In a three-part series ‘Home @ Work’, we feature three women-led teams that do great work in unusual settings, with open spaces, plants and an emphasis on mindful living. This is part two.
WHO’S THE BOSS: Aleya Sen, co-founder, Chrome Pictures
WHAT ARE THEY: Award-winning ad production house, one of India’s top three
WHERE THEY WORK: In a uniquely designed soul-soothing space in Mumbai
Born in Delhi, and having worked in the capital before she moved to Mumbai, Aleya Sen was used to the idea of open spaces and green surroundings. “I wanted to replicate that in Mumbai in my own capacity so my office space had to be open, positive and welcoming,” says the renowned ad filmmaker and the co-founder of the award-winning film production firm, Chrome Pictures.
Aleya’s parents set a high bar for Aleya to follow. Her father was the vice president executive creative director of JWT, and her mother served as a member of the Ministry of Industrial Foreign Trade.
As a child, Aleya was trained in classical music and Odissi dance. She graduated in fine arts from Delhi College of Arts, and then followed her calling in advertising.
Over a decade later, she had made some of India’s most memorable television commercials and campaigns for some of the biggest brands, from Godrej to Kaun Banega Crorepati to McDonalds.
In 2004, Aleya, along with Amit Sharma and Hemant Bhandari, established Chrome Pictures, a production house that now also makes music videos and has ventured into a full-length Bollywood feature film (it is scheduled for release later this year). They have won several awards along the way, including at Cannes, New York Film Festival, and International Film Festival of India.
Aleya, who is also the co-founder of the NGO Phool Versha Foundation, was instrumental in setting up the firm’s new office in Andheri. Designed by Santosh Barmola of Straight Line Designs, Aleya was sure she wanted the workplace to be as environment-friendly as possible.
“Our nature of work is such that, at shoots, all kind of wastage happens by default, and it’s our responsibility to control it as much as possible. We’ve made it a policy to plant trees at every outdoor shoot. At office, our initiative has always been to recycle and to go paperless as much possible. We have a no-littering policy at shoots; if that means installing a litter box every 10 feet, then so be it.”
Aleya was also sure she wanted plenty of fresh air and daylight at her workplace. “Since our nature of work isn’t time-bound, it tends to have ill-effects on our health so our work atmosphere makes a lot of difference,” she says, adding that no junk food or aerated beverages are served in the office. The standard snack menu at shoots is fresh salads, fruits, nuts, and fresh juices.
Yoga classes are conducted daily in the office for the 60-odd employees. “A happy, healthy unit will not only result in reinforcing professional rewards but it also provides a secure haven for its staff members, encouraging them to live longer, happier and fuller lives,” says Aleya.
She hopes that the re-designed interiors of the office space will encourage “free flowing creativity, productivity, unity, camaraderie and encourage better and healthier lifestyles.”