Senior Associate – Arcop (Interview PART-1)
A series of questions were posed to architect Neeraj Kalra in order to learn more about the people behind this wonderful industry. Her success story is truly fascinating and will undoubtedly inspire those working in the industry.
Neeraj has been in the industry for over 25 years. She graduated from GNDU Amritsar and spent her first few years working in Chandigarh, where she worked for a big firm with large projects. She later relocated to Gurgaon and began working with the ARCOP. She has spent 15 years with ARCOP and has had an amazing experience. She has worked on a variety of projects and has never been bored. She has worked with a wide range of people and projects, including hospitality, institutions, schools, colleges, retails, malls, and theaters & housings.
For Neeraj, every moment is a defining moment. Every time you start a new project, you are confronted with new challenges. You have to set your goals & targets that pull you through entire journey. There is no single defining moment, and all of us being defined every day.
When asked about her learning, she states that she considers architecture to be a unique profession. When people join, they believe it will be a cakewalk, but it is not that simple; there is a lot of effort to be put in and a lot of pressure that you must bear, yes, it is the journey which though is challenging but at the same time is enriching. These are the things that will gradually mould you and become a part of your life and profession. You’ll begin learning & unlearning on the path. It is a process that is carried along as a part of your life. She has learned from her experience that you must be extremely adaptable and willing to take on new challenges.
Neeraj stated that perseverance is the key here. It’s always important to understand the client’s vision so that you can help them achieve that. This goes hand in hand with the available budget. It’s a tight rope & can only be crossed by using your full potential & energy to achieve the target.
Every client wants something different. When they first arrive, they have specific ideas and a vague picture in their heads of what their project should be. An architect is the one who can help them realize that hazy picture into reality. Projects be it small or large always need perfect detailing & should be handled with sensitivity. The client’s desires are distinctive in every project & that actually is the best part of your experience. Every time you face a new challenge, it adds to your professional growth.
When asked about some of the initiatives that have improved the organization’s efficiency, she responded enthusiastically, “The most important thing is that we’ve been very goal-oriented, and that’s something we’ve tried to accomplish. There are goals set for ourselves in order to meet deadlines. We’ve tried to keep our commitments & stay focused. Another important thing is to motivate those around you, to keep teams together so that they participate naturally rather than anyone forcing them to. It is important that when you are in a leadership role & people look up to you, you bring them together. That is something we always try to achieve. To be continued>>