Interview by Sakshi Aggarwal
Ms. Ajita Reddy is Director of Hamstech Institute of Fashion and Interior Design. She qualified engineer (B.E) in Electronics and Telecommunications also holds a degree in Business Management. She pursued her education from Osmania University and realized that her interest and skills lie in creating awareness amongst people through education.
During the time when correspondence education was at a very nascent stage, she started her first educational institute aptly named SCOPE (Study Circle of Postal Education) which was involved in training more than 3,000 students a year through correspondence for the external exams in various Graduate/PG and professional exams.
In 1992, seeing immense potential India has in the world of fashion and Interior industry, she started a specialized training institute named “HAMSTECH” that caters to the needs of aspiring Fashion and Interior designers. Over the years, with its growth, she launched two other creative courses - Jewellery Design and Photography which expanded the scope of learning for students. Today, Hamstech is one of the leading education providers in Hyderabad. The institute that she helms is the only institute recognized and affiliated with various leading universities both in India and abroad.
Keeping the institute’s momentum of progress, she added 6 more training centres in Telangana. She realised the vision of letting even the youth from the middle class and below to fulfil their dream to pursue careers in fashion and other creative domains. Her next leg of expansion was the adding of TheHlabel.com, a design portal that helps young designers to exhibit and sell their designs at affordable prices.
She has also been the Chairperson of FICCI Ladies Organization (FLO), Hyderabad chapter, the lady’s wing of FICCI (Federation of Indian Chambers of Commerce & Industries) with a group of 530 members, comprising entrepreneurs, professionals, corporate executives and homemakers.
Her objective for FLO has been to empower women with knowledge and skill building through educative seminars, inspirational talks, panel discussions and workshops at both member level as well as grass root level. She is presently the National Governing Board member at FLO.
She is the perfect example of the empowered woman and serves as an inspiration to much more in the country.
Hamstech’s courses have always been about creating the best stage to build, apply, upgrade and develop creative genius under the guidance of industry experts and mentors.
Ms. Ajita’s experience in the education sector
Our educational venture, Hamstech, started in 1992 as a well-conceived establishment that focused on providing creative education and opportunities for the youth to pursue prolific careers in industries like fashion and interior designing.
Ever since the beginning of the institution, we have stepped up our efforts to streamline and yet liberalize education. Hamstech’s courses have never been planned as an academic program. It’s always been about creating the best stage to build, apply, upgrade and develop creative genius under the guidance of industry experts and mentors. Of course, we too have learned a lot in the process of effective education through the years.
Talking about education in terms of a lucrative business may, in fact, be demeaning. To us, education is more of a sector that lifts the hopes and talents of a promising generation bound to build the future with creativity, knowledge and skill.
Significant challenges faced by Ms. Ajita as the Director of Hamstech Institute of Fashion and Interior Design
Rather than the competition from outside, our biggest challenge has always been to maintain our motto and instil the faith in the people about the potential that creative courses and the careers they lead to carry. Even harder a challenge is to keep the expectations high but realistic.
I personally had made a great deal of effort to make Hamstech a successful women-centric establishment that builds confidence and infuses a sense of independence into educated and ambitious women. I am glad I could contribute my part to women empowerment too. I am very fortunate to have a dedicated and talented team that has cooperated with me in realizing the vision of this institution.
Curriculum in Hamstech Institute of Fashion and Interior Design
The curriculum Hamstech are totally aimed at preparing students for the core industry they are supposed to join after the course is done. We train them with the best facility and guidance thinkable. Every course practically culminates annually into events like shows and sales, that involve students and engage them in real scenarios found in the industry.
We had started with Fashion Design and Interior Design, but in a matter of years added Photography and Jewellery designing to the academic verticals. Besides, mentors for each course vertical, who are accomplished professionals active and enjoying celeb status in the industry, give the exact right direction to students in their field. This naturally includes the aspect of best practices which is essential for building integrity along with a strong profile in an industry that always values honesty, hard work and true creativity.
Goals in your mind for Hamstech Institute of Fashion and Interior Design
For Hamstech Institute of Fashion & Interior Design, I make sure proper skills are imparted to ensure placements and entrepreneurship, thereby encouraging students to be a part of creative careers that hold interest.
Quality of education in Hamstech Institute of Fashion and Interior Design
Our certifications are recognised by top universities in and out of Hyderabad. Besides, the fact that celebrities like Neeta Lulla, Shabnam Gupta and Avinash Gowarikar associate with us and are in our advisory panel makes it clear that we are always looking at the upper limits of quality in education.
We also pride at having initiated a learning methodology that’s system dependent.
School culture at Hamstech Institute of Fashion and Interior Design
We give students the creative liberty but insist them on maintaining professional discipline and decorum. More than an elementary school discipline, we make them understand that even with all the creative freedom they are here to explore, they are still bound to maintain professional discipline. Thanks to the expert faculty with a lot of industry experience, the students get to know how to maintain positivity in the face of competition.
Ms. Ajita’s relationship with the students
There’s no tense environment or restrictions that we maintain in the institution. If needed, students are welcome to approach me about anything that matters to them. Thankfully, the team hierarchy and concerned departments address every need and concern of the student and when I meet the students occasionally, which I do, they share a great amount of satisfaction and enthusiasm of being in Hamstech.
Growth of students through placement opportunities available at Hamstech Institute of Fashion & Interior Design
We have a good record of over 6,500 students placed in various reputed brands and companies and over 4,500 students who took the entrepreneurial route. Behind these numbers is our association with many popular and promising brands such as UCB, Zara, Tommy Hilfiger, HomeTown, Shoppers Stop, Neeta Lulla, etc. for Fashion and IKEA, X-Axis Interiors, Prestige Interiors, Casagrand, Fountainhead Interiors just to name a few for interior design. This enables us to place our students in enterprises with high standards and repute.
The career opportunities we offer at Hamstech today may hardly be matched by any of our competitors. Our annual events like Hamstech Fashion Show and Interiyour Exhibition adds to the exposure that the students get in the industry. Currently, we have set our eyes on extending our academics to wider geographic boundaries. With hard work and streamlined efforts, we will soon get our students greater access to opportunities to work and excel on international stages.
Ms. Ajita’s philosophy of leadership and her leadership style
There is a saying that “a true leader is one who leads from the front and by example”. At the helm of this prestigious institution, I work by assigning great value to morals, hard work and our core vision.
I have never believed in anything apart from teamwork. So, you could say I am a leader who shares the same ground that the team works on and constantly try to align long and short-term objectives and activities with our organisational vision and motto, which is to deliver industry-oriented top-class training in creative industries like fashion and interior designing.
Suggestions for the current youth and the aspiring students
These are times when information is aplenty and media is immensely varied, especially digitally. There has never been a tougher time for the young generation to choose their life and career paths with all this clamour of conflicting and even misleading ideas and ideologies spreading like wildfire around us.
I’d urge the young generation to always look for inspiration and clarity of purpose within yourself first. Introspect and if creativity is your true call, build your life goals and strategies around it and ensure that you are clear and focused at every step forward in life.
I would also like to instil love and respect primarily to their parents and the country. A suggestion to have a goal plan would also be highlighted as I believe that if the goal is set, then the path is surely set.
We as a model institution always welcome you and present you with the most earnest advice and prospective career opportunities in creative industries.