Have you ever heard about a start-up which was born out of a crazy idea? Well, Atrangi, as its name suggests, was. The journey of Atrangi began when Gautam and Parinita Sharma were travelling in Goa and met one young woman in the local flea market. She approached them with what they call an Atrangi earring.
“The weave on the earring looked intricate with each thread colour spun to perfection around a brown loop made from coconut shell,” says Gautam, adding, “On enquiry, we were fascinated to know that the woman had spent an entire week on creating the perfect weave to make the earring.”
That got the two thinking. It was a one-of-a-kind piece that would draw anyone’s attention to the wearer. They wondered if the artist would have got a better price for it if she could display it to a better audience, and if she wasn’t in a desperate situation.
Gautam mentions that while he was running his software company, he always had an idea at the back of his mind, to sell something rare. “During conversations with friends, I used to talk about selling something rare. I want to sell something ‘Atrangi’ — something that was unusual and extraordinary,” he says, adding, “When the time came to start an online business, Atrangi was the best name I could come up with.”
Every product that one purchases from Atrangi has been handpicked with love, with the intention of showcasing it to a global audience. Sharma’s vision for Atrangi is to provide a platform for artisans from around the world to display their creative talents.
Currently, Atrangi sells Tibetan prayer flags, pure Hemp bags and pouches, wire art miniatures, metal art made from engine parts, funky upcycled bags and pouches and home and wall décor. Gautam points out that as a brand, they stand for handcrafted, upcycled, organic and eco-friendly products that are rare to find, and amazing options for collectors’ and also for gifting.
“We meet artists around the world that make these products. We support a few small scale village factories that employ single mothers and women only. The movie action figurines that are sold by Atrangi, are handcrafted from car and motorbike engine parts which is a really smart way of reusing the metal parts. The Hemp fibre is an eco-friendly material and the bags made from it are long-lasting. Another eco-friendly collection of bags and accessories made from waste cloth and coconut shells is designed to keep all your belongings organised whilst reflecting your personal style,” he adds.
Talking about the challenges that they face, Gautam points out that e-commerce is not easy. “Unless you are a well known brand, people don’t spend or hesitate to do a transaction on your website due to the fear of online fraud. However, good product reviews and google reviews about business help the customer in making a decision and word of mouth awareness through friends, family and customers helps the business to pick up,” he says.
“The need for hand-crafted products is less. People always complain about pricing despite us being very economical. Advertising is one of the toughest part since it is important to target the right customer but with the lowest possible budget,” adds Gautam.
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Atrangi offers products ranging from Rs 50 to 20,000, which can be purchased at www.atrangi.org