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Go the Extra Mile

June 30, 2017

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Val Interiors is an Interior Architecture firm founded in 2009. They provide interior design/ interior architecture and conceptualisation services, along with implementation, project management and procurement. As part of our Build’s Industry Elite series, we interviewed the firm’s the owner and director Tebogo ‘Tebby’ Modisagape to learn more.

Val Interiors has over the years provided these services to large, renowned corporations, parastatals, retailers and numerous homeowners. They have become one of the top interior architecture firms in the country, with a long list of happy customers and a second branch in the northern part of The Republic of Botswana in Francistown.
This is due to the firm’s diligence, professionalism and creativity in creating spaces that reflect and represent their clients; be they retailers, corporates or private citizens’ homes. Using their skills and resources to deliver the best results, Val Interiors creates living and working spaces which inspire a pride of ownership for all their clients and occupants.
Tebogo Modisagape reveals how long the firm has been established for in the industry and what changes the firm has seen over the years. She also explains the key factor to the firm’s success and adds her thoughts on the best way to manage their staff.

“In the built environment sector, a major shift has been a focus on green building to conserve and protect the planet. This is a cause which we have embraced. As both the firm’s founder and director, I am also the executive council member of the newly established Botswana Green Building Council. We are shifting to incorporate green, sustainable materials and energy into our design. We have built a network of suppliers who prioritise being green in their production, as well as those offering products intended to limit their impact on the environment. We continually educate our clients about green matters and push them to go in this direction where possible.

We continually strive to do better for our clients. This includes negotiating the best prices for them, keeping our own professional fees as competitive as possible and seeking out the best suppliers of the highest quality furniture possible. It includes maintaining the highest standards of design for our clients, by keeping abreast of design trends and technologies; plus, quality checking and reviewing our own work, ensuring that it exceeds expectation and provides value for money.

Val Interiors counts its staff as our most valuable asset. We try to find out the qualities, strengths and weaknesses of each staff member, so we accommodate or nurture them in a specific way. All staff members are encouraged to be proactive problem solvers, who take initiative and make decisions independently, for the good of the firm. The main objective here is to nurture designers who think creatively and entrepreneurially, who are assets to the firm and who will contribute positively in any other professional endeavours they pursue.”
When undertaking a new client or project, Tebogo reveals the approach the firm uses to ensure the best possible outcome, plus what sets them apart from other companies in the industry.

“Customer satisfaction is the main objective for every project, so we consider their needs, tastes and preferences so we can create designs that suit them. For successful interactions with clients, we regard professionalism as the cornerstone, with emphasis on time, adequate and clear communication. We maintain a professional, yet friendly approach to interacting with all our customers, which aids the successful completion of all projects. We pride ourselves in going an extra mile to assist clients, this is due to passion that comes with our professionalism and hard work.

“We are continually innovating and improving our services, which is the foundation of our success. Offering the best possible service is what we strive to do; indeed, we have earned a reputation for doing exactly that. This premium service is of course provided at the competitive possible cost to the client. This approach to business is what sets us apart from the competition.

“We also go above and beyond the call of duty to provide the best service to our clients. We pride ourselves on blowing our clients minds, by exposing them to designs and elements they did not know they wanted. We inspire their dreams and visions for their spaces, unlocking their full potential.”

Within the wider industry, Tebogo explains how they impart their expertise, plus adds the firm’s overall aims and the strategies they employ to achieve these.
We remain actively involved in the growth of the built environment industry, as well as the design space, in several ways. As the owner and director of Val Interiors, I am also the current President of the Botswana Institute of Development Professions (BIDP), an executive council member of the Botswana Green Building Council (BotsGBC) and the founding member of the Botswana Interior Design Association (BIDA).

“I am also a quality services member of the Botswana Tourism Organisation (BTO) and the Regional Director of the Pan African Chamber of Commerce, Southern Africa. These commitments involve speaking publicly at events, and sitting on committees and contributing to discussions on how to make changes in the industry. I am also passionate about entrepreneurship, by attending the Global Entrepreneurship Congress in South Africa and other such events.

“Our overall aims are to be an enduring business that continues to provide quality service for years to come. To achieve this aim of surviving and growing, we will continually reinvest our profit in assets for the business, to build capacity and profitability. We always hire and train employees to the highest standard possible, whilst also encouraging their leadership growth so they can help grow the firm.

“We also aspire to achieve more meaningful success, by advocating for green building and design. This is an effort to help save the planet, which we are proud to pursue, because it benefits future generations.”

Tebogo then spills the beans on the firm’s most successful project to date and how their innovative solutions contribute towards their success.

“Our most successful project to date is working on the boardroom refurbishments of The Republic of Botswana’s Ministry of Investment, Trade and Industry. Our work here surpassed the client’s expectations, indeed their procurement team made it possible to ensure that we delivered the highest quality level of design possible. Communications, transparency and quality control were the key factors that made this project a success story.
“We also attend exhibitions and keep abreast of world design trends. Every client is unique, so we design innovative solutions that stand out. I believe that helps to maintain our success in the built environment industry today.”

In closing, Tebogo enlightens us on her future aspirations for the firm.
“We are not ashamed to work with other designers, we love collaborations; they broaden our way of thinking so we grow as individuals and collectively as a firm. We are working on a consortium with other built environment professionals, in a mixed-use development project, which will take us five years to complete.

“We are young designers who are passionate and work hard towards changing the landscape of the built environment. We have a rich culture and we want to incorporate different cultures in our designs and sell it to the rest of the world.”

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