With the market becoming so much more competitive, it has become very difficult to become an entrepreneur who stands out amongst the rest. Meet ArpitAgarwal, who has done his masters fromThe National Institute of Design in Ahmadabad and is alsothe founder of NEST. He has carved a place for himself in the business world with his creative ideas based on the North Eastern region.
I: How long has NEST been in the market and how did you come up with this idea?
A: We have been around for three years now. Basically the idea started out with boredom. Also, I have travelled a lot across India and I realized that there are lot of products that have been made and designed which are inspired by the culture of Mumbai, Punjab, Delhi and all. But, there are no products which depicted the North Eastern region. So, I thought that this would be a good initiative as North East is also growing as a tourist destination. Moreover, I wanted that people know more about North East as they don’t know much about it, so through the products I wanted to show people more of North East.
I: The business you are in is very competitive. How do you ensure that your idea reaches people and howdo you come up with new ideas all the time?
A: The business is competitive, yes. But, the idea is new as no one from north east has worked on something like this and this is an advantage we have. And new ideas..North East is culturally very rich, colours and all, so inspiration is not a problem. We can pick up anything from the states and start working on it.
I: What was your inspiration when you began with this?
A: See, I told you that this started out of boredom, so there was no inspiration as such. Initially when I stared out, I designed some stuff and showed it to my friends and they really liked it and they told me to take it forward. So, this inspired me in a way.
I: What are your other hobbies?
A: I like travelling and sports, a lot.
I: So, have you travelled the whole of NE? And which one state do you thing is the best?
A: I have travelled to almost all the places, except Mizoram. Obviously not the whole, as that might take a lifetime but my work makes me travel a lot. And every state here is unique in its own way. But, I think culturally Nagaland is very rich and if it comes to nature, I recently went to Tawang for the Tawang festival and I think it is one of the best places one could visit.
I: So, tell me about your team. Do you have permanent workers or interns?
A: No. I don’t have permanent workers as i work on other projects and I keep on travelling. I have interns from premiere institutes in India who work with me for two three months and the thing about them is that they are more enthusiastic and have energy that helps me.
I: And finally. Where do you see yourself and your business in 10 years?
A: 10 years is too long a period to say anything as things change every day. But, I want that when people think about North East in the future, they should think about me also.