Online art galleries are global in nature. Being available on World Wide Web, it has a worldwide reach in comparison with the physical galleries that confine to the boundaries of the city or the nearby places.Realising this, Anuja Lath, founder of IndianArtCollectors.com, thought of sharing her collected art-works with the world. For this purpose, IndianArtCollectors.com came into existence with a motive to create a portal where collectors and artists of Indian contemporary art can share their experiences and collections with each other. The platform provides artists to display their works to buyers/ collectors— uploading them at their convenience, setting their own prices and paying lower commissions than other art galleries.
They believe the collectors benefit not only from lower costs, but also from being assured to get authentic artwork directly from the artist. “What makes IndianArtCollectors.com different from others is that it uses 'Internet technology' to make the market more transparent for each party concerned, and also gives exposures beyond geographical boundaries. Today, IndianArtCollectors.com is a growing community of collectors and artists, reaffirming our belief in this model, and driving us to deliver more benefits to the community on an on-going basis.” Anuja tells Yourstory.
Business Model and Customer Base:
The business model of IAC is to make art easily available to buyers to buy off the Internet, through the comfort of their homes. A buyer can make a purchase directly off the site and the artwork is shipped to him directly from the artist.
IAC charges a commission of 20% from artists, as against the typical 30-50% that they pay when they sell through regular galleries, and 25% on each sale from their fortnight exhibition, Featured Artist and Online Exhibitions. IAC believes in passing on the lower commission benefit to both the artist and the buyer.
They have a customer base of 8000 collectors, 800 Artists. On average, they have 25000 visits/month on their portal. Every day about 20-30 new artworks are posted on the portal by artists and collectors. They have a weekly registration request of 20 odd artists who are evaluated and then accepted on the site.
“Our major target audience is the people who love to buy, collect and enjoy art. We clearly focus on that segment of society that enjoys a certain quality of life, buys art for the love of it, and is willing to share his passion for art with family and friends. While collectors are also a targeted audience for us, IAC also sees itself as a promoter of new artists, and wants to target an audience that does not know too much about art, but wants to start buying and helping upcoming artists” says Anuja.
The venture came into existence in 2005 and a lot of aggressive planning on expanding has been going on.
“We have been able to associate with big Artists and well known buyers. With people becoming more tech savvy this new business is getting more popular in the category of Art Lovers. The journey so far has been very exciting, eventful and challenging. We have constantly innovated and brought in new features on IAC and expect to continue to do so.” says Anuja.
IAC has been built using PHP and MYSQL technology and have offices at Mumbai and Chandigarh. They now plan to make the whole experience very feature driven and are attuning themselves for a lot of collaborations— with artists, collectors, dealers, etc. IndianArtCollectors.com also has plans to go on-ground— with exhibitions, participating in seminars, art summits, etc. They have recently launched the collector reselling option on the site and will be further collaborating with galleries to put up their on the ground exhibitions on IAC for simultaneous online exhibitions. IAC will also be collaborating with Interior Decorators as art buying advisors for their customers.
The two sisters had their share of hurdles while starting up. “Authentic presentation of artworks through an online medium tends to become a challenge sometimes, although IAC displays artworks in multiple sizes and offers large zoom in possibilities for all art uploaded. Sometimes customers who are not too tech savvy find it difficult to complete a transaction, and therefore manual intervention is required sometimes. Our challenge is to constantly make the usability on the site more and more friendly and easy, so as to facilitate browsing and purchase by even not tech buyers” Anuja concludes.