Global designs on India

Arati Menon Carroll / Mumbai July 28, 2007


Indian real estate is benefitting from the integration of global
architecture and design firms. What is driving this trend?

By the end of the year, that darling of developers, Mohit Gujral, will
be extending his architectural firm’s talent pool to include 30
Singaporean architects and designers in his first overseas office. Many
of them will be practitioners in specific design areas like lighting or

Edifice Architects — a Rs 300 million architecture and interior design
firm with a focus on the IT, ITeS, telecom and hospitality sectors — is
also looking at starting an overseas office in the Philippines by the
end of the year.

Their approaches may be different — Gujral is climbing up the value
chain by employing highly skilled designers, Edifice is leveraging cost
efficiency and will outsource its base level drafting and 3-D animation
work to the Philippines. Both, however, are means to achieve a greater
scale of operations. And quick.


But what does that do to costs? “For most projects, there is a
fractional increase in cost, of say Rs 10 per sq ft, but this is easily
recouped from a sale price premium of up to 20 per cent on account of
better design.”

“If you have a ‘developer’ attitude with a view to flip the asset in
three years you will tend to tightly manage costs. If you follow an
asset owning model you want flawless and accurate designing because the
cost of rewriting is very high,” explains Chaturvedi.