L’étoile.in creates personalised Artistic smart switches for homes and offices. The way they plan on distributing this beautiful product across India and the world is what got us talking with them!!
L’étoile.in would love to extend their platform firstly to [ for the first time.
Let’s find out what L’étoile.in is all about and WHY they want to build similar ‘Itunes’ platform for visual artists worldwide.
Enabling creative individuals to flourish in their creative pursuits is what we are all about!!
Hello guys, tell us about your initiative L’étoile and the brains behind it!
It’s been an interesting story behind starting L’étoile.in; which started because one of our founders Gaurang couldn’t find a switch that would match with his interior design. Gaurang is person with eye for detail and takes great interest in interior designing. So while renovating his home few years back, he couldn’t find much choices in switches, so he asked his friends Ajit and Ashish. soon they realise that there’s a gap in the market for such products.
Soon our IT experience came in handy when we realise that Ajit has created a touch panel switch which was black and white, while Ashish had a home automation app designed and Gaurang was the art lover. Thus the trio came together to create a product which they personally wanted!!
With this thought the Vision and Mission statements were coined and the team is walking the path for last 3 years.
All products which will be launched under L’étoile brand will have fusion of Art, Technology and Hardware.
Here’s small bio about L’étoile’s three founders
Gaurang Gandhi – Co-Founder, CEO
BE (Mech), MBA (Systems) by qualification but a hard core “Engineer”, where the domain does not matter but Engineering does. Since his college days he has been very passionate about advanced technology. Then (year 1997) he with few of his friends had designed and developed a working drone and had integrated video Telemetry and broadcasting.
After completing his MBA, he started his entrepreneurship journey by designing the first vehicle tracking system. He has been fascinated with fusion of technology and to explore more on IT, he moved to US for almost a decade, where he executed several multi – million dollar projects for Fortune 100 companies.
After returning to India, he continued his IT consultancy and then hit upon the idea to venture into home automation.
Ajit Degvekar – Co-Founder, COO
When it comes to Custom design industrial automation, then Ajit is in one of the top people in this domain. As BE (Instrumenation), he has designed more than 150 custom solutions for the industry. Every solution had its own challenges which were successfully handled and delivered. His solution has received several accolades from his customers.
In L’étoile, he plays major role in designing the hardware, and continuously doing R&D to add new features defined in the road map.
Ashish Shah – Co-Founder, CFO
Worked in various industries where the previous domain never prevailed. BE (Mech) but started his career into GIS (Geographic Information Systems), by selling solutions to police, government departments in India. Got opportunity to work with the biggest utilities company and organisation in USA. Ashish played key role in defining the enterprise solutions. He was also part of the vehicle tracking solution built with Gaurang.
On returning to India, he ventured into game development, built and grew team from 8 to strong team of 50+. He started building mobile games and enterprise apps since 2008 when iPhone was just launched. Fortune 100 companies have been his clients.
He brings his versatile mobile development, team building and Finance expertise to the team
What made you think that L’étoile should be like itunes for art? What is your vision for it?
We believe that there are many unfound masterpieces everywhere, which needs to be discovered. So with customized personal switch boards, we wanted to not only show these masterpieces to people on our platform but also give them these masterpieces to be cherished as part of their household.
Hence, we decided to create a fusion of Art , Software and Hardware to create personalized gifts for people globally. So the vision is that artist’s paintings will now be enjoyed , cherished by many people everyday through this customized smart switch without losing the credibility and value of the artists and making it an affordable art at the same time.
So how does your platform actually work?
Our platform provides a space for artists ( Painters and photographers only) to showcase and sell their artwork in the print format. When a client chooses their painting for a switch panels, it is printed on the glass switch by us and delivered to the customer directly. Artist gets royalty every time their artwork is printed on a switch.
So like ‘Itunes’ where millions of people can upload their songs and album to sell directly to the listeners without the risk of copyright breach or pirated version. Similarly artists can now sell their creations multiple times through our Smart Switches.
What is scope for opportunity for these artists on your platform?
Painters and photographers will be widely benefited from our platform. There are many platforms out there which provide marketplaces for the artists to sell their paintings and creations. However, in all platforms artists have to make an effort to sell their work and pay some commission. Whereas in L’étoile.in its other way round. On our platform artists join for free and upload their work to our system. The photos cannot be downloaded by website viewers. We do all the marketing for getting the switch panel orders and everytime a painting or photograph is printed on these panels, we give a royalty to those particular artists. So, we create a passive income source for the artists by selling his single work multiple times.
As we grow the channel partners and distribution partners, more and more local artists can also visit our customers home to paint the matching walls which compliments the switches. This will be an additional income opportunity for the artist.
How will you sum up the journey of building L’étoile.in so far?
It’s been an eye opening journey for all of us. Especially when we see the potential of art around us , which is not being explored and valued fueling us to make this platform work even further.
India is a diverse country where people not only have preferences for their clothes , food but also their religion customs and beliefs; so having a personalised utility product which enables local arts to flourish makes it a complete win – win for us!
Thus, we have been working not only on online distribution of our product but also through offline distributors and channel partners across India. So far we have strong 13+ distributors and 60+ channel partner network. Our goal is to have 70+ distributors and 2000+ channel partners by end of next year.
This has been a very inspiring story so far, so what’s instore in future for L’étoile team?
Apart from growing our partners, we are also focusing on printing frames which will be a better version of selling only art prints which easily gets pirated or
It’s been lovely having yo
u on our platform L’étoile.in team and I am sure your service will certainly help many artists from our creative community. We look forward to working with you guys , enabling more creatives to make the most of L’étoile platform
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