Sarmaya is led by Paul Abraham and Pavitra Rajaram.
It was partly to relive and share a never-forgotten, childhood sense of wonder that Paul Abraham started Sarmaya, an Urdu word that in our context means ‘a collective or shared wealth’. Sarmaya.in was set up as an online museum in 2015 and its mission was to make Paul's private collection of historical artefacts and art accessible to everyone. In 2017, Sarmaya Arts Foundation came into being and its mandate is to combine online engagement and on-ground programming, including workshops, lectures and travels, to foster a love for Indian art, history and culture.
A banker with over three decades of experience, Paul believes the most meaningful way to preserve the things that bring him joy—art, culture, wildlife—is to pass on the flame. Through his philanthropic work, he has supported young historians, artists and conservationists with fellowships, funding and sustained patronage. Paul serves in advisory capacities and on the board of institutions, including Hinduja Foundation and Sanctuary Asia. His vision for Sarmaya is that it serves as a link between time and space, past and present so old wonders can be rediscovered through fresh eyes.
Pavitra steers the strategic vision of Sarmaya with new ideas and abundant creative energy. As our Brand Custodian, she has driven an experience-led brand strategy that focuses on innovative programming to engage younger audiences in the art and history of India. She is the founder and Creative Director of the award-winning Pavitra Rajaram Design and former lead designer at Good Earth, a brand she helped craft for over 20 years. Passionate about India and its rich repository of art and culture, Pavitra is most excited about projects that connect her with craftspeople and weavers. Books, textiles, travel and trees are a few of her favourite things.