Ponni M Concessao: An Archetype Of Early Childhood Dreams & Master Plans

Ponni M Concessao,Principal Architect

Ponni M Concessao

Principal Architect

It’s never too early to dream about your career! In fact there is no magic pill that can transform a person into an entrepreneur instead, it takes boundless enthusiasm and newfangled ideas to make a difference in the world. For some the dreams and aspirations to build a great career sprout-up at early childhood and goes-on for years till they actually bring them to fruition. One such entrepreneur with unbridled ambitions and passion since her childhood is Ponni M Concessao(Principal Architect, Oscar & Ponni Architects). Back during her school days itself, she had concocted a master plan of her career with different time frames of life and milestones in her mind. She knew pretty well that she wanted to evolve as an architect and could never imagine doing anything else. Today, she takes utmost pride in achieving her long-standing dream and outclasses as one of the most renowned architects in India!

Let’s delve into the inspirational journey of Ponni! Post her schooling at Church Park Convent (Chennai), Ponni plunged into National Institute of Technology (NIT), Tiruchirapalli to pursue architecture. In the late eighties, she was the first girl student to choose architecture at the undergraduate level at NIT. Subsequently, she went-on to New York to pursue her Post Graduation in architecture at Cornell University and Harvard University. It was while working for Edward Barnes and John Lee Architects, she imbibed great international work experience across diverse, large-scale global projects. Yet, Ponni was infused with intense dreams and a large master plan that involved returning to India and building our nation through her entrepreneurship ideas. She ardently believes that every Indian is a nation builder regardless of his/her scale of work, and also it is imperative to work with a pure heart devoid of expectations of rewards. Moreover, her international education and work experiences have edified her that it is our duty to uphold and build India’s ancient values, despite any challenge.

Ponni’s Brainchild
It was in 1996 Ponni moved back to India, and laid the foundation for her firm Oscar & Ponni Architects along with her husband & architect Oscar Concessao. At this firm, she spearheads projects right from absorbing the brief from client, visiting sites that influence concept generation, design presentation till design development, and ultimately monitoring buildings built under specific time frames. In fact, she draws paramount inspiration from nature, historical context and the infinite cosmos, besides client’s brief, site conditions and contextual factors. While
vesting deeprooted trust in contextual architecture, Ponni also believes in amalgamating technologically allied designs with elements of Indian heritage, sustainability and contextual factors. Moreover, on a personal level, teachings of Adi Sankara, the Vedas and global & Indian women leaders in business politics and social services are her biggest sources of inspiration.

With specializations in Urban Design, Architecture and Interior Design Ponni’s Oscar & Ponni Architects undertakes projects such as institutions, hotels & resorts, IT parks, government building complexes, housing projects(100+ acres), luxury homes and all types of commercial projects. Across all these projects spanning 99 cities of India & abroad, the primordial focus of her firm is adhering to Green Building norms and promoting sustainable architectural design. Ponni adds, “It is now we have to take the responsibility of making our cities not only smart, but also sustainable, and can no longer afford to hide behind our designs and desks. We ought to integrate construction technology with effective planning, besides adopting affordable housing”. Oscar & Ponni Architects has also been involved in the PM’s Pradhan Mantri Awas Yojana, and constructed noon-meal centres, toilets for under privileged girl students as well as schools for Leprosy afflicted patients.

While vesting deep rooted trust in contextual architecture, ponni also believes in amalgamating technologically allied designs with elements of indian heritage, sustainability and contextual factors

An Exemplar Of Inspiration!
Speaking of challenges, Ponni faced many, especially gender bias for hailing from the construction industry. Yet, she overcame them with extreme support and encouragement from her parents, spouse and son. Intrinsically a workaholic, she spends most of her time at officeand at challenging construction sites, while also spending quality time with her architect son Rahul M.C. To stay abreast of the latest innovations in materials, automations and technologies in architecture, Ponni attends international architecture conventions, exhibitions & events, besides discussions on pressing topics. Further, she regularly mentors students and young architects by being on the thesis panel of Anna University & others, and also on the Governing Council of some universities. Adding to her wall of fame are her keynote speeches at several national & international conferences on the current state of architecture and role of women architects in India.

For The Budding Women Entrepreneurs:
“Capacity, energy and passion are the key factors to a successful entrepreneurship. The power of conviction on a right idea, determination, positive thinking and never letting men decide anything for you are the parameters of success for women. Avoid naysayers, identify your weaknesses and eliminate them. With the right amount of patience and perseverance, you will be able to succeed!”

Ponni M Concessao, Principal Architect, Oscar & Ponni Architects
A highly experienced architect, Ponni currently stands as the beacon of inspiration & support for her firm - Oscar & Ponni Architects, which has bagged 114 International, National & State Awards for Architecture & Interiors.

Favourite Pastimes: Reading, Travelling To International Heritage Sites, And Oil Paintings On Hindu Spirituality Theme, Wherein Some Of Them Were Exhibited To Raise Funds For Leprosy Eradication.

Favourite Cuisine: South Indian Food & Tandoori

Favourite Travel Destinations: Temples of India, Angkor Wat, Pyramids of Egypt, Chateaus of France, Castles of Italy, Institutional & Historic Buildings & Palaces of the US, and Cathedrals of Russia & England.