There are many famous names in the Indian interior designing industry who have earned their reputations and fame in Vijayanagaram, a small town on the outskirts of Bangalore, Karnataka, India. Among these, there are Hitesh B.K., S.R.P., Ravi J.R. and Subodh Gupta to name a few. In recent years Vijayanagaram has seen a steady rise in the number of its resident designer neighbours.
The most prominent among them is S.R.P., which has four studios and six luxury houses in Vijayanagaram. The first notable designer to come up in the estate was Hitesh B.K., who started a furniture manufacturing business in 1980. He later opened his own boutique in Veli Village, where he lives today. Since then, a string of other designers have made their homes available as well.
A Veli Village resident designer is Subodh Gupta, a graduate of IIT Delhi who specialises in bespoke furniture. Before setting up his company in Vijayanagaram, he spent almost a decade working with international clients. “Vijayanagaram has given me a memorable experience and I would like to tell this story to other budding interior designers here,” says Subodh. “I started my small business in Veli Village after moving to this beautiful area. It has been a dream of mine to open a boutique in this posh locality.”
Another Veli Village resident is Subodh Sahoo, who has also studied architecture and designed some of the modern residential buildings in the region. “It is great to live here amidst nature and amidst the people,” he says. “We come to Veli Village just for short visits, but we always feel that we are making a better life by having an amazing environment to call our own.”
But not all residents in Veli Village and around Veli village in Andhra Pradesh are keen on the rich cultural life that the city offers. Some are even worried about the impact of globalisation on their livelihood. They are probably thinking about how to sustain their working-class existence, even if they move to some other part of the city or state, which has better employment prospects. That’s why the Veli Village resident designer Subodh Sahoo is pleased with the ambiance of the Veli estate in Andhra Pradesh: “It’s great to live here amidst nature and amongst the people. It is what we are used to, and it will help us in surviving the changes that are sure to come.”
Many people will be looking for the same thing, but many other residents might not care for it. An interior designer in Vijayanagaram, who goes by the name of RV Raja, is happy with the city’s safari options. “Life here is comfortable, and our designers never push us to go beyond our limits. The quality of our life is high because there are no unnecessary frills here, unlike in other cities.”
The Veli estate also provides opportunities to its residents to earn a comfortable living. “We have several designers in the city, and most of them come from the elite,” says Subodh. “But the best ones come from outside the city – from Mumbai or from the IT sector.” The Veli estate agent suggests that the best way to secure good work is through referrals from people you know and share with you.
This is one of the reasons that many Veli residents are eager to get in touch with an expert designer. One of the major drawbacks, however, is that the Veli area is isolated. The rest of Andhra Pradesh, and much of the Veli County, are a large and densely populated area with a large concentration of industries and service-oriented places. “You won’t find a designer here who practices new trends,” says Subodh. But then, what you won’t find in this serenely beautiful city is glitzy models or celebrity endorsements. It’s all about being yourself.