Najam ul Assar On Promoting Arts through Technology

Art has always been a special medium of communication for a lot of people in the world. Najam is the founder of Rearts and here is what he had to say about his vision and his journey so far.

Where did the idea for rearts come about?

I worked in the performing arts sector for national and multinational organizations, my experience as an employee was great but when I would talk to the artists, they would share the stories of struggle to achieve their goals and ambitions. This one evening, I was at Azeem Hamid’s residence (Co-founder of rearts) and we listed down majority of the challenges one could face to establish themselves as an artist in our country. We were exhausted, tired and disappointed by the ecosystem, but motivated to make a change. That night, on 18th October 2017, we founded rearts, which is taken out of two words re (reclaim/reimagine/reorganize) and arts. Our philosophy was to build a product, which will encompass the experiences of the artists, designed by the artists and for the artists with a technology platform as the core heart of it. Later on Ahmad Butt, a talented upcoming musician, joined our core team as a partner, which helped us to drive in the right path by learning from his personal experiences. We had always believe rearts to be a movement of like minded individuals who want to address the core issues with-in arts ecosystem of Pakistan and inspire it by a mix of Technology.

What kind of response/feedback have you received from the artists so far?

We have been extremely careful in the way we have laid the foundations of rearts, which are on trust, transparency, diversity and ownership. In a short span, we have been able to win the trust of many established and upcoming bands, artists and performers. For us, the driving force has always been to team up with artists and not treat them as a third party. We listen closely to the problems faced by artists and provide curated solutions to meet their needs. Hence the response we have received is tremendous and sometimes very overwhelming (in a good way). Artists understand they can always count on us, resulting in an ever- growing relataionship. We maintain a log of all the tasks with minute detailing, which result in relationship growth and mutual alliance.

There are not that many tech-enabled solutions in this area working in Pakistan. What motivated you to go into this domain?

You would be surprised to read that to there is no research about the size and statistics of Creative Industries economy of Pakistan. We are ignoring the potential of how big this industry is and how it can grow. Knowing all the challenges, we knew that in order to engage majority of the people, we need to bet on technology as the driving force. Technology around the world has revolutionized many sectors, and if Pakistan’s creative economy has to stand out, we have to look up to technology. Apart from this, I already had a great connection to the technology sector of Pakistan. In my university days, I was volunteering with TechJuice and the more I absorbed myself in technology, the more growth opportunities I saw. In our team, most of the team members have deep knowledge of technology and it was a given that we want to reimagine the industry and we can’t do it the old school way. Hence the motivation made us apply to the leading Tech incubator of Pakistan, Plan9! We were rated as one of the most promising startup and after graduation we are located at Daftarkhwan Gulberg. We have a strong connection to arts, technology and everything in between.

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