#NICEStories – Indian Culture and Art on an Interactive Online Platform at ArtEd with Founders Abhijeet and Monika

Chitra Aiyer 13 April, 2021

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ArtEd is an interactive online platform that provides skilling and collaboration opportunities in Indian Culture and Art forms. 

ArtEd was a finalist at the NICE Aarohana Business Plan Competition (BPC) – Early Stage. 

Featuring the ArtEd story on NICE Stories.

What makes the founders a good fit to be entrepreneurs in the space of art forms? How did the Covid lockdown period enable their founding ArtEd? What are their offerings? Read on.

Meet the Founders

A serial artpreneur, event strategist, engineer and multi-faceted artist, Abhijeet has founded Aneri Arts Foundation, Artbandhu and OperaTechMag. He has also built scalable IT products in companies including NVIDIA, Acesse Corporation.

Abhijeet was invited by NITI Aayog to participate at the Global Entrepreneurship Summit

Monika is a web developer and a fine arts teacher. She has worked at Halodoc, McKinsey, TCS

Indian Culture & Art + An Entrepreneurial Mindset

The founders are passionate artists who have led various cultural and art initiatives. 

Abhijeet is a musician and has performed on many reputed stages across the globe. He trains under flute maestro Pt Pravin Godkhindi. 

Committed to working for the betterment of the Indian Culture & Arts, he has taken lead roles in several cultural organizations including KKNC, NAVIKA and has hosted programs on the radio and TV. He has also been a part of the award-winning film MOJO

He works with his mentor, Gajanan Bhat, a film producer, entrepreneur cum investor in California and several leading art promoters to build a sustainable creative community.

For his rich contributions, Abhijeet has been felicitated by the Govt of Karnataka, the Rashtreeya Sikshana Samithi Trust and others.

Monika is a fine art designer and has trained several hundreds of students. She has also designed many craft accessories for women under the brand, Mongo Creations.

She is keen to leverage tech for art and is driving creative-tech initiatives such as building deep tech and augmented reality solutions for Indian performing arts and developing interactive content based on AVGC solutions for skilling and product promotions.

Monika and Abhijeet have a young daughter, Gaanavi, who also has a keen interest in Indian music and art forms. No surprises there!

ArtEd Abhijeet Monika

This is their story.

Starting ArtEd

Monika: For the last couple of years, I have been training students in fine arts & crafts. I also sell my creations to a few friends and organizations across India. The ‘Birthday Celebration Kit’ was an instant hit and I received overwhelming orders to teach the craft!

Abhijeet: Working/volunteering in several creative businesses and cultural events since childhood helped me in pursuing my passion for creative entrepreneurship. Over the years, I have worked with reputed artists & brands and have also been teaching music and creative tech solutions for free to students.

Reimagining Indian culture & art forms has always excited me. In 2017, I built Artbandhu, a discovery platform for artists. This stint helped us in identifying the existing skill gaps among creators and we saw the need for an interactive creative learning platform that offers objective-driven short learning modules and educational products in Indian culture & art.

During the Covid Lockdown Period

The demand for online Art & Crafts courses grew during the lockdown and together with a few of our artistic friends, we started offering art courses/services for free to help people reskill themselves for the changed times. 

With increased demand, we started hosting multiple batches. However, we fell short and failed to get quality resources and content for skilling purposes. We decided to address this gap and developed a blended skilling approach using technology. Our students loved it!

Our teachers validated our idea of making art skilling an efficient one. This gave us confidence.

ArtEd Videos

Gaanavi, Our Reason

As a young child, Gaanavi began showing her artistic side by watching our art sessions. We noticed a significant transformation in her – she picked up words, languages, and even compositions! We could see that introducing art & cultural forms at an early age impacted her memory and cognitive capabilities. As we taught our students, we continued sensing the difference.

We explored the market and understood the challenges faced by Indian artists. Neither are structured content/resources easily available for beginners nor a platform to connect with experts. We decided to transform our passion and experience into a meaningful service to exclusively serve the Indian culture & art market

Thus was born ArtEd in January 2021!

ArtEd for Indian Culture and Art

ArtEd Milestones

10000+ subscribers and 600+ paying customers in 4 months! We teach anybody over 3 years with a desire to fulfill their artistic needs.

  • Onboarded 50+ teachers/creators – artpreneurs and art professionals who are looking to upskill, teach, collaborate and develop sustainable earning opportunities. 
  • Partnered with schools, corporates, art academies. With the NEP 2020‘s focus on creative courses at all levels of education, the demand for ArtEd like courses is growing exponentially. 
  • Conducted various events to nurture creative entrepreneurs. Over 200+ artisans across India participated in our first event.
  • Listed 40+ Artistic and Educational Products on our marketplace.

ArtEd Marketplace for Indian culture and art products

We have been part of the accelerators Wadhwani Venture FastTrack & NASSCOM 10,000 Startups and have been recognized by DPIIT Govt of India & Startup Karnataka!

Our Mission

Democratize arts skilling | Develop a creative talent pool | Spread arts & Indian culture

We aim to expand to other markets with our creative courses and educational product offerings. 

Our Offerings

ArtEd Culture and Art

The effort towards digitizing various Indian culture & art forms is going to be massive. However, we believe that no step is small and that each step brings opportunities for everybody to contribute. 

  • We partner with brands, SMBs, teachers, artists & promoters, for-profit & non-profit organizations that are into Indian culture & art and provide interactive creative solutions that boost their offerings.
  • We are positioned to be a ‘Creative Skilling and Collaborating Partner’ to provide objective-driven content in audio and video formats, interactive AVGC, AR/VR content, AI/ML apps for self-learning, self-assessment and enable monetizing opportunities for consumers of all age groups and sectors.

Testimonials from our customers and partners speak about the ArtEd value-add!

Entrepreneurial Learnings

  • As cultural entrepreneurs, we must be ready to detach from “single/only” idea/methodology as quickly as possible in order to be efficient in our delivery.  
  • As an early-stage company, we are willing to be agile and iterative to be productive and self-sufficient.

At the NICE Aarohana Business Plan Competition (BPC)

We were proud and happy to came across NICE, an organization with eminent personalities that is exclusively supporting Indian cultural entrepreneurs. On exploring, we realized that our offerings align with the NICE vision. In short, we had found a great partner

We had the opportunity to meet some of the finest entrepreneurs, experts, investors, business professionals at the BPC. 

The pitch template helped us make our presentation informative and effective. The mentorship sessions with Sanjay Anandaram and Bala Girisaballa brought out the best in us. Their appreciation boosted our confidence and the constructive feedback, business insights, presentation tips helped us deliver an impactful pitch for seasoned investors within the allotted time.

We look forward to a continued association with NICE. 

We invite all budding Indian cultural entrepreneurs to benefit from the NICE initiatives.

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Calling Cultural Entrepreneurs

Have a cultural enterprise? Tell us what you do. Write to us at namaste@niceorg.in.

To feature your cultural enterprise on NICE Stories, write to me at chitra@niceorg.in.

 

 

Images from ArtEd

author
Chitra Aiyer