NO-MAD founder Anuj Kothari’s background is in real estate coupled with engineering, and as his bio states has “a creative bent of mind.” That creative force played well in terms of a new business venture that would help diversify his family’s real estate holdings with a company that would be, as he wrote in an email, “something related to the sector. Home decor seemed like a natural extension to me.”
With his analytical engineer’s mind, opportunities within the sector were carefully explored and examined. Travel to trade shows and studying the merchandise on display provided Kothari with several ideas. “We finally decided that while there were many products being ‘Made in India’ and exported, there were very few brands whicher were made in India for an Indian as well as a global audience.”
That notion catapulted the idea for No-Mad to create a Made in India brand that appeals to global consumers who want a contemporary look that is heavily based on Indian-influenced design, but also fuses other cultures. “India is the central inspiration for No-Mad. It is a brand whose heart beats for India..The idea is to reinvent every day Indian life. We call ourselves 97 percent India, but we sometimes wander beyond the India borders to seek inspiration from elsewhere. Hence the three percent, which comes from other cultures like Morocco, Africa, and Japan.”
After Kothari pinpointed the sector, his next challenge was to find a partner who had the creative and business expertise who could execute his vision. Enter Valerie Barkowski who provides strategic consulting in developing brand identity but also has the eye for interior design, product and set design. Her most recognized projects include Mia Zia and Bandit Queen.
Khotari found Barkowski online and followed her work for a period of time when he finally decided that she was the right person to bring the concept of No-Mad to life. “It was an intuitive decision and she really felt right the right person to do the job. The first job she did for me was actually a consultancy job wherein she gave me feedback on my initial concept. We met several times in Mumbai and Paris, walked international fairs together to see how we both reacted to different products/ brands and styles. That time we spent together really helped us know each other better and eventually we decided to work together. Today, we have been working together for almost five years and she has surpassed my expectations with each collection.”
The company works with various artisans collaborators who work on various aspects of the collection from screen printers from Bangalore to the “Patwas” in Mumbai who make their cushions closures and trimmings. “All of them are trained by us as they are not used to this kind of work. It is challenging and requires a lot of patience but once they get the hang of it they come around and very happy to collaborate.” Yet there are challenges working with the artisans where some are open to ideas and precise specifications, but there are those who give up when an idea for a product isn’t quite working out.”
The company’s new collections center on color, starting with red and moving onto black, purple, plum, and green. In additions to the various colors a new category has been added: Table Art inspired by daily Indian life. The new collection includes linens and accessories that will be showcased at NY NOW’s Artisan Resource from August 21st through August 24th at the Jacob Javits Convention Center in Manhattan. Other product that will be on display include No-Mad’s textile collection that boasts amazing hues. “Color is a strong element of our collections, so here again there will be bold and striking colors to suit the palette of the Modern American consumer.”
For more information, visit http://no-mad.in.