‘In the period when human kind is leaving no place to destroy Mother Nature, we try to go for environment friendly designs by using our bit in preventing the environment. By integrating “Environment Friendliness” when designing a workspace, we not only lessen the cost, promote employee well-being but most importantly reduce carbon footprints’, says Mr Tushar Mittal, CEO, Studiokon Ventures Pvt. Ltd. in an exclusive interview with sawdust.
Share with us the philosophical foundation of your studio. What are the fundamental ideas that outline your practice? Is there a ‘Process’ or ‘Method’ that is central to your work – how do you approach your work.
Our philosophy is simple “Create with a heart, build with the mind”. We design and build our clients’ workspaces treating them as our own. We create them in a way which can add value to the workspace and enhance growth and positivity.
We do follow a systematic process starting from planning stage to providing post project assistance. Everything is done in a systematic manner, wherein we keep in mind all ethics, norms and convictions as provided by the government.
We also work with healthcare and hospitality sector, wherein the work approach is a bit different as compared to workspace designing. So the work approach can’t be central; therefore we have experts who are well qualified and experienced for every kind of project offered to us.
Are there any special benefits – in terms of knowing latest techniques, architectural practices, etc. by enrolling oneself in international architecture schools as compared to the best local Architecture schools?
We believe in constant evolution and learning. We encourage our teams to attend various international and national interior related exhibitions, seminars and conferences. Recently, I attended an international exhibition NEOCON, Chicago, which not only gave me a platform to explore the new market products; but also I got the opportunity to get connected with the industry internationally. We initiate such seminars as well. We had been actively taking part in conferences and seminars to gain and impart as much knowledge as we can.
As far as comparison between local and international architectural schools is concerned – both have their own positives and importance in their own ways. Knowledge and experience can be earned from both.
Tell us about your experiences where you studied.
Recently, I completed the Executive Leadership Programme from Harvard Business School and have got the Harvard Alumni Status. It was a great experience & learning. I could understand and learn the different practices in the world, and incorporate them into my business. I also got to know about latest business ideas, experiences, and techniques coming up in the industry and how we to incorporate the same in our own industry. An incredible journey it has been.
How do you incorporate sustainable practices into your projects?
Incorporating Sustainable practices is not a thankless task; there is an incredible scope of energy saving in the office. For example: a recently designed project i.e Global Logic, the major pillars of this project is usage of biodegradable and recyclable material, 50% of what is used is recyclable, articles like partitions & screen are generated from scrap, indoor plants have been used to provide cleaner, greener & healthier environment, as they increase the oxygen content. Creating an eco-friendly workspace which has proper ventilation and daylight for energy saving, we try to initiate as many sustainable practices as we can to give our client a workable and more productive workspace.
Bringing newness/uniqueness in every project is a difficult proposition. How do you tackle this?
Action speaks louder than words, therefore our projects speaks volume.
We call ourselves a “specialist” in designing & executing workspaces; so with an expertise in this, nothing is impossible and designing a workspace with a new proposition every time, creates a milestone for us. Bringing newness/uniqueness is an easy task, when our experts brainstorm and work for a client, coming up with new design. We also partner with ace architects who have a huge experience in creating the best workspaces in this country.
Every time we come up with the trending concepts like open office space, hot desking etc, this makes us stand apart in the industry.
If you have to list three best projects executed by you, which ones will come to your mind first and why?
It’s rather difficult to pick 3 best projects when you love all your projects. We leave no error in project execution and put our 100% in each project; so it difficult to pick the best ones. We believe in adding value to the workplace and that’s one of the reasons why we love our design outcomes.
Getting quality manpower is a problem for you?
Although we feel that quality of manpower is a challenger given the high standards of services, detailing and dedication, we at SKV have been proactive through our intensive training and induction programs. Through these programs, we are able to create quality and skilled manpower and overcome the challenge.
How important is client briefing? Apart from client briefing what are the other ways you adopt to know client’s mind?
From simple operational requirements to aspirations and vision of the client. Client brief in simple terms allows everyone to get on the same bus and head down to the project road together, and it gives a precise direction and client’s expectations to gain the same understanding of what is to be accomplished.
Involving the client in each stage of designing, having frequent meetings to understand the mind-set and psyche of the client’s wants and expectations, analysing their current working environment, and providing them with various options so as to have a clear understanding of the expected workspace designs.
Comfort, cost and environment friendliness – which aspect is the most important for you?
In the period when human kind is leaving no place to destroy the Mother Nature, we try to go for environment friendly designs by using our bit in preventing the environment. By integrating “Environment Friendliness” when designing a workspace, we not only lessen the cost, promote employee well-being but most importantly reduce carbon footprints. With this we can, not only reap environmental benefits but social benefits like it improves the quality & amenity of workspace, employees become happier & healthier, also economic benefits like minimising the cost & energy consumption by using recyclable material.
What do you say about the planned ‘Smart City’ projects in India? Do you think they are workable? You have any suggestions?
There is no simple way to define Smart City. The term encompasses a vision of an urban space that is ecologically friendly, technology integrated and meticulously planned. We are now certainly facing a new era of smart city developments. More and more cities are adopting this philosophy and citizens are becoming main stakeholders in the process. With this, the entire long costly & hard path taken by the pioneers can now be effectively shortcut. It is definitely a great concept for India to embrace upon, where the urban population is growing at a super-fast pace combined with huge infrastructure challenges. I believe that India has all the elements & potential to achieve a smart city mission and succeed.
What are the main difficulties and challenges you encounter – Market fluctuations, Material shortages, Spurious materials, Clients who don’t know what they want or Others.
We believe in the ideology “Difficult roads often lead to beautiful destinations”. We take difficulties as challenges and with the expert team of SKV, we are able to turn down any challenge thrown at us. Our Management and Procurement team is always pre-equipped; so market fluctuations or material shortages are never an issue for us. With good industry relations and global outsourcing, we are always able to deliver our projects on time. A client is not an expert or a specialist, calling ourselves a specialist, we are a dedicated team of professionals who understands clients psyche and thus we are always able to deliver successful projects.
For example: Indus Tower in Chandigarh had a very tight schedule to start operating from new premises within 48 days. SKV’s Team worked round-the-clock and left no stone unturned to convert this into a reality. While the project continued in Chandigarh, the Jaat Agitation started in Haryana. Unfortunately, the carpet and other finishing materials got stuck in the movement for many days, which could have had an extreme setback for the project. Despite these challenges, SKV stood by its commitment and provided an alternative option of temporary carpet to the client at its own cost. These challenges made us work more positively towards our commitment and the project was executed before time, i.e. 38 days only. This earned us respect and acclamation from the client.