ON HER OWN TURF
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.