Buy Indian Art by Indian Artists at IndiaArtIdeas.com

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Art is an investment for the rich and wealthy. A healthy collection of exquisite creations adorn their savings. In this high-end medium comes in IndianArtIdeas.com, a website that has a rich collection of Indian Art by Indian artists. “A consolidated art platform with comprehensive user control and intuitive interface, focusing on Indian Art—contemporary, modern, traditional and tribal art.” This is how Shilpi Agarwal, creative director and cofounder, describes her venture. Since 2008, she has been working with Anuj Bairathi, the co-founder of IndianArtIdeas.com to make it the one-stop solution for buying Indian arts.Shilpi finished her B.Com (Hons.) and an MBA in Finance and Marketing and is a member of The Institute of Company Secretaries of India. She was with HCL working directly under its CFO for three years and was awarded the “outstanding performer of the month” by the company twice for her innovative solutions and creative ways to present ideas.

Anuj Bairathi, another cofounder and director, graduated from State University of Rajasthan in commerce and has an MBA in IT. Besides IndiaArtIdeas, Anuj is also the founder and CEO of a $2 million software/BPO company Cyber Futuristic (India) Pvt Ltd. operating from Jaipur and Noida with marketing offices in US and UK.

The backend support for IndiaArtIdeas is provided by their company Ansh Ventures Pvt. Ltd., which has its office at the Noida Special Economic Zone (NSEZ), a strategic location chosen especially to avail export benefits for the venture.

Buying art online

Shilpi, when asked about why they chose online, says: “Online buying has become the most convenient and cost-efficient way of procuring artworks. Our portal www.indianartideas.com is promoted well on search engines, social networks and art affiliate sites. We bring artists and buyers of art on a common platform.” Visitors can browse the website and choose artworks either by artist, by color, by art style or subject. After the order is finalized, the customer is directed to checkout through a fully secured payment gateway post and then his order is delivered at his doorstep. Shilpi adds, “We act as trustee to artists’ money and remit the price of his painting, once buyer confirms satisfactory receipt of order, by deducting our agreed commission therefrom.” Typically, the margins are on an average 20%.

Why IndiaArtIdeas?

Shilpi and Anuj felt a lacuna in the market for Indian art, which is flooded with a lot of players. But it lacked a one-stop platform that would focus on Indian art and Indian artists. So this online venture sprung up in 2008. Shilpi is quite excited when she says, “The portal is dedicated entirely to Indian art and is a place where art lovers can upload/share and sell their existing collection; appreciate and buy collection posted by other artists; get customized art services; network with each other; blog; express opinions on a dedicated Indian art forum; keep themselves updated with latest art news and happenings and seek expert advice. So much from an art portal was not possible before.”

And besides the sale of artworks like paintings, IndiaArtIdea offers customised art solutions (like posters, cards, calendar art etc.) including innovative usage of art, which is additionally marketed via cold calling, telemarketing and also customised in discussion with customers to suit their needs and delivered to them in the most appealing manner. Exhibitions are organised at public places and the portal participates in art events in India and across the globe to establish links and shoot up sales.

Shilpi on how is this online gallery different from a physical gallery

“An online art gallery offers access to a huge variety of works at the click of mouse as against a physical gallery where the choice of works is limited. Though in a physical gallery people can touch and feel the work before they buy but in an online model the work image can only be seen before ordering; you can, at the same time, be an audience to a much wider collection of art in an online portal like ours.”

The journey so far

The work on the portal started in 2008 and it became functional from the first quarter of 2009. Shilpi feels that the journey so far has been very encouraging. Shilpi adds, “On an average we have 10,000 unique visitors every month.” Search engine optimizations resulted in a respectable number of collectors in first month of operation. On artists’s response, Shilpi explains: “The response from artists has been truly enthusiastic. More so as their works get sold they put in more and more works on the website for sale. It’s been quite encouraging and much above our expectations. We have more than 1000 artists associated with us as of now.” With time, the base of collectors is getting stronger, resulting in good sales every month. For example, 30 sales per month at an average value of Rs 25,000 each make an annual revenue of Rs. 90 lakhs and the portal is growing at 100% on an annual basis.

The market and target audience

The Indian art market valued at Rs. 1500 crores growing at approximately 30% per year. A recent report by Fortune claims that the Indian art market has risen over 485% in the last 10 years, making it the fourth most positive art market in the world. Shilpi says, “In a true sense, the target market would comprise anyone who takes interest in art, sans any national/international boundaries. Moreover, basically the idea lures all those who believe in lifestyle that creates an impressionable identity and serves as a style statement as well.” So, in effect, the target is beyond boundaries connected by a common chord of love for arts.

Challenges

The impact of global slowdown was felt a bit. Mushrooming online art portals and the competition from established art portals with an added threat of copying of idea by competitors are other challenges. Internet marketing also attracts customers to unorganized market for traditional Indian art, which adds up to the competition.

The differentiator in Shilpi’s words

“A click and buy model offering a broad portfolio of uniquely innovative and dexterously crafted products. An idea combining the ease of online buying coupled with reliability of buying original artworks, convenience of choosing from an extensive yet customizable portfolio of art related products, a choice that becomes a style statement besides creating an impressionable identity.”

Future plans

IndiaArtIdeas plans to launch art prints and also promote art gifting on a large scale. This would involve printing art on various objects including coasters, cushions, curtains, dresses so as to make art accessible to all.

Shilpi and Anuj were featured in CNBC-TV 18 show Enterprise Inc. and have won accolades from venture capitalists for their unique concept and convincing presentation.

Secrets of success in Shilpi’s words

“Follow your dreams as they bring out the best in you. Also perseverance and hard work is the key to success. So if one wants to realize his dreams he should be ready to toil hard and put in his heart and soul to make his venture a success.”

We at YourStory.in wish IndianArtIdeas.com all the success that they deserve. For all you art lovers, you can get a taste of art at www.indianartaideas.com

Credits: Rohit Rohan

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