Staying focused and growing in the real estate sector day by day – PropTiger
Dell Innovators series showcasing successful entrepreneurial journeys
PropTiger is a big name in independent real estate advisory in India today. Within 2 years of starting up and raising USD 5 million Series A round from Accel Partners and SAIF Partners, they have set their foot strong in market. It was started by two HBS classmates Kartik Varma, Dhruv Agarwala and an ISB alumnus Prashan Agarwal. All 3 of them have previous experience with entrepreneurship – Kartik and Dhruv have co-founded iTrust Financial Advisors which they exited by selling to the Karvy Group and Prashan has previously started Allcheckdeals, an internet real estate brokerage business. After 2 years of coming together and starting up PropTiger, it is already a profitable business. Read on to know what Kartik had to say about PropTiger and staying focused for a long run when you are starting up.
Tell us about Proptiger
We started PropTiger because we wanted to provide a solution to Indian families, specially middle class families, who are first time home buyers and have no clue whom they can reach out to for honest and transparent opinion about the property. We wanted to help people who want to buy a house but are confused about whom to trust and where to find the relevant information to make a well thought of decision.
From where did the idea stem and how has it shaped up from starting up till now?
The idea came from a need we saw and wanted to provide a solution for it. The journey has been exciting and we are looking forward to do more of what we are doing and better our platform. We are still in the early stages of a decade long boom in residential housing driven by middle class India’s desire to own and live in their own homes.
Did you stick with same business idea or has it evolved over time?
The business keeps evolving with time but the idea and the focus we started with still remains the same. There is a lot that can be done in PropTiger and we are focusing on doing it.
What were the business needs for deployment of IT solutions?
The needs of IT infrastructure and solutions for PropTiger were quite obvious. We had to build a technology platform which has a comprehensive list of all new property launches and under construction homes with available inventory. PropTiger’s core was to make information discovery and research easier for people. IT was a necessary pillar to build. We wanted to have a strong online presence.
We have been using Dell products for over 2 years. Dell provided robust and cost effective hardware which we needed for our employees. We have personally used Dell products previously and we chose it when we wanted it for PropTiger as well. The range of products offered is extensive for making an informed choice and the after sales customer services of Dell has been significantly good.
What were some challenges you faced while starting up?
The challenge was to list detailed information about as many projects as possible which will enable the user to make a correct choice. Raising funds can often be challenging in any part of the world, and India was no different.
What is the one piece of advice you would give to young people considering to start up?
Think long-term. It takes time to build anything of value and don’t lose focus by running in different directions chasing short-term fixes. Sure, you might need to adapt to reality and adjust your plans accordingly. However, this doesn’t mean you give up every time you hit a speed bump. If you have a long-term perspective, you won’t let day to day issues or minor speed bumps slow you down.