Divyesh Sharma an alumni of IIM Calcutta and founded Yahavi.com with a goal to fill the gap of demand and supply in art world. Yahavi is a talent discovery platform that helps artist showcase their talent and connects talent with the right people. Apart from being an entrepreneur, Divyesh is an ardent traveller has completed masters at Indian Institute of Management, Calcutta.
He always wanted to do something for the society. To realize the dream, he chose artists whose talent seemed undervalued to him. Yahavi was launched with initial investment of 1 million dollars and has gained traction instantly. With nearly 2000 registered members including musicians, performers it has emerged as the fastest channel for Delhi-NCR. The company looks ahead to expand its network internationally soon. Read about this zealous entrepreneur and his success story.
Please provide a brief overview of your product/ service.
The journey from talent and creativity to recognition and fame has never been an easy one. The artist within us must navigate a maze of activities: creating content, showcasing artworks, connecting et al until our free spirit feels trapped in systems and business protocols. The internet is our generation’s obvious and omnipresent messiah, but it’s just as easy to be lost as it is to be found or be discovered on the web. This is where we, Yahavi, pop up.
At Yahavi, we are working to create a one-stop platform, a smooth accession path that will not only help you discover the right opportunities week-in, week-out but also will help you connect directly with the right people, be they promoters, fans or audiences. The idea is to use technology as the enabler and provide you the access to all this on-the-go so that art takes the centre stage but managing it doesn’t. With a young team that has extensive experience across technology and management and has a strong passion for arts, we have our heart in the right place and the DNA to deliver. What we are working on right now is just the beginning.
What inspired you to build the above product/ service?
There are 3 stages of conception. Initially there was an urge to do something meaningful for the society, though wanted it to be commercially viable and sustainable. The second was environment scanning where we worked on various hypotheses that were related to varied areas. The last was where we singled out the ache point of Performing artists and how we can put our skills and resources behind solving them.
Initially the idea was hazy but the vision was clear, i.e. to be the cultural barometer of the society. We wanted to provide an easily accessible platform for different artists and budding artists to showcase themselves. The platform however was always envisioned as democratic where the artist discovery and success had to pivot only on the audiences. Such platforms had previously existed in micro scales i.e when we talk about the Irish Pubs having live gigs on saturday nights etc. However the whole experience that an Artist wishes to create is often if not always fractured. It is therefore that most of the successes can be attributed to marketing rather than talent. If there could ever be a platform that could cover 360 degrees Artist and fans perspective it had to be digital.
The idea immediately made sense and sounding it across different forums only made it believe that this was a social as well as commercial problem to solve. We set out officially on this journey on 19th Jan 2015 i.e. the date of inception and since then though there have been some hurdles but we have been able to keep very close to our vision and plan.
What is your life mantra?
Feel privileged for what you have instead of complaining about what you don’t.
What was the most challenging part of your journey till now?
The biggest challenge we faced initially was in terms of mindset of people. There were skeptics who again believed in the idea however were not sure if this could be solved.After discussing the idea with audiences across, the common feedback was that people are more receptive to ideas/companies that already exist rather than looking at areas that have not been explored.
Also, when we talk about artists the first thing anyone thinks about is fine arts rather than performing arts. From the execution the challenge was to explain to our audiences about how we plan to discover, develop and promote the artists online.
With Yahavi we are looking at a mindset shift that will eventually help artists to grow and flourish.
How did you overcome those challenges?
The idea is to overcome all those challenges through our platform by giving a new perspective to the entire situation.
Share some details about the investments that you have been able to fetch for the business till now.
We started with a concept, discussed it with HNI based in India and have already received funding of $1Million. We are really lucky to have such great investors who believe in the capability of the team and are non intrusive in the operations.
How do you protect yourself from the problem of Brain Drain?
We have focused on building rather than scavenging. Hence in our office most of the people you would see do not come with a big baggage. Average age is under 25 and people here learn rather than teach. The most critical KRA of the leadership is to build a culture and that has made it possible for us to have literally 0% voluntary attrition.
According to you, what are the three qualities an individual must have to achieve success?
- A little bit of luck
Which online tools/ services/ apps do you use the most and would like to recommend as well?
- Google Drive
- Mi Fit
Share any one habit which you think makes you more productive.
Introspection and ability to ideate while connecting to the real world examples and issues.
Share any one habit which you wish to change in yourself.
I hope I could party more and disconnect from my thoughts.
Answer in less than 50 words
One tip to success:
Presentation and availability.
One mistake you believe every individual must avoid:
I think mistakes make you learn and hence become better than what you were. So guys make your share of mistakes the only mistake you should avoid is listen to others and avoid anything.
One most important lesson that you have learnt till now:
Invest in people but do not be scared of sunk costs and if something is unsalvageable move on. Do not think about society, friends, family they all want your best any ways.
What are your plans for next 3 years?
We want to pick each and every issue that a performing artist faces and solve as many of them as possible. We want to create an ecosystem having communities of Artists, Audiences and Businesses.
If you get a chance to start your career again what would you do differently this time?
I am a man of my actions and do not regret any action I took whether the results were good, great or abysmal. I think I am what I am for all the decisions I made and I don’t think I would want to change myself.
What are your top three getaway destinations?
- Varkala, Kerela
- Prague, Czech Republic
- Brussels, Belgium
Share a quote that inspires you the most
“Done is better than perfect” (Steve Jobs)