Lifestyle Books and Art 04 Oct 2017 A portal for talent

A portal for talent

DECCAN CHRONICLE. | SHWETA WATSON
Published Oct 4, 2017, 12:12 am IST
Updated Oct 4, 2017, 12:12 am IST
Harshit Soni
 Harshit Soni

You are in luck if you are a professional artist or an upcoming one! Two 21-year-olds from the city, Harshit Soni and Aakrit Patel have come up with a unique idea and created a platform where artists can display their talent. What’s more, through ‘Smile Middle’, artists can even take online orders to make portraits and paintings online. These portraits can then be framed and gifted to your loved ones or even be used to create some innovative gift items.

Notably, Harshit and Aakrit’s initiative has made it to the finals of NIT Trichy’s International Business Plan contest — one of the biggest contests in the country. Both the electronic and communication engineering students also presented their initiative at a conclave in Dubai organised by the BITS Alumni Association (BITSAA). 

Aakrit Patel, studentAakrit Patel, student

Explaining how they managed their academics as well as the platform, Harshit says, “The environment at BITS has helped a lot. We could discuss our marketing and technical ideas with fellow students and mentors on campus all the time. Right now, we are not worried about our academics and we are focusing on making this venture even bigger.”

A successful idea always grows from well-nurtured seeds and continuous brainstorming. Harshit reveals, “There are many people who are creative and need a platform to showcase their talent and that is when I thought of starting Smile Middle last year. It has been a roller-coaster ride, but we have had more than 300 customers so far. Apart from BITSAA and NIT Trichy, we presented our initiative at IIT Ahmedabad’s business plan competition too, where we made it to the pre-finals. My father, Chandra Shekhar Soni, has been a constant support at all stages of the start-up, from the initial phase when I was working alone to even now. In January this year, Aakrit came on board too.”

“When I joined, Harshit had laid a foundation, so I began focusing on marketing. Though we do not have specific roles, we contribute with what we are good at doing. We  have clashes, but we discuss the pros and cons of a situation and handle it,” concludes Aakrit.

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