Architect Anup Gadgil specialises in renovation and restoration of old houses. His work though is divided equally between contemporary homes for individuals, rebuilding of old house and projects for institutions. After gaining work experience, Gadgil branched out on his own in 2008 and says that his first big project was designing a house in Aldeia de Goa. He currently employs six staff, of which three are architects, an interior designer and a draftsperson
Why did you opt to start your own business?
Architecture is a creative profession. After completing my apprenticeship and working as a junior architect for gaining professional experience the next natural step was to start own practice. Besides, while in college I always had a dream of being a part of a collaborative design practice. Hence, my firm was also named as a design group.
Your toughest task in setting it up.
I am a first generation entrepreneur in the family. While I did not have to convince anyone in the family before taking the step of starting my own firm, making that decision for me was the toughest. Setting up the firm and getting it steady was not so much a tough task because with six years of work experience I was well prepared.
Have you achieved all your goals? If not what remains to be done?
The journey so far has been satisfying. Long term goal is to collaborate with fellow colleagues with expertise in a particular field of design and be a leading architectural consultancy firm in the country.
Your best business moment.
Walking the first time with the client through a completed project is a moment to be cherished. Seeing them happy and sometimes surprised with how the place has shaped makes your adrenaline flow. Those are the most honest expressions.
What are the critical elements of success in your line of work?
Prompt, clear and honest communication is most important. Especially with outstation clients – for whom you are their eyes and ears on site – prompt and frank communication is a must. Besides coming up with good designs a thorough knowledge of the costs that are involved helps in timely completion of works.
Would you advice young architects to choose entrepreneurship?
Yes, definitely. After gaining relevant work experience starting once owns practice is the best way forward for a design professional in a state like Goa. Expertise based collaboration with fellow professionals from within the state or outside could also be a part of the strategy.
Customs or festivals in Goa that appeal to you.
More than a particular festival it is the festive mood which is present here throughout the year that appeals me more. The pace and quality of life that Goa offers today is very conducive for design. In fact, I would go a step forward and say that we should focus on making Goa a hub for all design professionals.
State one aspect of Goa which has changed for better or worse
Awareness about the services that an architect provides is slowly but steadily increasing which is positive development for the profession. Shortage of skilled labour is a major concern.
What changes would you like to see in the business as well as social environment?
I would really like to see design competitions for architectural project being made a standard practice in public sector projects. The current practice of empanelling designers based on turnover and past work experience may not be the best practice for good design.
If not an architect what would you have chosen as a profession? Why?
Being an architect was a childhood dream. If not an architect I probably would have opted for civil engineering as a profession. Farming is something that I would like to venture into as an alternate or parallel profession someday.