Cultural startup enhancing India’s soft power & livelihoods of India’s Artisans through Indic inspiration gifts & souvenirs

by Team Conscious Carma

​The startup, Indic Inspirations has signed up with ISRO as their first official merchandiser to narrate India’s Space stories

​Indic Inspirations – A culture startup was born out of the need to represent India’s glorious heritage. It aspires to narrate stories of India’s culture, history, traditions, and scientific achievements through its Indic Inspired objects through collectibles, souvenirs, and gifts.

Founded by Sunil Jalihal and Padmaja Jalihal, Indic Inspirations endeavors to empower India’s artisans, heirloom makers, and local communities. Their work with 65+ crafts, and 400+ artisans around the country through Heart for Art Charitable Trust over the last 7 years gave the founders the understanding and the opportunity to create products that convey traditions yet built for modern utilities and sensitivitie

Creating collectibles, souvenirs, and gifts by interests, and a series of collections make these art objects unique. “India has over 3000 crafts, 10M+ artisans, and a meagre 2% of the world handicrafts market of $42B. Creating a new set of products that represent various facets of India was a crying need to help increase India’s soft power as well as increase artisanal incomes and help them get back their pride,” Sunil says. 

To promote artisans all across India, Indic Inspiration is improving their environment and ecosystem by giving them additional opportunities to increase their livelihood. “We work with artisans and give them designs and suggestions on new products. We help them prototype and manufacture the products and buy them at fair prices quoted by the artisans. We help improve their environment and ecosystem. Some parts of our profits are reserved for Artisan Welfare & Training and we are trying to find ways to create stock option pools for our artisans to share any wealth creation that happens,” Sunil adds.

Proud Merchandisers of ISRO

On a search to narrate stories of India’s Institutions of Eminence, Indic Inspirations is now the proud merchandiser of the Indian Space Research Organization (ISRO). Sunil shares, “We approached them to let us tell their stories through collectibles, memorabilia, and souvenirs. And we are proud to have signed up as ISRO’s First Registered Merchandiser as ISRO created a Merchandising program as a part of their Capacity Building Program Office.”

First Experience Centre in Pune

The startup has recently opened its first Experience Centre in Pune. The Indic Inspirations Experience Center is a Lounge Store + Space for Workshops and Talks. “India’s first ​art and culture ​“Phygital Store” – Scan & Pick, e-shopping to give a seamless experience between online and offline store purchases. Here, visitors can soak in the stories of India and its traditions, culture, heritage, and achievements through the videos, story cards, and Indic objects that represent them,” informs Sunil.

The Experience Centre aims to give artisans a platform to showcase their work in person. It provides complete authenticity and transparency that goes behind preparing the masterpieces and recognizing the true worth of these souvenirs by giving them the honour and shelf space they deserve.

Startup Goals

Indic Inspirations is building a brand that stands for innovation, creativity, and quality of Indian ‘Nostalgia & Pride’ products. A company that is known for excellent design, manufacturing, and deep distribution. The founders aim to build this brand for the audience that’s looking for interest-based and nostalgia products. The Indian diaspora around the world, visitors to India, and domestic tourists are their target market.

The startup in its first year of inception has also raised a seed round funding of INR 2 crores and is looking forward to a pre-series A funding round. Indic Inspiration’s angel investors include executives from Google-USA, Goldman Sachs-Singapore, Venture Finance Development Corporation, a Family Venture Fund, a Senior IT executive, and seasoned Architecture-Design and Automobile industry entrepreneurs from India.

Some of their unique offerings are:

1. STEM | Shunya Collection – Objects that tell the stories of 0, India’s biggest gift to mankind

2. VYOM | ISRO Collection – Objects that tell the story of India’s Space Program; Souvenirs of ISRO’s rockets, yaans, ground stations, landers, rovers, antennas, etc.

3. HOLISTIC LIVING | Yoga Tools – Meditation & Yoga Mats made from various natural fibres like Darbha Grass, Cotton, Water Hyacinth, Banana Fiber, etc.

4. STEM | 5 Elements – Objects that tell the story of Yoga & Ayurveda through idols of Patanjali, Charaka, Sculpted Brain Models, RX Cufflinks, and many more

5. VEDIC INDIA | Yantras & Mantras – Objects about Sacred Geometry, Yantras & Mantras

6. INDIA | The Republic – Objects are drawn from India’s Flag & Constitution, 75 Indic Inspirations in the 75th Year of Independence

7. 40+ more Collections for various interests of Geography, History, Science & Technology, Nature, Mountains, Culinary Tools, Textile Tools, etc.

The Indic Inspirations products range from anywhere between INR 250 and INR 15,000+.


​About the Founders

Sunil Jalihal, Founder & CEO

Sunil is a technocrat, serial and social entrepreneur and has been a part of public, private, and social organizations. He has been a part of the IT sector for many years – working with CMC, Wipro, Siemens, and Hewlett Packard in technical and management positions before co-founding tech startups. He pioneered technology product startups eCapital Solutions, eVector & Mobimedia in the telecom and mobile software space starting in 1999 attracting venture funds from JP Morgan Chase, Intel Capital, and the Reuters Greenhouse Fund. He led startup teams that created products in the Mobile Value Added Services Platform, Mobile Ticketing, mWallet, and mHealth space.

Sunil has been involved in a number of social projects – pioneering in India, a framework with the Lake Development Authority of Karnataka for Residents Associations to Adopt & Maintain Lakes. He has authored a coffee table heritage book – Romancing the Chilli (2013, published by Rupa Publications) – highlighting India’s agricultural, cultural and culinary heritage around the Chilli. The book went on to win 3 awards at the World Gourmand Awards at the Louvre in Paris. Sunil wrote about and created the concept of Military Tourism in India (2008) and was called upon to lead the creation of Veer Yatra – Military Tourism (2016) by Maharashtra Ex-Serviceman Corporation (MESCO, a Govt. of Maharashtra Company) where he created the concept with 20+ military tourism packages. He has been part of the visiting faculty for an MBA course at Symbiosis International University – teaching Entrepreneurship & Case Studies in Technology Management.

He is a Founder Trustee of Heart for Art, a Public Charitable Trust that works on reviving the Art + Craft traditions of India and creates sustainable livelihoods for India’s artisans. He has been Advisor, Ecosystem partnerships at Yulu Bikes, a hi-tech, micro-mobility startup – helping Yulu expand its services into various Smart Cities in India.Padmaja Jalihal, Director

Padmaja Jalihal, Director

Padmaja is the founder of Heart for Art Trust. She spent many years in the financial services industry in Mumbai and Bengaluru. An MBA in Finance, she earlier worked with CRB Capital Markets and was part of the team at Sivan Securities that launched the initial Café Coffee Day outlets in Bengaluru. She has been involved in a number of social initiatives in Bengaluru and Pune in the areas of organic food, eco-friendly products, and waste management.

Padmaja loves the arts + crafts and has been a collector of artifacts from around India and the world

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