Art’s Newest Crusader- Padmaja Nagarur
From being the co-founder of Artflute – a global online marketplace for contemporary art to pursuing her love for theatre, to facilitating and training mentors for Dream A Dream – a nonprofit that works with children from vulnerable backgrounds, Padmaja Nagarur is a marketer obsessed with the idea of exploring possibility in all aspects of life.
Her latest entrepreneurial venture Artflute is an online global marketplace for art, selling original and limited edition prints to art aficionados and collectors in India and abroad. Its also a platform through which Padmaja Nagarur and her partner endeavour to educate the first time buyer and initiate an appreciation for artamong novices.
“I’ve always wanted to do things differently,” says the 32-year-old entrepreneur. “I have worked with a number of brands across industries on all aspects of building brand identity, especially pushing the envelope when it came to using a story to connect customers and brands. Here my effort is to redefine the word ‘marketplace’ and not just use Artflute as a conduit between the artist and the market, but to work with multiple stakeholders, all involved in the field of art and create a common platform for their work.”
Beginning her career as a marketing professional with Wipro Technologies, Padmaja was soon employing her vision acceleration skills at various companies to connect people with the deeper meaning behind every idea. Not surprisingly, she won Wipro Technologies’ Most Promising Marketer award and went on to play the role of a lead consultant at Paul Writer, a marketing advisory firm and India’s biggest community of marketers, founded by Jessie Paul.
In her latest avatar as the co-founder of Artflute, she combines her mission of marketing with soul with her love for art. “I firmly believes that art can change lives and open us to perspectives we otherwise wouldn’t be exposed to. I envision art becoming part of living room conversations – discussions about favourite styles, artists, the meaning of an artwork and much more,” she speaks passionately. Padmaja sees her role in Artflute as that of a catalyst, connecting people with the life-changing love for art. Going beyond the transactional and infusing soul into every interaction, whether with an artist, a customer or other stakeholders, she believes in engaging with each customer in unique ways to discover their reasons for inspiration. Her commitment to inspiring new perspectives to engage with art has already seen results with Artflute’s eight-fold increase in revenue in the last year alone.
“Artflute showcases art from some of the country’s most talented artists like Amol Pawar, Amit Bhar, Anuradha Thakur, Anuradha Nalapat, Basuki Dasgupta, H R Das, Iruvan Karunakaran, Kandi Narsimlu, Suruchi Jamkar, Swati Kale, Vijit Pillai and Umakant Kanade. We also have works from emerging artists like Bishwajit Das, Ekta Sharma, Amar Singha, Nirupam Borboruah, Sheetal Singh, Sujith V.T and Sumit Mehndiratta,” tells Padmaja. The average ticket size for original works being sold on the platform is around` 50,000 for and ` 15,000 for prints, she adds.
Padmaja’s inspired creativity, her in-depth understanding of meaning-making and the idea of fulfillment in people’s lives has led her team to win the Most Promising Team at the Women’s Entrepreneur Quest award by GraceHopper. At the same time, her passion for theatre and storytelling has led to her association as a director, performer, trainer and a storyteller with Bangalore Little Theatre, one of India’s oldest theatre groups with a special interest in their Children’s Theatre Programme.
When she’s not following up on one her many paradigm-expanding ideas, you can find her plotting her next travel expedition, kicking back in nature amongst tall, awe-inspiring trees and spending time with her husband and friends.