Stephanie Bonduelle, managing director of Tétris, on how she got started in the property industry, her favourite film and book, the superpower she wishes she had and the historical figure she’d like to have met.
How did you join the property industry?
Love! I fell in love with a designer, we got married and we moved to the other side of the world to India, where we started our own design-and-build company.
What does your job entail?
I lead the Tétris business in the UK. I work with very talented people every day, on a variety of commercial spaces. Designing and building sustainable and inspiring places, where wellbeing and technology are at the forefront, is what we do best.
What do you like most about the property industry?
People! Behind every project, we meet incredible people.
And what do you dislike most about it?
The current carbon footprint of the built environment. We have to do better and we will. Seeing the introduction of the dedicated Built Environment day during COP26 is encouraging and a step in the right direction. I am confident good things will come out of it.
What would you change about the property industry?
We have to be more collaborative – from the way we work with each other to creating more collaborative spaces in the workplace and beyond. The way we work has changed forever and building connections is more important than ever.
What barriers or challenges have you overcome?
It is always a super-exciting challenge for me to get to know a new culture. I love to create a place where diversity and inclusion are the top of our priorities.
Getting to grips with a completely new way of working in India was quite a challenge.
On one project, for example, the design was to have exposed brick walls; we were so excited to reveal the space to the client and, instead, the contractor covered the walls with the most perfect finish. They just could not understand why we would want unfinished brick in the space…
So, communication and local understanding are key when working with different cultures.
What are you most proud of in your career?
Nothing in particular. I am proud of all my projects. However, I will never forget landing a global luxury brand as one of our first clients when we launched our small start-up in India. The fact that such a big client was willing to trust us was something of which I am so proud.
What do you value in people?
Respect, trust, forward-thinking – they are essential values in my eyes.
What advice would you give someone starting a career in the property industry?