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Evolution, Challenges And Relevance Of Omnichannel Amenities Platform For Gated Communities Amid Pandemic Gated community living is all about the luxury and privacy of a large home, quick and easy access to convenience, coupled with the safety and security of community living

By Apoorva Mishra

Opinions expressed by Entrepreneur contributors are their own.

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In 2018, Nikhil Gupta and Isha Patel spent about INR 2 crore on a three-bedroom villa in a gated community in Bengaluru. Three years later, the couple believe, beyond a shadow of doubt, that this has been their best investment decision so far: in more ways than one. Without batting an eyelid, they smile and reiterate the reasons behind their conviction.

The reasons go beyond the obvious: four luxurious bedrooms, a beautiful garden and terrace, and the community swimming pool, hi-tech gym and community centre that they have access to. What Nikhil and Isha love about their place of residence is the comfort of an integrated lifestyle and the ease with which they have been able to manage their day-to-day activities.

All amenities, a short walk or a click away

Gated community living is all about the luxury and privacy of a large home, quick and easy access to convenience, coupled with the safety and security of community living.

After a hectic work day, driving to a restaurant for 45 minutes to have a meal and driving back home exhausted is not a tempting proposition. Morning walks on highly polluted roads and grocery runs in crowded supermarkets are also common problems associated with modern urban living.

Gated community living having omnichannel facilities not only circumvents these issues smartly but also brings to the table a breath of fresh air, both literally and figuratively. Most of the community living projects nowadays offer conveniences, such as mini-groceries, laundry, eateries, pharmacies and more, on campus. All these amenities are just a short walk away or, in case of larger communities, just a quick drive away: in hassle-free and pollution-free environs.

Without a doubt, while people are enjoying these amenities, they have also realised that just having a badminton court or a swimming pool or a couple of other facilities won't do suffice. The focus now is on offering a more comprehensive lifestyle to community living, something that people living in a non-community model may not have access to. This is through setting up society managed apps or the omnichannel services.

Providing lifestyle of a resort

These apps bring conveniences like delivering grocery and vegetables within minutes of ordering from the community shop right at the residents' doorsteps. This convenience goes beyond just daily needs' shopping. For example, even if customers want any house-related infrastructural problems solved or require pest control, medicines or laundry services, it can be resolved easily and within minutes through the exclusive community app and store.

Society managed apps control the entire aspect of operations and delivery of service by providing end to end solutions. They own the service as much as possible and have a control over the service and engagement, making the service more accountable and responsible.

These service providers have also realized that it is important to merge the offline store with the online engagement in a seamless manner so there are no hiccups in the services received. Another requirement is that whenever convenient, people should be able to buy on the app. At the same time, it is important to retain a physical touch-and-feel shopping experience if residents wish to come out of their homes and walk to the store, because the traditional shopping experience will never go out of style. In addition, the channel must serve both planned and unplanned shopping needs, which means stocks should be monitored continuously and people to service the needs too should be on call hyper-locally.

In other words, these omnichannel service providers act as a concierge for every resident in the community and offer a lot of value-added services. If run efficiently, this will ensure a loyal customer base and in addition to giving them cost benefits, that can be passed on to the customers.

So, what are the benefits of omnichannels for customers? Apart from quick. turnaround time and reliable delivery, these service providers almost always offer better prices, higher quality and give the assurance that whatever the time or the need, the omnichannels are ready to service them.

This service has become particularly relevant and a blessing during the pandemic as it makes the apartment complex self-sufficient and self-contained thus reducing the number of interactions with external service providers. It acts as a mini mall that caters to the needs of the residents as much as possible and fulfils their needs in-house rather than residents stepping outside.

We believe that even after the pandemic is over, apartment associations will continue this convenient service. And the good news is that this model can be set up for almost all sized apartment complexes.

Apoorva Mishra

Founder and CEO, Dusminute

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