YOU BEING A WOMAN ENTREPRENEUR IN ARCHITECTURE AND REAL ESTATE ALSO BELIEVE THAT THIS INDUSTRY ACTUALLY BELONGS TO MEN? By: Khatibah Rehmat.

Read the interview conversation of brave builder Reshma Bano, who speaks about her
journey of being a woman in the fields of architecture and real estate.

1) Tell us about yourself, starting from your family, education and rewards you have received in your entrepreneurial career.

RESHMA BANO: My heartfelt wishes to all the readers and viewers of REFT Today. I am Reshma Bano—The Managing Director of Ace Interio. I have two members in my family, one is my husband—Mr. Tabrez Alam, an architect by profession and a three-years-old daughter, Ramiza Alam. I own two firms, one is Ace Architects and the other is Ace Interio. Both the firms, are concerned with Architecture, Construction, Civil Engineering, Interiors, Land Servey, etc. I have executed several commercial and residential projects. Where in commercial projects, I have planned and executed projects like townships, rowhouses, hotels, colonies, hospitals, etc. The biggest township I have executed is from Emami Nature Pvt. Limited. It is one of the largest self-sufficient township in Uttar Pradesh and Madhya Pradesh combined, with an area of about 100 acres. I have also worked with UADD on a few of their commercial projects in the Morena district of Kailaras, Madhya Pradesh. It had a huge shopping complex with more than 300 shops in one building.

Recently, Mr. Anurag Sharma, MP from Jhansi has been doing great developmental work for the area. He had introduced the concept of building a domestic airport for the city and I am privileged to receive a chance to be able to work with them. I am currently working on a project for a hotel with more than 200+ bedrooms and several banquet halls. In this way, I have gained experience in handling work from all the aspects regarding Architecture, Construction, Civil Engineering, Interiors, and many more.

ABOUT MY AWARDS AND REWARDS:

I have received an award of Secret Santa from F.M TADKA for my work in the field of women entrepreneurship and empowerment.

I have been invited to talk shows in 92.7 BIG F.M with R.J. Shahnawaz to share the work that I have done during this lockdown for migrants and laborers.

I had sponsored Big Memsaab Show, which was a big hit.

So far all projects completed by my team and me have been successful.

2) Did you ever face any hurdles in your early career? How did you manage to those dire situations?

RESHMA BANO: I think the early part of anyone's career is always a bit tough. One of the reasons being that was, we were freshers. And in the path I noticed that, it is even harder to fetch work. It was extremely tricky to gain trust and confidence. I had to wait for a longer time to get a good project and when I got one, I was almost underpaid. Even when we finished our project, we did not get the required credit and the builder labelled it as, made by a Singapore—owned company. It used to be heartbreaking but was an extremely common phenomenon. Even after facing so much of negativity, I didn't let it stop me from following my passion and believing in myself. I had hope that one day we'll get the appreciation that we deserve and with god's grace, today is that day.

3) You being a woman entrepreneur in architecture and real estate, also believe that this industry actually belongs to men?

RESHMA BANO: Since India follows a patriarchal structure of society, construction work and hard labour has always been considered to be men's work and it seems to be true all over the world. It is here, where my team comes to my rescue. I have a highly qualified team helping me in my work. From architects to civil engineers and interior designers, etc. Everyone in my team is highly qualified and experienced in their work they are assigned with. I owe my success to them as, nothing would have been possible without them. I hold my team in high regard that, together we execute our designs and plans and turn them into reality.

4) Did you ever think of quitting from your career? If yes, then who brought you back towards your ongoing passion?

RESHMA BANO: I feel quitting is easily said, than done. In my case, my husband is an architect, father-in-law and younger brother are civil engineers and even our family friends are somewhat connected to this stream. Quitting was never an option since I am "living" my dream. But yes, there are times when I get extremely exhausted, so my husband and I had decided to take small breaks after every 2-3 months. We go for holidays to recharge ourselves. I have a true love for my dream and so quitting is never going to be an option for me. I have immense love and appreciation for all the aspects of my job.

5) What are your perceptions towards women empowerment? How can women at home shall step out to earn without creating any hassle in their personal lives?

RESHMA BANO: According to me a single or an unmarried girl can easily contribute to the economy as compared to married ones, as they don't have the responsibilities of managing several relations in an extended family. But I am blessed that I have been married to such a kind-hearted man and went to an extremely supportive family, whose blessings were with me throughout my entrepreneurial journey.

Family plays a vital role in either making or breaking ones career. Since, it is not about supporting your daughter-in-law but, is about setting an example for future generations to follow. I would like to tell all the working women out there, that you don't have to handle everything by yourselves because, you are a working woman, not a superwoman! It is absolutely fine to be imperfect, it is fine to feel exhausted. It is also fine to take rest and ask for help, if you need any. Don't feel ashamed of anything.

QUICK RAPID FIRE:

a) What are your suggestions for those who are planning to construct a house?

RESHMA: One should not take their project into their own hands rather, shall take the help of planners because it is not just about beautification, it's about technical plannings.

b) Any suggestions for those who are planning to buy a house from a builder?

RESHMA: Do your research on concerned builder and do a background and profile check on them, before committing to something.

You should look out for aspects like quality of constructions, production history and also do your research on the area of construction.

c) What are the suggestions for those who are planning to do interior of their houses?

RESHMA: Interior is more than just looks and is more technical as well. One needs to plan out everything, from furnitures to electronic appliances. From colour schemes to lighting structure. Planning is extremely important in all such aspects.



INTERVIEWED: Mrs. Reshma Bano.
INTERVIEW TAKEN BY: Khatibah Rehmat, Senior Journalist.
PICTURE COURTESY: Mrs. Reshma Bano.
CONTRIBUTED BY: Lipika Kapoor.

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