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Coining change: Striking ‘mini’ notes

Classic-al stroke--A third generation entrepreneur from Allahabad is exporting smaller versions of musical instruments across globe.

lucknow Updated: Feb 09, 2018 13:43 IST
K Sandeep Kumar
K Sandeep Kumar
Hindustan Times, Allahabad
Lucknow,Uttar Pradesh,Musical notes
Ayukt Gupta had already come up with one that changed the way music connoisseurs and amateur dabble in music.(Sheeraz Rizvi/HT)

Long before a telecom giant told us that ‘an idea can change life’, Ayukt Gupta had already come up with one that changed the way music connoisseurs and amateur dabble in music.

This was when Ayukt was just a teenager, with no idea of music.

“My family was into the business of manufacturing traditional Indian classic musical instrument, the market of which was dwindling. I knew that to survive, I will have to come up with something new,” says Ayukt, who is credited with “inventing” mini replicas of Indian classical music instruments.

“They are not just replicas but mini versions — one which are handy, look cool and can produce the perfect surs (note), albeit on a smaller scale,” says Ayukt, who exports these instruments across the globe.

While most of the instruments are functional mini sitar and guitars, the other replicas sell like hot potatoes as decorative pieces in the global market.

“A large number of people, from United Kingdom (UK) to Australia, France, Denmark, Belgium, Israel and United States of America (USA), want to tap into the sound of the enchanting Indian classical musical instruments. And our versions just click with the I-pad generation,” says 34-year-old Ayukt, who joined the family business when he was 17.

A commerce graduate from the Allahabad University (AU), Ayukt through his sheer determination and meticulous approach for quality has put ‘Rhythm Exports’ on Chak Zero Road on the global map of exporting quality Indian Classical Musical instruments.

“My late grandfather Suresh Chandra Kesarwani had set up the shop almost 40 years back. He, however, catered to the local clients and after my father Avinash Chandra Kesarwani took charge, he too produced economical but mid-quality instruments for the clients located in nearby cities,” he says.

When he joined, like any young man, the desire was to take the family business to a new height.

The Internet age was dawning and I started exploring the possibilities of producing finer quality instruments and exporting them to other countries, he says.

“With no one to guide, I did self-research and used the Internet extensively to locate potential markets, reading export related laws and identifying and contacting clients. Then I got my firm ‘Rhythm Exports’ registered and started by tapping markets in the UK and the USA,” he says.

At a time when the world was facing economic uncertainty, his company started producing mini-replicas of almost the entire range of Indian classical string instruments, with many of them also playable.

The mini-replicas of percussion instruments such as tabla were sold as decoration pieces.

When their demand grew, we started producing range of true replicas of Indian classical musical instruments,” he says.

Today, the company exports mini-replicas of Harmonium, Sitar, Tanpura, Tabla, Dholak, Pakhawaj, Sarod, Sarangi, Veena, Dilruba and Esraj to Australia and Israel besides many European countries like France, Denmark, Belgium and Israel other than USA and UK.

While some of the best makers of musical instruments are located in cities like Kolkata and Varanasi, he was able to have a flourishing trade here courtesy his own set of instruments makers in Allahabad.

“We excelled because of our ability to get custom-made instruments. For example, if a customer wanted a particular wood or decoration with pearl work inlay, we would just make it possible,” he says.

“We would then courier these instruments to clients abroad in special packages to protect them from damages. The trick is to meet deadlines, not let quality suffer and ensure safe delivery of instruments all over the world,” he says.

WHAT HE MAKES

His company is making and exporting traditional Indian instruments like Harmonium, Sitar, Tanpura, Tabla, Dholak, Pakhawaj, Sarod, Sarangi, Veena, Dilruba and Esraj all over the world including US, Australia and European countries.

HIS USP

Having made up his mind to help the family business reach new height in 2001, Ayukt Gupta started exploring possibilities of producing finer quality full–size instruments and exporting them to other countries. Ayukt said that despite some of the best makers of musical instruments located in cities like Kolkata and Varanasi, he was able to have a flourishing trade here courtesy his own set of instruments makers in Allahabad.

First Published: Feb 09, 2018 13:43 IST