Rachita Khanna

Associate Director, Design-SWBI Architects

Rachita ’s story of her design career is a truly fascinating.She completed her architecture in India in 1999, after which she moved to Bahrain. The firm she was working for later posted her in New York, during the early stages of her career. It was during the Twin Towers incident, that she moved back to India. During, this time Rachita had children and settled in India as an architect and designer.
For more than 20 years, she has been pioneering architectural design and philosophy at SWBI.The journey has been filled with challenges and the Best Creators were graced with her insightful views about the fraternity and the way forward. We have dissected the interview into key segments to shed light on the propensity and vigour required to excel at the top of architecture.

Shivani Gour

Studio Director, Associate, Design Synergy Leader–Gensler

Shivani Gour was born and brought up in Delhi. She was brought up in a joint family, that has a lot of influence in her connect with the social and cultural context of what she designs. It has come from the way she was brought up to pay close attention to what others require. She completed her schooling from a convent in Delhi and later went on to graduate from CEPT, Ahmedabad.

She owes a great deal of her success to the formative years spent at CEPT that molded her approach towards Design. Her initial years in the professional world were exploratory, where she tried her hands on interactive museums, exhibitions, furniture design, and craft-based designs. She further moved on to a more core Interior’s practice in the Hospitality and Retail world.She worked She worked with firms like PSDA and HBA,

Ashish Puri

Director, Interior Design Services-Colliers

Ashish Puri, Director, Interior Design Services at Colliers. He has over 19 years of experience, working in the industry as a designer. He states that experiences begin when you first walk into your first job office. He first started his career with Atelier, in 2004 afterward moving to Synergy.
When Colliers acquired Synergy in 2019 September, Ashish Puri was part of every step of this evolution. He spent close to 15 years with Colliers and continues to lead at the forefront of design and architecture. His experiences shared with the Best Creators are a shining beacon for the rest of the fraternity, to impart learnings and strategize the path forward in the world of building and design.He first moved to Bengaluru when he secured a seat in architecture at the RVCE.

Sudheera Mure

Entrepreneur and Former Director, Katerra

Sudheera Mure is an architect. She is a member of Council of Architecture and Indian Institute of Architects. She has 25 years of experience, where the first 5 years of her decorated career in architecture was with Kharche Associates in Chennai. She says that her 20 years plus experience is in interiors (with DSP/KGD/Katerra), a happening, high energy and fast paced domain.
She is also a member of Wirenet. She states that design is one profession, you never get bored of. That’s the advantage of being in the creative field and her success is a mirror of this commitment. She believes creativity reflects in personal life, how you deal with things and how your personality is shaped over the years. She says, “Your professional life does reflect in your personal life.It will create a positive impact on your personal life.”

Shweta Grover

Director-CRE, DSP Design 

The following extract is from the Best Creators interview with Shweta Grover, an industry leader in the field of architecture and design. As we explore the experiences and learnings of the industry, we take to the pioneering forces in the world of architecture and construction. The excerpt reveals powerful ideas that fuel the progression of modern architecture into the forefront of innovative technologies and best practices

“I did architecture from Delhi and I will not say that I was totally tuned into what being an architect was. More than two decades back, we didn’t have that kind of exposure to what field we choose to take. I spent my college years, 5 years in Delhi. I was always a self-ambitious and driven person, insisting that whatever I did should be done well.

I started working with top professionals, like pioneers of architecture in Delhi. Ranjit Sabikhi, Sumit Ghosh, and other top firms comprised of my six years after college, mainly large scale developments in commercial and residential. It was a coincidence that in 2006 I started dabbling with interior architecture. I did a bit of hospitality experience.

Naseera Razak

Studio Director | Senior Associate – Gensler

Naseera Razak was born in Kannur, Kerala to a Malayali Muslim family. Her parents worked for the central government in Delhi, hence she was brought up in that city. Her mother used to work for the railway headquarters, owing to which she and her family got to travel frequently and gave her the opportunity to visit almost every part of India. India’s rich heritage and historical sites that she got to explore during her travel, drew her to architecture

According to Naseera, all of the cities we visit have a significant influence on us. Going and seeing the buildings, historical sites, experiencing their culture and so on, made her absorb a lot subconsciously. She received her architecture degree from Sushant School of Art and Architecture and spent five years there. That college introduced her to the world and technique of space design. After graduating and completing her bachelor’s degree in architecture, she worked in Delhi for a few years before relocating to Bangalore and joining Gensler in 2008.

Akhtar Imam

Director, Genesis Planners Pvt. Ltd.

“A true leader trusts the people on his team and should allow them to follow their own ideas.”, says Akhtar Imam, from Genesis Planners Pvt. Ltd.

Akhtar Imam, Director of Genesis Planners Pvt. Ltd. became an architect because of his father. Akhtar’s father was a civil engineer and didn’t want him to become a civil engineer like himself; instead, he asked him to become an architect, and Akhtar followed his dad’s wishes and got into an architecture school. However, things got difficult for him, when his father, the sole breadwinner in his family, died during Akhtar’s second year in school. He was suddenly pushed out into the real world and had to work multiple shifts during his college days to pay for his college fees. But Mr. Imam recounts how those experiences benefited him, as he got to learn many practical skills, that later helped him ahead in his life.

Arnab Sengupta

Executive Director at Innovate Design Studio 

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.

Venkatesh Ramaswamy

Principal Architect at Etendre

Venkatesh Ramaswamy, an architecture expert, has had a fantastic journey. During an interview with the best creators, he was asked a series of questions. While exchanging ideas, he also shared some of his philosophy, challenges, and advice to vendors and turnkey contractors on how to progress in the field of architecture.

Venkatesh’s success story is truly fascinating and will inspire many inspiring architects. He began his career in the year 2000 and has always worked with well-known design studios. His career began early on with DBA (Dev Bildikar Architects), where, despite being an Intern, he was projected as an Architect and was involved in all aspects of a project’s process. He then joined CNT Architects, where he worked on notable projects such as NIFT-Chennai, TERI (The Energy & Resources Institute), RBI Note Mudran, and a few HNI residences.