Art in some form or another has existed as long as man. It is a part of our daily lives and is present in cultures across the world. Most people have an appreciation for art. They enjoy observing it or creating it, they may even support it financially or by volunteering.
Art is integral in our culture because it provides us with a deeper understanding of emotions, self-awareness, and more.
It is a natural part of us. There is a drive within all of us to create and express ourselves through art. Observe any child with box full of crayons and a piece of paper and you will see it. I believe that drive comes from a need to achieve a balance within ourselves. That balance is felt when you are creating something exactly as you wish it to be. Sometimes other forms of communication may fail to allow us to express ourselves completely, and this is when we turn to art.
At the same time, selling your perfectly created art & artifacts to your appreciators is a very big and troublesome task, reaching the right audience is not an easy job, imagine one person sitting in some remote areas of some tier 3 city in India has a very amazing master piece but unable to sell to the right person paying the right amount of price for the efforts, ideas and imagination.
artNweaves resolves the problem with their portal https://www.artnweaves.com/.
It gives an additional window to the artisans, artists, NGO’s, SHG’s, Individual creators of Art or Organic products from across the country on a single platform. These products are directly sourced from the creators and listed on the platform so that people from all around the world can come and check the master piece online and can order the same, without giving any hassle to the creator and the creator also gets the maximum audiences and benefits for his artwork. Lets meet the Art Lover cum entrepreneur Sriram Pappuri whose ideas and efforts has given the birth to this amazing platform.
1.What is the Name of Your Venture? Any specific reason for this name?
Our venture – artNweaves
The objective of this portal is to promote Indian Handicrafts and Handmade product. The artisans are in far flung interior parts of the country and reach out to customers through exhibitions, stalls etc. This portal provides visibility to their creativity at no additional cost there by giving them the full value for their products. The portal addresses the need of artists, artisans, NGO’s, SHG’s & Independent creators or various art and other Organic products.
2.Who is your target Audience/clients?
Target audience vary depending on the product segments. Artifacts (Wood craft, Bidri art, Paintings, Jaipuri furniture etc) are mostly Home Décor which is showcased in Middle and upper strata segments, Saris & Accessories for women, Organic / Herbal & Cow Butter Soaps for all segments.
3.Where is your venture based (city, state, country) & What are your geographical target areas?
We are based out of Hyderabad, Telangana State, India & our target segment is across all geographies.
4.What problems does your venture resolve? What are your products or services?
The objective of our venture is to give an additional window to the artisans, artists, NGO’s, SHG’s, Individual creators of Art or Organic products from across the country on a single platform. These products are directly sourced from the creators whom we personally meet. This also gives them additional revenues at no additional costs to them
5.Share the idea or story behind the venture. How did it came to an existence? What motivated you to start your own venture?
We as an organization have been into business (IT & NON IT recruitment space) since the past 5 years (www.talenttransformers.com)
Initially the venture www.artnweaves.com was planned to give a window to young artists who are creating new art products. This objective did not take off for some time as the young kids are involved in personal activities and could not deliver the required inputs for the portal.
During the course of our travel we met up with a few artisans from down south who were promoting their products at an exhibition in Delhi. When we met them we observed that they had been at the specific exhibition for a week or so and had not made a single sale. They also live in difficult conditions where they go to promote their products. This started the journey. We had a slight cushion of cash which we had pooled and visited a few places in Telangana, Andhra Pradesh, Tamil Nadu, Maharashtra, Karnataka, Odissa and from the north Rajasthan, Haryana, Uttar Pradesh. We also created the website to promote these products.
Before we began the journey we tried visiting government organizations to get a list of artists / artisans which would reduce the effort wrt addresses and locations etc. However, we did not receive any support there. Hence the above travel to interior parts to reach out to each one of them. Nothing comes easy, however we are confident that one day the effort would pay off and we would be able to support our artisans better.
As and when we travelled to reach out to these artisans at their place we observed that all these artisans and weavers are traditional and have learnt their art from their ancestors and are continuing their tradition. We also observed that the next generation in a few cases have moved out of the tradition and have been looking out for other avenues of revenues giving up their tradition. With this there is the danger of the art form dying completely as there will be no body to take it forward.
We also observed the effort these artisans put in to create their artifacts and their difficulty in promoting their products. There are government agencies who are promoting these artisans. However, an additional window would definitely help them hence the platform www.artnweaves.com
6.Who are your biggest competitors and how do you differentiate yourself from them?
As a window we do not have any competition thus far. Our products are unique and all of them are handmade or handcrafted including our sari collection. The objective though commercial is to give back to the society in the long run and support these artisans in various forms to the immediate family of these artisans in the form of Medical, Education, Training etc.
7.How did you identify your co-founder? Tell us something about your co-founder/s
That is a large question. Initially when I ventured into business I found a co founder in a very close friend who was supposed to help us build a business together. For close to 9 months / 1 year I put in the effort however that partnership did not work out.
Post the 1st year of entrepreneur ship I branched out into the IT recruitment space with the help of my wife Bhargavi and we started Talent Transformers which is a IT & NON IT recruitment organization. As of today she is my biggest support on all the ventures we have done together.
8.How did you hired your first team members? What skills Do you want in your employees/team?
In the current venture we are putting the effort ourselves – both me and my co founder. As this venture is at a nascent stage we are doing all the activity ourselves other than development of the portal for which we have a partner organization which is also a start up of young developers and they are supporting us.
9.What expansion plans are you looking for the next 2 years, next 5 years?
Currently we are promoting our products through the e commerce platform which we have created. Our idea and objective is large and we have still not created an xl thus far. The larger objective is to create a NGO which would support these artisans with a lot of orders / work thereby giving the artisans & artists a lot of revenue. This would also help them sustain and take their art work to the next level.
10.Where do you want to see yourself in next 10 years?
Today we are catering to a few artisans. In 10 years from now we as an organization would like to showcase all the art work created by such artisans across the country giving them a window to promote their products at no additional costs thereby enhancing their revenues and to continue their age old art and showcase the same to the outside world.
11.What are your goals over the next 1, 3, 6 and 12 months?
To generate a minimum number of orders for various artists & artisans who are on our platform
1) 1st month a minimum of 100 orders to the artisans
2) 3rd month a minimum of 300 orders to the artisans
3) 6th Month a minimum of 500 to 600 orders to the artisans
4) 12th Month onwards a minimum of 1000+ orders to the artisans
12.Have you raised any funding? Or have any plans for the funding?
As of now we are self funded. Maybe in the short run we may be looking at angle investors to support our cause.
13.What were the problems you faced during the starting days and how did you resolve them?
Initially as mentioned earlier we though it easy to reach out to the government agencies / Handicraft promotion organizations / India silk board etc to reach out to the artisans / artists. That did not work as they felt that we are competition to them. Hence, we started the difficult process of reaching to the artisans on our own. We have built this platform mostly through reference from friends and family
14.What was the most challenging part of your journey till now? How did you overcome those challenges?
Same as point 13. There is no free meal. We have to put in the effort to create and build something
15.Are you married, single or in a relationship?
16.What are your hobbies? What do you do in your non-work time?
Watch News or Read spiritual books
17.Whats your favorite food & holiday destination?
Any homemade food is good. Nothing as holiday destination. As we travel by road to reach out to our artisans the natural beauty on the highways helps us to cool off and give us additional energies to make artnweaves a big success.
18.Whom do you consider your idol or biggest motivator?
Dr A P J Abdul Kalam
19.What do you feel is the major difference between entrepreneurs and those who work for someone else?
When you do not get a salary home after 20 years of service and start on your own business it becomes very difficult. It is challenging. Thanks to the gods / yogis we have trust in we have not faced difficulty in the past 5 years and have been able to sustain and start a new venture.
20.If you had the chance to start your career over again, what would you do differently?
Maybe would continue my business but would work for a startup as there is a lot to give them with my 25 years of experience. Hope, I do not have to see that day.
21.How has being an entrepreneur affected your family & Social life?
Not much. Being an entrepreneur I tend to spend most time with my family as we have our office and residence at the same place. Social life is good also.
22.Anything, you would like to say to our readers or upcoming entrepreneurs?
Readers – As a family we do not mind spending a Rs.1000 or Rs.2000 on a pizza or spending Rs.50000 or Rs.1 lac going on a overseas vacation (Please do not get me wrong). If all of us come together and spend at least Rs.1000 to Rs.2000 in a quarter it would give our artisans a great life. They would be able to live better and continue their effort to keep their art work and tradition alive……
Entrepreneurs – Life is difficult in this space. Please start young and put in the efforts and you will succeed.
23.Tell us something about your education & family background.
I come from a middle class family did my graduation in the Commerce (Honor’s) and completed my Executive program from IIM, Calcutta. Ours is a small family. Self, Wife, one son & my mother. I do live with my mother even now.
24.What is your USP which makes it unique & different from other start-ups in similar domains.
The portal artnweaves stands apart from any other portal as we have multiple artifacts from various Geographies. Usually other portals in this space are restricted to their States only.
25. What do you think is the biggest threat to the success of small businesses & Start-ups today?
You are on your toes and depend on people to like your products and order on the portal which they only see but cannot touch and feel.
26. Do you consider yourself successful and by what means do you measure success?
First part of success is that you need to earn to look after our family. Have been able to do that for the past 5 years as of now. The next part is to support all our artisans with a lot of orders which would be a larger family to support. When we start giving larger business to our artisans and artists that day we would feel that we are successful in our Endeavour
27.Please share complete name, address, phone number, email id & website of Your Business & Contact Person.
Plot no.71, 1st floor,
Secunderabad – 500 026