One of the greatest joys of creating workspaces for Indian entrepreneurs is watching their unique values weave themselves into our blueprint. Recently, the Bisleri project stands out as a prominent example of this.
Our prime source of inspiration and enthusiasm for the Bisleri project was the sheer presence that the brand has maintained in India over the decades. This can largely be attributed to their long-time chairman and MD, Ramesh Chauhan. He remains a true legend for Indian entrepreneurs because when he took over the brand in the 1960s, he also took over the challenge of converting the novelty of bottled water into a habit in our market – and came out successful. His involvement in the workspace design was reflective of how well Indian companies understand the value of a workspace and what it signals to stakeholders and partners. Their new facility is a testament to his vision – further augmented and executed in the very capable hands of their Director, Marketing, Anjana Ghosh.
After working with Ramesh Chauhan and Anjana Ghosh on their workspace project, it’s easy to understand the reason the homegrown Bisleri brand has thrived all these years – their ability to mould themselves to the changing ecosystem. Our collaboration with them helped us push ourselves beyond our comfort zones too and learn to shape ourselves – quite like water.
Adaptability was my favourite learning from this journey with Bisleri. Our design roadmap began with a concept based on Bisleri’s key value proposition – ‘purity’. But they wanted the Bisleri brand to be associated with more than just their primary product, that is water. Thus, the new workspace had to be a reflection of this change. Our design, then naturally evolved towards a different direction, a departure from their image as a pure “water” brand. This was the first key lesson – be willing to rewrite the script, no matter how much you might be in love with the original.
A lot of our undertakings are carried out under strict constraints of time and resources. While I enjoy such challenges, with Bisleri, we learnt the value of progressing at a different pace. It’s like running a marathon all your life and then suddenly slowing down to take in each curve and corner of the track and appreciate it separately – and apply yourself more strategically to each of these, rather than just covering the miles.
When a project extends beyond a regular time period, most design teams start to worry about the faith and trust they may have lost. Sustaining one’s enthusiasm is hard in an environment of self-doubt. The best way to combat this is to remember that while there may be differences in approach, the intent of all sides is still the same. One has to not just celebrate the similarities, but also respect the differences to sustain the motivation to move forward.
My greatest takeaway was the clarity of the vision of the Bisleri team. They gave us clear directives which remained open-ended – giving us plenty of room for experimenting. We watched our own design journey evolve from the ‘purity’-based concept to a theme that encapsulates the brand in a more wholesome manner. In fact, our journey is mini-reflection of Bisleri’s own journey in our market, starting out as a brand that sold purity to something larger – a name still associated with purity, but applied to a wider portfolio of products.
Finding Triple Point
After nearly a year since inception, the workspace turned out to be a vibrant, fresh, green and maintenance-friendly place. We were also able to make value additions such as integrating ozone-infused air conditioning into the interior and making sections reconfigurable. It was a space that met the Bisleri team’s vision, surpassed our team’s expectations of ourselves, and remained true to the brand itself.
Photo credits : Prashant Bhat