Tasneem Merchant / November 6, 2017
The destination for 29-year-old Zarir Aibara and Freeyan Neterwala, 36, may be the same, but their journeys so far have been as different as chalk and cheese. While the former worked in analytics and was keen on pursuing a career in finance, Freeyan was inclined towards the arts, the proof of which lies in her BFA degree in Graphic Design.
The torch bearers at Neterwala & Aibara, the interiors solutions firm founded by their mothers Sunu Aibara and Phirosa Neterwala, in Mumbai, agree unequivocally that learning on the job is the best way to grow. They both joined the studio four years ago almost simultaneously, through sheer coincidence. The young and ambitious pair share how they have already become an integral part of the company, their vision and what keeps them motivated and moving.
Freeyan Neterwala: I am inspired by everything I see. Every time I drive to office or back home, there are so many elements that you encounter, especially in South Mumbai. There is a set of pillars I see daily and they have such intricate detailing. I’m able to appreciate these little things thanks to my graphic design background. There is no set method or ritual when I start a project. I usually do a lot of research, scour through reference images till it sparks a greater idea. For me, key elements that go into a solid client presentation – colours, materials, textures – matter a great deal.
Zarir Aibara: You feel the pressure when your parent is also your boss. There is actually a bit of both – comfort of having your mother with you but also the drive to prove your worth in the office. The eventual goal is to make their work lighter by taking on greater responsibilities.
My dream project would be to envision the inside of a yacht, private jet or a car. Interior design applies to areas beyond the house and office too, and I’d love to explore untapped and new opportunities.
Photography by Pulkit Sehgal, Produced by Anchal Kaushal