Tag Archives: Design

Conviction: Key to being a Successful Entrepreneur

When I was leaving school, my principal had written in my diary, “You will take the road less travelled and it will make all the difference”.Back then, I was moved to read that line written by her – a line from one of my favourite poems. Today, I understand the essence and significance of those words.

The road less travelled is intriguing, exciting, adventurous, and scary. While there are new discoveries, there is also a ruthless sort of restlessness that pushes you to go on. That, is the source of my energy. There is comfort in simplicity and gratefulness for life.
I have always listened to my heart. Most of the times it guided me right, and some few odd times, it put me in the most difficult of
situations. The decision to start Happy Hands too, was led by the heart, and in five years, I have faced all varieties of situations – difficult,humbling, and most importantly, inspiring.

I started at a time when efforts for reviving crafts was not an advisable (read lucrative) career option, and had little to do with Management- my field of study. With no formal education in Design, I felt myself drawn to the beauty and sheer magic of handcrafting a product. The first question most friends would ask me would be : “…but how will you do it…”. I did not know the answer then, and I do not know it now.
There was no ‘plan A or B or C’ – there was only a conviction, and the determination to change. Friends came forward to help, and I
continued to meet people who are our biggest support systems now. Fundraising was the biggest problem – how would we pay people,rentals..etc. but our artists understood it all too well. They were our initial supporters – we would make products together, and sell them together.

None of this was easy – while new relationships were formed, existing ones were put to test. The one thing about being an entrepreneur is,you realise who your true friends really are – the ones who share the happiness of success are few in number, the ones who understand the risk of failure, even fewer.

There are several choices one is constantly faced with, but being a woman makes it easier – we are naturally inclined towards multitasking.
In the course of running an organisation, I have learnt how to budget, recruit, design, travel on minimal resources, and how to function with no sleep, but occasional dreams. By most importantly, I have learnt about people and their traditions or cultures; I have learnt patience, and I have grown – not just as an entrepreneur but as a human being. It’s not crafts that I work to restore – I work to bring back the dignity in the
life of a craftsman/artist. I seek to enable our own countrymen to recognise and include the traditional arts of our nation into their lives, so craft can thrive again – so artists can feel ‘wanted’ again.
Time has played a strange game of sorts. While we have moved on to better technology, infrastructure and opportunities, our villages (most of them) remain without any proper access to Internet services even!

Today we have a larger team, and our programs and impact have only increased over the years. We have always been an all-girls
organisation. Not by plan, of course! We learnt to lift our own cartons, and manage our logistics. Yes, our parents have stayed up nights waiting for us, but we ourselves were never concerned about our safety. Somehow, work always came first.
It is the small experiences which have made us who we are – we continue to struggle, laugh at our mistakes, and then make some more.

Today, in retrospect, I am thankful to the people who supported us, and also to those who didn’t because they taught us some very
important lessons. The struggle continues, as does the madness – and I wouldn’t have had it any other way!

Post by: Medhavi Gandhi

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London Experience

About YCE

The British Council has been pioneering to build a strong community and professional network of creative businesses, through the reward programme Young Creative Entrepreneur Awards. The awards help nurture enterprise across seven categories – design, music, fashion, screen (film, TV and animation), interactive (software, entertainment, games and social media platforms), performing arts (theatre, dance and “live” art) and publishing. It aims to inspire and facilitate the sharing of best practices in building skills and access to resources, professional development, markets, mentoring and resources to increase business opportunities between India, UK and internationally.

YCE  2011 -Designs

YCE 2011 award was very special because unlike other awards it did not end on stage with trophy, but it actually started on the stage. YCE opened a new stage for us and offered an amazing journey , which even if you pay millions you would not get. As a part of YCE winner, British council planned a visit to UK for almost ten days, with events packaged for us with interaction, exposure, fun and learning. I was looking forward to meet other 23 winners from over 19 countries, truely once in a lifetime opportunity.

London

  

London is awesome for many things but I specially like  sweet smell in the air and seasonal day ( there are seasons in a year, but in London you might get all of them in a day ! ). It is fun to walk all around in London, and  nothing like exploring the city on bicycle, thanks  to awesome support system created for hiring , returning bicycling ..

Truly International

23 winners from 19 countries, I couldn’t even imagine what it will be like to meet and spend time with such a diversed  set of talented people. In my wildest dream I wouldn’t have imagined that I would know so much about design and life in Estonia, Poland, Syria Turkey, Vietnam , Mexico and more.  Each one of us had a very unique style of work and cultural values, but there was one thing in common; entrepreneurial energy. Everyone was on the same path of exploring their dream but on different stages of evolution and experiences. It was nice to see how each one has his/her own way to manage their own context and create magic  with their work. Thanks to British Council for putting all of together, it was decade worth experience condensed in a week.

London Design Festival

London Design Festival and London Fashion Week happens  at same time of the year, and i guess , it is not a coincidence, it is planned to pack as many design activities to promote London as creative hub of the world. Other interesting fact, all these events are privately run organizations. In context to Indian scenario, whole lot of us were hoping that Indian Design council, NID, or CII will run such activities, but I am convinced that it is not sustainable. We also need entrepreneurs initiating such activities here, and I think IDC, CII or Govt will happily support.

100% Design

100 % Design is been great platform for designers to showcase their talent in home products, furnishings, and lighting. Visitor ranging from buyers, stores, distributors, and general people make the show very special. it has become launch pad for many upcoming designers to show case their talent.

100%  Design is very keen to have India pavilion in 2012 show and we have initiated the discussion amongst IDC and NID to explore this further. I will be personally pleased if we could take part in next edition of 100% Design and share new and notable with rest of the world.

 

Investing in Indian Creative Industry

One of the key program of YCE award was to connect all designers to investors and see how design could play larger role in creative industry economy. There is great deal of interest from investors in Indian creative industry , especially in Design. This was the really the key outcome of  YCE award, and this program includes mentorship to the Indian design firms to make them investor friendly and bring investment and partnerships which will impact the overall economic contribution in big way. It will also open up opportunities for many international collaborations with Indian design firms.

I would like to thank British council for creating such wonderful launch pad for all of us, especially  BC teams from India and London for making our experience  memorable and enriching . Beyond all the business rewards from the program, there is one more thing I value the most; friendships with  people from so many countries, truly a treasure.

Post by – © Abhijit Bansod
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Young Creative Entrepreneur Awards in India

There wasn’t enough recognition and understanding of creative entrepreneurship in India and more so in 2005, when we launched the inaugural design and publishing entrepreneur awards. Since then, we’ve expanded our portfolio to offer the entire suite of awards to include music (2006), screen (2007), fashion, interactive (2008) and performing arts (2009).

By 2009, India was the only country to have done all International YCE awards including design, fashion, music, screen, interactive, publishing and performing arts. 

India was the market focus country for all UK YCE awards in 2008 – 2009. 35 young British creative entrepreneurs took part in the programme, travelling to Indiato take part in sector-specific study tours.  

India has won international awards for Publishing, Design, Music and Interactive and received special commendation for Fashion. 

Today, the programme has reached out to over 1000+ entrepreneurs across the sectors making India’s network of creative entrepreneurs the largest within the International YCE community. 

Over the years there have been 208 finalists, 47 India winners and 4 International winners (Publishing, Design, Music, and Interactive). We have been able to identify the talent and nurture it to give them a platform to take their businesses to the next level.   

Currently there are 2050+ members on the YCE India page on Facebook.

The 2010 YCE winners were featured on CNBC TV18’s programme Young Turks http://vimeo.com/ibritishcouncil/yceoncnbc 

The 2011 YCE awards night was featured on CNBC TV18′s Young Turks Buzz http://www.moneycontrol.com/video/specialvideos/ytbuzzyoungsparksallwalkslifebattleitout_568313.html?utm_source=Article_Vid

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India’s Creative Industries

Highlights 

  • Media and Entertainment is one of the fastest growing sectors inIndia. The entertainment industry estimated at about US$ 9.4 billion in revenues in year 2010 is expected to reach revenues of US$ 10.7 billion in 2011.
     
  • With the advent of new technologies such as 2G and 3G, and increasing mobile penetrationIndia’s music industry is scaling on a high note.
     
  • India is the largest film producing market in the world and one of the largest employment sectors in India. 
     
  • India is the third biggest Internet market, with over 100 million internet user base and the amount of time spent on the Internet for an average user in the country is 16 hours a week. According to Google estimates, 40 million users access Internet through mobile phones and download 30 million applications. New technologies such as 3G, broadband and mobile infrastructure are also helping in propelling this trend. 
     
  • The growth of the fashion industry in India is mainly driven by the growing exposure of domestic designers at international forums attracting a large number of international clients, launch of focused business education courses for emerging designers and the establishment of an industry association. Rising affluence has increased brand awareness among Indian consumers. The Indian textile industry provides direct employment to over 35 million people. 
     
  • Growing wealth and disposable incomes of the country’s middle and upper classes, facilitated by the growth in retail infrastructure for entertainment products and services, and the demands for creativity in business is all opening up vast opportunities for businesses in this sector.

 Copyright: India Brand Equity Foundation, March 2011 (http://www.ibef.org)

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Young Interactive Entrepreneur from India, shines at BAFTA

The Indian YCE Interactive winner, Anup Tapadia competed against the brightest and best young talents working in the business of interactive media in emerging markets around the world to win British Council’s International Young Interactive Entrepreneur Award.

Chosen from a short-list of 25-35 year-olds from Argentina, China, Colombia, Estonia, India, Indonesia, Latvia, Lebanon, Mexico, Poland, Russia, Slovakia, Slovenia, Syria, Turkey, UAE and Vietnam, Anup received his award at a ceremony at BAFTA in London on 20 October.

Anup is the founder of TouchMagix, a next generation digital technology company that engages consumers in interaction with large scale displays. TouchMagix currently exports products to more than 20 countries serving clients such as Nike, Intel, Reebok and Nokia. The company received the ‘Best Upcoming Company in India’ award at the 2009 Proto Conference. For more information on TouchMagix visit www.touchmagix.com

Anup was announced the winner of India YCE Interactive on 1 September at a gala awards ceremony along with winners of six other sectors. He has been in the UK for a programme of meetings in London, Bristol, Cardiff, Dundee and Middlesbrough to build the understanding of, and make contacts with the interactive industry. He will receive support from the British Council to develop subsequent projects linking their countries and the UK.

The awards are part of the British Council’s wider Young Creative Entrepreneur (YCE) programme, which includes awards for entrepreneurs in the fields of publishing, music, performing arts, design, screen, visual arts, interactive media, fashion and communications.

The jury commended Anup for his entrepreneurial spirit, emphasising that “He inspired the entire panel and convinced them that he is a leader of the future”. The Interactive Award was judged by:

  • Angel Gambino – entrepreneur/investor formally of Bebo and MTV
  • Paul Croft – founder and Creative Director, Mediatonic and winner of the UK Young Interactive Entrepreneur award 2009
  • Deborah Dignam – Digital Advisor, British Council
Anup Tapadia with Nayla Al Khaja

Anup Tapadia with Nayla Al Khaja, International Young Screen Entrepreneur winner at the Award Ceremony at BAFTA.

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What do Priya Kishore (Bombay Electric), Vijay Nair (Only Much Louder) and Rajat Tuli (Happily Unmarried) have in common?

These bright and successful entrepreneurs from the different creative sectors are the winners of the British Council’s Young Creative Entrepreneur (YCE) Award and a part of the YCE network. Managed by the British Council, these are the only awards in India that give recognition to creative entrepreneurship across the creative industries including Design, Music, Fashion, Communication, Visual Arts, Screen, Interactive, Performing Arts and Publishing.

International recognition to independent publishing was important to me and it helped to stand apart in the domestic market too.” defines Nishad Deshmukh, YCE Publishing 2008

The YCE award programme goes beyond simply recognising the achievements of these entrepreneurs. It provides them a platform to begin a dialogue with their UK counterparts. The winners go on a study tour of their respective industry in the UK. It allows them to learn, imbibe and grow through inputs from both their UK and international peers. They also attend relevant trade events that helps widen their perspective.

The most important part of the program to me was the “Edinburgh Fringe Fest” and the meetings therein which opened up the possibilities of new formats of performing arts and collaborations. Post YCE, at evam, we have created two new properties – one which explores a new format for a play and another which is a platform to create the next generation art-entrepreneurs – YCE has helped us redefine our boundaries!” says Sunil Vishnu of evam Entertainment and YCE Performing Arts 2009.

For Prathibha Sastry, founder of South Movie Scene Magazine, winning YCE Screen Award 2008 opened new doors for her. She has had the opportunity to go to Lithuania and will soon be visiting Poland for a film festival.

The aim of the program is to recognise the impact of entrepreneurship within the creative industries on the wider economy. According to DCMS, creative industries are defined as those having their origin in individual creativity, skill and talent and which have a potential for wealth and job creation through the generation and exploitation of intellectual property. Globally, creative industries are estimated to account for more than 7 per cent of the world’s gross GDP*. UK has pioneered in recognising their contribution and as a percentage of GDP; it has the largest creative industries sector in the world.** UK creativity is hugely influential across the world, with a reputation for innovation, edgy brilliance and entrepreneurial spirit. In 2008, it comprised an estimated 157,400 businesses and employed just under two million people.#

The Indian economy also has a strong potential for growth by investing in creative enterprises but there is a definite absence of opportunities that provide international exposure and learning for creative entrepreneurs in India.

The program has given me the ability to imagine myself as a global entrepreneur and Phonethics as an organisation shares the aspirations and challenges faced by similar start-ups around the world“, says Saurabh Gupta, Founder & CEO, Phonethics, winner of the YCE Communications award in 2009. Saurabh went on to attend the C&binet forum on Nurturing Creative Content in the Digital Age. C&binet is a not-for-profit network created by the Department for Culture, Media and Sports (DCMS) to foster international dialogue about the creative economy focusing on access to finance for creative industries, new business models for online content, developing talent and securing creative rights.

British Council has been developing a powerful professional network between creative entrepreneurs in India and the UK since 2005. Connected with the India YCE awards is the International Young Creative Entrepreneur (IYCE) programme which celebrates the achievements of entrepreneurs at an international level. Through an interconnected network, the awards aim to put the spotlight firmly on creative entrepreneurship.

The trip was a huge eye opener. Had I approached all the people I met for appointments individually, it would have taken me years to meet them. British Council insured that we met the best of the best.” says Rajat Tuli, YCE Design Award 2009.

Recently British Council supported the participation of fashion entrepreneurs including Savio Jon, Shilpa Chavan, Anuj Sharma and Varun Sardana in a fashion show hosted at the Alchemy Festival in UK. Varun has now signed up with Blow PR, a fashion PR agency based in the UK.

The awards and subsequent cross sector networking opportunities have led to much more than exchange of ideas. Alex Fleetwood, Founder Hide&Seek and winner of the UK YCE Performing Arts award is currently working with Amitesh Grover & theatre artists in the UK and Delhi to curate and produce a dual location Sandpit, an evening of social games and playful experiences.

Debu Bhattacharya, Theme Entertainment / Infinity Films, the YCE Screen 2007, has signed a MoU with Sheffield Doc Fest to provide an international launch pad for Indian documentary projects. It also includes development of a fund to boost production and development of the documentary film industry in India.

Box Item: Entries for the YCE awards in Interactive, Screen, Fashion, Design, Performing Arts, Communications and Publishing sectors are open till 10 July. Winners will be announced at a gala award ceremony in early September. For further details log on to: http://www.britishcouncil.org.in/yce


*. World Bank Urban development needs creativity: How creative industries affect urban areas.
Development Outreach, November 2003.
**. OECD Factbook 2007 – Economic, Environmental and Social Statistics, 2007.
#. Creative Industries Economic Estimates Statistical Bulletin 2010, DCMS.

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