Whether it's a startup or a reputed organization, a firm's growth massively depends on effective brand-building. Even the interiors and digital branding speak volumes about the work culture and technical ability of an organization. Effectively curated pitch deck designs that efficiently reflect organizational values can be a massive factor in promoting a brand. After finding a gap for good designs in the market, mostly in the startup space, Roshni Shaheen co-founded Bengaluru-based creative design agency Sikata Studio in 2020. As a passionate architect with extensive experience in Architecture and Graphics Designing, she has been helping the firm reach new heights in terms of architectural excellence and aesthetic sensitivity.
In an exclusive interview with Women Entrepreneur, Roshni shares the underlying idea behind starting Sikata Studio, the challenges she has been facing throughout the journey and how she mitigates them, and much more:
What motivated you to start Sikata Studio? Tell us about the underlying idea behind the venture and some of its most unique features.
I started Sikata Studio to pursue how far my creative muscle can be challenged and developed. I've always loved art and music, and Sikata Studio is a space where I can be both an artist as well as an architect. The challenge is finding the balance between being an artist and being responsible for the bottom line. Co-Founder Arch. Jayendra Rao and I come from different backgrounds and perspectives. While he grew up in Kuwait, I have South Indian Mangalorean roots, which fuel a unique aesthetic outlook. Our designs are organized, quiet, and courageous. We enjoy exploring and taking risks in design.
What are the different responsibilities you shoulder as the co-founder of Sikata Studio? What are your primary focus areas in terms of driving growth for the company? Throw some light on the most critical business challenges you face in your current role and how you mitigate them.
While Jayendra primarily focuses on the Business Development section of the practice, I shoulder the Design aspect. When it comes to driving growth, we focus on people management of both our creative employees and labor force. The core belief of our business is to provide top service to our clients while constantly striving for high-quality work that propagates a healthy influx of clients that come in through references.
"Studying the interrelation between people and the built environment is how i approach design"
There have been various challenges that I have faced throughout the journey. There has been the challenge of profitability that we mitigate by constantly upgrading our skills. Being a part of the architecture sector has also made me realize how much I don't know and how much more there is to learn in the architecture business. The challenge of creativity, the unceasing pursuit of creative problem-solving, and meeting my standards of architectural excellence and aesthetic sensitivity can be both exciting, and at times, crippling. To operate in a state of perpetual knowledge-seeking is the only respite.
How has Sikat Studio's growth journey been so far? Tell us about some of the key milestones achieved by the firm since its inception.
We have a unique model in place and also have an architecture practice with a Graphic Design vertical. We are also collaborating with the investment banker, IndigoEdge as well as the Founders of companies to help startups develop their pitch decks to raise funds. We have been designing decks that have collectively raised over $500 million. Apart from completing an Anganwadi, multiple interior design projects, and residential villas, we have recently partnered with a resort chain with branches in Chennai, Bangalore, & Rameshwaram, and are in the process of developing over 25 acres of resort projects.
Bangalore is known as a conducive city for startups. How has the city influenced your entrepreneurial journey? What would your advice be to young women and girls who also aspire to become business leaders and entrepreneurs in the future?
The startup space in Bangalore is crucial to our growth. At the inception phase itself, we partner with startups to create their brand identity and pitch decks, then take care of their office spaces, including both architectural and interior design services. Successful startups create a wealth of new jobs and more income for us. Successful CEOs would want to upgrade their lives, including new office spaces and houses.
The field of architecture practice is notorious for being sexist and is often viewed as a field of Great Men, propagating the notion of architectural masters. That view is changing with pioneering women like Zaha Hadid, Lina Bo Bardi, Anupama Kundoo, and many more. My advice for new architects would be to take more risks and develop a thick skin to overcome the pressures of the practice.
Roshni Shaheen, Co-Founder, Sikata Studio
Roshni Shaheen is a professional Architect with extensive experience in Architecture and Graphics Designing and is currently working as the Co-founder at Bengaluru-based creative design agency Sikata Studio. Before starting Sikata Studio, she worked for many Architecture firms, such as DP Architects and RSP Design Consultants as part of the core teams of various large-scale projects, such as 1MG mall, Infosys Noida, RMZ Galleria Bangalore, including many more. A passionate Architect, Roshni has completed her Bachelor of Architecture from M.S Ramaiah Institute of Technology and her Graphic Design degree from Florence Institute of Design International, Italy.
· Educational Qualification: Bachelor of Architecture from M.S Ramaiah Institute of Technology, Bangalore, Graphic Design from Florence Institute of Design International, Italy.
· Headquarter & Other Office Locations: Bangalore, Chennai
· A business leader you admire: Architect Santiago Calatrava