We talked to Shilpi Agarwal of Indianartideas about the one stop art platform, and she had the following to say:-
First of all, how are you and your family doing in these COVID-19 times?
Shilpi Agarwal: Thanks for asking!
With 2 children around and the younger one as little as nine months, life had been running crazy, balancing both work and kids. COVID, however, gave me this amazing opportunity to stay close to my children and spend ample time with my little one while working from home.
We all are doing well and are grateful to God that our extended family is also keeping safe.
Tell us about you, your career, how you founded Indianartideas.
Shilpi Agarwal: Art truly had been my calling, and it’s been there in my name too – “Shilpi,” which is a Devanagari word for an artist/sculptor. I, however, took time to realize and finally pursue it.
After having completed my education in top grades with a nationwide ranking in Company Secretaryship and an MBA in finance, I worked at HCL Technologies for 3 years. While accolades and promotions followed quickly, the creative side of me was starving.
I have always felt sad to see artisans and creative people not getting their due. Their efforts, though phenomenal, get applauded (at times) but lack the recognition they truly deserve. Despite numerous awards/scholarships to their credit, they struggle to make a living, which is devastating to know. Talent is phenomenal, and yet the same starves for visibility and monetization. This gave birth to Indianartideas – a partner/friend that will hold their hands and chisel a successful career trajectory for them!
I left a successful career to pursue Indianartideas with the determination to put a smile on talent’s face as it stands tall and financially independent.
How does Indianartideas innovate?
Shilpi Agarwal: Innovation has been the key driving force behind Indianartideas.
Whilst the market has many so-called online art galleries, Indianartideas stands unique as we boast of being a comprehensive one-stop art platform. With a host of exciting features including but not limited to buying and selling art, reselling art from personal collection, custom portraits, converting photos to memoirs of art, and above all and every kind of bespoke art solutions, the venture caters to each and every desire of an art lover.
Promoting all forms of art from contemporary to modern to traditional and tribal while putting greater emphasis on talented newcomers to tap their artistic talent and provide them with their share of success is our forte, and we do nothing but excel in achieving that. “You desire we create” is another unique innovation to give wings to your imagination.
Honestly, such an eclectic and harmonious mix of offline and online models, with happiness quotient being the key underlying attribute, is truly rare in the industry.
How the coronavirus pandemic affects your business, and how are you coping?
Shilpi Agarwal: The art market continues to be in a state of flux, all thanks to the pandemic. Interestingly, however, with people spending more time at home, there is an increased focus on beautifying homes, which in turn continues to drive art purchases (at a slower pace, though) depending on individual budgets. Therefore, art collectors either focus on buying familiar artworks or are willing to take the risk with affordable artworks.
Geared already for online viewing coupled with continuous innovation, Indianartideas definitely had an edge in the current scenario. Designed in a superior manner to have beautiful art displays, uniquely crafted online shows, and a hassle-free art buying mechanism, we could largely counter the pandemic’s lows, retain old collectors, and simultaneously added new collectors to our esteemed clientele. We added further options in print choices for our customers and refined our customized art services in this duration.
The pandemic, in fact, has been a driver for our business. It has acted as a catalyst that is helping us work harder and adapt quicker. We are deftly applying our learnings from the past to the difficulties that surfaced in the current scenario.
Did you have to make difficult choices, and what are the lessons learned?
Shilpi Agarwal: The pandemic has paved the way for a multitude of challenges and a host of difficult choices. I believe adversities like this help us know who we really are. Moreover, these times make us think that we are at the end of something when actually it is time for an altogether new beginning.
As an organization, we have been trying to make a hundred percent of what life is throwing at us. This crisis has given us the opportunity to look within, strategize for the future, drive creativity to the next level with innovative next-gen offerings, develop our capabilities working strongly together and streamline the online experience like never before.
How do you deal with stress and anxiety?
Shilpi Agarwal: Go out and shop, shop and shop, until stress drops !! (Chuckles) The pandemic has stripped me of this measure, though.
I vent my stress through yoga. Additionally, pranayama and meditation help relieve my anxiety. Over the years, Iyengar Yoga has helped me de-stress and has kept my physical and mental being free from aches and pains. The sheer brilliance with which it harmonizes the mind and body and ensures the union of mind, body, and soul is truly amazing. Honestly, never again would there be a yogi like Guruji, B. K.S. Iyengar.
Who are your competitors? And how do you plan to stay in the game?
Shilpi Agarwal: Art portals are mushrooming with a variety of offerings these days. One could easily say we have a lot of competition, but the market is highly fragmented, and hence the competition stands incomplete.
The distinguishing factor is that we, being a comprehensive one-stop art shop, can cater to any and every art need of customers and provide them with bespoke solutions to the utmost satisfaction.
To stay ahead in the game for the future, we have spurred innovation, accelerated partnerships with government organizations and small galleries to expand reach, personalized content, and online experience for art lovers, thereby aiming to make the portal more diverse yet inclusive. Further diversification is underway to introduce a quirky range of art masks, accessories, posters, art-themed customized calendars, stationery, and even art furniture.
Your final thoughts?
Shilpi Agarwal: 2020 truly has been an eventful year.
Having said this, despite all the odds, it has definitely, given that much needed “me time” – a time when we can sit back, relax and think about chiseling and creating an unparalleled future, one that is better prepared to handle ups and downs with equal ease. The compassion that most of us have developed during these hard times is a virtue to cherish forever!!
Thank you so much for featuring us in your publication. We are overwhelmed to share glimpses of our journey with everyone.
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