"Hi friends, I am Vikas. I have traveled and lived in many places in Rajasthan because my father was a government employee, and he was constantly transferred to different districts....
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"Hi friends, I am Vikas. I have traveled and lived in many places in Rajasthan because my father was a government employee, and he was constantly transferred to different districts. On the one hand it was quite a hassle to be always moving and changing schools, but on the other, it was a good fun since my brother and I got to make lots of new friends.
"One place I remember enjoying staying in was in Kota, where my cousin also lived. She was an artist and I used to spend hours with her, admiring her work. I also used to help her do the easy parts of her paintings, and this is how I got interested in painting.
"After my matriculation in 1991, we moved to Jaipur for good. Here I did my undergraduate and later my MBA from Pune. All the while, I had an urge to paint. My parents did encourage my interest in painting as well as my skill, but they never thought I would be taking this up as a profession. I did a specialization in exports in my MBA. It was great fun and I enjoyed every bit of it. While I was studying, I was already planning lots of things. I wanted to export the exotic handicrafts of our country and I couldn't wait to finish my studies to start on my own.
"During this time, marble craft was really in and booming in the market, so I thought about concentrating on this craft. Besides, my uncle was already in the field of marble as an art form, so I learned a great deal about the types and quality of marble, cost factors and sources.
"Since I was already an artist (not professional though!), I did not hesitate to get into this craft. In 2001, I started my own workshop. I organized some artisans and together we shared ideas. Slowly, we started participating in exhibitions and got good reviews from customers.
"Our designs are greatly inspired by the Mughal era. I usually make the designs on my own, though sometimes I get great input from my team, which turns out beautifully. The marble we use is makrana, which is quarried in Jaipur.
"In 2003, we received an award for 'best in quality of products' in an exhibition organized by the government of Rajasthan. We are learning something new everyday, and customer's comments are most important for us. We are now happy to be associated with Novica."