Life gives us only two ways to live – some passionately chase their goals and live an accomplished life – some prefer blaming adversities for their inadequacies. Life at different stages gives everyone plentiful opportunities to fulfill our desires. While most of us fail to perceive the chances and take necessary steps, we also have a sparse example like Divya Rastogi – a housewife turned successful entrepreneur who built a shining career despite the unfavorable condition.
Divya was leading the life of a perfectly comfortable housewife before the career bug bit her at the age of 42. With her elder son off to college, she had time for herself, and that is when she thought of giving her passion for interior designing a chance in 2004. Fast forward to 2020 – Divya is a leading interior designer in the office space with over 250 multinational offices under her belt.
“I just wanted to do something, but I did not have any professional degree. Since I had always been interested in interiors, I thought why not give interior designing a shot. I enrolled myself into a professional course and started attending classes along with students half my age,” Divya told KenFolios about her journey.
Divya takes turnkey interior designing projects, and her forte has been the Indian offices of large multinational magnets. Her clients include brands such as Olympus, Kone, William Grants & Sons, Abbott, Panasonic, Corus, Toyota, to name a few. From designing big corporate offices to warehouses, service centers to huge professional kitchens, she does everything. She does boutique offices like the recent Ducati office in Aerocity Delhi to warehouses as big as 40,000 sq ft. She takes bare office spaces and turns them into aesthetically designed, functional ready-to-move offices.
On being asked how her journey has been so far, she is quick to add, “Hard work always pays, and it did for me too. I have worked with the best in the industry, did some very challenging office spaces, and I definitely can’t be asking for more.”
Having started a little late in life, Divya says she had to work doubly hard. “I come from a very traditional family so there was a lot of juggling that I had to do between my family duties and my desire to carve a career for myself. I used to finish my household work and study along with my younger son. I had to burn the midnight oil for many long years, but of course, I don’t regret it at all.”
What is also very surprising is that Divya never spent a penny on marketing or promotion. Work came to her purely by word-of-mouth and references after people saw her designs. When asked about her success mantra, she proudly explains, “There is no short-cut to success. I like designing and planning each of my projects with my hand. I like giving my work my personal touch, though my team, of course, executes it, I visit sites and take notes at every stage. Also, my greatest USP has been timely completion with an eye to details and that’s the reason why my clients give me repeat projects.”
On parting, Divya reiterates there is never a right age to start. Anytime can be the best time and she has lived by this all her life.
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