From a Banker to a first generation entrepreneur, Brijesh Saxena shares his journey


An Alumni story based on his new startup and his courageous journey

“Dream is not the thing you see in sleep but is that thing that doesn’t let you sleep.”

                                   ? A.P.J. Abdul Kalam

I had heard that line umpteen numbers of times and had even said that to my audience during soft skills training sessions that I conducted on numerous occasions. I always thought that I knew what it means but it wasn’t until few months back that I actually realized the real meaning of the words of the great man APJ.

Hailing from a very common middle class family with the typical mindset about job and career, entrepreneurship was always out of question. The fear of failure and the satisfaction of the cash register ringing on the 30th of every month were too strong a reason to overpower. Destiny however had different plans for me so after serving in different banks at different profiles for more than a decade followed by a five year project management experience with an MNC IT firm; here I am with my own startup www.artnirvana.in.

ARTNIRVANA is an online market place for promoting art and handicrafts across the country. It primarily deals with art related items like painting, sculptures, Hand Crafted Items, photography etc. The primary objectives of the portal are:

  • To provide talented artist a worldwide platform to showcase/sell their work.
  • To identify and promote dying art forms in the country.
  • To provide branding, marketing, quality control and sales support to the artist.

During my life as a banker I always dreamed of having my own setup but was never sure of what to do, where to start from. Life continued and slowly that thought of setting up my own business took a back seat. Banking however taught me the nuances of setting up a business and the job at IT Company brought me back into the thick of things in the IT Industry. Now all that I needed was an Idea to work upon and it happened last year. I happened to visit the room of a guy who did some petty painting job for me. In his room I saw large canvass beautifully painted with acrylic colors which was nothing short of a master piece. In that state of amazement I asked him “Whose painting is that?” He said “Sir, it’s my creation. I am a qualified artist with a Master’s Degree in Visual Arts”. In a state of disbelief I asked him to show more of this works to which he pulled out a roll of canvass from under his bed. I stood there dumbstruck as he kept on turning canvass after canvass unveiling some amazing works. He had around fifty beautifully done paintings with him and all of it was lying in the filthiest corner of that tiny room. It was then that the idea of promoting art and the artist online came to my mind and it has been an year since then that current form of that idea could evolve.

During the one year of my transition from a routine job employee to a first generation entrepreneur there are few things which I have learned and would like to share with everyone who dreams to be an entrepreneur but do not know where to start.

  1. A business idea can come from anywhere anytime and it may not be well researched. Just grab it.
  2. Never get bogged down by the fact that someone else is already doing it and you need a completely new idea to start something. Always remember there are many ways to do the same thing and the best way is yet to come.
  3. It is your level of conviction and passion that will decide the quality of team that you get and believe me the higher the conviction the better people you will get.
  4. Act quick…remember you are not the only one who has thought about it
  5. Lastly LEARN TO LIVE WITH RISK. It pays..

Destiny however had different plans for me so after serving in different banks at different profiles for more than a decade followed by a five year project management experience with an MNC IT firm; here I am with my own startup www.artnirvana.in.