- Tell us something about yourself?
My name is Aishwarya Suresh and I started Banna Creations (www.facebook.com/bannacreations) close to two years ago to work with Hand craft from Different parts of the country. I am an electrical engineer by qualification and worked in the IT sector in sales and marketing for 10 years before venturing out on my own to start this company. I have always taken a keen interest in India’s rich cultural heritage and vast repertoire of hand- crafted products and textiles that are the livelihood of millions of people across the country. I have a deep understanding of the issues faced by several artisans who create hand- crafted products as well as the need for larger awareness of these products and their utility. I am also a painter, a potter and run marathons in my spare time.
- Tell us something about your venture.
Banna in Kannada means ‘color’. Banna Creations is a platform for customers to easily access exquisite hand- crafted products from India. At Banna, products that are unexposed/marginally exposed are made easily accessible to a wide-ranging customer base. Banna’s products include handmade art and craft to handloom and weaves from different parts of India. Banna provides commercial and social upliftment to artists and artisans, creates awareness about different forms of art, craft, weaves and textiles and helps both products and the creators move into the mainstream.
Banna’s products are the result of hard work of artists and artisans from remote corners of India. The long-term vision for Banna is to create a Creative Centre for Art and Craft that will be used by artists and artisans to showcase their work and for regular workshops and training sessions to train interested individuals and groups.
- What is your philosophy towards work?
Define your goals, what you want to achieve and go about doing it with Passion and commitment. Never at any point lose sight of your end goal.
- Whom do you admire as your role model? And why?
I would admire any individual who has taken an idea and had the passion, believe and zeal to convert it into a successful Business venture. Take the example of people like Neelam Chibber ( MD Mother Earth and Co- Founder, Industree) or even Mr. Narayan Murthy ( Chairman Emiretus , Infosys)
- “Management is core to every individual, organization & society.” Give your views on it.
I would agree with this statement. Management is not only core to an individual and society but is also key to the success of a business venture/ entrepreneur. It is the right kind of Management ideology that will lead to the success of a business venture from concept to completion. Ideas abound, but need implementation and that’s where management comes into the picture.
- Name 3 qualities of prime importance that a women entrepreneur should possess.
It is imperative for a Women Entrepreneur in today’s environment to have a Vision, a passion to achieve her goals and a sense of balance.
- According to you, what are the challenges for Women Entrepreneurship today?
I think the most important factor for the success of any woman entrepreneur is support on the business and more importantly the domestic front. Women typically have to balance both their work and home and being an entrepreneur typically requires you to be on the job 24X 7. To be able to execute this with success support and balance on the home front are of utmost importance and the lack of this can prove to be a challenge.
- Can Entrepreneurship be taught in B-Schools/Management Institutes/Colleges?
Personally I don’t think Entrepreneurship can be taught in colleges and management schools. However basics of business management, structures, business concepts etc that one learns in a business school definitely come in handy when starting any business.
- Is the Name of the Institute from where a student pursues his/her Graduation/Post Graduation or other courses important while setting up your business?
I don’t think so. It is your vision, concept and hunger for success that is most important.
- Do you think today’s economy is conducive for a new venture to start upon?
I see a lot of new ventures coming up in India. People are trying to tackle basic needs of individuals as well as needs of enterprises. Irrespective of the economic situation in a country, there are gaps that need to be filled and wherever there are gaps, you will see entrepreneurs taking the plunge.
- “Earning more & more is the motive behind any business.” Is it justifiable?
I think earning is a byproduct of making a positive impact with your business or service. Of course, no one wants to run a non-profitable business but if the focus is on pleasing your customer with a quality offering, then the financial results will also fall in line.
- Share with us the most enjoyable moment you had experienced on work.
I think the happiest moment is that I have been able to achieve the primary objective in less than 6 months – which is essentially to connect artisans with customers. The model of my initiative is not ONLY to sell, but to provide that connect, to revive art forms and to re-create a market. So we’ve successfully done workshops and exhibitions; and have received a phenomenal response. Workshops are where you can see how these products are created and also learn from the artisans themselves. For e.g: We’ve done a folk painting workshop, embroidery workshop, etc.
- Your message to the aspiring entrepreneurs?
I heard these lines at a very inspirational Session By Mr. Narayan Murthy once and they have stayed with me – “ Think Big, Belive in what you want to achieve, Be hungry and persevere for success and never Lose sight of your goals”
Banna Creations was started by Aishwarya Suresh with a vision to preserve and cultivate India’s forgotten and ignored art and craft forms. Banna, which in Kannada means color, does this, by working closely with artisans and creating a market for their products across the world. Apart from our corporate outreach and product customization for this segment, we also retail our wide range of products through regular exhibitions and online sales and provide all our artisans with the platform and opportunity to connect directly with customers.
What separates and differentiates Banna from other retail ventures in the handicraft space, is that Banna’s products are handmade and created by artisans and self- help groups for whom this is a primary means of livelihood. Banna’s aim is to set up a center in Bangalore, where artisans can come and conduct workshops to propagate their art to a larger audience, exhibit their work, connect with customers in real time and get a chance to earn a better living, than what they would, in their current places of work.
Vision : To preserve and enrich culturally rich art and craft forms from India, that are in danger of fading away
Mission: To create a platform that provides easy access to Indian hand- made art, craft and textiles from different parts of the country to a wide ranging customer base
Products & Service-
Hand-made folk art, textiles, bags, leathercraft, natural fibre products, jewellery, glass products and home decor
Banna is focused on connecting with customers through exhibition series and online sales on social media and through the website
Existing Market Presence/Future Plans
Banna has carved a niche across India for providing high quality hand-made products. This is a high growth market in India and will only accelerate with e-commerce.