A self-taught interior designer and architect, Anjum Jung has over the past 25 years gone on to build an interior design brand in Bengaluru.
“Everything in my life has been a wild card,” says 49-year-old Anjum Jung, Founder, Morph Design, an interior design firm based out of Bengaluru, and sister of Prestige Group founders Irfan Razack, Rezwan Razack and Noaman Razack. Starting out in 1992, from the confines of her parents’ garage, Anjum today has manufacturing units in Hennur, and recently opened a 2.5 lakh sqft showroom in Malur. The 25-year-old venture employs over 300 people.
Initially, Morph did not have a manufacturing unit attached to it. As a result, every time Anjum would design a piece of furniture, she would have to hunt for manufacturers. This prompted her to start a manufacturing unit as well. From then on, there has been no looking back.
From books to the real world
A grey granite building next to Commercial Street in Bengaluru, The Falcon House, as the Prestige Group’s headquarters is called, stands as a testament to the company’s legacy. Taking a look inside the plush rooms and offices, one is bound to think that Anjum, as a sister of the Prestige Group founders, would’ve had it easy. “I have been lucky, and providence has been on my side,” admits Anjum. But the story she narrates is one filled with serendipitous moments and uncompromising hard work.
Wearing jeans and an oversized white shirt, sans makeup, Anjum exudes warmth as you watch her walk into a room filled with books and a table bearing sheaves of papers and plans. A smile and a confident handshake later, she is ready to field questions. Hailing from a conservative Muslim family, Anjum is the youngest of four siblings.
A volley of wild cards
“So, it goes without saying that I was spoilt and protected, and I received a lot of privileges that my brothers didn’t have,” says Anjum. During those days, her life revolved around her brothers, with encouragement from her father, she would travel and read. “My brothers and I are like buddies, and they have been my mentor and guide since the very beginning,” Anjum reminisces fondly.
And yet, when Anjum started up, she chose to work independently. After completing her B.Com, Anjum was at a crossroads–she knew that accounting and commerce as such didn’t appeal to her. So, when given a choice, she picked interior design. She describes getting into interior design–what she calls her first wild card–as jumping into the ocean without knowing how to swim. She says,
“I had no idea about lighting, furnishings, space, ergonomics, or anything that connected with interior design. But I was good at observing things and situations; it is my biggest asset. I would quietly be around my brothers, and with the platform that I had open to me in terms of the diverse work we’d done, I educated myself. Since books were something I always invested in, I bought the Time Saver’s Standards, a bible of sorts for students of architecture. It was my guide.”
Anjum started by manufacturing furniture from her parents’ garage. She got a team of carpenters from a friend who was shutting down his business. “I had no idea who was going to buy my furniture, but I had inherited 10 guys, and every week, I had to pay them salaries,” says Anjum.