Four R’s To Turn Hurdles Into Opportunities | Gurgaon | Wade Asia Special | Women Architects

Guneet Raj Singh

The pandemic situation in 2020 has certainly changed the way we lived and viewed life. Most aspects of our lives were greatly impacted. In this article, SURFACES REPORTER (SR) looks at how Guneet Raj Singh, owner of a small firm reinvented the COVID life. Guneet tells us her mantra that helped her through the pandemic well. She states four R’s for survival- Revive, Reimagine, Reshape and Resilience. This story is a part of SR's campaign in association with WADE ASIA where we invited women in Design to share their inspiring stories from 2020. 

Also Read: Success & Survival: How A Women Dared To Grow In The Lockdown

Guneet explains how she handled the pandemic situation which impacted her personal and professional using the four R’s. The lockdown was a shock to her due to the impact it could have on their business and a hindrance to their movement in general. She also tells us that 24th March 2020 was a celebration time for them as it was their child’s birthday. Although it was a risk that they took, they wanted their child to feel special. The evening was not something they could imagine. The lockdown was declared and they had no time to think.

Dealing with the aftermath

With the lockdown declared Guneet had to manage to get basic amenities as well as office stationery. After all, she states, her firm is her firstborn child. The next day seemed relaxing towards the beginning but as the evening approached it became frustrating. Guneet explains how seriously they understood the gravity of the situation. And they knew that paying their employees would be of utmost importance.

But with so much outflow and no inflow, the situation got difficult. Parallelly, she was also worried about her son’s education. Guneet describes her apprehensions regarding online classes for her son. She tells us that she wasn’t in favour of online lectures for her son as he was only four.

She explains how these difficult times helped her to explore new ideas. Luckily for her, the studio was close to their apartment. The space in the studio backyard helped them explore the sustainability and cost-effective solutions to a larger extent. Since time and adversity were on their side, Guneet decided to start a garden in the studio. The open space in the studio gave her the power to reimagine the possibilities.

Also Read: Spaces to Breathe: Finding Success Through the Pandemic

Her apprehensions about online tutoring for a young child of four years also made her opt-out of it. The choice was not a common one and made her feel like she was depriving her son. With her garden growing well, she also folded in the demands of her son to keep a chicken. This reshaped her belief in traditional education. She soon understood that she could use this to educate her soon as well!

The practical experience of watching seeds grow, playing with mud, gardening etc assisted their son as well as gave them new design ideas. In all, there were a few design ideas that she explored for being adopted.

Ideas included energy efficiency and sustainability, also emphasizing cost-effectiveness as a leading design factor.

The unlocking phases

Soon the construction works were allowed by the government. Yet the wait was long until the challenges were over. The next phase included huge expectations by the clients and low worker turn out rates. All this resulted in Guneets’s project not moving at the expected speed.

Also Read: Lets Find Out How This Lady Architect Managed to Grow Her New Venture in This Tough Pandemic Period

With time, labour was available and it was time to move out to answer clients. The covid fight for Guneet and his firm was yet awaiting more obstacles. Soon enough they got more clients.

In one such meeting, the next day it was discovered that the client that Guneet had met had tested positive. It was very scary in the beginning, Guneet tells. But with time it became common for them to hear such news.

There were many such incidents that occurred but Guneet took the path of the 4 R’s Revive, Reimagine, Reshape and Resilience.

Guneet’s story tells us how a different outlook in life can help us combat tough situations. She also reiterates that there is always a silver lining to the clouds.

Keep reading SURFACES REPORTER for more such articles and stories.

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