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From a box of cigarettes...

From a box of cigarettes to a box of traditional Indian art: My journey into the splendid world of startups and online commerce.

 

 

So how is it that a corporate guy like you selling IT solutions to government agencies, gets into the business of selling jewelry and fashion accessories online? I get that question so often that my answer has just boiled down to four words, "Because I love it!”

But the long version of that answer is that I started Zarood because working in the IT world for nearly 20 years, I realized the potential of technology, and specifically the Internet in reaching people effectively. A hoarder of souveneirs and mini collectibles, art related products was obviously the way to go.

I studied to become an engineer at the Dayalbagh Educational Institute in Agra. My friends and I would often ditch classes and make our way to the Taj Mahal. Every tourist there would tell you about how mesmerizing the Taj is, basking in its 400 year old glory. But something that not a lot of people know is that sitting right by the main gate of Taj Mahal is a clan of artisans, rumored to be descendants of the original workers who built the Taj, working around the clock to ensure that the restoration work done to the deteriorating Taj Mahal is as genuine as possible. Fascinating don't you think? Indian craftsmanship has managed to survive at least 400 years and the Taj Mahal is standing testimony for that.

Fast forward 25 years and here I am trying to recognize the same Indian art culture in my own little way with Zarood. My philosophy is simple, I want to put a face to every piece of Indian artisanship out there and make sure that the end customers appreciate the art for what it is and the long standing artistic culture that it represents.

Most of the artisans working to manufacture jewellery and fashion accessories today face a common problem - they are under paid and under recognized. So we started with the simplest of business models, cut out the middle man, and save some money. But more importantly save some money and put the artisan at the forefront.

The concept of the box was an idea that I first had back in 1992 on a chance visit to the Indian Tobacco Company factory. Tens of thousands of cigarettes ready to be stacked into boxes of 20 and shipped to every nook and corner of the country, from pan waalas to duty free stores. Today each box comes with a statutory warning that "smoking kills". What if each box of a Zarood product can be shipped with a note about who the artisan is and what the art form is called? That to me is powerful.

Zarood has since been a long but extremely rewarding roller coaster ride. There are some ups and some more downs, but the initial philosophy is what has kept us going till today. Personally its been a humbling journey of fostering relationships with brilliantly talented craftsmen in remote pockets of the country and working with an extremely talented group of people who have had their faith in the idea and what we are trying to do. As for me, CEO is just an acronymn for Chief-Everything-Officer, overworked, but loving each and every part it!

Until next time,
Sid

  • July 20, 2015
  • Siddhant Garg
ABOUT US
  • Zarood.com is the leading online marketplace for connoisseurs of handicraft products offering high quality products sourced directly from handicraft artisans around India. We offer the best prices with a completely hassle free experience of online shopping and the option to pay via Cash On Delivery, Credit Card, Debit Card and Netbanking processed through secure and trusted payment gateways. We offer a wide range of handmade fashion accessories - necklaces, bangles & bracelets, earrings, clutch bags and handbags. We are also the exclusive online partners for Muskaan the NGO and offer these "cause crafts" in our range including handmade candles and stationery. Zarood also offers free cash-on-delivery for orders above Rs. 1500/- and flat rate shipping charges for all orders* (T&C apply). Get the best prices and excellent shopping experience and subscribe to the mailing list to get exclusive discounts and new updates.
    Online Fashion Jewellery and Accessories store in india
    Zarood.com is an online jewelry shopping store in india offering an array of designer fashion jewelry and accessories for women. We bring you the choicest of handmade jewellery and trendy fashion jewelry, be it ethnic, bridal, casual or formal. We strive to make you look your best with the latest and the finest jewellery.
    Best Online Accessories
    Whether you are looking for statement pieces, such as pendant necklaces, earring studs, bracelets, bags, purse, bangles, traditional paintings or handcrafted products you have a wider variety to choose from. You can find stylish options here for DIY fashion accessories for women that fit your budget and make the process much easier.
    Beautiful Indian Handcrafted Products
    Each handmade products shares a story, whether it's about the artist, the material used, or the origin, it adds more interest to the item itself. Knowing this increases one's appreciation of the object.

  •   603, Kirti Mahal, 19, Rajendra Place, New Delhi, INDIA
  •   +91.11.4704.2915
  •   care@zarood.com
  •   We are open Monday to Saturday, 10 AM - 5 PM and closed on Sunday.