Kindly share a few words about your journey.
It started with me passing out from College in Nagpur in 1976, and I worked in Bombay with many big architects. And in 1980, I went on my own and started my own company. We were practicing in Bombay then I wanted to come to Bangalore so I decided to open up a branch in Bangalore. So, we opened a branch, by the grace of God, we were doing very well in Bangalore. Then I thought, we can close down the Bombay office. So, for the last 40 years, now we are doing quite well.
What made you go into Architecture & Interior Designing?
I am an artist by Nature. I wanted to become an Artist but at that time, only 2 professions were there Medical & Engineering. So, my parents said either you’ve to do Medical or Engineering. I said, Medical, you’ve lost your son, he will be dead. Then they said, you take Engineering, I said I want to become an Artist, so we somehow compromised and found a middle ground between Engineering and Art – Architecture.
Most important quality required to succeed in your industry.
I personally feel that your client must like you. Rest is all Technology. You want to deliver the goods, you want to make a timely drawing, these are all technologies, you can manage, anybody can manage. Then what is it that makes you, YOU – Client must like you.
What do you consider as your greatest achievement?
My son is moving in the market, meeting people and all that, and then the vendors, suppliers and other architects, they keep on telling him that your father is a pioneer in Interior and Architecture in Bangalore. So, if somebody says that I am a pioneer, I think I have achieved quite a bit.
Who constantly inspires you?
There are two architects I will name, every architect knows, Le Corbusier, he’s a pioneer in the field of Architecture. Second, the architects named as Legorreta & Legorreta. I love their designs and whenever I feel depressed and what I should do, whenever you need inspiration, I go through their books.
What is your family’s role in your pursuit of a demanding profession?
Well, when it comes to family, first is wife, so she has been always supportive. And in case, she sees that there has been a time constraint of sorts, which are related to business, my profession, then she never complains. So, support from wife is always there. My children, of course, the younger one and other, now they’ve grown up to be architects. We are all supportive of each other.
Any advice you would like to give your younger self?
What I would like my younger Raja Watwe to do is to be highly updated with Technology, which probably I lacked, a little bit. Which would have given a younger Raja Watwe quite an advantage to do better in his future.
What’s your advice to young entrepreneurs and start-ups?
First, understand the requirement of your Client. That does not mean that he wants 2 rooms, 3 bedrooms, and 1 kitchen, etc, that is not his requirement. There is always a hidden requirement behind it, he wants a house. These are technical things, I want an Entrance Verandah, etc. So, the first thing you have to remember, be it residential or commercial, understand what is he looking for. Second, the Client’s budget, you can’t change it. I am ready to design a house in 3 Acres plot but if he has a 30-40 site, you’ve to give best in that. The third is the delivery of goods on time. Fourth is ethics, ETHICS is very very important, it goes a long way.