Story: Bharati Pawaskar | 19th June 2017, 05:05 Hrs
Aware of her social responsibilities, Farheen Sayed, founder and CEO of Brushflicks shares her prize winning ideas for selling art, creating jobs and managing acrylic waste with Bharati Pawaskar
At 24, Farheen Sayed has proved that she is a dreamer, doer and an achiever. The only child of her parents and a proud product of Padre Conceicao College of Engineering (Verna), Farheen dreams big and walks steadily towards her destination – to be the founder owner of a billion dollar company.
“That’s a really big dream. But I am sure, the day is not far when my company Brushflicks will be the biggest hub for generating employment opportunities for creative sector and waste management strategies,” pronounces this founder and CEO, Brushflicks, a start-up that bagged the first prize of Rs 5 lakh at the second edition of ‘Chief Minister’s Start-up Challenge 2017’ organised by the government of Goa and Economic Development Corporation (EDC) just last week.
Happy that she now has her prize money to invest into the technological upgrading of Brushflicks, Farheen admits that the most difficult part of kick-starting a new business is getting it off the ground, raising start-up funds and finding the first few customers. “I will take up these challenges head on,” she claims.
Her academic accomplishments are countless. Always been a multi-talented teenager, Farheen managed to get umpteen trophies and medals in diverse fields. It’s been seven years since she has been working as a clinical hypnotherapist and Reiki master to treat psychological conditions through the power of subconscious suggestions. Some of her articles on mind power were even featured in the local newspapers.
Farheen has also won some start-up challenges like Pacers Start-up Challenge-2014 organised by Padre Conceicao College of Engineering and was declared the finalist at Kaun Banega Udhoygpati-2016. “But I consider that my greatest achievement is, receiving an award for my innovation at the hands of my role model late APJ Abdul Kalam in 2008. I remember, when I saw Kalamji in front of me, I could not control my tears of joy,” exclaims Farheen.
Beginning operations in November 2016, Brushflicks is the solution provider for two major problems in India – solving unemployment issue among the creative sector and managing acrylic plastic waste by infusing creativity with technology. It works on two fronts – first, as a 3D virtual social networking platform – a job provider for creative people who can upload, share and monetise their creative content be it art, music, writing, acting or photography. Second, as an online seller of 300-odd innovative in-house products created out of acrylic plastic waste.
What are these one-of-a-kind products? “That’s our key innovation. Our products are all made of recycled acrylic waste that otherwise lasts on earth for over 3000 years. Being an environmentalist I wanted to do something creative, artistic and immortal by using acrylic plastic waste. But what could it be? Then I thought of moulding acrylic plastic into beautiful boxes, frames and gift items,” discloses Farheen who is currently working on the algorithm of creating codes to the boxes which will allow the owner to locate and open them. As soon as the codes are fixed, Brushflicks website will be re-launched in a new avatar, she mentions.
Recalling her journey into entrepreneurship Farheen shares, “I began thinking like an entrepreneur in 2015 soon after my graduation from PCCE. With no corporate experience and hardly Rs 5000 in my pocket, I started a company, ‘Canvasmirage’ to raise fund for Brushflicks. I would sell art prints. But it was a flop show. I failed. Then I began selling mangoes. My friends made fun of me. I could hear them commenting, “She sells mangoes, what next, fish?” But I finally managed to raise funds for Brushflicks and launched it in November 2016.”
Brushflicks took wings too fast. At the TECHYON 2016 – PCCE’s annual inter-collegiate Tech-Fest in October 2016, it was Brushflicks that co-ordinated the 24-hour event Hackathon (building of software or applications) where 28 teams from Goa participated. Also during ‘Bigg Leap 2017’- a business idea competition in March 2017, Farheen was one of the judges for the finals. These experiences boosted her confidence to go ahead with her own concept.
An artist and an art appreciator Farheen shares, “My parents work as catalysts between the artists and art collectors. I have grown up with an admiration for art and respect for the artists. But art has its sad side too. Art is priceless but there are no takers. Artists find it hard to survive on art and do odd jobs to earn a decent livelihood. Young Farheen decided to work out some way so that artists get paid well. Her idea materialised into Brushflicks.
There was a need for such a platform. Brushflicks provides innovative ways of using technology and internet for creative purpose by (a) Encouraging skill development and connecting the learners with the expert in the field and (b) by connecting creative people to the right industries and buyers. Brushflicks does the marketing for its clients and keeps 30 per cent on the art collectives that get sold.
Initially, it was a one woman show, as the sole founder Farheen was playing multiple roles – that of a visionary, hacker (technical person) and the hustler (handling public relations). Thankfully, she has a team now – Kirti Ranjan, a national award winner IITian, a product from Kharagpur and Elroy Fernandes who has worked in software field for 15 years. Together they plan to do social media marketing and connect with art institutions, museums, art galleries, curators, art colleges to promote art and find buyers.
“Our vision is to recruit the best of talents and be the leader in initiate creative technology industry which will soon be flooded with profusion of opportunities. We also plan to add state-of-the art machinery at our acrylic recycling unit at Margao where our products are moulded,” briefs Farheen who offers customised products too. With a production capacity of 1000 pieces in a week, she caters to bulk orders too. Her products can serve well as gifts, return gifts or mementos and are reasonably priced to suit the pockets of all.
Farheen wants to bring change, make a difference. Being an entrepreneur, for her, is not for sole survival. It is for soul survival. “My focus is not mediocrity but to rise above that and be a role model to other young entrepreneurs around me. Together we can create a better world,” she believes.