by Zaiceka Ahmed
If a world led by women can be assumed to be a far more harmonious one (can’t disagree with Dalai Lama), it is no surprise that any industry that sees a participation of women leaders would become an indispensable one in current times.
Take for example the story of Aarushi Saria – a young graphic designer cum entrepreneur who took on the challenge of establishing her own graphic designing firm, 361 Degrees, which has been creating refreshingly artistic and innovative projects for high-end clientele since it first opened shop in October 2015.
Here is what we learnt from Aarushi about her venture:
Early days of 361 degrees
Armed with a degree in design from Raffles International Mumbai, Aarushi had a stint with the notable brand, Being Human, as a Graphic Designer. Soon enough, technical experience and a lot of support from friends and family, encouraged her to follow her dream of starting her own business.
“I rented a small cabin in a business centre in Kolkata and decided to just start with myself, a laptop and a lot of motivation.”
Her early days, she describes, involved a lot of research, planning and designing wedding cards (detailed work helps her think better). It was also in a nearby print shop where she used to go to create mockups of her designs that she met her first client.
Creative in mind and active in sports, channeling her inborn into her profession came naturally. However, when it came to entrepreneurship her determination to not be fettered by restrictions imposed by external factors (which would obviously hinder her creativity) drove her most.
“My focus has always been to give shape to my creativity and pave a path with my leadership skills to make 361 Degrees a name to reckon with in its sector.” says she.
(361 Degrees’ creation for I-ATTITUDE was visible across Kolkata)
Obstacles she overcame
The prejudices society has against women entrepreneurs did not come as a surprise to the graphic designer, but her own positivity and strength made sure she stayed true to her chosen career. “I believe that leaders change opinion and influence the world to limits undefined, all with their self-confidence and a never-give-up attitude. Knowing this, the common questions people put up to me appear petty – such as, the ability to operate a business single handedly, sustaining it successfully post marriage, and balancing work and household chores.”
Relevance of her profession in the market
A keen sense of market demand is essential to any individual with a mind to sell their intellectual labour, and the founder of 361 Degrees is all too aware of that. “Graphic designers facilitate businesses to communicate with their clients in the most efficient and quick way through designs, and corporations know that a good marketing strategy with poor visual communication is really a waste.”
Today, advertising that does not utilise visual communication is pretty much unimaginable!
(361 Degrees’ graphic designs for a popular jewellery brand)
361 Degrees pushes the limit
Aarushi’s venture stands out against others in the business for two reasons: first, it takes immense effort to meet international standards; second, it has achieved this feat in a very short time. “Post setup, we explored how this profession plays out in countries outside India. This has helped us come up with better concepts to suit our clients and express the idea behind their product/service better.”
Aarushi stresses on a third aspect too: “We take deadlines very seriously! We work day in and day out to deliver top notch products and that too on time.”
(Art design for SAI Group by 361 Degrees)
Projects in their portfolio
“Our first big project was when I got a chance to work for IPL – Rising Pune Super giants’ 16. One of my clients, an event management company, had given us the designing job encompassing the entire stadium branding and other design collaterals. Other projects include designing for India vs. New Zealand match, Super Smilters Annual report, I-Attitude (musical carnival), Social media marketing and designing for Zyva, semiprecious jewellery and more.”
Although a big accomplishment for her as the founder of 361 Degrees, Aarushi does not hesitate to give credit where it is due. “Completion of these major tasks wouldn’t haven possible if it weren’t for the collective effort of our team of 5 talented and enthusiastic individuals, who always go the extra mile to achieve creative and unique goals testifying our brand name.”
(The firm’s project for IPL – one of the biggest sporting events in India)
Way forward for 361 Degrees
Aarushi and her team’s energy powers her brand, and together they represent a generation charged to take on the world at full throttle. In her words, “A job that excites us will always push us to produce exemplary work. Add to that the passion we work with, and the urge to do that extra bit, we are working to to become one of the leading branding firms in upcoming times. “