Society

The glow of success

The lighting of the 10 minarets of Al Masjid al-Nawabi in Medina was done by Sajeeb Koya's company 3 S Lighting.Photo: Special arrangement   | Photo Credit: Special arrangement



Sajeeb Koya is a leading light in his field. And for the last few days, he has been glowing with satisfaction and happiness on account of a recent project he completed in Saudi Arabia. It was Sajeeb’s company, the Canada-based 3S, that completed the lighting of the 10 minarets of the Al Masjid al-Nawabi at Medina, which has been lit up beautifully for the holy month of Ramadan in the Islamic calendar.

“The work on potential projects at Mecca and Medina started almost five years ago. I was thrilled when I got a chance to present my products to the authorities of Holy Mecca. Several products have since been installed and tested for various applications. The first of the projects culminated after years of work as the lighting of the minarets for the Al Masjid al-Nawabi, a great honour for me personally as well as for 3S,” says Sajeeb, over the phone from Toronto, Canada.

Lighting up mega projects aesthetically and functionally is his area of expertise. From 1992 onwards Sajeeb, an electrical engineer from the College of Engineering, Trivandrum, chose to specialise in this field, “which remains my passion.” Since then he has been involved in several large-scale landmark projects in West Asia, ranging from architectural lighting, to lighting up of stadium, streets, highways, shopping arcades and bridge. “Right from my engineering days, I have been following developments in LED. I always had a passion for architectural lighting and wanted to set up my own firm where I would have the freedom to express my creativity using new technologies,” he explains.

From 1992 to 2001, he worked with GE lighting products in West Asia before shifting to Canada. 3S International Inc., his company, was established in Canada in 2001 to take up lighting projects in North America, West Asia and India. He adds that LED was chosen as the prime lighting source way back in 2001 itself, at a time when LED fixtures with real brightness were not commercially available. “In fact, the first LED project was completed in 2001 itself in Canada. We went on to develop a line of high-end commercial LED fixtures manufactured in North America or Europe. Since then, 3S executed several projects such as the Al Garhoud Bridge and Jumeirah Lake Bridge, a private majlis (residential quarters for women) at the top floor of Burj Khalifa, all in Dubai, and also in places such as Fairmont Hotel, Abu Dhabi, Princess Noura University, Saudi Arabia, Hilton Hotel, Hawaii, and so on.”

Over the years, his high performance products and creativity have helped their projects win several lighting awards in various categories.

But he believes that lighting the minarets at the Medina Mosque was his most challenging work. “We had to replace the traditional fixtures with LED lighting, which had to provide a uniform lighting and be visible from long distance. All the lights had to be installed under available fixtures and locations. Various lighting studies were performed and mock-ups were done out to arrive at the final design. Another challenge was to get the fixtures manufactured, shipped and installed in a short span of time to complete the project before the start of the holy month of Ramadan. We coordinated with our counterparts in Saudi Arabia and managed to get the installation completed well in time. The installation at Medina is a dream-come-true,” he says.

The former student of Arya Central School and Mar Ivanios College, who hails from the city, has opened branches of his company in Kochi (2007) and Mumbai.

“We completed many hospitality projects in India such as the Marriot, Ritz Carlton, Hyatt and so on. Several lighting packages were installed in various airports in India as well. We have also provided our expertise to several developers in India,” he adds.

He says that on mega projects, they try to stick to the effect the client wants to have in the matter of lighting. But in some cases even the concept has to be derived by them as the client may not have a clue about lighting. “Many times it’s a really big decision for clients to make up their mind whether to use simple warm colours or cool white colours (shades of white) or use colours at all. We design the lighting layout and come up with renderings to give the client an idea of the effect that could be achieved. Lighting designers are also involved in many new assignments. In that case our work would be to provide suitable fixtures and tools to achieve the lighting concept of the lighting designer. When lighting designer is involved in a project, he / she would decide the colour schemes. In projects where there is no lighting designer involved, we take the role of lighting designer as well. Fayas Babu, our regional head in West Asia and India, is the go-to person.”

The technopreneur sees his job as a part of embracing new technologies in lighting and offering the state-of-the-art products.

Married to Sabitha Sajeeb, who is also involved in 3S, Sajeeb hopes to get involved in projects in Kerala also.

Fact file

The Al Masjid al-Nawabi is a mosque that was established and originally built by the Prophet himself in the city of Medina in Saudi Arabia. It was the second mosque built in the history of Islam and is now one of the largest mosques in the world. It is always open, regardless of date or time.

Source: Internet

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Printable version | Dec 3, 2020 10:17:55 AM | https://www.thehindu.com/features/metroplus/society/The-glow-of-success/article14414660.ece

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