Parul Agarwal

Co-Founder & Director| Healthcare and Institutional Design Consultant
Renascent Consultants(Interview Part – 1)

In the world of the architectural industry, women are making significant strides, breaking barriers, and reshaping the built environment. In this exclusive interview of TBC with Parul Agarwal, a visionary Healthcare and Institutional Design Consultant whose innovative designs and dedication to her craft have earned her recognition and respect in the industry. Join us as we delve into her journey, creative process, and insights on the evolving role as her valuable insights will help newcomers to gain knowledge in many senses.

Parul Agarwal’s journey was also like some other people, without a godfather. It was full of struggle in the beginning for a few years, then she started her firm Renascent Consultants in partnership with her husband Varun Agarwal , Mr Bakul Chandra & Mr Dushyant.

Mrs. Agarwal continued briefing about her journey that me and my husband, we worked for an year in some other firm for gaining experience and then me and my husband started our firm in partnership and then we literally worked hard day and night, there was no time limit or work hours. The passion to do this got me here. So I would say hard work and passion, nothing more than that was there to gain success and for coming this far.

Ever Evolving Scope in Architectural Field

Parul stated on asking about turning point of her career, I would say the moment I decided to leave my job and start my own firm, that was like the defining moment because I was too young and I didn’t have any other support system as well but still I thought I will be able to do something in the architectural field and then by God’s grace, I started getting projects and after giving it a try I got success also. One more good decision I made when I started doing work for health care and now that has become our main core specification area.

Balancing Time and Budget is the Primary Challenge

When TBC asked Parul about challenges she is facing, she replied,  projects challenges have always been time and budgets, that’s the general challenge worldwide as clients want everything like everything should be affordable, beautiful, durable and in less time. If a client calls you up, they want changes to be done in one day or 1 hour. It’s like that has been the greatest challenge because to keep up the expectations of the client, to meet their expectations and deliver the work on time, and to get that work done in the reasonable budgets, these all are the challenges I am facing. 

Success in the Architectural Industry Requires Newcomers to be Exceptionally Hard Working

Parul gave a suggestion to newcomers while sharing her experience that as a designer, I would like newcomers to be a little more hardworking at this age as they are completely new to the architectural industry and they can explore more into it passionately. Nowadays everything is taught by computer and AI, everything is recorded and saved with system files, students who are new to the industry don’t do sketching, they don’t do hand work. So I would like them to sketch more ideas and then review their designs and learn from their mistakes without any help from the system as in computers many of the things are generated with the help of AI and softwares so they aren’t able to explore more about their mistakes, new things and ideas as we also learned from our mistakes. Many times we did something and then we review our old projects also to eliminate new mistakes and whatever further is coming, we should be open to learn new things in the market.

Designs Should be Rooted to Reality

In reply to a question related to her design principles Mrs. Agarwal said it’s very cliche, but the main thing we do is healthcare architecture and major focus is form following functions. All our forms majorly follow the function because healthcare is something in which we cannot do without function. The core area is formed following functions and our design should be rooted to reality as it should be feasible, practical and considerate of real-world limitations and conditions.

According to Parul, architectural designs should be serving the needs of the people who are going to use the space while considering factors such as usability, accessibility, and efficiency. Designs must comply with practicality including safety standards to ensure the safety of occupants and the public.

We should give Freedom to our Workers: Mrs Agarwal

Parul briefed about initiatives she took to create a positive impact in the firm. I respect my staff and don’t just say do this only and give them full freedom to work according to their preference in the best possible way and to design or something. We don’t treat them as draftsmen, infact, I don’t have any draftsmen in my office. All my staff architects have freedom to say and design what they want as we are open to discuss the things, take their ideas, inputs, and always try to understand their point of view and apply them in the design. 

Building Material Vendors has to Understand Buyer’s Needs deeply (Interview Part – 2)

Parul gave a suggestion note for building material vendors that they need to understand the buyer’s need a little more deeply, not just the superficial need and for architects they can create something on the website which is accessible to the everyone which include product details and briefs about size, pattern, design, colors by which we can easily promote the product. There should be some detailed design info or some kind of an app which should be there for architects to help them or they can create a detailed catalog having product briefs, something maybe beyond technology which can bridge the gap between vendors, architects and client. 

She continues, more things like brochures, product reference books including what are the sizes, what are the thicknesses available, how to install it which are accessible to the architects who are logged into a particular account or something. So  architects and buyers don’t have to search for a key thing as whatever they want, they can refer from there and easily brief them about the product that they want. There should be a cataloging system for the architects that this thing is available in this many sizes, this many colors, and we need this detail to be installed on site. So the client can be clear that was in my mind and we should go a little beyond, all aesthetics requirements can be briefed. We should bridge the gap, meet more often and not just all these exhibitions, go beyond that and work closely.

Social Media is Invaluable for Staying Informed and Up-to-Date

Parul agarwal said that social media and media helps a lot in keeping myself informed and inundated because clients come up with all ideas from there only like from pinterest and Instagram and nowadays clients will show you instagram reels or youtube shorts that what design or product they want. So I also have to also follow Instagram reels, and media in all forms.

Mrs. Agarwal continues, the second thing is traveling which helps me in updating myself as I travel a lot because most of the projects are generally out of Delhi. So I have to travel frequently because of the scale of the projects we deal in, Delhi has very little area for all those things and in B-class cities there’s a lot of scope for all these things.That’s why we are working a lot in those cities like Delhi NCR. It’s maybe 200 km from Delhi.  While traveling I used to meet many types of people, come through new ideas given by different mindset people, come to know about many new trends, designs and products which are newly launched in the market.

So, media and traveling are the two main sources which help me in updating myself with new trends and designs of the architectural industry.

Contractors should Prioritize Client Satisfaction and Uphold their Commitments

Parul wants contractors to keep the client happy. She stated, what I feel is first they should give a right date of completion of any project like they have to quote right, there should be an apple to apple comparison, many times they take out something, so they cheat clients by lying about time limit or by committing impossible things. So one thing it should be, they should be a little more loyal to their clients. I want them to be more practical and more fair and generally give accurate dates. Contractors would say sometime that we will do this and that and that doesn’t happen and then it comes to architects which creates a lot of tension around.

Work Ethics Evolution and Changes is essential for Industry Progress

Parul said that we architects are not friends, so architects should collaborate and work, that is a major thing that has to change in the industry. The whole fraternity should basically collaborate and give equal respect to fellow members. If one person is working, there should be some ethics as there are no work ethics in our profession. Many times I feel there is competition everywhere and the fee scale also always creates this big lag in that. I don’t know how to quote this, but yes, if I’m charging x amount, another person would say I will charge less than that out of competitiveness which creates a big mash and it’s like no proprietary thing. Some architects would pick up others’ work by quoting less prices. So let’s be more professional is what I expect from our fraternity.