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Nitesh Kataria, Sanskriti Objects D’Art: Promoting traditional Rajasthani arts & crafts across the globe

Team YS
28th Jun 2011
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YourStory in conversation with entrepreneur Nitesh Kataria on the business idea behind Sanskriti Objects D’Art

Nitesh, please tell us what Sanskriti Objects D’Art is all about.

Sanskriti objects d’art is a mission-based organization with the socio-economic objective of promoting Rajasthani arts and crafts at the national and international level. The product range of ‘Sanskriti’ includes handcrafted jewelry, home décor products and corporate gifts.

How is Sanskriti Objects different from other art revival initiatives?

Most of the ventures, in the craft revival space, are either selling products online or through retail channels. Sanskriti Objects d’art is, in fact, a hybrid business model. We have an online portal and we’re also selling our products through franchisees.

Appointing women entrepreneurs as franchisees is another USP of our business model. This way, we will be able to expand our geographical reach with limited financial investment. Franchisees are also getting good returns on their investment.

All the products are unique and sourced directly from the artisans, eliminating the intermediate supply chain overheads. We are working closely with artisans to introduce new products, which are relevant and in sync with market demand.

How did the business idea for Sanskriti Objects D’Art come about?

Sanskriti Objects D’Art is, in fact, the brainchild of my wife Pravita. She comes from Pratapgarh, a small town in Rajasthan and Pratapgarh is the place where a family of dedicated artisans are involved in making the world-renowned Thewa jewelry for the last 400 years.

Sanskriti

While in Delhi, Pravita chanced upon Thewa jewelry at Shoppers Stop. Prices of this variety were exorbitantly high, in comparison to prevalent prices in Pratapgarh. She then decided to bring few pieces of Thewa jewelry from Pratapgarh and showed it to some friends in Delhi and Chandigarh. The jewelry was appreciated widely and all the pieces were sold out in no time. Gradually, she added more products and we’ve turned it into a full-fledged business venture. We started out with an initial investment of ten thousand rupees.Tell us about your background.

I’m an alumnus of MBM Engineering College, JNVU, Jodhpur (B.E) and IIPS, Devi Ahilya University, Indore (MMS, Marketing). I have worked in MNCs like Eaton Corporation, Gates India and Faster Hydraulics at various locations in India. My 14 years of experience includes channel partners development, new business development, sales strategy, marketing communication and brand management.

Where do you see the traditional handicrafts space in India and Sanskriti five years from now?

There is huge demand for Indian handicrafts products in domestic & international market. Penetration of Internet, better supply chain management, evolution of the retail phenomenon and higher disposable income are the factors that will lead to rapid growth of the Indian handicraft Industry. It can be safely predicted that Indian handicraft industry would grow at 15%-20%.

Our vision is to make Sanskriti Objects D’Art one of the most professionally managed, ethical organizations in Indian arts and crafts arena. Looking at market size and opportunities present in the handicrafts sector, our target is to achieve a sales turnover of $10 million, in the next five years.

What is Sanskriti’s revenue model? Are you looking at funding?

At present, we are getting our revenues from three sources - through our online sales, exhibitions and corporate/institution sales.

We have not approached any venture capitalist or institution for funding. However, we are open to exploring possibilities to reach out for strategic financial alliances in order to take the business to next level.

How big is the team behind Sanskriti?

We have a team of 4 people (including me) who are actively working on this venture.

Pravita Kataria is our operations head. She is a traditional arts connoisseur and holds a M.Com degree in Business Management from MLS University, Udaipur. She started dealing with Thewa jewelry on a part-time basis in 2003 and gradually, converted the same into a robust business model by adding new products. At Sanskriti, she is responsible for designing new ethnic jewelry and home décor products.

Manish is our MIS and IT Head. He holds BE (Electrical) and MBA (Marketing) degrees from the Devi Ahilya University, Indore. He is responsible for the digital and Internet marketing of brand Sanskriti.

Vidushi is our business development manager and she holds a BBA in Finance from Devi Ahilya University, Indore.  She is the youngest member of team Sanskriti and handles new business development. She is also responsible for managing exhibitions.

How has the journey been so far? Let us know about your expansion plans.

Our client base is spread all across the globe. However maximum response is coming from North Indian cities like Delhi, Gurgaon, Chandigarh, Ludhiana, Jaipur and Indore. Dubai and New York are the other places from where we are getting encouraging response. Thewa and Meenakari jewelry are the most popular products in our range. Owing to our consistent marketing efforts, Thewa jewelry of the Rajasthani royals has today made a wonderful comeback at the social do’s of the rich and famous. Intricate design, excellent craftsmanship and the stunning look of Thewa jewelry have made it most coveted for the modern women.

We are taking many new initiatives to expand our business. To take our business into new geographical territories, we have started appointing entrepreneurs (preferably women) as franchisees in strategic cities of India and abroad. Our target is to have 100 franchisees over a period of two years. We are confident of achieving this target, as response for this initiative is very positive and encouraging.

We are also planning to have our own team of designers who will interact with artisans and craftsmen to develop new products and for quality control. We will also be investing on patenting of our designed products.

We at YourStory.in wish Nitesh and the entire team at Sanskriti Objects D’Art much success. To know more about this venture and their traditional craft products, check out http://www.sanskriitiexports.com/. Also, do let us know your views on this story by writing to us at feedback@yourstory.in.

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