The previous year saw various disruptions in all major sectors and industries of India. Real estate and related sectors, too, were affected and went through challenging times.

The past year has been marked by the advent and spread of the novel Coronavirus. The economic effects started being felt in April 2020 when various disruptions across the demand and supply sections were seen. The real estate sector, too, saw challenging times, with supply chain disruptions and labour shortage affecting the supply side of the equation. The demand side was affected by the economic slowdown in the Indian economy, which led to many home buyers becoming fence-sitters due to being uncertain about their financial security.

Other industries, such as architecture, tile, cement, and steel, also saw challenging times but have been recovering rapidly since the pandemic began. To understand the issue from an individual’s perspective on this Women’s Day in 2021, we speak to Aradhana Agarwal, Corporate Social Responsibility (CSR) Head, Orientbell Tiles.

The year gone by has been a challenging year. What strategies did you adopt to tide over the crisis, and how has the year been for your company?

In terms of adopting new strategies and overcoming the ongoing pandemic situation, Orientbell Tiles’ first step was to go digital and introduce various digital tools to ease out the ways for our consumers with new technologies, thus making it more convenient for them to select and buy products from the comfort of their homes.

Today, with our digital tools, customers can:

a. Find a similar-looking tile by just uploading a picture from Instagram or a photo (Samelook)

b. Find the tile for their project by using filters of colour, or project location, or by other
specifications

c. Play with the tiles being considered in pre-defined ambiences and amp; visualise laying patterns, and combinations in a few seconds (Quicklook)

d. Get a personalised 3D Max to render the chosen tiles in your project layout along with
recommendations from our own in-house designers (Trulook)

e. Or even upload a photo of the actual sample flat to virtually try as many floor tiles from our range as you want to! (Trialook)

In addition, Orientbell Tiles’ performance has been at par where the 2nd quarter saw 6 percent YoY growth followed by 21 percent YoY growth in Q3FY21, which was led by the renewed focus on new Products, displays and channel engagements.

How has your professional journey been so far, and what delights you the most about your career?

It gives me a purpose, and I look forward to doing new things every day. I love the way I can fill colours in people’s homes through our tiles and happiness in children’s lives through our CSR activities.

What do you think is the general perception of women in real estate?

In today’s times, women are not considered any less. In fact, a woman can add that homely touch to a house that a man cannot.

How do you maintain a work-life balance?

My workplace gives me immense pleasure, so I feel totally relaxed there. My children are also grown up, so with proper time management, I can do justice both to my work and home.

What are the challenges you have faced as a woman in a male-dominated industry?

I feel the contrary. Very few women are there working in the factories, so wherever I go, I get a lot of respect and appreciation. This motivates me a great deal.