SD Inc. is the first and leading Home Improvement Firm in New Delhi and NCR. They are known for designing futuristic and sustainable smart spaces. Check out our interview to learn more about how this creative startup is making its mark on the design industry.
- 1. Hello! Please tell us more about SD Inc. and yourself?
SD Inc is a concept originated from “smart designing with touch of intelligence”. “Smart” is a very versatile word. It can relate to any application or tool which can effectively communicate with the user, understand the need and do the needful quickly. Smart designing here refers to the designs which are customized on user’s requirements and need and hence they relate to them. Then comes the intelligence. It is the futuristic approach of the design which takes care that the designs are sustainable and shall not phase out in a short period. Being in the business of mass housing and township designs for almost 2 decades, Sunil Dhingra, the Co-founder of SD Inc, gradually and slowly clutched the art of designing sustainable and futuristic smart spaces where every inch of space is virtually lived in and experienced before being formed.
- 2. When did you know that you wanted to start an architecture and interior design firm? What was that moment like?
The idea of starting a design firm was there from the very beginning of the career as an architect and interior designer. However, while renovating our own house, we felt that designs can’t be just applied everywhere and it does grow up and takes shape depending on the need and liking of the users. We designed many options initially without communicating with our parents and kids (the user group) and then it failed miserably. Then we finally learnt to understand the need and aspirations of the users who are going to live with your designed spaces. Starting from the proportions to the color and texture and other related aspects, we found a different set of need and requirements within our family which finally we designed, customized and delivered in our own house. From there, we felt the need to operate as a design firm where we as designers think from user’s viewpoint, live their lifestyle virtually and give them the best option where they can relate themselves to.
- 3. How do you stay ahead of the curve in your industry?
First of all, we are not in competition with anyone in the industry as ours is a unique concept and approach. We design and deliver within the budgeted numbers and time without compromising with the basic essence of design and comfort. We know the art of optimizing cost by hitting those grey areas of detailing which designers generally ignore and hence the cost goes up.
We optimize by effective planning of services, structural system, lighting and specifications which is best suitable for the case. We recommend specifications considering the ease of procurement and distance from the source. We practice a unique comprehensive approach in design and engineering which effectively optimizes the overall cost substantially.
- 4. Most challenging part about what you do?
Most challenging part is to keep the spirit of design alive while doing the corner cutting in cost. Be it interior design of a small space or mass housing, we scan every small detailing very minutely to assure that there is no contrasting difference between cost envisaged and cost incurred. Starting from the very basic foundation system to the finishing items, we monitor the cost of the project regularly and make sure there is very minimal or nil deviation from the estimated cost.
- 5. Most rewarding part about what you do?
Well I would say it would be improvisation while work in progress. At times, there are very tricky situations at site and certain decisions need to be taken immediately which need improvisation based on the given scenario. Improvisation is very important as we have to have a flexible approach to overcome unforeseen events at site but the decisions taken while improvisation should not enhance the cost and simultaneously should not affect the design also. So, in tricky situations like this, we always have a plan B beforehand to overcome any such situation.
- 6. How do you get in a creative mindset before doing a task? More specifically, what is your creative process like?
Once the task is assigned and set of requirements are frozen, we virtually start living with it. We discuss, debate, research and draw and this process goes on until we are satisfied. Design is a process which is not time bound. It may click in a day or may take weeks to finally get a satisfying design. At times when the design is stuck, we give it a break and travel. We go for serene surroundings, long drives to break free to have fresh ideas.
Second stage is to visualize and estimate. Budgeted estimate is always the top line which has to be honored and we design and frame our set of finishes in accordance to this.
Then comes the stage of detailing to curtail the cost where we input our experience and practice to optimize the cost.
Lastly, improvisation while execution is the tool to complete the task within estimated numbers and time.
- 7. Any expert tips for other entrepreneurs?
Entrepreneurship starts with one unique idea. I would suggest to be unique and stay away from the competition. Uniqueness in approach is the key. This is a competitive world where everyone is selling something. Be it product or experience. Standing out of the competition and selling “out of the box” ideas can provide a better platform and establishment.