Creating the Artful Home With Raseel Gujral

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For Raseel Gujral, business and creativity runs in her genes. With brands like Casa Paradox, premium furniture line, and Casa Pop, a home furnishing line, Raseel, as a designer, has stunned as everytime.

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Raseel, daughter of eminent painter, Satish Gujral, never needed to be introduced to art separately. Her parents were actively involved in everything related to art and exhibition. Delving on her childhood, she says, "We were always a part of it. My father had an in-house studio and I have no memory, which is not related to some form of art. Artists, dancers, theatre people were always integral part of our life.

When my father used to go to the factory to work on ceramics, I tagged along with him." Raseel has been running the business, an architectural and interior consultancy, for past 25 years with her husband, Naveen Ansal.Their roles are clearly divided in the company; he is the business head and Raseel is the creative head. She had launched her luxury furniture line, Casa Paradox, in 1995.

Four years ago, she also started a graphic collection, which was just on canvas. She also has her own fashion line, Casa Pop, Gujral shares, "Since Casa Paradox is our premium brand of luxury furniture; we created Casa Pop, which is more price friendly. Here, we do fashion accessories like bags, laptop bags, scarf, pashmina and there is a whole accessory range as well as furniture, wallpaper and fabric."

Talking about the choices she made in her career, Gujral adds, "I love space, beauty and products. It started with interiors, later I entered the furniture space, architecture and even product design, then into graphics and we are continuing that journey."

Delving more on any further extensions, she is quick to add, hospitality. Raseel works on a project basis, and right now her hands are full with 10 such projects. Her client list includes, Bennet & Coleman, Jindals, Munjals, Inox Group, Navjot Singh Sidhu and many more. Sharing her constraints as a designer, Gujral says, "We are not keen on expanding too much as we don't want to compromise on creativity.

For retail, you have to spend a bomb and to recover money; you start chasing the market and as a result compromise on creativity. It does not really justify." Announcing expansion of Casa Pop, which is a smaller format, targeted at the masses, Gujral says, "We are franchising it and are getting into shop-in-shops as well." It will soon be opened in cities like Hyderabad, Ahmadabad and Pune.

(This article was first published in the November issue of Entrepreneur Magazine. To subscribe, click here)