“The debate about Vaastu is unnecessary as it has now become a customer requirement which architects and builders must respect.”
Hailing from the Eastern part of Ahmedabad city, the Galaxy group has made a religion out of up-scaling the Naroda landscape, bringing to it a range of housing options, from basic low-cost housing to ultra-modern, sprawling townships comprising swank bungalows and posh flats. Along the way, they have added commercial complexes and now a high rise complex in eastern Ahmedabad s. The Galaxy Group is one of the rare builders with presence in all the verticals in the realty sphere, be it premium bungalows, high-rise apartments, row houses and 2 and 3 BHK flats or even small economy houses. They are present in the multiplex vertical too and are coming up with a swank top of the line mall.
Vaastuyogam met Mr. Uday Bhatt, Chairman of Galaxy group and Mr.Praful Joshi, CEO of the group at their Naroda office in Ahmedabad.
Excerpts from the interview:-
Uday Bhatt on Design:
We are constantly working towards creating products that enhance consumer delight. It takes all kinds to make the world. Different classes of people have differing requirements but we have realized that the common thread of satisfaction is good and efficient design of buildings. That, and reasonable pricing with punctual delivery. For us, design is a very emotional thing and a result of the vision of several personalities. It emerges from multiple but concurrent factors and is a creative way out of a whole bundle of constraints. But, we always strive to create Elegance and Simplicity.
We have now taken up the design and execution of vast townships. To help us enhance our offerings we have entered into several tie-ups with leading entities in their fields. Two of such tie-ups are Mr. Luvkumar Khachar and the international design group Enmarcon. Design is a matter of constant up gradation and continuous dialogue with the customer. That s what we do day in and day out.
Praful Joshi on Design:
After reaching a certain level, it is your grip on human engineering that matters. You need to know and understand human beings as much as you need to understand architecture. Design becomes part of the overall acumen of the builder.
Praful Joshi on Vaastu:
The customer is central to any business and meeting his/her requirements is the first and the last step. Today, when buying a house many a customer wants it to conform to Vaastu basics. What the builder or architect believes is irrelevant; the customer is king and it is he who must be satisfied. The negative trend that I see in Vaastu is the fear psychosis that some Vaastu consultants pump into the minds of the general public. These consultants are exploiting the blind faith people put in them. The public should be wary of this exploitation and combat it by broadening their understanding of Vaastu. As always, ignorance is the biggest enemy. Many books are available on the subject. Reading them won t make you an expert, but will surely help you be on your guard.
The fact is that Vaastu compliant flats have a ready market as opposed to those that are anti-Vaastu. In case of flats, I have noticed that customers are willing to make small compromises but in bungalows the case is different.
Making houses as per Vaastu is a win win situation for both the builder and the buyer. By taking extra care at the design level, one can meet many of the Vaastu requirements without incurring serious additional expenditure.
The fact that the house is not 100% as per Vaastu should not burden the builder with guilt. Making a house 60% to 80% as per Vaastu is a job well-done because making a 100% percent Vaastu house is chasing an impossible dream but that should not prevent him from doing the best he can. Some aspects of Vaastu have impact on religious belief, especially Vaastu provisions regarding where the pooja room should be where the kitchen should be and the direction in which one should sleep. Since these beliefs are interwoven with religion the general public absolutely insists on compliance with these Vaastu provisions.
This talk that architects don t know about Vaastu is a myth that has been circulated by architects themselves. They know sufficient Vaastu to prevent elementary blunders. Accepting Vaastu as part of the design brief involves additional efforts that architects want to avoid. They are accustomed to re-issuing (as new) their few favorite designs. It is both a cost effective and time-saving strategy for them. It allows them easy escape from doing a piece of the homework. To protect their comfort zone they convince clients that Vaastu implementation is costly and interferes with aesthetics.
At Galaxy, we believe in customer satisfaction and as part of our broader brief of enhancing customer delight, we do not deliberately construct an anti Vaastu house. We are committed to quality construction and commonsense in design and because of these two factors I think we should not fare badly on the Vaastu compliance record. The debate about Vaastu is unnecessary as it has now become a customer requirement which architects and builders must respect. At a personal level, both Udaybhai and I have faith in the goodness of Vaastu and have kept Vaastu provisions in mind during the design and construction of our homes.
Uday Bhat on the Future:
The group, has forged ahead, retaining the Galaxy identity whilst building upon it project upon project, brick by brick. Growth is a way of life at Galaxy. Forging new partnerships even as it renews old ones Galaxy Group has now set its sights on Patan, Nagpur and Vadodara.
As we move ahead, I see managing change as a central piece of our strategy. Change is inevitable. Change is the process by which the future invades our lives. Rather than running away from it, it makes more sense to meet it head on, manage it and benefit from it. Our model for change is non-aggressive inclusion, like concentric circles that grow by building upon the strengths of its predecessors rather than engulfing them.
Most importantly, they are driven by a vision centered on customer satisfaction and professional integrity.