YourOwnROOM - Re-defining the rental landscape of urban India

Date:   Thursday , October 20, 2016

Life as we know it today, has changed in myriad ways. Our wants, needs, opportunities and lifestyle choices have moved away from the traditional milieu. New ways of living life and new ways of working have translated into new challenges.

Traditional approaches to the way things were done are.... simply put......redundant.

If in the past, the primary considerations in choosing a living space was the cost, to the upwardly mobile discerning urban single today, the quality of life has taken precedence over the cost factor. Location and quality of the living spaces are prized above all since, in cities today, these two factors determine the difference between a fulfilling life and a mundane rat race like existence.

However, the biases in the minds of most homeowners towards singles has resulted in a very low supply of attractive living spaces being available to meet the overwhelming demand for the same, forcing these singles to compromise and settle for shabby accommodations in far flung locations. \"Sachin and I, during our corporate days, felt passionately about the need to improve the accommodation spectrum offered to singles in cities today. The horror stories of accommodation hunting we heard from friends and young single colleagues, coupled with the fact that hundreds of attractive apartments remained locked up in cities further strengthened our resolve to do something about the situation and thus was born the seed of the idea for YourOwnROOM,\" asserts Prabhat, CEO and Founder.

The entrepreneurial streak was strong in Prabhat even during his days at Stanford where his exposure to the best business practices combined with his operational expertise further strengthened his resolve to start something that would make a tangible difference.

This Bengaluru-based start-up is in the space of online managed rentals where there is end-to-end management for both the tenants and homeowners.

Focussed on revolutionising the way in which single room rentals are managed across the country, YourOwnROOM envisions being the most trusted brand in this space.

The old way- long and inflexible leases, expensive brokerages and deposits, haggling between landlords and tenants over rental payments and maintenance issues, claustrophobic and shabby PG accommodations in far flung locations with poor last mile connectivity.

The new way - the YourOwnRoom way - brokerage free cosy living spaces in safe and attractive neighborhoods with flexibility on lease period and reduced deposits, aesthetic furnishings and fittings and choice of convenient locations that reduce commute time and all this managed in a hassle free manner online by YourOwnRoom on behalf of the owner.

Creating a Win-Win Situation for Homeowners & Tenants Alike

There exists a huge demand supply mismatch in living spaces in urban India.

Traditionally, these singles have always found it difficult to find convenient and attractive accommodation options in cities because of the biases against them in the minds of most home owners.

On the other hand, home owners do not wish to hassle themselves with difficult tenants and solving their problems. So their attractive properties remain unrented and locked up earning them zero returns.

YourOwnROOM is attempting to bridge this gap and create a win win situation for these credit worthy tenants and anxious home owners.

\"We see ourselves as the answer to the prayer of discerning urban singles looking to carve a personal space for themselves in a city as also of every home owner looking for uninterrupted premium returns and quality profile tenants,\" states Prabhat.

Directing the huge demand for quality living towards the appropriate properties will create a market for this huge chunk of unutilized inventory. This, the company believes will contribute towards making investments in real estate attractive thereby covering the macro problem for developers as well.

The quality of its inventory in terms of the lifestyle it affords its tenants and the comprehensive end to end management of the rental process that it offers to homeowners and tenants alike, has been YourOwnROOM\'s USP since its inception.

Innovation at its Best

Access to internet and an increasingly transient workforce has translated into an upsurge in the searching of rentals online. Studies have shown that on an average, 88 percent of the people in the age group 25-34 would go online to search for rental properties.

Keeping this in mind, the company embraces a robust technology platform to fulfil its vision of being a one-stop-service provider for home owners and prospective tenants alike.

\"Innovative ideas are worthless without providing effective solution to real world problems. This is where YourOwnROOM has made a difference by providing a \'no hassle\' solution to a class of renters and home owners. As an NRI homeowner, I had an upscale experience in putting my Bangalore flat on rent using YourOwnROOM business model. This, compared to the traditional model, helped me maximise returns on my property and get a good night\'s sleep,\" says Ajit Dash, AT&T, Seattle, U.S.

Abhinash Mohanty an employee of Cognizant and a tenant says \"YourOwnROOM is a convenient way of looking at good rental properties. The team is easy to work with and the paperwork is hassle free\".

The Road Ahead

In India, it is still a largely unorganized sector with a huge scope for improvement. Its true potential has yet to be tapped in a professional manner. When asked what sets them apart from similar players in the market, Prabhat explained, \"While most players in this space merely list and help bring together homeowners and tenants on a common platform, end to end management has not been offered by many. Besides, we believe that it is the quality of inventory and service levels that will set us apart i.e., maintaining the standards in the living spaces we take on and consistently delivering good service\".

With clear future vision, YourOwnROOM has been surging ahead on a fast paced growth track month-after-month. Being extremely focused on expansion of a quality inventory before it goes full blown on the revenue numbers, today YourOwnROOM has over 100 tenants who are part of its community and plans to increase this to 1,000 in the next 18 months.

The company started operations in April 2016 and with the beta launch of its platform in June and the mobile launch of its app in October, YourOwnROOM is well on its way to becoming a comprehensive online service provider for managed rentals.

They have a mixed team of experienced and young minds who work in high tandem on a day-to-day basis.

Aiming to be among the top three online managed rental companies in India, YourOwnROOM intends to focus on two major cities for now - Bangalore and Pune, and then grow across Mumbai, NCR, Chennai and Hyderabad. To walk this dream, and take it to the next level, the company is at present looking to raise funds.

Key Management:

Prabhat Kumar Tiwary, CEO & Founder
A Sloan Fellow with a Masters in Business Management from Stanford Business School, Prabhat comes with over two decades of global operational experience in software product development, IT application services and digital technologies, having worked with organizations like Xchanging, Mphasis, Zensar and HP.

Sachin Joshi, Chief Product Officer & Co-Founder
The digital enthusiast Sachin holds over 16 years of experience holding key leadership and management positions working on Application and Platform development for large Technology organizations like HP/EDS, MphasiS, Cognizant and TCS. He has a deep interest in SaaS, Social Media, Social Analytics, Business Analytics, Mobility and Digital Payments.

With pollution and traffic being what it is in Indian metros today, the commute to work is often the determining factor for assessing the quality of urban life. Besides, the urban landscape has seen a major shift in the modes of working and living with the living space often doubling up as the workspace too. In this scenario the importance of finding a suitable accommodation can never be overemphasised. We are here to offer a technology enabled solution to this urban issue through YourOwnROOM which matches the right homes to the right tenant thereby creating a win win solution for homeowners and discerning tenants alike.
- Prabhat Kumar Tiwary, CEO & Founder

The residential renting space in India highlights the immense need of a disciplined approach to make the whole experience of house hunting seamless. YourOwnROOM Platform is a first step towards this. We are excited at the creation of our admin console which integrates sales and marketing functions with the customer data and requirements. Given the fact that over 65 percent of our prospective customer base access data on mobile devices, we are pleased to announce the imminent release of our mobile app.
- Sachin Joshi, Chief Sales and Product Officer & Co-Founder

There is a huge inventory of attractive living spaces in cities that has not been tapped into. I am excited that YourOwnROOM is solving this macro-economic challenge by directing this supply to meet the huge demand that exists, thereby boosting the economic prospects of the real estate sector as a whole and creating a win win situation all around.
- Dr. Rewat Laxman, Investor