India has a rich heritage of art and culture that transcends generations, demographics, and geographies. From tribal dance forms to paintings, Bharat has numerous art forms. Ranging from classical painting styles like Madhubani, Tanjore, and Warli to mesmerizing traditional dances like Bharatanatyam, Kathak, Odissi, and Manipuri. These art forms are cultural treasures and vital expressions of India's heritage. However, without adequate promotion and preservation efforts, these gems could face the risk of extinction. It's crucial to support and encourage these art forms through education, cultural events, and government initiatives to ensure they continue to thrive and enchant future generations.
A startup named Rooftop is trying to preserve the art forms while also helping the millennials connect with the art forms. The platform is also proving to be a boon for veteran artisans from different art forms helping them connect with an audience.
In an exclusive interview with TICE, Kartik Gaggar, the visionary founder of Rooftop, shared his journey of building Rooftop, and the incredible impact this platform has on the Indian art scene. The dynamic online platform is dedicated to promoting and connecting Indian artists.
How Rooftop Envisions Preserving Art & Culture?
Since its inception in 2020, Rooftop has upheld a consistent vision: to challenge people’s existing perceptions of art and redefine them in a manner better suited to the modern era. They seek to create a community of artists and art lovers that revives India's fading art forms. They resonate with the government's "India @ 75" initiative and the "Indian Council for Cultural Relations," both of which aim to showcase and foster the nation's rich art and cultural heritage to the world.
What does Rooftop Offer?
Rooftop offers a diverse array of art experiences that cater to individuals with varying interests and skill levels. With over 2,000 art experiences to choose from, it is a treasure trove for art enthusiasts. The heart and soul of Rooftop lie in its community of artists. With more than 2,500 expert artists onboard, Rooftop provides a platform for these talented individuals to showcase their skills and connect with a global audience.
"It has been designed keeping in mind the millennial generation and the GenZ they can come on the platform and can consume content based on different art forms and the Indian heritage. The GenZ people want to consume experiences and we have bridged this gap. Over the past 2 years, we have added 2500 artists," Gaggar explained.
Community is at the core of Rooftop's success. With an ever-growing membership of over 42,800 individuals, Rooftop has created a space where art lovers can share their passion and learn from one another. Rooftop's reach extends far beyond India's borders.
Journey From Circle Community to Rooftop
What started as “The Circle Community” in 2020 has now transformed into “Rooftop” after two years of hard work and incredible persistence. Two years of not only surviving but also growing through the devastating times of the global pandemic. The original idea was to build a unique community that could unite local artisans, offering them a platform to showcase their art forms.
"For the past 4 years, Rooftop has been working on India's visual, traditional, and tribal art forms. It has brought various top artists from different art forms on a single platform. People from all over the world can connect with artists from different art forms, learn art forms, and consume content on a daily basis. The idea behind this was to encash the passion economy that was growing in the country. There was no platform for people to know and explore different art forms, and artists, to support these artists, and to sustain the different visual art forms of India," the founder of Rooftop stated.
With the brutal hit of the pandemic, especially on a young brand, all hopes for future business were lost. But Kartik Gaggar, CEO and founder of Rooftop, was not one to quit easily. With everyone transitioning to a virtual medium, he saw a great opportunity to host live workshops and bridge the gap between artists and art enthusiasts.
How Rooftop Transformed Vision into Reality?
Receiving amazing responses was the only push needed to grow and explore more possibilities around it. After detailed market research, recruiting the right team, and a comprehensive business strategy, Rooftop was born. With nothing much as a precedent to learn from, it was indeed a bold step.
But resilience, passion, and intense labor bore sweet fruits at last. An initial community of only 50 artists from Jaipur has now grown into a family of 2100+ award-winning master artists from all corners of India. Presently, Rooftop hosts more than 700 art experiences, engaging over 25,000 attendees from 20+ countries worldwide.
Rooftop has carved a niche for itself as India's premier online learning platform. With its unwavering commitment to art, its thriving community of artists and enthusiasts, and its relentless pursuit of innovation, Rooftop is redefining the way we experience and appreciate art.