During the lockdown, nine strangers from around Tamil Nadu with a background in architecture and civil engineering got together to make the industry more approachable to the native population. “It all stemmed from our shared belief that progress is when we think global and act local,” opens Kaushik Shrinivas, the founder of MAAVILAI—previously Agazhi (we’ll get to that story in a bit). 

Kaushik studied architecture in Chennai and pursued a career at COSTFORD (Centre of Science and Technology For Rural Development) in Trivandrum at Kerala. It came as no surprise that his passion for sustainable architecture and innate desire to be socially responsible only intensified out of the experience. 

When the pandemic struck in 2020 and he was forced to return to his hometown in Chennai, the fire in him did not die. It burnt with more vigour. He took his laptop out of his bag and opened a fresh word document. The sound of rapid clicking enveloped the silence of his room as the blank white sheet slowly transformed to house his deepest thoughts and ideas towards making architecture and sustainable building more accessible.

“In a couple of days, I had a brief ready with the goals and objectives of the new company,” Kaushik recollects, “My next…

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