Info.: Founder of Ardizen, Artenthuse She’s is one of the few bootstrapped entrepreneurs in the art space. She grew her venture to sustain more than 800 artists and have over 200 clients in a short span of three years. Her startup boasts of reputed clients such as Govt of India, and Tata Housing to name a few. Versatile and dynamic, she has launched a parallel website called Artenthuse early last year to support amateur artists of our country. She works diligently to create greater awareness for the art and the artists of India. She is an alumni of BITS, Pilani in 2012 batch. She regularly speaks at conferences to help grow the entrepreneurship community in the right direction.
Q1. Can you describe what is Artenthuse and Ardizen? What was the idea behind building Artenthuse and Ardizen? What’s the difference between the two?
We came up with the idea of Ardizen first. Buying art was extremely cumbersome according to the research we did. We decided that there has to be a simpler way of acquiring art. Even for artists, the process to become a reputed name were strewn with challenges not directly related to their talent. A lot depended on luck, timing, and personal situations. I thought the game was so unevenly organized with such high challenges for the artists, it was extremely unfair.
Ardizen was started with the purpose of making the process of discovery of art more transparent and easy. We were renting art before, to help people discover art too.
Soon, we realized the industry is fragmented and there are many layers to the game than we had imagined. For example, artists differ not only in terms of pedigree but also in terms of concept, subject and the presentation. To make the whole process easier, we branched out into the second website called Artenthuse– which is primarily for enthusiasts of art. The paintings that we see on Artenthuse and Ardizen itself make up the difference in the brand. Ardizen’s paintings are usually more serious, they come from artists that explore social, political issues. The artists themselves are completely trained and show all over the country. Artenthuse is a more jovial website. There are a lot of paintings that are filled with joy and beauty over there. We created the website because we were receiving many works that were not fitting in with what Ardizen was all about.
Q2. What’s your view about the Online and Offline Art market in India?
Art market like I said is extremely fragmented. We are working towards creating a more unifying platform, a more equal world in art. Today, the opportunities for the artists are increasing. They have more options to showcase their work, more time to focus on their work. Being an artist is becoming easier.
Offline still commands a large chunk of the trade. But as is the case of any online business, offline businesses cannot match the variety of art, and the convenience of buying and discovering paintings.
Q3. What was your strategy behind Art renting? Did you find any Roadblocks or Cons in initial phases?
Art Renting was created to generate awareness about art. There simply was a huge mental block when it came to paintings in the minds of buyers, that itself was a roadblock. So, we had art rentals to create inroads for people to explore art.
The last mile logistics were ahuge challenge and they remain a challenge.
Q4. There are many E-commerce websites now that are dealing with art. Anything special that you feel in the startups you’re running?
Yes, the amount of network and the depth that we have in the art industry is amazing. That is something that makes me really proud. We are probably the first to hear of any show thats happening anywhere or any other milestone event through our artists. And our artists practise all over the country. So, it gives us a better insight into the movement of art across the country. Easier to tell what trends are moving in and out.
Q5. How do you select the Art works and Artists? If anyone wants to approach you to display their work how do you manage it?
Artists now can sign up. But we are very very particular about the works being seen on the website. Recently we have increased the attributes to art to about 15 from 5. So, we are upping the ante in order to understand art and help people understand art as well. The art that we see on the website has to really live up to the some select criteria, we try to make it appealing for everyone coming on to the website.
Q6. What is the strength of Employees in the ventures you’re working in?
Five, I always try to keep it minimal going against hiring lots of people. Like Bezos said, if you cant feed the team with two pizzas, its too huge.
Q7. How do you ensure the artists that their work is going in safe hands when you take it from them during renting?
The work is installed by us. We make sure it is installed properly using the right method. We are very particular about everything that goes into the installation, something that our clients really like about us. We make sure the angles are right too.
Q8. What inspired you to move in the field of Art selling? Can you describe something about your Internship?
Yes, the internship was the end of second year. It involved me recommending the best fine artists for one of their programs and I loved it. The new enchanting world of art had many promises and secrets that delighted me. I wanted everyone to have that sense of wonder, that sense of beauty above and beyond. I wanted to bring art to the people of my country. Its a slice of beauty and everyone deserves that.
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