What is the trait you most deplore in others?

Fickleness - translating into a lack of follow-through.

Which living person do you most admire?

My Dad. He has inspired me by example to always keep learning, have a strong work ethic and ambition, while still being compassionate and kind.

What is your current state of mind?

Hyper energetic! With tons of projects and initiatives lined up, I am super-charged.

What do you consider the most overrated virtue?

Being ‘nice’. Be just, be fair, be kind - but niceness doesn’t help in a start-up scenario, especially.

On what occasion do you lie?

When the lie is harmless and prevents someone close from being hurt.

What do you most dislike about your appearance?

Absolutely nothing! And nor should any woman. Self-love is the best love!

What is the quality you most like in a man?

A wry sense of humour.

What is the quality you most like in a woman?


Who is the greatest love of your life?

My husband – who always pushes me to know more, delver deeper and never be a mere dabbler.

Which talent would you most like to have?

I wish I were more naturally athletic, and could pick up new sports faster

If you could change one thing about yourself, what would it be?

I think I need to be way more exacting and demanding.

What do you consider your greatest achievement?

Creating two wonderful millennial fashion brands - FabAlley and Indya, from scratch.

If you were to die and come back as a person or a thing, what would it be?

Me, all over again.

Where would you most like to live?

New York during my working years, Prague post retirement to live and write peacefully.

What is your most treasured possession?

My books. These are prized possessions that I have picked on my travels or have been gifted to me by dear friends and each of them has wonderful associations.  

What is your favourite occupation?

Besides running a fashion company? My second favourite would be reading.

What is your most marked characteristic?

My restless, experimental and creative side. I am always on the lookout for something new and evocative which sets my brands apart from the mainstream.

What do you most value in your friends?

Loyalty and being simpatico.

Who are your favourite writers?

Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie, David Foster Wallace and Haruki Murakami

Who is your hero of fiction?

Atticus Finch from Harper Lee’s ‘To Kill a Mockingbird’. He embodies kindness, intelligence and tolerance.

What is your favourite name?

I love the names Indya and FabAlley foremost, of course.

What is it that you most dislike?

Fakeness and hypocrisy.

What is your greatest regret?

I don’t believe in regrets, just in being mindful of the mistakes made and learning to never repeat them.

How would you like to die?

With a great sense of accomplishment and a smile on my face.

What is your favourite journey?

My journey back to wherever I call home.

Which historical figure do you most identify with?

Maya Angelou.

Who are your heroes in real life?

My parents – both doctors, who tirelessly, selflessly serve others before them.

What do you regard as the lowest depth of misery?

Self-sabotaging yourself by constant second guessing.

What is your motto?

'Your mission in life is not merely to survive, but to thrive; and to do so with some passion, some compassion, some humour, and some style”


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