The Debonair Designer – Ar Amit Bhat

For many architects, the road that leads them to their profession is one they find themselves and know with absolute certainty to be the right path. For Amit Bhat, however, it was a different story. With credits to his skill for drawing and sketching, he was advised by his parents to take up architecture. It wasn’t until after a year of his formal education that he realized it was the perfect fit for him.

For the first year after graduating, he hardly worked, the main reason being the low pay architects receive. It was his brother who asked him to put down the bat and look for some opportunities, also bringing his attention to a newspaper ad for Amla Sheth’s Metaphors. Mr. Bhat decided to go her, receiving quite a surprise when she asked him to join that very day. For to him, she played a very important role. Describing her as a sharp, hardworking, intelligent woman, he concludes that she is, all in all, a superb lady. He claims to have learned a lot from her.

After his work with Amla Sheth, he went on to join a Singaporean company called (Surbana) Jurong, a distinguished firm that owns 10% of Singapore. Thinking of the eventual possibility of skyscrapers in Pune, he wanted to work somewhere where he would get more architectural exposure in comparison to the work he was doing previously.

Joining Jurong as the Maharashtra head, he continued to work there for another 3 and a half years. After joining the company- even though it was a multinational company in a time when there was a lot of great buzz surrounding international companies- he soon realized he was actually learning more locally than internationally. Drawing a comparison on the basis of client exposure and quantity of work, he realized there was a huge gap. There was a stagnance from the perspective of work. Fearing his growth had stopped, he started parallely applying to a lot of international companies to see where he would get selected and managed to get through to many renowned organizations.

He scored his big break while doing some research on buying a flat for himself. An inquiry with a builder gave him the opportunity to present his own work to the management, in turn leading to him undertaking a project that would be the beginning of his firm.

Speaking about his successful self-named firm, Amit Bhat believes that in this field, you can’t work under pressure. You need to give people space to work on their own. And so, at the firm, there is no hierarchy. People work on their own projects on their own terms and interact with the clients. They’re given complete freedom, and everyone is happy. Creating a brand that does not compromise on function, he tells his team that it is a responsibility they should take, to make sure that whoever is using their finished product is happy.

When asked about his struggles, he denies having faced any. For him, the only challenge was that he was always paid better on the beginning of his career. Earning good money at the firms he worked at, the scene changed when he started on projects by himself.

Elaborating on his design style, he says he always work with straight lines. He mentions always designing according to logic, because it’s the only way to convince the client. His modus operandi is to put more focus on functionality than looks, pertaining to the fact that looks are subjective. Surprising even to the interviewers, he renounces the use of popular websites such as google and pinterest when he works, reasoning that they stop him from using his brain.

On the subject of sustainable development, he stresses on its importance. He mentions the vital need for clients and developers to pay more attention towards sustainability.

He does not dwell much on achievements but has one that is hands down his most proud work. Architecture is a very slow procedure, as anyone with the slightest knowledge of the same would agree on. His firm is around 9 years in the making, which is not much in terms of architectural firms. Considering each project takes around 4 years to complete, he has still in just 9 years managed to do over 100 projects, over 30 million sq ft in and around Pune. His first ever project- Royal Grandeur, was awarded the second-best residential project in India. However, he maintains that he doesn’t apply for awards, as they hold no importance to him.

When asked to define success, he rightly states that success to everyone is different. Money for some, power for others. For Mr. Bhat, being satisfied is success. ‘At this point I have no regrets.’ he says, words that you would truly hear only from someone satisfied with where they are in their life.

His ultimate goal for five years is not working for money. With a desire to work where he wants and on projects that he wants to, his sincere wish is to be able to turn down offers that he is approached with. He wishes to work abroad, hoping to do projects in Dubai and Singapore. He hopes to be able to work solely for his own personal satisfaction one day.

After having listened to his impressive story, it doesn’t seem unlikely at all.