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Interview With Ravi Sarangan

Published on: Aug 1st 2016, Monday
Category: Commercial

Let’s Get Talking

Architecture is all about possessing the right attitude, which helps in defining goals. An architect is also an artist and must balance the two sensibilities. A project demands function, while the designer desires form. The right attitude postulates that function is sacrosanct; the ideal design would find the most aesthetic solution possible, without any compromise on functionality”. With a mindset like that, it comes as no wonder that Ar. Ravi Sarangan has achieved great heights of success to be one of India’s leading Architects and Interior Designers today.

Architect Ravi Sarangan and Architect Sanjay Srinivasan passed out of JJ School of Architecture in 1987 and started Edifice Consultants Pvt. Ltd with a small garage office of 16ft x 8 ft in Chembur. Today, their company has offices in 8 cities and employees over 280 design and construction professionals, with a client list that includes all the top-cream of India’s corporate world.

Architect Ravi Sarangan has come a long way, and today we are in conversation with the man to find out more about his design journey.

  1. Tell us a little bit about your design journey?

Right after graduating from college, Sanjay and I wanted to start our own firm as we had a working format in mind that was not in existence back in 1987. We did a few small odd jobs, but our real breakthrough came when Mr. Narayana Murthy invited us to design a software development centre for Infosys in 1996. Thereafter, our firm grew with the info-tech boom and we got accounts of TCS, CTS, Wipro and many other corporate giants.

We got assignments in other verticals like Hospitality, Urban design & Development projects (both commercial and residential) too. At present, we have presence in 8 cities and we are experts in Master planning, Architectural projects& Interior Designing projects.

A few noteworthy projects stay fresh in your memory forever. For me, these are:

·         Tata Housing – Kolkata

·         JSW – Mumbai and Bengaluru

·         TCS – Hyderabad and Pune

·         Taj Vivanta- 2 locations

·         Taj Gateway – 11 locations


  1. What inspires you?

I love to experiment with energy-efficient design technologies. They are the future of architecture and interior design. I also love to work with rammed earth, for its texture. I like to use it in my designs whenever possible.

  1. What has been your dream project?

At Edifice, we accord equal importance to each and every project. Some of the prestigious projects to mention are:

·         JSW – BKC corporate office

·         TCS Hyderabad

·         Crown Plaza cochin

For us, every project is a dream project as it is a collective effort of the team and not an individual dream.

  1. What kind of challenges do you face when working on a design?

No project is ever easy. Every project comes with a new set of challenges and surprises. At times, it is timelines or budget or even design when the client is not sensitive enough to produce a good design.

Best of the projects are those where the client is sensitive yet demanding and is willing to walk that extra mile ---both in terms of design and fees to achieve a good quality output.

Getting money out of client is the biggest challenge. So, we need to be smart finance managers as well!

Dealing with lack of mutual respect from the client is also a big challenge and only a quality of design can make a difference.

  1. What are your thoughts on the transformations seen in the Design industry over the recent years?

People have become more exposed and hence they expect more. They are well read, well travelled, and most are not dealing with interiors for the first time and they maintain the track record of all the past works.

Architects have better means to get knowledge of data, trends, new materials, technology in terms of 3D tools and visuals. Due to all these the output has become more realistic and easy to relate to, for the client.

At the same time, Industry competition is going from bad to worse. Professionals are undermining themselves, bending awkwardly to accommodate clients, and struggling to be ‘unique’.

  1. Do you have any role models?

I don’t have one but several role models.

·         Mr. Narayan Murthy - worked closely with him.

·         Steve Jobs – for his consistency and focus towards design for Apple

·         Bijoy and Nimish Patel – for their deep understanding of Indian Architecture (both traditional & contemporary)


  1. Would you like to offer your two cents for budding designers?

Sure. Here are my 5 Rules for a budding designer.

  1. Focus towards Quality – quality of thought, quality of action
  2. Don’t compromise on your values; honesty is the only way out
  3. Do it right the first time
  4. Basic Interior design or Architectural education is not enough – post graduation is must or still if you need to work, ensure at least 10 years of assisting a senior designer before becoming an entrepreneur.
  5. Being true to yourself and client is my mantra for success.

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