Founding Partner, Principal Architect & Managing Director, ACE Group Architects [P] Ltd. (Interview PART-1)
“Sharing is so much more important than just absorbing.”- Dr Dinesh Verma
Dinesh is one of the experts in the field of architecture and interior designing, having numerous experiences in terms of projects and years. His philosophies, thoughts and experiences are unparalleled. He is one hallmark in the industry, and his experience in the field makes a difference to the people on how they think, work and behave. He graduated in Architecture from Visvesvaraya National Institute of Technology, Nagpur and took a Master’s in Industrial Design from the Indian Institute of Technology, Bombay in 1982.
His journey as an architect started in 1983 when he first came to Bengaluru as a fresher, straight from IIT. He briefed that he di’t have a job or a godfather wherefore, he walked into some architect’s offices, trying to get a job, and he did get one in the first two days. He worked there for three months and then walked out of the office because he could not go with the kind of thinking they had about what an office should be and what kind of things should be going. Then he joined another office and worked there for quite some time to gain quality experience, started learning, and doing projects on his own. In most of the architect cases, unless you have a godfather or somebody who can give a project, your initial projects would be more of addition operations to some building which is already built, he added.
With that slow growth, he moved on. People started seeing and believing them. He started doing bungalows, then bigger bungalows and over a while he got into radio projects that are 125 acres and 150 acres large projects which are more of an urban plant type where in the same project, he needed to do commercial, residential, institutional and sports complex. Today they have reached where they have done more than 87 schools and 8 colleges and 2 universities all over the country.
In his opinion, knowing what the client needs is more important than drumming your philosophy into them. Even if you are the best available one, but still cannot deliver what the client needs, then you are useless to the client. Therefore, understanding the client and their requirements, should be given utmost importance for better delivery of service. He added, “sometimes, we try to do more than what the client was expecting, and the project might not come up because the client might not be able to digest that type of design, even if it is futuristic. If a client can understand, say up to level eight, you can go up to level 10. But if you think that he is up to level eight and you are going to 16, then you are taking a mighty risk, and the projects might not go ahead.”
“We have always been growing with the technology and performing with the technology for our clients all over the country. The biggest challenge we face because of all this automation is that the client comes today and expects the results tomorrow. I have been trying to tell people that it is a project which we are starting from zero and going to grow further. Let us spend the right amount of time in pre‑planning, and then start the project. I find this to be the most difficult aspect of Indians. They do not want to spend any time in pre-planning or planning the project as such.”
“Convince the client to sit down and make him go through everything. They sometimes feel a bit demeaning to say that they have not understood. So, when you show him images, he will approve even without understanding many things. Therefore, we need to take the client through the design and everything related to that and make him understand the point about how it is going to be and the amount of time required. The details and estimates also take a certain amount of time, which the clients do not agree to, causing confusion later. This is one of the biggest challenges that we face as an architect.” To be continued>>