Access to Good Design
Award-winning architects and designers, Gita Ramanan and Shezaan Bhojani, bring more than two decades of national and international design experience to the construction industry. Design Café founded by the duo in 2011, today has a team of 45 professionals and a portfolio of over 500 completed projects across the country. These include homes, apartments, offices, restaurants, showrooms, schools, and hotels ranging from 1000 sq.ft to 1.4million sq.ft.
In April 2016, the company launched a simple 9-step online process to showcase the best designs to its clients, using easy, quick, and creative design and material selection processes. Users can seek expert consultation, select the elements, and complete the project within 60 days under the guidance of the architects. Till date, the team has helped add the sensibilities of design to over 51 homes in Bangalore.
"We can design spaces in just one minute from our design styles and give a custom 3-D and estimate in the same time, reducing what used to take days to just minutes. We have filed for a patent for our online process. It will change the design industry by letting home owners design their homes online for free, without the need of a designer for the initial look, enabling us to design thousands of homes in a year, and make our designers ten times more efficient," says Shezaan Bhojani.
Good design has the power to change the way you live, work, and play, and this change should be accessible to everyone, irrespective of the project's size, budget or location
Shezaan Bhojani, Entrepreneur, Architect, Traveler
After graduating from BMSCE Bangalore, Shezaan worked with some of the best design firms in India, designing premium homes and 5 star hotels. He was awarded IIID-special mention for Design in the Hospitality sector in South India and his work has been published in Society Interiors, Home Review, and CW Interiors. He co-founded Design Cafe with Gita Ramanan in 2011; since then, DC has grown over 200% year-on-year. He travels the world to source the best design materials and ideas. Fondly called 'Chief Astronaut' by colleagues because he believes that Design Café can expand it's presence across the globe and maybe even build a home on the moon some day!
Gita Ramanan, Entrepreneur, Architect, Tedx speaker, National Athlete
A top student and an athlete during her college years, she chose design as her career. After graduating from BMSCE Bangalore, she worked with world renowned architects with specific exposure to premium homes and recreational design. She is also a graduate of ISB, Hyderabad, and was selected by Goldman-Sachs for its worldwide 10,000 Woman Programmer. She has spoken on many national platforms on design and interiors like TEdx, NID, Design Open, to name a few, and has been an integral part of IIID Bangalore chapter and in organizing Bangalore's first Designuru. She heads the Design Team at Design Café and is instrumental in creating innovative designs across the country.
Backed by Kanwaljit Singh (ex-MD of Helion Ventures), the Salarpuria Group through Apurva Salarpuria and others, Design Cafe has merged technology in its innovation and design processes to offer contemporary design solutions. In 2015, they had raised a round of funding for the online venture from investors like Sidharth Pansari of Primarc Group and Sunil Jain of Sprout Capital. Coming up are four Design Experience Labs in Bangalore and Mumbai, which will showcase innovative design concepts in the home décor and build space.
Giving an example of how the online process works, say for designing a kitchen, Gita Ramanan elaborates, "We have derived a unique approach to give every home-owner their dream kitchen in 6 easy steps. We first ask the client to choose their preferred style (Modern, Classical, Minimalistic, Industrial, Rustic, etc.) from our vast library of styles, finishes, and textures. We then cross- check the primary equipment (hob, chimney, sink, fridge) and their locations given by the builder. We input all these parameters in our (patent pending) DC A.I. Bot, and within a few seconds, the kitchen design is generated with all the modular components and details, along with instant 3D views and a cost estimate."
Ramanan adds, "At our DC Experience Centres, customers are encouraged to touch and feel every component and understand how it works before the kitchen design is finalized. We make them walk through the design and customize it as per their unique habits, gadgets, and lifestyle. We finalize the cabinet handles, colours and finishes after the client has seen, touched, and felt the finishing of every material that is proposed. The final design is then executed in our factories with the best quality hardware and components."