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Ashish Arora: Bridging the Gap Between Craft and Technology
By: Dan Sorensen
February 19, 2013
It might seem surprising to hear of a high-level VP of computer-accessory giant Logitech moving to Utah craft company Provo Craft, but for those who know Ashish Arora, and his passion for consumer products, the career move makes perfect sense.
Prior to joining Provo Craft as its president and CEO, Arora admittedly had no experience with anything craft-related. But this seems to have proved beneficial, as he recognizes the value of the company’s flagship product—a die-cutting machine called the Cricut—far beyond its crafting capabilities.
“I came in as a student with a completely unbiased perspective of the industry. While exploring the opportunity, I spent a fair amount of time hanging out in craft stores, learning everything I could, and I fell in love with the Cricut brand,” says Arora. “I started to realize the amazing potential the category had and decided to come to Salt Lake.”
One of the areas for potential growth Arora would like to target is furthering the brand’s strength in areas like schools, design and do-it-yourself apparel. Really, according to him, the Cricut machine can be used to cut anything that scissors would cut.
He also has plans to grow Provo Craft from a small Utah company into a global brand. In fact, just nine months after joining Provo Craft, the company launched Cricut in the UK, adding to its portfolio of foreign markets, with plans to begin growing into other countries as well.
“The thing I came here to do is build a great business. Great businesses only happen with great products, and great products are only a manifestation of great teams,” says Arora. “Products are just a revelation of the team 12 to 18 months later.”
Arora has also gone to great lengths to understand and strengthen his team at Provo Craft. He has spent many hours ensuring the goals of each employee are in sync and creating a defined list of values, with the importance of consumers at the top.
And it seems that is where Arora’s passion lies—with consumers—because to him, the fancy technology packed in every Cricut machine is just a means of providing crafters of all types with a way to express themselves and create memories and gifts for the people they love.