Building a home is the second largest transaction in an individual’s lifetime, and indeed the longest one. This comes with great deal of involvement at the consumer’s end. However, in India, the construction industry is very much unorganized and the experience in most cases is unpleasant.
Two years back, I was building my house.It started as a joyful journey filled with excitement and learnings, but gradually turned into a painful experience. There were myriad of issues popping up at each stage of construction - Which materials to buy, in what quantities to buy, where to buy from? There was no single platform where we could go for the solutions.
We had to spend hours doing online search and research, and scroll through several home magazines. There is too much theory everywhere but no implementable advice. Few months later, I came in touch with Mr. Puneet Dalmia, the MD, Dalima Cement Bharat Limited. He was renovating his house at that time and his experience was equally worse.
You can imagine that if a person like Puneet, who is such a big name in the building materials industry, had to face such problems with all his resources, what would be the extent of pain that a regular consumer faces. It was then the idea of solving this problem for the regular consumer came to our mind, and Buildzar was born.
In a matter of 4 months, we Buildzar has built a strong team of professionals from both consumer internet industry and construction industry. Thirty of the 75 people at Buildzar are from premier colleges like IITs and IIMs.
In addition, it has launched a full-fledged ecommerce platform of all building materials from structure to finish, with over 16000 SKUs, available in entire Delhi NCR through a network of over 250 sellers. To remove the existing information asymmetry, Buildzar has also created unique products like ‘Beztimate’— a construction cost, quantity, and timeline calculator and a store organised as per budget (Budget/Standard/Premium/Luxury).
This will provide the much-needed respite and complete peace of mind to the end builders through the ‘B-Sure’ guarantee, meaning which all deliveries are backed by quality & quantity guarantee and warranty from sellers. Finally, in order to instill confidence into the consumers’ mind, sending samples to their doorsteps before they make purchases was another step in the right direction.
In a matter of 4 months, Buildzar has clocked a GSV (Gross Sale Value) of Rs 3 Crores. The average transaction size is over Rs 20,000, which is unheard of in the e-commerce space. There is a phenomenal customer loyalty which is helping Buildzar to grow rapidly. Each customer has come back to us 8 times to make repeat purchases on the platform.
Buildzar is now focusing on construction execution and contractor management. By mid-December, it will launch a comprehensive platform for providing entire turnkey solutions in this domain which can be an important stepping stone.
It is also focusing on its effective marketplace model. The emergent startup plans to initiate and work on an innovative product based on reverse auction principles, wherein the sellers will automatically compete for business among each other.
Non-invoiced transactions and credit is rampant in the industry, and continue to be a problem. It is working on finding a solution to this as well.
The organization started with the idea to simplify consumers’ life while building a home. Buildzar may be the pioneering force in the future to become the de-facto platform for a consumer for all his home building needs and the largest demand aggregator for sellers & manufacturers. It also takes pride in the fact that it is built on the pillar of strong business fundamentals & ethics, which will go a long way in making it profitable in the next 4-5 years.
—Vineet Singh, CEO, Buildzar.com