When you are young and passionate, full of ideas and energy, you take your dreams to reality.
Passion or work
Real estate is from where I get my bread and butter. Wildlife and photography satiate my heart, while music is my passion. By profession, I am an architect. I remember, I wanted to be a scientist first and then a musician. I sing, I write and I am a composer too. I used to play the rock guitar and perform in my school and college. This is still continuing, I am performing every now and then in different concerts and shows. Unfortunately, I do not get much time for all this. My mantra in life is to keep working all the time because I cannot do anything better than this. The launch of my music album had to take a back seat because there were a lot of other things in business I was surrounded with.
Apart from making great buildings and music, I love photography. I am a wildlife photographer. We have our own production house that produces films, documentaries and audio visual presentations on subjects ranging from wildlife, environment to socially relevant subjects. We have produced “Wilderness Days” that gets aired every week on DD National and International, it is an education series that teaches about wildlife and its conservation. Nevertheless, my passion for music is prominent among all. I am in the process of launching my own music album for which half of the songs has already been recorded. I am planning its releasing in next three months.
My day starts with running. I keep participating in different marathons. This helps me stay focused at my work and as well as in daily commitments.
Work takes priority
I joined the business in 2006. Being born in a family engaged in construction business, I was quite familiar with construction sites, buildings and re-engineering since my childhood. I was 23 when I joined the business. I started working in the fourth year of my college when I was studying architecture from the School of Planning and Architecture.
From the very beginning, I had knack for art and designing. My school used to send me for various art competitions and I used to win there. Architecture was the most obvious choice for me since my early days. Moreover, it has also to do with my upbringing since I had seen my father making marvelous buildings. I am trying to pursue the vision of developing architectural marvels in India. Thus, I am more at the design and business side of the same.
My first designation was that of an architect. Initially, we did not have full-fledged architectural department. When I joined business in 2006, straight out of college, I initiated building this department. I called a lot of people from my college, got them on board and pulled the team together. But just by getting the post of an architect does not make one an architect. In fact one needs to work and understand at the ground level too. A design is just a small drop in the ocean because there are plenty of other things that need to be taken care of as well. I have been on sites to see what happens at the lowest level. I have worked from top to bottom to gain experience that in turn has carved me to represent and take decisions. Presently, I have a team of 30-35 architects who report to me. A lot of interactions happen while taking the project to the next level. Being an architect, you have to work with construction, technology and procurement departments. Thus, the role is much bigger than just to draw, you have to make it a reality; you have to deliver it to the client.
Open to new ideas
If I have made money for the company, I have certainly taken decisions to get and implement new ideas and concepts. Risk taking is the part of any business. There have been instances in life when things do not go as expected. I remember one such instance when I had designed a college project named Raisina on a piece of land in Gurgaon. It was one of the craziest designs I had created. Being a very passionate architect, I thought I would create a design out of the world, extremely complex to execute. I went to my father, showed him the design and he too liked it. By that time, we had already tied up with TATAs and my design came into reality. Today, that project is called Tata Raheja Raisina. My work in the original design showcased Indian traditional colonial architecture. When the tie-up happened, the decision was made to change the design into something simpler and international. Initially, I did not agree to this change, but later realised that it was a good decision for us.
There have been occasions and decisions when I might have had not completely agreed with my father or vice versa. But then different perspectives help in getting 360 degree views and are always better.
Never give up
For Revanta, the tallest building that we are building in Gurgaon, I remember many years back I shared the same idea with my father but I was asked to hold on to the idea. After three years or so, he himself came with this thought of building the tallest building in Gurgaon. We now share the same vision and are at our best to take this company to the next level.
Initially, when I joined, I was new to the organisation, I was learning but slowly and gradually when things started changing as per my opinion, people realised my calibre as an entrepreneur. I think respect is earned; you have to work hard for that. I believe in leading by example.
All financial information goes through me. There were things and processes that I wanted to change and things have changed. The co mpany has grown a lot in the last seven to eight years. But it has to do more with the economy. The demand is booming. The company has grown in terms of manpower, work, financial figures etc. we have been growing year on year. Today, we deliver projects better, faster and offer value for money.
Last week, I was on a site visit at one of my project that I designed, and I myself selected the products to be used in that. I can challenge that it is one of the best quality projects that exist in India today. My biggest achievement was to see that project taking shape as I envisioned. It is a small project within our existing projects, which is called Vedaanta Floors.
Today, we are making products better in terms of quality. We are deploying technology to build faster. We are designing better products by working with world’s best companies and by incorporating best practices. We are working on ERP (enterprise resource planning) making it a paperless, automated office.
We are constructing some of the tallest buildings in India like Revanta and Oma. The first slum rehabilitation project in north India is being built by us. We are building a 45-storey building, which is going to be the tallest in Delhi. We are now expanding pan India. But the focus will remain in Delhi and surrounding areas.