Their actions have inspired others to dream more, learn more, do more, and become more. This Women’s Day, 99acres celebrates women who have shown the courage to emerge as leaders in male-dominated industries. Here’s to STRONG Women. May we Know them, May we Be them, May we Raise them!
Right from my childhood I was inspired by art and design. I was very sure from my primary school that I wanted to be an architect. After schooling, I worked towards the aptitude and design exams, and pursued architecture.
What/who was your inspiration?
I always drew inspiration from our vernacular architecture, temple architecture and heritage. This inspiration created an eye for detail in me. Dr Kumar, MD, Navin’s and Mrs Bhavani Kumar, Executive Director, Navin’s are my biggest role models. They motivate, encourage and give me all the confidence to keep growing in all my endeavors. They always have positive words for me and are a great source for guidance in my career.
Were you discouraged in your initial years of growth because you were a ‘woman’?
I was never discouraged. I am very thankful to my near and dear ones. Navin’s N-hance has been a huge pillar of support and has offered a great platform for my design practice. They believe in equal opportunities and constantly motivate us by offering great support.
Did anything hold you back from doing what you wanted to do?
While there was no particular pressure to hold me back, architecture being a very exceptional field that one would take up, people always asked why I did not opt for IT or allied fields, which was a common field that one landed into during my initial years of study. It was and is still a myth that a field like architecture is challenging for women.
What kept you going?
My passion, dream to design and craft spaces has kept me moving myself to next level every day. Also, a passion for new things and evolving trends keeps me driven. Interesting and various kind of needs from our clients aids us to come up fresh ideas and concepts from time to time.
What other challenges did you face as a woman?
Challenge was people‘s mindset and winning people’s confidence, being a woman. Working with a lot of people from various fields and backgrounds is challenging, and that in one way keeps pushing you to deliver your best.
Do you think the society, especially in your industry, still prefers men over women?
That was the case until a decade ago, as only a percentage of women preferred to take up architecture. Today, the scenario has changed and more women are opting and practicing architecture and design. People are welcoming and are accepting women in this creative field.
Share one experience where you got the opportunity to prove your mettle.
Design for compact homes to corporate offices - a variety and varied scale of spaces to design, was entrusted to me and my team at Navin’s N-Hance. This platform is very crucial for a budding architect like me and my fellow team members, and such platforms that recognize and provide equal chance and recognition for talent, is a great opportunity.
Are you taking any conscious steps to battle gender bias in your field/organization? As a company, do you have any pro-women policies?
At Navin’s, we believe in equal opportunities for all, and believe in women empowerment. We always aim at creating a healthy workplace for our employees. We believe in empowering our women work force, and in fact, we have a very balanced and healthy women to men work ratio. Many of our senior cadre employees and heads are women, and we are very proud and happy about this trend.
What do you consider your biggest achievement so far?
Making our clients/customers feel happy and the ability to make them visualise their dream home/space taking shape is my biggest achievement. We get utmost happiness every time we deliver something well beyond our client’s expectations. So, I prefer saying I, along with my management and team at Navin’s, keep achieving.
Do you want to share a message to the budding women entrepreneurs out there?
Never give up come what may. Success and opportunity can come anytime, anywhere and even after several failures. But a part of success lies in the ability to never give up. Also, always be willing to learn new things from everywhere and everyone. Believe in yourself and your dreams, and they will come true.
Disclaimer: The views and opinions expressed in this article are those of the interviewees and do not necessarily reflect 99acres’ opinion or stand on a subject.