Globally renowned Designer/Founder of The First Ferry
It would have taken many by surprise had Prateek Chaudhry not turned out to display a creative flair. The Globally renowned Interior Designer today was born into an artistic, free-thinking family. His grandfather published a popular Marathi newspaper and regularly hosted thinkers, poets, artists, and political leaders of the time. His mother, whose art has been featured in various magazines, always supported Prateek’s creative passion. When at the age of 12 he wanted to wear earrings, she designed his first piece of jewellery!
“My mother has undoubtedly been my strongest influence. But the creative spark and the business acumen you see now is also due to the family and upbringing I’ve had,” shares Prateek.
Growing up in the midst of stellar personalities influenced Prateek’s own non-conformist thought process. Ever since his childhood, he has never done things the conventional way. A happy MBA drop-out, Prateek started his career in advertising as a part of a film-making team. But the fleeting nature of the medium left him unsatisfied and he longed to create something permanent.
“Once while making an advertising pitch to a bank, I was randomly asked if I would design the interiors for a house.
Without hesitation, I said ‘Yes’,” recalls Prateek. That marked the beginning of The First Ferry – The Luxury Interior Design Studio headquartered in Dubai. Their first project was a two-bedroom apartment in the Burj Khalifa. Since then, The First Ferry has flourished and has designed several iconic projects, including the UAE embassy in Singapore, the A&L Hotel in Kenya, and several homes at the best location in UAE, UK, and India.
“My raison d’être is to create. I want us to be the go-to name when it comes to design. No effort is too much, nothing is impossible, because to be creative is to make things possible. This attitude is a rarity in our industry. Most architects aim to do just enough. We go out of our way to create unique features that blend practicality and exude style. That attitude is what defines leaders and visionaries in any field, and I believe we are on the right path to our ultimate goal,” shares Prateek.
Prateek understands that sometimes, skill alone is not enough, but the brand name speaks volumes too. And thus, he’s obsessed with building the brand. Many do not credit the importance of marketing but Prateek knew its significance and made it sure from day one that the in-house branding, PR and social media team have everything in place.
“We aim to contribute to the future of architecture and interior design industry. My most fervent prayer is to find an ideal fit-out partner who will be equally excited to try creative approaches, materials, and methods. We will certainly build our Taj Mahal one day. In the meanwhile, I am waiting to meet the contractor who will work with my vision and breathe life into it,” reveals Prateek adding that he goes out of his way to hold onto talented resources, sincere suppliers, and fair clients.
So immersed is Prateek in his creative vision, that for him, work is life. Prateek is committed to his work; his life force, and legacy are entwined with The First Ferry. Considering his business as a family Prateek explains, “Honestly, balance in business is a myth. I love what I do, it invigorates and enhances my life – I am empowered by my passion,”
When the pandemic struck, Prateek used the momentary lull to expand his horizons. “We have had the pleasure of crafting, creating, and curating some of the best home cinemas and gyms in the last few months. Some of our clients have called us in to complete long-pending renovations. Homes have become a hub of all activity and work. We have helped others by creating bespoke spaces – like a boutique, a restaurant – so that they could follow their passion,” says Prateek.
Elucidating his idea of recognition and rewards, Prateek sums up, “An accolade for me is when I see a client’s face light up when we deliver their dream. Or when I help an underprivileged person succeed. I carried the Olympic Torch for New Zealand, which is a reward for me. I am an MBA dropout, but many institutions have asked
me to teach architecture students, inspire them, and talk about real-life situations. I am also an honorary professor at Sri Sri University. Those are my accolades.”