The Very First Studio Visit
As it is said the first is always special, be it for any context. In the atelier visits the first is Rukmani Arts and Exports, a studio owned by two brothers Mr.Santosh Kalra and Mr.Pradeep Kalra. We had a long one on one session with Mr.Santosh Kalra, a man who is full of positivity, enthusiasm and always keen on trying hands in new unexplored domains. He is amazing with technology and coding and if you meet him you would be surprized by the knowledge he encompasses. I have always believed that more than place and circumstance it is one’s own will which becomes the key factor in shaping one’s persona and he is a very apt example of the same.He is very humble and yet you would feel ‘I never knew all this, how does he know so much!!!!’. We talked about how this journey started, what all art forms are they into and how is the whole experience of being there into the handicraft business for so long. I am writing down his experience which he shared with us.Also this post throws light upon the market dynamics and the changes in Handicraft Industry due to Online Presence and Industrialization.
In 2004, when there were a lot of opportunities in Udaipur especially in the areas of Handicraft,Travel and Tourism, these two young men were deciding on which one to go with. They knew people in the handicraft industry and because Mr. Pradeep had done Masters in International Business then, they figured out handicrafts and exports as the best option to go with. In addition Mr. Santosh’s expertise in technology and online marketing gave them an extra edge. This is a very apt example of two minds making it big. One had offline expertise( procuring and developing art) and the other online (marketing and selling). If you want to know how networking can make your life change, they are the example. The first few sales were gigantic and this proved to be the game changer. It acted as a booster and they really got some good profits.
Art Forms They Deal In
They deal extensively in silver art, stone art example white marble, pink marble, green marble, black marble, Haveli Art Pieces like pillars, Jharokaas, Stone Inlay (Pachchikari Work), Meenakari Work , Bone Inlay and Sand Stone. The domain of work includes Fine Art, Modern Art, Ethnic Art(Rajasthani Architecture) and Antiques. They started extensively with stone art but because of the shipping issues due to fragile nature of marble, they switched to Haveli Art. They are still into stone art but the major chunk of profits come from the massive architectures they design under Haveli Art Form. They deal into all the above products customized completely to the customer’s demand. They are playing big by customizing every single detail and thus catering 100 percent to the demand of the customer.
Amongst the many, few clients on the list are :
- Kuwait Education Minister
- World’s Largest Manufacturer of Organic Food Nature’s Path http://us.naturespath.com/ , CEO Mr. Arran Stephens
- John Berry
- Ashok Hinduja
- Cairn Energy
Pros and Cons of Internet on Their Business
Internet has definitely increased the reach and has given access to international markets like never before. But with this the competition has also increased, more players and competitive rates have been few cons to it. What is a big advantage to Rukmani Arts and Exports is that they are early movers compared to the very recent handicraft ateliers. Plus the amazing knowledge of Mr.Santosh in the area of technology and online marketing is a cherry on the top. He understands SEO extremely well which is a big added advantage. He is amazing at networking, runs his own magazine Rajputana Times and a foundation named Rukmani Foundation.
Industriailzation has posed a great problem to art industry. Nobody wants to become a sculptor especially in India when there are better sources to earn and better wages too. The amount of time required to develop artistic skills and the patience involved is making this field a road less taken by the upcoming generation. This is a great threat to the handicraft industry and thus is a major concern. There are very few schools for the artisans and thus this also shows a great responsibility as we need to protect our heritage and culture in these art forms.
The Person Mr. Santosh Kalra
He is humble, intellectual and when it comes to technology, you will always feel we must learn from him. He is not only actively involved in Rukmani Arts and Exports but also runs a magazine and a foundation. Through foundation he addresses social issues and also motivates the upcoming talented people. He is always encouraging and in all my interactions with him, I have always found him full of energy and new ideas.
Here are few pictures with him and his brother Mr. Pradeep. Also few art pieces from the studio has been covered. Have a look :
Find Rukmani Arts and Exports At :
You can visit their website here : Rukmani Arts and Exports
Their magazine : Rajputana Times
Their Foundation : Rukmani Foundation
Rukmani Arts and Exports Address :
Rukmani Arts & Exports
NH-8, Before Sukher Bypass,
Before Sukher Bypass, Bhuwana
Udaipur, Rajasthan, India.
0091 98297 90949 ( Timing : 11 am to 8 pm )
0091 294 2442292