AstaGuru: An Eminent Digital Auction for the Elite

Tushar Sethi,Director

Tushar Sethi


The transformation of global art market into one big marketplace can be credited to digital revolution. The likes of online auction houses bring a unique experience bridging the gap between art enthusiasts and the sellers. Foraying into this unchartered territory with a pre emptive thought process in early 2008 is AstaGuru, one of the leading boutique online auction platforms for Antiques, Sports & Celebrity Memorabilia, Fine Silverware and Writing Instruments. Known as ‘India’s Premier Auction House’, AstaGuru secures world record with its collection of Modern and Contemporary Art with the likes of Ramkinkar Baij’s ‘Santhal Couple’, Krishen Khanna’s ‘Last Supper’ and Nandalal Bose, and is the leader in achieving total lots sale ratio of an impressive 93 percent.

Building a Successful Business with Aesthetic Taste & Foresight
Providing a safe and secure platform with a compatible interface that deftly amalgamates the comprehensive information, AstaGuru is easily accessible on various platforms – website and mobile apps (iOS & Android) and a seamless user interface is ensured with periodic upgrades. “Amalgamating our extensive knowledge and art management experience spanning over three decades into a digital structure, we
ensure that the ambitions of art collectors are achieved,” asserts Tushar Sethi, Director, AstaGuru. Setting world records in terms of price realized in an online auction (highest bid of Rs.17.75 crore for a Tyeb Mehta painting in the Modern & Contemporary Indian Art auction in August 2017),AstaGuru is extremely specific with its curation and has auctioned creations of notable Modern artists such as Ganesh Pyne, Nandalal Bose, and Krishen Khanna among others.

Catering to a niche clientele who are always on the go, AstaGuru leverages the wide range of possibilities created by the digital medium with its streamlined and time efficient bidding process

Catering to a niche clientele who are always on the go, the company leverages the wide range of possibilities created by the digital medium with its streamlined and timen efficient bidding process. With an excellent sourcing team spearheaded by Vickram Sethi (a veteran with over thirty years of experience) and Tushar Sethi (who has in depth knowledge in art business), the true value of the creation is ascertained only after an in depth analysis including various parameters, such as provenance, medium, period, subject and the over all condition, post which the arts are available for auction on its platform.

Majority of the company’s clientele come through referrals from existing clients, and each of
them have to undergo a two-step security protocol (OTP verification of email/mobile number) for verification before being enable to access the bidding platform. “Our bidding process is simple, real-time and confidential. We have incorporated end-to-end secured servers and vigilance team to ensure security and safety,” affirms Tushar. Comprehending the need for physical inspection before bidding, the company currently holds previews in Mumbai and plans to implement an innovative format - a travelling preview - to allow clients from all major cities to view the auction lots, in addition to physical catalogues being sent to them. As a forerunner of digitizing auction houses, AstaGuru urges its clients to make payments via wire transfers/intra-bank payment methods.

Apart from auctioning, AstaGuru offers services such as Consultation (clearing conundrums related to art & collectibles and offering valued insights regarding its potential and seminal attributes), Restoration (a highly skilled restoration team works on salvaging the artwork/to provide a protective shield for longevity), and Valuation (taking numerous parameters into consideration, valuation is determined by the proficient research & investigation team).

Since its inception, the company has held 29 auctions and sold over 2000 high end art and collectibles garnering a composite turnover value of excess of Rs.339 crore. Treading on the right path with calculative foresight, the turnover growth rate of 2015-2016 has surpassed 60 percent mark of the previous year. “We intend to further diversify by venturing into the overall Asian Art market and finally the Western Art space in the future,” concludes Tushar.