New Delhi: Walking into CEO Gautam Dutta’s cabin at the PVR Cinemas’ corporate office in Gurugram, one is immediately struck by the emphasis placed on movies and design. “We, as a company, are focused a lot on design. A part of our work involves designing cinemas and we think of spaces, colour, artwork and stories for our cinemas. In the same way, we thought of this office when it was being redesigned," says Dutta.

Dutta, 48, worked in the advertising agency Lowe Lintas for over eight years and left as senior director, brand services, in 2003. He recalls that one of the rooms in Lintas, popularly known as the white room, was largely designed in pastel colours—it was meant to help people think and ideate. Taking inspiration from this, Dutta’s present cabin is painted white too, with movie posters and sofas adding a dash of colour.

PVR Cinemas CEO Gautam Dutta in his cabin at the multiplex firm’s corporate office in Gurugram.
PVR Cinemas CEO Gautam Dutta in his cabin at the multiplex firm’s corporate office in Gurugram.

The PVR Cinemas office has trebled in size in the last few years. It houses over 300 employees and now covers almost the entire fourth floor of the building. On one side is Dutta’s cabin—well lit, bright and quirky, with a floor-to-ceiling window overlooking Cyber City’s incoming traffic. “It makes for a good spot to rewind after a tiring day. My cabin is where I do all my thinking, and all my meetings," he says.

Personal space: Dutta believes in an open-door policy—employees often walk in to discuss ideas. The cabin itself is designed to help ideas flow better by making people feel comfortable. “My brief for the room was that it needs to be open, it needs to be quirky," says Dutta.

The downside of an open-door policy, however, is that people sometimes interrupt his train of thought. The meeting rooms at the other end of the office come in handy in times like these. These have screens in front of each seat, and get their names from popular movies such as Godfather and Invictus. “But I mostly use my own room, especially early in the morning. I come in by 9am and people start trickling in around 9.45-10am. That 45 minutes is all I need to collect my thoughts and get ready for the day," says Dutta.

Dutta’s cabin is painted white, with posters adding a dash of colour.
Dutta’s cabin is painted white, with posters adding a dash of colour.

A solitary pillar divides the room into two parts—one houses bright and inviting-looking couches, a potted plant, a bookshelf for guests who might want to read while waiting, and a television screen. On the other side is his desk, with all the trappings of a typical corporate workspace.

Neatnik: Dutta’s desk is neat and uncluttered. Maybe this has something to do with the quarterly spring-cleaning session he has introduced —all the employees come to office on a Saturday, an off-day, and spend up to 4 hours cleaning and clearing up their desks.

Artwork: A company whose business is focused on films is bound to have movie-themed objects all around. Dutta’s room is no different. “We sanction artworks to new and upcoming artists and have them converted into posters for the open space, for our rooms, our yearly calendars, and, later, also for our movie halls," he says. There are two movie-themed calendars in Dutta’s cabin—one features iconic films, and their reviews, while the other is on popular Hollywood stars. The artworks are changed every few months, with the older ones being used in regional offices and new multiplexes.

The cafeteria has the look and feel of a snacks kiosk at a PVR multiplex.
The cafeteria has the look and feel of a snacks kiosk at a PVR multiplex.

Perks of the job: The cafeteria has the look and feel of a snacks kiosk at a PVR multiplex. The menu is usually a corporate lunch, but sometimes there are tastings for snacks which, once approved by the food and beverage team, are introduced in theatres across the country. The same concept extends to office chairs—the larger office space has several bright red chairs, somewhat similar to the ones you would find in PVR multiplexes (they are non-reclining). “I use these for casual meetings and chats, and if they are found to be comfortable, they are sent for production and then introduced in PVR theatres. Think of it as us testing them out. If we find them comfortable, then our audiences can as well," says Dutta.

The Work Tour is a series which looks at how people are engaging with office design and how it impacts their productivity and positivity at work.

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