Game Changers Interview with the Founder of Interspace – K.M. Shetty
Kindly share a few words about your journey.Basically, it is an exciting long innings, I was in Advertising as well as Corporate Interior, we had a lot of failures as well as success. In the end, it is a success, and we’re happy we have achieved something. It has been a very challenging journey.
Is this a field or career you chanced upon or chose to pursue?
I have always liked the creative part of any business. But this is partly choice, partly by default. Initially, we were trying to do too many things, then we were concentrating only on the core industry. So, this is Corporate Interior or Workspace Interior, which became our main line of business. This we are able to achieve fairly with good success.
Interspace’s USP or your competitive advantage.
Basically, we care for our clients. In the long run, I think, that pays. We care for them. When they want us, we are there. It’s not only business, but we also look forward to building long term relationships.
What keeps Interspace going? Your company goals, inspiration, and vision.
So, we are blessed with good clients, good vendors and also a good time. See, we started our business at the right time, we are able to achieve success because of the same reason. And the other important thing is that we remain focused and also we remain a medium-small company. We are not trying to become too big so that we can give better service to our clients.
Most important qualities required to succeed in your ever-evolving industry.
It is not one single quality as I see, it’s more to do with hardworking, focused, persistence and endurance that has helped us to achieve what we have.
What do you consider as your greatest achievement/s in your career?
I went through different kinds of business, starting with Advertising, Media Business. I started working very early in 1970. I joined my brother, who had just started an Outdoor Advertising Agency. Then, I started a Direct Marketing Agency, in ‘89. We were one of the earliest Direct Marketing Agencies, where we were doing a lot of things, like Event Management, Promotion, Merchandising, Interior. People knew that I could do some good Interiors so they used to call and take my advice.
Over a period of time, we decided to concentrate on one business, core business and we got into the corporate interior, as a medium. But it was the right time because the economy was opening up and a lot of international companies were coming to Bangalore. We were there at the right time and we took advantage of that. There were not many people who were doing Interior Integrated Business, at that time. Maybe Godrej was supplying chairs or table, or Remington was supplying something. It was like, very limited availability of resources, so we started designing and we started giving them the entire project including services. If you see in earlier Bangalore, there was no air conditioning, you see, earlier offices were very simple.
And today, you need access control, you need networking spaces, so many things which were not there earlier and people used to never spend money on the interior. And architects were only busy with buildings, and they never bothered to do any interior because the scope was very limited, spending was very limited.
So, we were doing a lot of Bank related projects, we used to work all India and we used to have our own vendors and we had our own resources. We used to operate through a large number of carpenters and suppliers. We used to give integrated service throughout India, even in the 70s.
Who or What inspires you constantly?
One is that we thrive through the challenges and more so, when the Client is happy with our work, we feel very happy and that gives us motivation.
What is your family’s role in your pursuit of a demanding profession?
I had a lot of freedom and independence as a young child, that actually helped me to be on my own.
What’s your advice to young entrepreneurs and start-ups?
See when we were young, we never got proper guidance, there were no mentors or people who could tell us what we should do. So today, people are smarter, they have more information and more knowledge. In many respects, they’re more mature for their age. But what is happening is, they lose interest quickly. So, you need a long term goal and you should be persistent with that goal.