Artha Creative Studio offers designing-as-a-service to startups and takes payment only for the hours of efforts the team puts in.
When it comes to web and app user interface/ user experience (UI/UX) designing, startups usually use a junior in-house designer. But many a time, the results aren’t that great.
“Not every start-up can afford an experienced designer for their work. Using an in-house designer also comes at a price. Apart from the designer’s salary, the company has to pay for the tools and software that the designer uses. Additionally, the in-house designer may develop a tunnel-vision while working on a single project within the boundaries drawn by the tech-team,” says Aakash Jethwani, founder and partner, Artha Creative Studio.
Realising how these constraints were impacting the startups, Jethwani founded Artha Creative Studio in 2017, along with Anirudh Damani. The studio offers designing-as-a-service and helps startups with their UI/UX design needs by following a collaborative and iterative approach of design.
“We identified these problems and realised the need for a design agency that would work exclusively with startups and have affordable charges. This led to the launch of Artha Creative Studio and our idea of designing-as-a-service began to take shape,” says Jethwani. “Every business is unique and by following a design-first approach as well as thinking from the customer’s stand point, the business is more likely to succeed. Having worked with multiple startups, we know that a design-driven approach to create or innovate products, solutions, and services has many advantages like better identification, understanding and addressing the problems that plague businesses and their customers.”
While Jethwani is an application developer turned UX designer, who has worked closely with founders and believes that design is the answer for everything, Damani, coming from an investment background, has backed entrepreneurial ventures such as Oyo Rooms, Exotel, Tala, NowFloats, LenDenClub.
According to Jethwani, traditionally design has been seen as something that the creative team creates for branding elements such as logos, digital ads or print advertisements. But today, design is recognised as an important part of every business that can align focus and efforts, increase productivity, mitigate risks as well as bring success to the overall solution.
With this belief, Artha’s cross-functional team guides founders in following the design-first approach; its client have to only pay for the hours of efforts the Artha team puts in. “Our team consists of business analysts, content creators, UX designers and developers, who work in conjunction with the concept from the idea to the launch and growth phase,” he says.
Artha Creative Studio started off with two projects and has worked with more than 50 clients in the last two years. Most of its clients use the company’s designing-as-a-service regularly and have partnered Artha on multiple projects. “We have grown 7x in 2018, as compared to 2017 and our list of clients has gone up 5x in the last year. We have helped businesses across various sectors like ERPs, education, enterprise, finance, healthcare, SaaS, and information technology,” says Jethwani, adding, “In just two years, our consultants and designers are helping startups across major cities in India including Delhi, Bengaluru, Mumbai, and Hyderabad.”
Talking about the funding, Jethwani informs, “We started small and built strong. When Artha Creative Studio began its operations, we ourselves used the design-driven approach to shape our business. Within the first year of our venture, we bootstrapped the funds to sustain the business. However, by the second year, we were able to generate a stable revenue to keep the
company going. We have been working on the same model ever since.”