Being an entrepreneur isn’t easy, especially in the architectural sector in Bangladesh. But Qutbuddin Kapadia with his company Nouveau Ink. Studiowork Ltd aspires to change the prospect of architectural development in this country.
Nouveau Ink. Studiowork Ltd is a service oriented company and its vast capabilities allow it to materialise its clients’ vision and even improve upon it.
We caught up with the founder of Nouveau Ink. Studiowork Ltd Qutbuddin Kapadia to know about his unique ideas and vision.
What is actually Nouveau Ink. Studiowork Ltd?
We re-imagine the architectural possibilities by creating an ecologically friendly structure in urban areas. We put in plants, fauna and wood work. Nouveau Ink. Studio Work Ltd believes that architects should not just create a structure but also maintain an ambiance that preserves the natural environment. It is also important to have larger space for living.
How is Nouveau Ink. Studioworks Ltd different from other architectural firms/companies?
The fear of most clients stem from lack of transparency, not getting things done by the deadline and rising budgets. Our business-savvy project managers offer technical expertise that contributes to streamlined, on-time, within-budget projects. Our process includes design-quality management reviews and consultant coordination, budget management, time-to-time reporting, design scheduling and design-fee cash flow forecasting and trending. As a result our clients never experience nasty surprises when we work for them.
When was Nouvea Ink studioworks Ltd. established?
It was not a long time ago when I decided to start my own firm/company. The transition from a freelancer to an entrepreneur was a big achievement for me. The journey of Nouvea Ink Studioworks Ltd started in 2016 January. Setting up this firm/company was certainty not an easy task. But hard work and dedication finally paid off.
What motivated you to be an architect?
When I was growing up I was very fascinated with cars and I dreamt of becoming an automobile engineer. After completing college I studied automobile engineering at Taylor's College Malaysia. As I finished my first year of undergrad, I began to realise that no matter how much I fancied becoming an automobile engineer, it was not for me. I also began to understand having a dream to and actually pursuing are two completely different things. So not wanting to delay anymore, I decided to pursue a different field. Having only three weeks at my hand before the start of my second year of university life, I contemplated which sector of major to choose and the possible department that would accept the credits that I have completed in the engineering school. Architecture being the best possible and feasible option on my plate, I hasted to change the major of my career path without any further ado.
So, I often say that it was just by 'accident, luck and fate,' that I winded up here. Now, it has been nine long years down the road of being an architect and I cannot imagine myself anywhere else.
From freelancer to an entrepreneur, what is the transition like? What are the main differences?
Even though it is a great achievement it also means a lot of responsibilities. As a freelancer you still have some room for errors and people will overlook those minute matters. But once you are established as an architectural entrepreneur, it is natural to find your every move questioned. This is simply because my name is now under the name of a company/firm and to find an error in my work is similar to finding fault of that company/firm.
Project management, time, work, design, payments and lot of other factors are different in some way or other when you are full blown a company.
The reason I feel good about not being a freelancer anymore is because the title 'freelancer' confined me to a certain pattern or type of projects. As a result I was not growing creatively and I was only working according to my client's instructions. As a freelancer I mostly did residential interior designing and renovated small office spaces. And I knew, to gain a position as a renowned architect I have to put my name under a company/firm. In that case, I will also have my own freedom for creating my own designs. With that realisation I registered Nouveau Ink. Studioworks Ltd and now I work mostly for corporate clients.
Tell us something about Nouveau Ink. Studioworks Ltd. that gives us a clearer sense of your work
We value design by weaving together beauty, function and permanence. Great design captures imagination and transforms spaces. We place design at the heart of all our thinking and work. It takes a lot of time to create something that brings the essence of 'little bit of nature' in the interior and exterior but we have our time frame and strictly abide by that.
We also value learning in mastering changes that a well reputed organisation does for the benefit of it's client. Therefore we foster dialogue for inspiration, innovation and personal growth so that our clients are aware of us and how we work.
The crucial part of our strategy for our business is to be client-focused and value-driven, so that we can deliver targeted outcomes based on economy, function and aesthetics. We accomplish this through effective communication, innovative design services and intensive project planning to give the best to our clients.
What was your first project?
It was after 3-3.5 years of freelancing I got Nouveau Ink. Studiowork ltd. registered. And the moment I inaugurated Nouveau Ink. Studiowork ltd I got a project to design the corporate head office of Moushumi Industries, a 26,000SFT 10 storeyed building.
During the 1 and half years of working to design that corporate office I was the only person who was managing Nouveau Ink. Studiowork ltd. I was dong everything at that time, starting from being the designer, accountant, purchaser of equipments, site inspector, site engineer and many more.
All these took a big toll on me both physically and mentally. But in the end, starting from January we finally re-established our company in Banani 11 and also added extra member in our team; associate architects, engineers and manager.
My notable work include sculpture at Shahabag Square, designing the factory of Denim Medona Group, Cotton Solution Office, CEO residence of Cute Cosmetics, CEO residence of Lucid Developer, Residence of Ahsan Group and many more.
What sort of projects Nouveau Ink. Studioworks Ltd. would prefer to take up in the future?
There is still lot to achieve for Nouveau Ink. Studioworks Ltd. Personally, I still have a lot of fresh ideas for various different formats.
For instance the real estate companies have been showcasing different designs but a change in the structure of making the space a little larger is very necessary. They are so badly stuck with “space maximisation' for monetary profit. As a result the spaces become unlivable. I feel we can intervene those segment to make people feel that they live in a 'home' which will give them a vibe of nature and also room to move about freely rather than being in a small 'four-wall cage'.
We are keen to explore the recreational architecture projects such as hotels and resorts. There are so much room for improvement in these sectors. We are currently working to get access to government bodies and investors in order to work in such projects and with the ultimate aim of making it lucrative and enjoyable for foreigners and holiday makers.
What are your words of motivation for the future architects and those who want to become an entrepreneurs?
Studying architecture requires a person to be extremely studious and has to be great with Physics and Mathematics. The subject is vast and there is no end to its learning. There is no right or wrong, when you learn this subject but you definitely need to do practical work to know more. A few of the essential ingredients to be an architect are a sense of creativity, basic rational thinking, extremely observant of your surrounding and environment, and trust me when I say this, you really need to have immense patience. If you can fulfill all the above criteria then you have what it takes to build yourself up as an entrepreneure.