ON HER OWN TURF

SHRUTI CHOUD­HARI

India Today - - COVER STORY -

Hav­ing worked with one of the largest pri­vate con­struc­tion com­pa­nies in the coun­try and be­ing a part of the found­ing team of two real es­tate firms, Shruti Choud­hari, 34, has be­come an all-rounder who has a wealth of ex­pe­ri­ence in not just ar­chi­tec­ture and de­sign, but also in mar­ket­ing and con­struc­tion. “Real es­tate is a male-dom­i­nated field but that does not mean that there is no place for women. My ad­vice to women look­ing to join this field is to be sen­si­ble about when to step in and del­e­gate your work,” says Choud­hari. She adds, “I stud­ied ar­chi­tec­ture in Delhi and then worked for a while as an on-site project-in-charge with B.L.L. Kashyap & Sons. But I soon re­alised that wasn’t my call­ing. So when an op­por­tu­nity to join a group of like­minded people look­ing to start a real es­tate com­pany, Akme, in Ban­ga­lore arose, I de­cided to take it up,” says Choud­hari, who moved to the city in 2003. As part of the Akme team, she worked on two ma­jor res­i­den­tial projects in the city’s outer ring road, Akme Har­mony and Akme Bal­let. “We even­tu­ally sold Akme to Anil Nanda and launched Soul Space a few years later. Our ide­ol­ogy at Soul Space was to start a one-stop real es­tate firm where ev­ery­thing is done in-house. We de­sign, build and mar­ket our own prop­er­ties. This is the best part of my job be­cause as an ar­chi­tect you only worry about the de­sign. But with Soul Space, I di­vide the re­spon­si­bil­i­ties be­tween my team and my­self. So not only do I get to see ev­ery step of the process, I also man­age to in­ter­act with the end user, some­thing that you miss out on in pure ar­chi­tec­ture,” says Choud­hari. As part of Soul Space, Choud­hari has worked on two shop­ping malls, var­i­ous of­fice spa­ces and res­i­den­tial projects in Ban­ga­lore. The com­pany also has set up malls and prop­er­ties in Pune, Am­rit­sar, Mo­hali and Bikaner.

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