Ask Prateek Chaudhry about his life and you’ll be in for a lengthy conversation. He has done everything from advertising copywriting to being a tour guide and, to date, has lived in eight countries.
Since 2011, he’s helmed The First Ferry, an integrated design company he started after relocating from Auckland. “I moved here in 2008 to market nine Kiwi labels, including Nekta Juice and Snowy Peak. When I helped a friend secure a multimillion design contract, I decided to take my creative work into the luxury architecture and design realm.”
Now, about 45 staff are on Chaudhry’s payroll. Their work includes new builds, renovations and design everywhere from Afghanistan to the residences of royal families in Nepal and Abu Dhabi.
“We’ve just completed an automotive showroom in Uzbekistan, and are working on office fit-outs in India and Tokyo, and an apartment on the 55th floor of the Burj Kalifa.”
Chaudhry was also responsible for the interiors of the Dubai offices of advertising agency Bates CHI & Partners, where he once worked as an account director.
He regularly collaborates with interior designer and film producer Gauri Kahn – the wife of Bollywood star Shah Rukh Khan – and recently signed the lease on a factory in Germany which will produce his own line of furniture.
Mumbai-born Chaudhry says Dubai’s “design evolution” makes it one of the most exciting places on the planet.
“I work across several markets but Dubai is where the cutting-edge stuff happens. The political and social atmosphere makes it easier for innovative people to follow their own creative process.”
“I’d love to do some projects in New Zealand but I need to be in Dubai, where most of the world’s population is less than a five-hour flight away.”