Like most other Marwari entrepreneurs, Ayush Baid too started his career learning the essentials of enterprise from his family business. But rather than simply pick up the baton and safely ensconce himself into his father Dileep Baid’s well-established business, he relied on his entrepreneurial instincts to do something new, and the results are for all to see in the ever-growing Ellementry chain of stores across the country. As a retail offshoot brand of the Jaipur-based Dileep Industries, his father’s handicraft export business that boasts multiple awards and accolades for exporting high-quality products to international brands, Ellementry specialises in retail of handcrafted kitchenware produced by Dileep Industries. And in that it draws from a three-decade legacy of wowing the world with an exquisite and inspiring product range.
Having studied data analytics at the University College of London, initially Ayush would help promote his father’s B2B export business, until he felt the urge to step out of his comfort zone and do more. Having grown up in an atmosphere where he had witnessed the richness of India’s art and culture, somewhere, at some point in time, it all had started to appeal to him. This love for handcrafted quality products that use natural and eco-friendly materials, while reviving India’s cultural roots, had him explore the B2C sector for them in the Indian market, especially in the niche kitchenware category. He then began to research consumer needs across India, meet local artists and explore the demand for branded handicraft products of everyday use, and what resulted was the conceptualisation of Ellementry. “I felt the need to innovate and draw from Indian culture, refine it and take it forward with a brand that had the essence of India, albeit with a modern outlook,” says Ayush looking back.
Ayush’s father, Dileep Baid
From concept to full-blown venture
“Ellementry started as an e-commerce website, but in the first year itself, we got an encouraging response which helped us in opening physical stores,” says Ayush. The first store to come up was in Delhi, the second at the Baids’ home turf Jaipur and then three more in the South—two in Bengaluru and one in Hyderabad. With two more stores coming up—one in Mumbai and a recent one in Gurugram— Ellementry already has a wide presence. Two franchise stores, in addition are ready to be launched—one in Cochin and the other in Lucknow. Ellementry’s products are also available at a host of boutique stores and retailers across the country, such as Hermosa Studio (Jaipur), Carpenter World (Ludhiana), R Casa (Agra), Aavah Home Décor (Cochin), and several others.
So what is it that is driving Ellementry’s popularity? “At Ellementry, we stand tall on six pillars: Fusion of materials, handmade imperfection, sustainability, form and functionality, cultural revival and food safety,” says Ayush in response. “Every product is handcrafted, keeping these beliefs in mind.” Also, as an offshoot of Dileep Industries, Ellementry enjoys the strength of in-house manufacturing, competitive pricing, quality and monitored lead time in production, and these factors make the brand stand out from others.
Bowls from Ellementry’s Sienna Collection
Ellementry specialises in turning products, which otherwise are considered mundane and boring, into items of simple everyday luxury that perfectly blend form and function, ensuring that customers don’t need to sacrifice one for the other. By integrating exquisite design elements, traditional techniques, modern sensibilities and materials that are food safe and eco-friendly, the brand offers a range of handcrafted lifestyle products like kitchenware and tableware that adhere to international food safety norms. The products are trendy in form, yet inherently Indian at its core. The conventional matka, for example, has been elevated into an elegant terracotta bottle, while the Ellementry specialises in turning products, which otherwise are considered mundane and boring, into items of simple everyday luxury humble belan has been given a place to rest when it is not in use. And these products are rigorously lab checked and tested before being released in the market.
An eco-conscious brand
Ellementry, as a brand, also is strongly rooted in the concept of sustainability. While the materials used for making the products—they include earthenware, stoneware and terracotta items—are natural or organic, the processes too are environment-friendly and so are the materials used for packaging the products. Ellementry’s workplaces are eco-friendly too.
Products displayed inside an Ellementry store
Reviving India’s cultural roots
Besides being eco-conscious, Ellementry is deeply committed to CSR. By employing local Indian artists in its in-house terracotta, papier-mâché and ceramic units, it has created a space that not only allows local artisans to showcase their talents and flourish, but also pass on their art to future generations. Their craftsmanship, combined with their knowledge passed down the ages, makes Ellementry’s products soulful, and this Ayush feels is connecting people back to their cultural roots. The brand also plans to revive the dying arts of every India state. “In a way, we are trying to re-contextualise Indian craft for contemporary living and putting the craftsman at the forefront through Ellementry,” says Ayush.
Considering that Ellementry is just two years old and within this short span of time it has shown incredible growth, it is not surprising that the brand is not only looking to extend its presence in 2- and 3-tier cities of India through resellers, but also boosting demand abroad. It also plans to grow further by way of SKU growth, focusing on newer verticals like home furnishings and designer hardware. In short, Ellementry plans to inculcate a sustainable way of living in people by Clockwise from top giving them everything handcrafted.