Suksh: Betting High on Realty
Date: Wednesday , July 02, 2008
In recent years, India has witnessed a boom in real estate business, both industrial and commercial. A recent survey has estimated that the Indian real estate is poised to become a $90 billion market in the next 10 years. Many companies have taken a plunge to cash in on this sector, and one among these is the 2-month-old real estate services company – Suksh Technology. Founded by Shreyans Chopra, CEO, and Bhushan Patil, COO, Suksh is a Bangalore headquartered startup formed to develop various technology and web solutions for the realty vertical, primarily focusing at Indian PC and Internet users.
Suksh is currently developing one of its key products, My100floors.com, a web portal that will not only allow consumers to do a map based property search but also rent, buy, or sell properties. It will be commercially available in a few months down the lane.
Though there are already many other companies like 99acres.com, MagicBricks.com, and India Properties in the same space for some time that offer similar services, the founders do not feel threatened. “Real estate is a huge space and the players are very few. My100floors.com is just the first offering to handshake with the consumers from Suksh, our other services will be launched in the long run. Also, Internet based realty services still have not taken flight as they do not cover the realty space in it’s entirety. Hence, It gives us plenty of time to develop our services and grab a niche market for ourselves,” explains Patil. Prior to founding Suksh, Patil led product and business roles in his earlier companies and has a deep knowledge in online consumer services from his experiences at Yahoo, Talisma, Zapak, Reliance Entertainment, and some other Silicon Valley based companies.
Suksh sets itself apart by targeting multiple areas of realty with a common platform. With a charter to venture into consumer friendly applications it will be coming out with various online and offline software products and services targeting Indian consumers. One such thing is partnering with various builders, government bodies, and IPCs providing consumers accurate information regarding the properties in terms of price, legal complications, and other such things. “We want consumers to identify My100floors.com as a benchmark, using whose information they can deal in property without falling pray to the schemes of black marketers and brokers,” says Patil. Often, a common man is not aware of the legal necessities that one must check for when buying a property. Suksh plans to start consulting services for consumers with respect to real estate.
Another service is ‘Realty Promotions’ – an offline initiative run by my100floors that would have monthly and annual offline properties offering platforms to user segments like sellers, owners, builders, agents, and the consumers. But its major project is a stealth realty portal that is a mass realty online and offline play driven by stats and data. “This project is under wraps currently and there is a lot of time before it takes off commercially,” says Chopra.
Developing such complicated solutions and services requires a robust infrastructure and a very strong technical team. The company already has a seed fund of $1.5 million from the CEO and one of its advisors. Since its inception in April 2008, Suksh has already gathered a team of 20 members. Though a new startup, the management has not compromised on either the quality of employees or the facilities provided to them. Most of the employees at Suksh are IIT graduates and have walked in from companies like Adobe, Trilogy, Yahoo!, mFormation, and AOL. “We are basically looking at candidates who have a good knowledge about web based technology,” says Amit Shrivastava, VP - Engineering at Suksh. Today, the company is hunting talented candidates for not only the technical team but also other domains such as marketing, human resource, admin, and others.
While gathering a competent team, the company has not overlooked the needs of its employees. “Unlike many startups that first build a team, develop a product, and then look up to venture capitalists for funds, we first received the funds and have used it to develop the infrastructure,” quips Chopra. Suksh has already set up its facility in one of the tech parks and has a state of the art infrastructure for the employees that is easily comparable to that of an established company. Everyone is provided various employee benefit policies, stock options, and other facilities. To keep up the technical competence, the company also conducts competitions and hack days.
A key feature of the employee facilities is the ‘Suksh Incubation Cell’. The founders created this wing in June 2008 with the main objective of kindling the entrepreneurial ideas of its employees and other fellow entrepreneurs in the industry. The management is ready to support ideas by offering micro or angel funds, infrastructure, networking with similar interest groups, and advisory services to new businesses. For this the company is also networking with various experts in the industry to offer incubation to startup ideas.
“Over the years I have seen the growth in Indian realty space. I also observed the problems that a consumer faced when searching for properties. Inspired by many realty based service providers in the U.S., I decided to start something similar for the Indian market,” says Chopra. Hailing from a family that has been dealing in the real estate, textile, and financial verticals for the past four decades, it was easier than said for him to execute his ideas. In order to have a thorough understanding of the market Suksh plans to take on its board executives from several industrial associations. The current advisors on the board are R. K. Bachhawat, Director of South City Projects, Kolkata, and P. K. Mohanty, Joint Secretary & Mission Director (JNNURM) and member of Ministry of Housing & Urban Poverty Alleviation, India.
Today, the founders have a well-planned roadmap for the company. With its entrepreneurial ideas and a vision to invest and build easy to use, consumer friendly, mass applications, Suksh aims to not only succeed but also co-exist and carve a niche in this highly competitive industry of technology and realty.