Aniruddha Sengupta

Architect II Designer II Artist II Mentor (Interview Part -1)

Aniruddha Sengupta, a Design Head, of Geo Designs (New Delhi), has a demonstrated history of working in the corporate interior industry. He is skilled in AutoCAD, Microsoft Excel, Computer-Aided Design (CAD), Architectural Design, and SketchUp and graduated with a Strong arts and design professional from The School of Planning and Architecture, New Delhi.

Aniruddha’s journey has been nothing short of extraordinary, marked by pivotal moments of challenge and triumph. From humble beginnings to the pinnacle of success, his story is a reflection of the grit and determination that drive individuals to achieve greatness.

The best Creators collaborated with Aniruddha Sengupta to share his experiences and professional journey to motivate the entire architectural and designer fraternity to work passionately.

Professional Journey: A Brief

Aniruddha completed his schooling at The Mothers International and graduated from the School of Planning and Architecture in Delhi. He further mentioned, that I graduated in 2006 in architecture and made a shift to the interior design industry after a year.

So, I decided to switch to Edifice Architects and there my journey continued for almost two years, which was my first experience with corporate interiors, after that, I switched to Incubis Consultants and worked very closely with Amit Gulati who was the director.

In 2010, I joined Sonali Bhagwati Design Plus as they had just merged Spazio and Design Plus at that time. I worked with Sonali on many prestigious projects like Aramco, Korn Ferry and Income Tax Office, Genpact, and Adobe for eight and a half years. In early 2018 I joined M Moser Associates which gave me global experience majorly.

Initiation and Communication Chain is needed to Bridge the Gap…

On asking about ‘What is needed for the industry to bridge the gap between the expectations of customer, architect, contractor, and vendor management’, Aniruddha replied that an initiative and communication chain is needed.

He further Continued, to clearly define the project’s vision, objectives, and goals. This should involve input from the end customer, architect, and other stakeholders. Understanding the project’s overall purpose helps set the direction for all involved parties.

And, establishing clear and effective communication chains between the customer, architect, contractor, and vendors including regular updates, project management software, and other tools that facilitate transparent communication can help in achieving the goals smoothly and minimizing gaps.

The conclusion is that focusing on initiation and establishing a clear communication chain can enhance collaboration, manage expectations, and ultimately bridge the gap between the various stakeholders involved. This proactive approach contributes to successful project delivery and customer satisfaction.

Lack of Time is the biggest Challenge during my Professional Journey: Aniruddha Sengupta

Aniruddha stated about the biggest challenge he faced during his professional journey. He said, actually if I look back maybe 15 years ago when I was working with Edifice, clients used to give time to design their space, they had some expectations but they also gave time to designers or architects to design.

But, these days people reduce time as they want everything urgently and another challenge is to manage the cost as well because earlier there was no cost involved. You can play with everything and things would have been manageable at a later stage. These days you have to keep in mind that the cost might not get affected, so you have to design based on the cost.

Aniruddha further continued, that if customers don’t give a free hand to a designer, it restricts their capabilities. First of all, you are putting a disclaimer at the very beginning that your cost has to be 2000 or 2200 per square foot. So, it restricts the architect and designers to fulfill the requirements in the best possible way.

Communication is the key during the Professional Journey

When TBC asked Aniruddha, ‘What are the initiatives which you have taken during your professional journey in multiple organizations, and how have they impacted people working around you as well as the customers?’ He replied, as a professional, I felt communication is very important with the client, with which you set your expectations.

He stated, that if you communicate with the client nicely you completely know about their expectations. I have had clients where if the communication went wrong, the journey became tough. And, at the same time, I also had clients where the communication was so fluid, where the client was fully trusting and supporting me. They agreed on whatever specifications, details, and colors I mentioned to them. So, I think it’s more on communication if we communicate more and communicate that is the key to leading things in the best way.

Aniruddha’s Philosophy of Design

On asked about the philosophy of design, Aniruddha said, my philosophy is that the client should be happy, and satisfied. In our field, the philosophy of design often involves a comprehensive approach that goes beyond mere aesthetics and functionality. While making the client happy is indeed an important aspect, it is just one part of a broader set of considerations.

The design should be practical and functional, addressing the specific requirements of the space. This includes considerations for how people will use the space and ensuring that it serves its intended purpose efficiently.

Practical considerations, including budget constraints, are integral to the philosophy of design. Architects work within the parameters set by the client’s budget, ensuring that the design is not only appealing but also feasible within the financial constraints.

I Need More Fresh Ideas: Aniruddha Sengupta

He mentioned, that nowadays, cost has become quite predominant and those constraints are given. But beyond that, again depends on industry to industry, clients, and requirements as different clients have different mindsets. Some clients have space with workstations, some clients have money, and some others have ideas like I want fresh ideas, I’m ready to invest more money if you can give me something fresh.

Interview (Part 2)
Research and Learnings keeps me updated with New Trends

Aniruddha stated, I was so bored of architecture that in interiors I found that there are more than 1000 materials launched every day, even today if you search globally, there are more than 1000 materials launched every day and that is what drove me towards interiors.

He further continued, that the scope to improve yourself is to learn and research more, and never stop saying yes. I never say yes I know everything. Aniruddha said I learn every day from my juniors, seniors, peers, and people who come to me and meet and show me different stuff which is being launched.

He continues, other than this, I observe a lot like whosoever from my field or profession, tends to observe whatever is found out somewhere. For example, when am going to a restaurant, I will observe the lighting, flooring, things, and design details. I might have seen something somewhere, then I do some research on websites, and magazines, that much I do keep myself updated on LinkedIn which helps me a lot in keeping myself updated with new designs and trends.

The Change that the Industry Needs

On this, Aniruddha replied, first, the architect should be given more time and the customer should not be unreasonable with a submission or any kind of a design if a design has to be produced then a lot of factors and research come in because an architect or a designer cannot produce something with a magic wand. So I think there is a lot of research and development that needs to be done for any design to be developed to proper manifestation and for that we need time.

He further mentioned the second is the cost these days. I once drew a graph where the architect’s fees were like ₹40 a square feet per square foot in the year maybe 2015 or something and it’s still the same. Inflation has gone at 7% per year, but architects fees remain ₹40 per square feet. So these are the main two changes that need to be done in the industry for improvement.

Recommendation to Turnkey Contractors

Aniruddha said, What I observe these days is everything has become so diluted in the market because everyone is doing the same run-of-the-mill job. Everyone is claiming themselves ‘jack of all trades’.

So, in the end, customers can get a one-stop solution by having the architect, contractor, and PMC where the customer can get all in one place but customers end up paying more premium because nobody has all of these services in-house.

So in conclusion, the advice to turnkey contractors is that as a unit we should work together definitely, but keep some standard rates and margins on work rates. Similarly, work ethics should be defined for all turnkey contractors and everyone should follow the same.

Building Material Vendors are Updating the Architects Regularly

He said the building material vendors are doing fine and they are updating the architects regularly because they foster collaboration and lead to the incorporation of cutting-edge solutions in architectural designs. Staying informed about the latest materials and technologies is crucial for architects to design buildings that are not only aesthetically pleasing but also functional, efficient, and environmentally friendly.

No need not get into Hardcore Architecture

Aniruddha wants to suggest to people who are newcomers or upcoming in the industry that it is not mandatory to get into the hardcore architecture industry as this is a very diverse and vast field because there are a lot of variations and varieties like conservation architecture, heritage architecture, and landscape architecture. And, even in interiors, there are a lot of different options like residential, corporate interiors, or specializations in lightning interiors. So it depends on the passion and they should be focused.

Leadership is about leading by Example

When asked about leadership, he replied, I think leadership is about empowering the team and solving their roadblocks rather than creating a mess. Empowering would be to delegate responsibility and not micro-manage.

I feel the team leader should grow and let the team also grow alongside

So, whenever a leader gives confidence to his team that you knows you are safe with them, they perform well and if sometimes the team is not performing well, the leader should not bug them every time, that’s the true leadership quality.

He further stated, I read recently somewhere, that we are designers first, design leaders later.

Compassion Level Needs to be Improved in the Industry

At last, Aniruddha expresses his thoughts that I think these days, you know the compassion level needs to be improved in the industry. Projects are supposed to be a teamwork of all stakeholders, but sadly the cut-throat competition dissolves the unity.

He further said, If you look at the industry of doctors, surgeons, lawyers, they have a kind of unity in themselves. Architects don’t have, I would say if I include all the vendors and architects together in one pool. We don’t have that kind of unity, which is why everybody is taking advantage of everybody else that you know, So let’s say somebody is quoting at 50, and somebody else is quoting even below to break into the competition, and so on. Ultimately you may see the awarded price at 15. So, he just wants to convey the message that we are one unit and work together.