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Karen Karapetian: Challenging Conventional Practices and Prioritizing Client Needs for Business Success

kokou adzo

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Karen Karapetian

Interior design is the art and science of enhancing the interior of a space to achieve a comfortable and more aesthetically pleasing environment for the people using it. It involves a combination of creativity, technical knowledge, and a deep understanding of human behavior to create spaces that are not only visually appealing but also functional and conducive to the activities they serve.

At its core, interior design is about creating harmonious environments that reflect the personality, values, and needs of the inhabitants or users. Whether it’s a cozy living room, an efficient workspace, or a luxurious hotel lobby, interior designers carefully consider factors such as layout, lighting, materials, colors, and furniture to achieve the desired atmosphere and functionality.

In recent years, the interior design industry has undergone a profound transformation fueled by advancements in technology like virtual and augmented reality, a heightened focus on sustainability and wellness, the convergence of various design disciplines, including architecture and product design, a surge in demand for personalized solutions, and intensified competition among market players.

It seems that today’s lives of professional interior designers are becoming increasingly complex, as they must navigate the mounting pressure from artificial intelligence while also outperforming their industry counterparts by delivering sustainable, adaptable, and distinctly unique design solutions to their clients.

In this context, we’ve decided to share the remarkable story of Karen Karapetian, a successful business owner and architect, who has revolutionized the interior design industry by introducing his original and entirely unique business model.

Mr. Karapetian has been involved in the interior design industry for over 20 years. He earned his degree in architecture from the Ural State Academy of Architecture and Arts in the mid-2000s, but his professional journey had begun long before his graduation ceremony. Raised in a family of two talented Soviet architects, he absorbed an environment filled with reverence for art and creativity, laying the foundation for his future endeavors in interior design.

But it wasn’t just Mr. Karapetian’s inherited talent that made his professional success truly unprecedented; it was evidently a perfect blend of his entrepreneurial mindset, relentless pursuit of excellence, and artistic originality.

“Competition within the interior design industry is incredibly fierce, and simply providing high-quality service to your customers is no longer sufficient for success. You must distinguish yourself from your competitors, ideally identify an underserved niche, and tailor your offerings so that potential customers can immediately recognize the value they would receive by choosing to work with you,” Karen Karapetian shared.

Mr. Karapetian’s business model is genuinely exceptional and absolutely straightforward concurrently. His company, operating under the globally recognized brand name Alexander Tischler, has effectively employed a strategy aimed at filling market gaps by offering medium-segment customers authentic and unique design ideas at affordable prices. Setting themselves apart from competitors, they have adopted a comprehensive yet transparent approach centered on three key principles:

  1. All-in-One Solution: By taking charge of every aspect of the project—from logistics to furnishings and the design process itself—they ensure a seamless and enjoyable experience for the clients.
  2. Full Accountability: By assuming complete responsibility for the entire project, including financial liability for any errors on the designer’s part, they offer a form of protection for their customers—a feature that is rarely encountered in the industry.
  3. Fixed Estimate Concept: The main idea behind this concept is that upon final approval of the conceptual design from the client, they set the total project fee, ensuring that the customer’s ultimate cost remains fixed and cannot escalate during project execution, thereby providing much-needed predictability for budget-conscious clients.

In every project my company undertakes, our starting point is a thorough comprehension of our clients’ expectations including any timing and budget constraints, specific style and/or color preferences and, of course, their unique vision for the space. Our primary objective is to address what’s commonly known as the “Promise vs. Delivery Mismatch,” a prevalent issue within the industry Mr. Karapetian emphasized.

It is worth noting that Mr. Karen Karapetian is widely recognized as the pioneer of the Fixed Estimate concept within the global interior design industry.

“It’s been a common misconception within the industry that fixing the total project cost and assuming full responsibility for errors and misunderstandings on the designer’s part can significantly erode profit margins, if not eliminate them entirely for certain projects” Mr. Karapetian explains. “We’ve proven that it’s fundamentally wrong! Such offerings to the client have the potential to greatly enhance the value of our services compared to what competitors offer. They also justify our prices, which have historically been at the higher end of the medium segment. The additional margin we charge can be seen as a form of insurance for the client” he added.

Overall, Mr. Karapetian’s entrepreneurial success is a perfect example of how innovative thinking and a commitment to customer-centric principles can disrupt traditional industry norms and redefine standards of excellence, inspiring a new generation of business leaders to prioritize creativity, integrity, and client satisfaction in their endeavors.

Kokou Adzo is the editor and author of Startup.info. He is passionate about business and tech, and brings you the latest Startup news and information. He graduated from university of Siena (Italy) and Rennes (France) in Communications and Political Science with a Master's Degree. He manages the editorial operations at Startup.info.

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