Gallopper Talks 2017 – A Report

On Friday March 3rd, 2017 Architects, Engineers, Designers, Businessmen, Professors, turned up in large numbers to witness the first Gallopper Talks in Navi Mumbai at the auditorium of LTIADS (Lokmanya Tilak Institute of Architecture and Design Studies). It was brought to Navi Mumbai by Gallopper in association with LTIADS. Gallopper Talks is a series of inspiring talks centred around urban issues, construction and sustainability.

The main intention of Gallopper Talks is to push the Building and Construction industry forward, by embracing change and innovation, and fostering greater collaboration across the sector. As technology opens up new worlds of once-unthinkable opportunities, Gallopper Talks seeks to bring together national industry thought leaders and change agents for a high-impact, collaborative event and to deepen the attendees’ understanding of unprecedented power and possibilities now available to those who design, build, operate, maintain, plan and trade in this vital industry.

The line-up during the evening consisted of noteworthy speakers from different areas of the industry, each one incredibly passionate about the cause he/she champions. These accomplished speakers shared their experience on their journey to excellence, talking about their challenges and endurances in the hope to inspire more individuals from the audience to walk the paths that is their true calling.

The talks opened with introductions by Co-founder of Gallopper, Parthajeet Sarma, followed by four back to back scintillating talks. Technocrat MayuriNaik, spoke about Bridging the gap between Design and Technology in Smart Cities. She is Founding Partner at Gaia Smart Cities. Mayuri Naik believes in the power of technology to improve and provide affordable and sustainable lifestyle experiences, besides a love for people interactions across cultures. Her talk was followed by Structural Engineer and Restoration Architect Chetan Raikar who enthralled the audience with his narrative on the Recreation of Wagh Mandir in Morvi, Gujarat following the huge earthquake that had shattered the structure in 2001. The audience were awe struck,  watching the transformation of the structure in a short span of 4 years.

Following Chetan Raikar, Hrishit Shroff President, Environment & Biotech Business and Corporate Services at Excel Industries Limited moved the audience with their innovation on Sustainable Waste Management. Interestingly Hrishit successfully completed his Chartered Accountancy from The Institute of Chartered Accountancy of India in the year 2005 and during his course, he articled with two of the leading accounting firms in India namely – Arthur Andersen & E&Y, giving it all up to lead India to become a waste free country.

Finally it was time for Architect Malak Singh Gill, to deliver a crisp talk on Practicing Sustainable Architecture. Malaksingh Gill is a Mumbai based architect practicing architecture inspired by local traditional building materials, construction techniques and crafts since 1999. Inspired by the work of Padmashri Architect Shri Laurie Baker, Malaksingh went to Kerala to work in his organization COSTFORD. Having worked at various levels; as a designer, an engineer, but most importantly, as a mason, he decided to learn from the crafts persons and from buildings made in villages.

As afternoon turned into dusk, the mood changed from curiosity to wonderment and awe. The programme was well appreciated by the audience.

This was the 5th edition of Gallopper Talks, which have been very successfully held in Mumbai, Pune and the North East since March 2015. The topics have ranged from cultural comparisons in architecture to skill development to architectural solutions for urban issues and much more. Each Talk is carefully rehearsed and the speaker given 15 minutes to share his perspective of the industry with the audience. This is then followed by networking and interactions across the board.

Gallopper Talks is the flagship programme of Gallopper, an organisation which was founded in mid-2014 by Architects Sibani Chakravarty Sarma and Parthajeet Sarma, both alumni of the prestigious Sir J J College of Architecture, Mumbai, after their respective experience of nearly two decades (each) within the realms of Design and Construction, based out of Mumbai.

Gallopper was born from the strong belief that to meet challenges like “Housing for all by 2022” and others, the building and construction industry needs to ramp up capacity building. And one of the most efficient ways of building capacity within an existing system is to collaborate, something that is lacking in the industry with professionals working in silos. Given the lack of an ‘open innovation’ approach, over time the building and construction industry has also suffered from a ‘lack of innocence’ image, and operates in seemingly shades of greys. This, despite the crucial role it plays in nation building, contributing 8% to India’s GDP. By highlighting success stories, Gallopper today provides a platform for professionals to learn and to collaborate, with industry stake-holders. The side effect of this is a ‘feel good’ image of the industry.

Gallopper Talks is now recognised as a programme of inspiration and knowledge sharing in different domains of the built environment. It facilitates collaboration and networking among academia, civil society organizations and professionals from disciplines like architecture, engineering and construction management – who are engaged with development and urban issues. Gallopper, with its eye on the construction industry has thus been able to bring to fore, through the talk series, issues that matter.

Since its birth in mid 2014, industry behemoths like Godrej Interio, Hafele, Shapoorji Pallonji Real Estate, Pidilite Industries, Berger Paints, NKGSB Bank, Network Media-Aquascript, Ambuja Cements, AccessWork, Box8, have supported initiatives of Gallopper in various ways like sponsorships and other forms of partnerships.