The Economics of Architecture – Service vs Business Why do architects start their firm/practice? Most would give the reason of a passion to design with creative freedom.
Reimagining Architectural Work Culture
In the fast-paced world of architecture, success is not solely determined by the grandeur of designs but also by the people who bring these visions to life. Yet, when is the last time you heard how great the culture is at an architecture firm? “During my journey I came across so many good people, I owe our success to them,” says Ar. Vishwas Kulkarni, founder of VK:a. With employees who have been with the firm for decades, you know they mean what they say. What has made the people stay?
20 years back, Bandu Fukde joined as a technician at Vishwas Kulkarni Architects. “Vishwas sir always encouraged us to take initiative and try things ourselves. This increased my knowledge and was promoted to Project In-charge even though I was not an architect. Seeing my involvement and interest in quality control, I was made the Site Quality Control Manager. I am happy to work where I’m recognised and my work is valued.”
In the 14 years he has worked with VK, Sachin Doshi has moved up from junior engineer to Associate. “People are approachable, from the directors to the support staff. I enjoy working here because, with the range of projects, there is always something new to learn. When they see that you are capable, they appreciate you and give you more responsibility, which keeps you motivated to do your best. I feel proud to work in an organisation that lifts other people up as well.”
“Even though I am a support staff, I have always felt as if I was part of the team” says Hanumanta Manjrekar, who has been integral for the smooth functioning of the daily activities at the office for 12 years. “We are treated with respect. If we have to work beyond our shift, we are paid Over Time. They even enquire about our families and we feel like we are genuinely valued and cared for.”
Working as an Admin Staff for 4 years, Vikas Katare says he has benefited greatly in terms of personality development, from the various training sessions and professional client coordination he is entrusted with. Through Mrinal Tippanawar has been working as a Senior Architect only for a year, she says “I like that I get the liberty to handle my projects with support and guidance from seniors without any pressure of doing it only in a certain way.”
Ar. Kanchan Sidhaye, now Jr. Partner at VK:e environmental, joined as a junior environmental architect 14 years back. “For me, it was the opportunity for growth and the freedom to explore different tangents that kept me here. The company is ambitious yet practical, so we always have something to look forward to. I think, now the challenge we have is to pass on this culture and ethics with the same intensity as the company grows.”