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Tuesday September 01, 2009 , 6 min Read

“An Indian and the Arts”

“With the most primitive means the artist creates something which the most ingenious and efficient technology will never be able to create” says Kasimir Malevich and our Young Entreprenur seems to fully comprehend the implication of the words.

Our young patron of the arts has taken it upon himself to provide a new haven to the Indian genre. The rich history, variation and tradition behind Indian music, Art and Design are all set to receive an infusion of fresh ideas from Shamit Bagchi, who is the founder of DHONUK (INDIAN ART ECOSYSTEM).

The Young Entrepreneur outlined his vision for the arts saying “A social network based online Indian Art/Music /Design Ecosystem with a 3 point model whose constituents include, Source of arts, music as Individuals , Institution/Galleries, Content generation from our end, Consumers - Buyers – bring in revenue and Participants in the community.”

His venture is one of a kind and soon expanding into other areas. He speaks of his offerings saying “A plethora of art specific focus on India Art, music and design related aspects, for both knowledge function and the showcasing and access to art forms, folk, semi-classical music by young and budding talents. We help connecting the buying, access aspects for art enthusiasts with the content from artists.”

“It is a unique amalgamation of Indian Art formats, artists, designers and musicians, to transact online as well as share knowledge and showcase their talent online, as such a social network dedicated for these purposes does not exist.”

“Traditional Indian artists are known for their colorful, intricate and vivid art formats such as the varied miniature formats including Terracotta, Rajasthani, Pahari, Tanjore, Patachitra, Kalighat, and several other forms. The lack of awareness in the popular media and the social milieu of these dwindling art forms have brought us to a juncture where extinction of these formats due to unpopularity is very much in the realm of possibility. The objective of this project is to popularize some of these art formats as well as help create an ecosystem for the like minded artists to explore.”

His plans for the next step include roping in participants in his vision. He says “Yes, to include artisans, artists and galleries as the sources and feeding the data into content creation.”

“Another area to look at would be the proliferation aspects of certain art formats specifically Manga/Anime styles (Japanese origin), which are finding a great level of popularity worldwide and this ensures their growth, proliferation and subsequent experimentation with techniques and the art’s evolution. Such a movement, exposure for the Indian techniques to the public eye through caterings or offerings has not been happening. The need is to work with animation houses and conglomerates such as Reliance group’s BIG Animation or Amar Chitra Katha etc to actually tap this vast unexplored field of Indian Art formats that can see a win-win scenario – once the community gains sufficient strength in terms of numbers, it can connected to these established players may see value in this social network.”

His need to pursue and develop an online forum for Indian Arts has been because of “The Passion for Indian Art forms and making them popular through animation, graphic novels, games etc.”

“Getting the team to agree on the vision and start the market sizing” has been a pretty strenuous task for Shamit but he has put together a team that has a lot of promise.

He introduces his team with obvious pride reveling in “The gathering of a very competent team of IIM Bangalore students and graphical designer with vast prior experience and knowledge, socio-, technology entrepreneurial experience.”

The team behind DHONUK is:-

  • Vikram Rai from BITS Pilani who runs a social consulting firm Sattva and a theatre group VODO.
  • Anshuman Majumdar ( BFA - Advertising Art -Chitrakala Parishath  ) is a digital artist & a painter and runs a Graphic design firm - SCOSSA.
  • Shantanu Gudihal - currently a student of IIMB runs a knowledge mangement software startup company Meshlabs with other senior members.
  • Parashar Shah currently a student of IIMB is working with Alcatel Lucent and a winner of the Intel Ultimate Geek Contest
  • Naufal Kukkady - currently a student of IIMB is an allrounder - the most active participant in organizing events @ IIMB and works with Ittiam Technologies.
  • Karthik Naig - currently a student of IIMB and editor of in-house magazine Xpressions at Honeywell and himself a very creative individual, has joined us and is planning to be part of the media initiative and marketing.
  • Amit Bhalotia - currently a student of IIMB and also an IITian who had started up in the US earlier and with vast prior experience, part of a couple of startups - Students committee secretary and Active member of the IIM Bangalore events and students committees.
  • Somnath Sinha Mahapatra - currently a student of IIMB and an alumnus of BHU & most active leader of students association and cultural committee also.

DHONUK is at present looking for a boost to get to a flying start. Shamit says “We are planning for self, friends, family and maybe an incubation opportunity from NSRCEL or pitching it with a VC. We have the support of the local artist community and the IIM Bangalore faculty support.” All Entrepreneurs are driven to realize their dreams and Shamit is no different he acknowledge his driving factors as “The passion and drive to see the vision of an Indian Art ecosystem which is on par with European or western styles as well as animation using the Indian Art forms which are so vibrant.” Shamit recounts the knowledge that has stood him in good stead on his entrepreneurial journey and advises “Believe in what you want to do, and with equal parts Passion, Imagination and the Verve, pitch the idea in the right way to the right people…this will ultimately lead to total success. Clarification of ideas and evolution of ideas is natural.” In parallel a project is planned to be running under Professor Balasubramaniam Shekar (Profile: who teaches a very unique eclectic course called Creativity in Arts and Sciences at Indian Institute of Management Bangalore. This course indirectly gave life to and inspired the implementation of an earlier conceived idea as a framework working toward Cultural Entrepreneurship.

Dhonuk has tied up with AIM (Artists Introspective Movement) and has become the online partner for the ongoing Bengaluru International Arts Festival 2009.

YourStory wishes the young and upcoming entrepreneur Shamit Bagchi success and luck in spearheading the “Avant Garde” of Indian Art