Posted on June 26, 2013 at 03:26 AM
The other day I met an old friend, Subhash who had not yet realized that we have started 100Krafts. It was fun meeting between two guys who met after a decade or so. He had recently bought a house in Electronics City, Bangalore and I casually asked him about his Interior Requirements. What he told me after that is what has been ailing the Interior Design industry in this city and in this country for long now.
Subhash and his wife had spent around 6 months searching for the perfect place. They finally managed this beautiful 3 BHK on the top floor in a high rise apartment complex overlooking a lake and a lot of greenery. As is with any other new flat, there was no woodwork and everything needed to be done.
Subhash spent almost 2 weeks searching for an Interior Designer. While being overwhelmed by the advertisements everywhere, no one came with any guarantees and he was completely astounded since any good websites online were either just websites with no professionalism when contacted or were too prohibitively expensive. He finally went to work with the same guy who was working on few other projects in the same apartment.
Work needed: A semi-modular kitchen, TV cabinet in living room, wardrobes in all 3 rooms, dressing in the master bedroom and a study in one of the other rooms.
Time mentioned by the Interior Designer: 15 days “but I will commit 20 days to be on the safe side sir.” Is what he said. After all he wanted to keep his promises. Of course work will be done in a branded ply without doubt. “We give good quality sir. You don’t worry about that.”
Subhash was really keen to shift in ASAP since he was paying rents on the house he was staying in currently so he was glad that he will be able to shift within a month.
The Interior Designer showed him some brochures and Subhash selected some designs. Colors were finalized and work started. Of course, no work starts without some significant advance payment needed for material purchase etc which was made. Subhash had trouble going everyday to check the work so left the keys with the Interior Designer.
“After 2 weekends, when I entered on Saturday expecting to see a complete house or maybe some small things left, and after having given notice to my landlord to shift the weekend after that, all that I saw in the house were frames of the wardrobes and kitchen cabinets. No finishing, no doors, no shutters, no TV cabinet…nothing else. I called the Interior Designer and at first he did not pick my call. In some time, he said he is on his way and is stuck somewhere in Koramangala. I had to wait for him for more than 2 hours and finally he showed up.”
“When questioned, he complained of first his carpenter running away and then started saying that his material had been caught at the border by the police. He will get the work finished but he needed some more time.”
Another week was all he asked for and he was perfectly confident that Subhash can shift in next weekend.
Subhash made sure that he went again during the weekday. “It was next Thursday evening when I again went. I was stunned. It was as it had been previous Saturday. The Interior Designer’s phone was switched off. I was mad but had no idea what to do. I went around but could not find him anywhere else in the apartment.”
The day that I met Subhash, it had been 2 months since he had given the contract to that Interior Designer. Wardrobes had finally been completed previous week. TV cabinet work is still to start. Kitchen finishing has been completed and shutters need to be installed. Subhash and his wife have been living out of their suitcases for the last 1.5 months in their own home! Lately Subhash has also realized that the ply inside the laminate is not even branded. But after all this time, they just want to see the back of those carpenters. He plans to fine the Interior Designer but hardly 10% of the amount is left with him.
Unfortunately, like Subhash, most of us have suffered the huge un-professionalism that has governed this industry. By making our Interior Designer partners ensure in writing certain service levels including timelines and quality, we at 100Krafts are slowly getting some professionalism into this industry.
To all the people who read this post: In case you do know of any Interior Designers who have been professional in their approach, do connect us to them. We will be glad to work with them.