Kashika Upadhyay

TOP WOMAN ENTREPRENEUR OF 2022

“Hard work never gets wasted” , was always said by my ideal – my late father. A statement which always echoes in my soul, pulled up by unseen motivation and push to do more. Every single word that I recall, I work on it. The path is full of challenges, but I know the destination is bright.

Bizemag: Have you always been entrepreneurial? When and how did the idea

coin to set up your own business.

Kashika: Born in a business-oriented family I was blessed to inherit the trait of entrepreneurship from my grandfather and father. But I never knew the seed would sprout so early in life. I would love to share a little story. I had been painting Ganapati since I was 6 years old. When in grade 8th my friend suggested me to sell my painting to her mother for Rs 500/- but I only had a painted sheet and no frame. An idea sparked in my mind. I marched over to the jewellery shop and sold my gold earrings that I was wearing for 350/- and now my work was framed hence worked sold off. I do not know how much profit I made but my happiness was mere satisfaction that my work will be hanged on someone’s wall, beautifying it!!

Entrepreneurship to me is ability to make a livelihood out of your passion. My workaholic -self gets restless with nothing to do, so I used it to my advantage. I did a lot of work from applying Henna patterns, cooking, painting projects, doing assignments for others, conducting sessions and classes etc but the big marble hit my enterprise in the year 2010. This was when I realised the need to be self-sufficient monetarily. I started selling customised paintings, spread the word of my artwork via online platforms, sculpted clay idols, held summer camps and enjoyed myself thoroughly.

Bizemag: Briefly describe your brand and the industry you are a part of.

Kashika: As I told, my line of interest is art, handmade decor, paintings, wall-paintings. I work under the flagship of my company Mahasri as Kashika’s Art. I ventured into art industry a more than a decade ago.

In the art industry, originality is the key. People are always out to buy original pieces that blow life into their houses. But each artist has to struggle in this industry to keep one’s head above the water. Not everyone will know about your art, not everyone will like the style of your paintings and most commonly they won’t like the price you put up for each of them. One thing I have learnt is that sale of artwork doesn’t depend on the ‘badness’ of it as no such thing as ‘bad art’ exists. It does depend on spreading the word out there about your business. Currently I run a day-care centre and do my paintings art and craft alongside.

Kashika Upadhyay – The Artist

Bizemag: Tell us about your education and early career.

Kashika: I belong to the state of Punjab in India, completed my formal education from St, Joseph’s Convent school. Being a scholarship winner in bachelor’s degree (2001) from Punjab university, I completed my masters in HR and Marketing in 1st div from MIT, PUNE 2003. There – on, I did my projects with multiple corporate giants viz. TISCO, Tata Communications, Reliance Infocom, & others.

Bizemag: What were the challenges in your first project and how did you overcome them?

Kashika:  In 1995, a known family friend wanted me to replicate original Chokhi Dhani pics from Rajasthan. I did put my sweat and hard work in it but could not ask for a price. Hesitant and afraid. That was my first honorary project.

However my grandfather, Dr. R N Sharma ( ex- Vice President ,Tata iron and steel, India) and my late uncle, Kewal Prashar (ex World Bank) made me learn, that no labour is done for free. We don’t live in a world of selfless services. Ask for your share… Be it in money or in gratitude.

Bizemag:  How did you manage to get funding for it?

Kashika: When I came into the industry of small-scale business, I funded my passion with

a part of my income from previous jobs. My husband too supported me. Now, With more know- how and stability, I manage funds via MAHASRI.

Bizemag : What are the distinct solutions/USP your brand offers and who is your target audience?

Kashika: USP for the brand Kashika’s Art, is its originality, vibrance and connect with buyer.  Art lovers who wish to look for paintings into several forms like abstract, scenic, and mythological art, craft etc. as gifting, collecting or decor, are mainly targeted.

Bizemag: How are you strategizing your company’s business model in the near future Kashika: As the markets are growing both locally and globally, I would work on think globally and act locally for a year or two. The demand for handcrafted creative art has gone high for last few years. People are becoming more aware of art and towards their surroundings, it is a vast field.

ART IS APPROACH, and my goal is to target buyers both nationally and internationally from low to high range. Major task is to create a marketing strategy to develop awareness campaign about my paintings among potential buyers, using tools through social media, online selling, advertisement campaigns, festive discounts etc. with a goal to create niche in the market.

Bizemag: In this journey of being your own boss, what have been your make

or break moments?

Kashika: Being your own boss, as fun as it sounds, is anything but easy. Constant

struggles have to be made to come up with fresh ideas for artwork, spend hours on each piece and most importantly being able to sell them. Here hard work does not suffice. One has to learn the skill of smart work to be a successful entrepreneur. Like all, I too have shared my fair share of ups and downs in my life. I remember the first time I was approached to participate in an exhibition, I felt elated. I sold paintings to happy customers, my dreams were

coming true. At the same time, I missed having my close friends at the first exhibit but I learnt everyone has their own priorities. I have faith in myself, my husband, children and God.

• What are the core values you follow while pursuing your dream?

Kashika: Art is a form of expression. Different talented artists use their creativity to

depict awareness on important matters, deep thoughts of humans, beauty of

nature etc. I choose to work on the principles of celebrating individuality,

peace, tranquillity and abstract emotions. I ensure that I enjoy my work, and

don’t over-burden myself solely for the purpose of monetary gain. I always

value originality and imagination in my craft.

• How do you define success? Who do you credit your success the most to?

Kashika: Success for me is continuous journey of one’s work, one can polish it, use it,

destroy it and recreate it. A famous saying “after every successful man there is a woman” Behind my success it’s my two young women – my daughters and my husband Shantanu. They make sure to extract best out of me. My most celebrated moments are the happiness to create Art for my clients.

• Kindly share about your achievements/awards with our readers.

Kashika: I have been awarded Scholarship from Punjab university for Bachelors in Fine

Arts 2001. I was appreciated and honoured for best creative employee at WNS, Since than accumulating rewards for my hardworking, creative skills and endurance for my work at camps, classes, exhibitions etc.

• What is your message for the aspiring women entrepreneurs across

the globe ?

Kashika: I find women as go getters, our grandmothers, mothers and all lovely

ladies around. The times have changed we need to push ourselves to be seen but I would say, “do not pressurise yourself instead “BE YOU’. Follow your instincts, create balance, nurture yourself and the world will follow”.

How to Contact Kashika’s Art
Email: kashika.u@gmail.com Phone: +91 9250 356 660 Facebook Link: https://www.facebook.com/kashikasart/  
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