Arnab Sengupta

Executive Director at Innovate Design Studio (Interview PART-1)

Arnab’s experience in this industry has been close to two decades. He graduated as an architect in 1999 and started his career in Delhi. He says that back in those days, architecture was very different from what it is now. It was more of a proprietorship-driven industry those days, and doing architecture always had the perception that somebody who do not have any other stream to do, gets ended up in architecture. Architecture, as an industry, was more driven by women. Earlier, the insight was if you are good in science, either do medicine or engineering. If engineering, either do mechanical, electrical or civil and if you are not selected in any of the streams, then you end up doing architecture. That is the only fallback option back then.

However, in the current scenario, it is not the case. Now, people want to pursue a career in architecture. The industry has matured, IT has revolutionized and brought in the private segment of architecture, and has expanded into India, and then the awareness of people has risen. A lot of multinationals also came into this field of practice. He remarked that, from a student’s point of view, it helped him.


In the initial years, it was a matter of survival for Arnab because he came from a small city and moved to Delhi for his career. Then he ended up joining some organizations in the initial period. A major break came to his career when he joined Mitsui Construction India Limited, from where he had exposure to world-class design and learned how a professional organisation behaves and a disciplined way of how architecture works, involving more with industrial architecture.

Later, he moved to RSP which was a young company back then in 2003 with hardly seven years of presence in India. Arnab di’t know the reputation of RSP because it had no presence up north back then. He travelled down to Bangalore when he got an opportunity instantly from RSP. While joining there, he had an agenda to shift from hardcore architecture into the field of interiors because he always had a dream of doing something of his own. Before 2000, architecture meant buildings, and the interior ha’t had any concept at all, till multinationals came and revolutionized this field. People understood the scope of interiors after that. He imparted that “while studying, we were given only principles and never taught what applies. So, we always thought that, architecture meant only building, urban planning, and landscape design. And that is the limitation. Interior as a field was done as a six-month course with the perception that a housewife will be doing the interiors and that it is not mainstream architecture. That concept is changed now.”

He added, “My agenda was that if I want to establish my practice, it is always better to do it through interiors rather than architecture. RSP allowed me to shift to interiors, and they were also planning to expand into the field of architecture and interiors in a bigger way. The demand for interiors was skying those days since, in Bangalore, it is not just the building shell, but it had to be fit in and out before offering to the client. There was hardly anybody who was teaching us, so we were learning on the job.”

Arnab said that he was with RSP for 18-plus years, has been through its systems and has seen the company grow. It taught him a lot and was a great platform for him. He was holding the designation of one of the directors there. Last year he thought of resigning from there since from a very young age, he had the dream of always doing something of his own. He is constantly trying to implement whatever he has learnt from RSP in the practice that he has established, in November last year as Innovate Design Studio with a 20 people team. He expressed that 99% of his career predominantly was with RSP, doing corporate interiors starting with many multinationals. He has also explored the field of healthcare teams and is currently practicing in the field of architecture interiors and healthcare.

Currently, Arnab heads operations of Innovate Design Studio, which is a very young design studio based out of Bangalore. They are a multifaceted company dealing with the design of mid to large-scale buildings and space planning for interior spaces for corporates and builders. He expressed that, “in the last one year of me taking charge of the operations at IDS, we have successfully won a few design competitions on projects against established practices. This motivates and proves our ability as a team. We, as a team are quite enthused and optimistic about the future of this studio. A few projects have already completed the milestone of completion and many are nearing completion. The reviews are quite encouraging, and we sincerely thank our clients for their continued belief & faith in us, as a team.” To be continued>>