Pinaki Gupta, Founder at Pisarto Online Art Gallery Pvt Ltd
Great Companies: How did you get your idea or concept for the business?
Pinaki Gupta: The germ of the idea for coming up with an online art gallery goes almost a decade back. Two events/experiences had a huge impact on shaping the way Pisarto has been conceptualized. Firstly, buying my first piece of art – There was a painting I liked and to acquire it had to break the bank. In fact I had to wait for a couple of years to buy it. Secondly, the experience of visiting art galleries – This was such an overwhelming experience and gave an impression of being too elitist.
The experiences made me realize that there were many buyers like me who were either first-time buyers or avid art lovers but did not find either the price point attractive or the buying experience very comforting. Pisarto set out to address these two issues for art lovers with a larger goal of democratizing art.
Great Companies: What are the various Services provided by Pisarto Online Art Gallery Pvt. Ltd
Pinaki Gupta: Pisarto aims to set up a digital ecosystem to connect artists and art lovers from around the world. Through its platform it offers a great opportunity for artists to showcase their work and reach out to a wider audience and not be restricted to their local markets or cities. Aligned to that Pisarto has taken the digital-first approach.
Pisarto aims to fulfil three broad objectives:
Bring Global Art to the doorstep of art lovers making it accessible;
Encourage & Nurture established and emerging talent;
Simplify the Art buying process.
Currently, we have Handmade Paintings and Sculptures in our portfolio which we are looking to expand further in the months ahead. We have some very unique artists both in terms of themes and techniques. A lot of our customers are First Time Buyers and this is their first experience of buying art. We understand few of them need some amount of advisory services to help them decide what will suit their taste and look good for their homes. We offer them guidance and suggestions to assist them through their buying lifecyle.
Great Companies: What makes Pisarto Online Art Gallery Pvt. Ltd different from hundreds of other online art galleries ?
Pinaki Gupta: We do recognize that this market is quite cluttered and also significantly unorganized. That we look as an opportunity for ourselves. We have consciously worked towards having quality artworks on our website that are authentic and original as well as give customers a differentiated buying experience.
Some of what we have done makes us unique, like:
Curating Panel – We encourage artists who have a distinct style to list their works on our platform. The works are evaluated by a curating panel before we onboard them. There is a strict process of evaluation of artists and selection of their works that finally get listed on Pisarto.
“Art on Your Wall” Experience – This feature available on our website allows one to see how the painting would look like on some canned home environments as well as allows one to upload an image of their home and experience how the painting will look like in their actual home. One can move the painting to change its location on the wall as well as resize it to get a better feel.
Women Artists - One segment that we are very proud to promote and find quite untapped & encouraged is Women Artists. We consciously promote and encourage them. We have a separate segment on our website for them so that their works gets an opportunity to stand out.
Direct Sourcing – We deal directly with artists and avoid working with curators or agents.
Quality Check - For every artwork that’s sold on Pisarto, the artist ships it first to our warehouse in Mumbai. We do physical verification of the art from a quality perspective before we ship it to the customer.
We believe in providing great quality products and services to our customers. Customer experience is our central focus.
Great Companies: What are the struggles and challenges you face?
Pinaki Gupta: Paintings and artworks in India generally falls in the aspirational category. For the longest time, paintings and artworks have been confined mostly to the four walls of traditional art galleries. We are trying to find a balance between aspirational and accessibility.
One of the biggest challenges we face is changing the buying behavior. Art is at a stage what fashion and clothing industry was maybe a decade back. We want to make the transition to online happen much faster. We are working towards enhancing the customers experience by use of technology, cataloguing, taxonomy of art collection and ease of use of our website so that buyers feel confident to buy art online hassle free. We want to provide our customers unique artworks at reasonable prices with the assurance of quality.
Another, challenge we encounter is pricing by the artists. We find that a lot of Indian artists are not well equipped to price their artworks. We guide them so that they get a fair value for their art and invest in promoting them to help build a name for themselves.
Great Companies: How do you plan to grow in the future? What does 5 years down the line look like for Pisarto Online Art Gallery Pvt. Ltd?
Pinaki Gupta: We are a fairly new gallery but the progress we have made over the last few quarters has exceeded our own expectations. We are continuously looking out for artists who have potential to bring them on the platform. Apart from that we also keep adding new works of the artists who are already empanelled. Every week on an average we approve and empanel 3-4 artists although we get request from 10-15 artists on an average.
We also are increasing our offerings and product portfolio as we are moving ahead. A step in that direction has been adding sculptures. We plan to grow this collection in the days ahead. We are also looking at expanding our portfolio significantly beyond paintings and sculptures.
We are experiencing an upward trend in revenue, which is quite encouraging. We hope to be able to sustain this growth and accelerate further once the world comes back to normal. We are very bullish about the future and wish to give a differentiated experience to our customers. We have partnered with institutions like ICICI Bank to give their customers a differentiated offering with a larger goal of popularizing art and reaching out to as many buyers as possible.
For us the goal is to make Pisarto an economically successful company along with being socially impactful.
Great Companies: If you had one piece of advice to someone just starting out, what would it be?
Pinaki Gupta: I feel there are three aspects one needs to have clarity before starting out. Firstly, have a Vision for the business, secondly, have a Passion for the business you are getting into and finally what Innovation you are making in your business that will make you unique.
Also, spend significant time in building a solid building block in the early years and not go too fast. Once the foundation is strong, you can accelerate and go full throttle.