WOD: Thanks for joining us today – tell us about your background and journey into the workplace sector so far…
FG: “With over 28 years of experience with large scale multinational corporate office campuses to sustainable projects that follow the philosophy of ‘circular design’ in retrofit /refurbishment projects, I have always had a deep appreciation for workplaces from a people perspective, been passionate about connecting and designing from an empathetic and life centred community point of view. My basic philosophy of an immersive approach starts with – Collaboration first, Communication next and finally Co-creating for a bespoke solution.
My career with three decades of experience watching the industry evolve with various multinational companies designing and strategizing workplaces for Global fortune 500 firms located in India started when I Graduated from Manipal Institute of Technology (MIT Manipal) in 1992 with a business venture soon after. RSP Architects was building the first IT park of its kind in India when I was offered an opportunity with them. Being one of their first few employees, I was exposed to large scale corporate work environments which quickly became a passion. I moved to the US in 2002 to Ithaca NY working with a wonderful boutique firm. I lived in an international housing centre at Cornell University which housed residents from all over the world- here is where I learnt humility and co-lived with residents from various cultures, understanding, respecting and celebrating all religions. In the US for 7 years till 2008 I had the pleasure of experiencing work and life, working on a number of Architectural and Interior projects focussed on Design and detailing. I moved back to India in 2008 and re-joined a firm I respected for another 10 years before I flew out on my own.
I consider myself a Global Citizen, born on the island of Borneo, East Malaysia. Educated in India, living in boarding schools of Chennai since a young age gave me a sense of survival and a need to collaborate in a positive and happy environment. I am passionate about workplaces – Designing workplaces holistically – A life centred solution.”
WOD: And how about your current role?
FG: “Workplace is an interesting and complex subject. I had the opportunity to brainstorm this topic with Tilak Thomas of Thomas Associates Architects during my time of self discovery. We had a great equation with a common interest in driving change – impacting workplace environments for the better. This serendipitously happened during the pandemic and we decided to partner in establishing a Workplace Design Consultancy with a difference. In my years of experience I’ve seen workplaces evolve, designing and strategizing with Global Fortune 500 firms located in India. Tilak and his father T M Thomas are part of a legacy firm with projects spanning over 50 years in Bangalore. We both saw an opportunity to drive impactful transformation in the way workplaces are perceived in India. Till date the bigger focus has been on numbers and efficiency. Now with the pandemic, the conversation has changed to Wellness and a human centred design approach to design.
The right time to drive our beliefs in the way workplaces need to function. Work has changed and we are here to help drive the conversation to a fruitful workable design solution.
Every day has been an exciting one since we started this workplace consultancy. Meeting and reconnecting with Industry peers, having that meaningful conversation, brainstorming, reflecting on the dos and don’ts of the business, concluding that we need to act and definitely ‘Do Now’!”