Art & Craft - A Niche for Upcoming Startups

By Vishal Singhal, Co-Founder,

Vishal Singhal, Co-Founder,

ArtZolo is an online platform created to benefit the art ecosystem. It aims to bridge the disparity that exists between the offline and online work in the art system. The company also offers specific features that will aid the artist, buyers and sellers.

It was never doubted that India has the talent and, to some extent, the resources to come under the spotlight for startups. What is even better is, the serious influx of external funds to support the ecosystem has been considered a bliss. Given that, there are not many people who have directly benefited from the influx, and hence the ones that are funded aka limelight are the ones that people know off. operates in a very niche space, i.e. Art & Craft. Unlike a standardized product, Art & Craft brings out uniqueness in each and every product, thus making it prestigious to own one. An outcome of a similar work could differ in the final product from one artist to another, and so could their pricing. Art & Craft has had a lot of historical significance, making it very subjective in its pursuit to determine the value. The fact of awareness of such works being limited to the knowledge of the subject or visual appearance makes it very challenging to accept the face value of the work. The start-up plays a vital role in providing enough evidences to support the pricing and intention of the work.
 Some of the biggest challenges in the Art & Craft space have been genuinity/credibility, quality of work, originality and the medium. Over a period of time, there have been a lot of fraudulent activities that have occurred in this space. The industry has predominantly seen a lot of transfer-pricing mechanisms in the process and has caused uncertainty for art lovers. Additionally, buyers believe their need to have an up-close physical look at the artwork before buying a heavy priced work.
With every challenge there is an opportunity. With technology as a medium, quite a lot of the fearful and overwhelming factors are now taken care of. One can now get to see the details of the artwork which they would not get to see otherwise. Additional information such as artwork details, art room preview, bid and discovery are all easily available for the art lovers. A less intimidating and wide variety of choices that are in front of the art lovers make it far simpler than a gallery experience. Given the fact that one can see artworks of established artists from different circles itself gives a clear indication of artworks that are being  produced and a price comparison tool/technique makes it fascinating.

Some very important factors that one should consider before diving deep into a niche space like are:

  • Do enough market survey/research about your target audience to understand the offering gaps that you could fill in.
  • Understand the scalable aspect; if at some point you  feel the necessity to raise money. This could become a bottle neck if not tackled well.
  • Do not fall back on laurels; with niche and unorganized domains , an entrepreneur has to be careful enough to do a pilot and ensure that they adopt the data-driven approach very stringently.
  • USP is important, but not a make or break for business. What is important is to execute the business strategies well in the initial stages. Once things are on track, one could innovate and launch ample services/products to differentiate.
  • Firms operating in niche domains require far more patience and constant awareness push.
  • Market size figures are an indicative factor of the effort that would be required, but that should not deter you from pursuing if you have vetted the basic elements of market need.

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