L Subramaniam, 48, who owns ASA Pens, in the southern city of Chennai, spent two decades in the telecoms industry before quitting in 2013 to start making artisanal pens. “As a kid, I used to roam around with 10 fountain pens in my pocket. So I had to make them one day. I crowd sourced designs on a WhatsApp group of customers and began producing,” he says. He makes up to 350 pens a month, costing between 1,000 [$14; £10.5] and 4,000 rupees each.