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Nandini Trivedi, is a young entrepreneur who is cofounder of Unboxing Art, an Etech company that specialises in content and arts education from Nagpur.
Nandini Trivedi, is a young entrepreneur who is cofounder of Unboxing Art, an Etech company that specialises in content and arts education from Nagpur. Recently her company won the 25th edition of Eureka at IIT-Bombay, where they competed against 15000+ startups!
You have a lot of experience in writing and teaching and now have an independent venture in art education, what would you like to share about your journey thus far?
As a bachelor in literature, I have always been smitten by language. I love English, I was from an English missionary school and desired to speak like my teachers, albeit struggles. I was also deeply interested in reading and would devour 350, 450 pages in a day.
This eventually fuelled my love for writing and I wrote my first piece in 7th I could see that not many people in my batch were into writing, so I liked that I was able to do something different. I met my co-founders, Hussain Rasheed and Yugandhara Meshram, and we started Unboxing Art, which eventually became a way for me to do what I love.
Unboxing Art has garnered a lot of positive attention. How did the idea come into being? Kindly share more about your business plan and aspirations.
The idea for Unboxing Art came about slowly. Initially the company was dedicated to poetry and was called Dark Room Poetry where we intended for people to celebrate art and literature. It was 2018 and spoken poetry was doing exceptionally well, hence the idea. But we ultimately found the merit to consume literature alongside expressing it.
I had the idea that “when you read is when you create”. We decided to create an educational course on writing and poetry. We gave it our all, we were three founding members working together at that point right before COVID-19 pandemic started. The course was initially for a batch of 30 students, and today we have managed to train more than 5000 students. We strive to keep doing that.
Your startup was recently awarded by IIT Bombay among 15,000 other startups, do share more about the experience.
This competition is said to be Asia’s largest competition for business. I am not sure how we stood among the competing parties, as all startup members were hosted separately at the event. I am sure there would have been other startup companies working on education technology, we positioned ourselves as a unique arts institution, which I believe is rare to see.
We, in India, have a negative view of arts as a subject with little scope for success, but we tried to dispel such myths and stand out. I believe this is what helped us win this event.
What challenges have you faced in your journey thus far?
There have been plenty of challenges. Firstly, it was establishing our startup. In a city like Nagpur, where there is little exposure to culture. Even with my parents, it took me years to properly explain what my company does and what work I do. It is the same with peers I meet who feel confused when I tried to explain what I do. Secondly, we struggled with building a team.
We faced issues with trust and to reassure people in our vision and goals. Thirdly, we faced hindrances in terms of work. People would discourage us, or suggest other, more secure jobs while considering our business plan to be unreliable.
There was a lot of pressure as well, to perform and deliver results and prove ourselves in the face of all the doubt.
How would you like to inspire other entrepreneurs and innovators through your personal experiences?
There’s one word I love and that is resilience. In that, no matter what hurdles come, stand up and overcome them. Personally, I suggest exploring. I love trying out new things a lot, and this has enabled me to gain lots of knowledge.
Although I graduated with bachelor in Literature, I have a fair amount of knowledge about business administration, marketing, digital marketing. Learning keeps us going, you can start at point A but curiosity and learning can take us anywhere.
You have a lot of exposure to art and content writing; how do you feel women are an important part of this?
I personally believe that women are made to be creative. I must have come across 2500 to 3000 students among the ones I have taught so far, and most of them happen to be female. I would say that often, my students inspire me in terms of arts and expression.
Often I see housewives and women busy with work and despite knowing the challenges, of questions like “the children are too young” and such, they are still intrigued by content writing and see their growing skill in it a passive source of income for their own expenditure. I personally, have never come across a woman who is not creative.
What struggles do you feel new entrepreneurs, especially women, face in India, according to you?
Firstly, I feel people are not ready to take risks. There’s a notion of partaking in something pre-established or take a popular route, but when it comes to conceiving individualistic ideas and pursuing them, not many opt for that. Personally, I feel women lose confidence in terms of structural support when family duties weigh down on them or don’t support them, they feel discouraged.
That first step is very important to take, and I wish more women take it. There are government schemes, incubation and accelerator programmes that are available to both men and women and I hope more women take advantage of that.
What has been your greatest support system?
My greatest support has been my family and co-founders, without them, all this might not have possible. My family has never hindered me. As the oldest child, my parents considered that they would’ve financially supported their elder son and see no reason to not do the same for their elder daughter.
For anything and everything, they emotionally and financially help with as much as they can and have been a constant support through this journey. Similarly, my co-founders happen to be much older but continue to see my potential and show confidence in my abilities.
How do you feel Indians can benefit from creative arts right now?
There’s a whole new level of market for art content. The average creator count is 90 million in India today and we have the convenience of social media, google and LinkedIn on our fingertips. Speaking of scope, arts and content is something every field needs right now and actively hired for.
Knowledge is much more easily accessible today and makes blending passion and work much easily. For example, stand-up, handicrafts, writing, all of these have potential to become steady careers or be used as products in a business venture, the possibilities are endless.
To more about Nandini Trivedi and her business, head to Unboxing Art
I am Ria from New Delhi. I did my Bachelors in Political Science and History and am currently pursuing my Masters in Political Science from University of Delhi and Postgraduate Diploma in Criminal Justice from read more...
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