Shardul Pandey Talks To Charuta Raykar

I welcome you Charuta at SANGKRIT.net, please tell our netizens about yourself. It all started with a dream. A dream to make a difference to homes. As with all dreams, it quickly grew into desire to make a difference in the life of many. What better way to achieve that than founding one’s own venture which gives all the freedom to live the dream.

Thus began, Akarshdesigns.com , the journey of a creative mind.  A passion that kept growing over 12 years into a living dream of creating welcoming places and wonderful experiences, an exciting journey that has been helping to connect with various people and be a part of their story! The idea was to create a wonderful home experience that tells the story of the homeowner.

Interior design is a profession which requires a perfect blend of art, creativity, technical and management skills. We started our journey with providing freelance designs and slowly we expanded our services, offering design consultancy, project drawings and end to end execution of residential and commercial spaces

Thankfully, Today, after passing through various phases, we are doing what we love! High End Residential and Commercial turn key Project design and execution across Bangalore! However, the climax is yet to come!

How exactly your idea sparked to register your domain name? As we started taking end to end execution of residential project, I came across various overseas clients also, who own beautiful homes in India. They look for professional and genuine design execution services for their properties that they can trust. I understood the importance of registering our domain name after meeting such people with an intention to provide professional services and for growing business. It adds credibility, creates brand name and give 24 x7 easy access to clients, which helps to grow a business!

What philosophy motivated you to start your business website? It is important for every small and big business to have a website. It helps you establish credibility and brand name for a business. Moreover, it is low cost and also the broadest tool for business advertising and marketing to a new generation. I learnt about the importance of having a professional website or the perks of having online and social presence in a digital world, from my tech savvy boys at home :-)

At the moment, you are running a display website. Don’t you think you can add on blogging features or migrate your blogger’s blog to your own domain using Managed WordPress then post about the small things you learn every day in your business, that would indeed help many others on Internet and also make some value for you? Yes, of course that’s an upcoming goal. That way I am still a newbie to digital technology and digital world. I can say, we are still work in progress.

Many creative individuals are intimidated by web technology. We, designers, often have limited time for online marketing, working seemingly around the clock to design spaces, meet with clients, oversee contractors, arranging materials, managing expenses etc. So, keeping active web presence, or being a pro at Search engine optimization is bit challenging for us interior designers.

However, designing wonderful spaces was the beginning of my dream. Next step is going to be designing wonderful designers! And blogging is very effective tool for sharing experiences, educating new designers and learning new things from around the world, keeping a fresher’s mind.

What are your plans in building a strong online presence, what do you think about adding more dynamic features. At the moment, may be just a subscription form would help you to connect with your visitors, notify them about the new updates of your services or anything else you have in your mind? I feel home making experience is the soul of interior design business. Unfortunately, there are no such tools which can allow users to rate designers based on various parameters like design visualization, quick estimates, quality of finishing, or timely handover. I shall be happy if we could add these features on website. Also, I would love to make online presence more prominent by providing online consultancy for clients.

Today most people use the Internet when looking for any services, don’t you think launching a smartphone app would help more people to find you, just to make sure those people can easily know about your services.

Mobile app is great tool for being popular brand. However, in my view, we get business from references, or by word of mouth too.

Ok but new technology brings new opportunities. By launching a smartphone app, a business can offer the convenience of instant information and still fulfill demand for service quickly. Today it is not only a competitive necessity but a powerful way to market penetration and expansion.

What makes your endeavors unique on Internet? Right now, I am working on high end villa projects at the foothills of Nandi Hills. Since most clients are overseas, the Internet is the only and most effective tool we are using for client conference meetings, online chats, video calls or for sharing data or updates of the work progress on sites. However, it’s a beginning. We are still in process of making our endeavours unique.

What is your ultimate message for netizens? Web pages, forum and blogs, social media pages predominate digital marketing and branding of various businesses and products. However, in my view, it takes care of marketing and sales aspect of any business. Other than that, Interior designing business also require real connection, personal touch and creation of warm experience. That’s the key to grow in this business.

We are part of the era where there is no professional field without women being a part of it! I was teaching in an interior design school, where I have always noticed that the number of female students were always more than male students. Most of the academic, teaching faculties, were mostly dominated by female designers.

However, in my view, onsite project execution of interior design, is still a predominantly male profession. Most of the female designers tend to take back seat when it comes to onsite execution of their designs!

My Advice for young designers is – It doesn’t matter if you are a man or a woman, you have to fight to be taken seriously. Interior design is a profession which requires a lot of commitment, hardware, management skills and dedication. So, girls, join this profession with pride. Take action, be confident and show that you can stand on any ground using your creativity and various life skills. Let’s make the world beautiful place! Thank you!

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