Pradeep Mishra, founder and director of REPL, was working towards his degree in civil engineering from the Institute of Engineering and Technology in Lucknow, Uttar Pradesh, when he noticed that the recruiters who had come in for campus placements had one thing in common - they didn't choose students who were smart and enterprising. “It was as though companies wanted intelligent employees but were afraid if they might go against the wishes of the top management. I did not want to give in to every whim and demand of my bosses, so I chose to startup,” says Mishra.
When everyone, including his family, swore by stable government jobs, Mishra moved into a rented apartment in Delhi in 1991 and started working as a freelance professional consultant with a real estate consultancy. “I soon realized that consulting did not require an exorbitant upfront investment—all you needed was a few computers,” Mishra recalls. He was just 23 then. After discussing his idea with a family friend, Mishra set up REPL in September 1992.
“As I learnt, I also grew. I was on my own, learning everything from printing visiting cards to dealing with clients, filing my own tax returns and preparing company balance sheets. We generated Rs 3-4 lakh as turnover in the first year, though we were yet to recover the seed capital,” says Mishra. It was only in 1994 that Mishra managed to break even. Towards 1995-97, the infrastructure market went down, and what Mishra tried had failed.
Yet his father didn't let the failures bog him down. He never lost confidence and continued to motivate him. “Motivation and encouragement from my father revitalized my belief in REPL’s idea,” remembers Mishra. After two years of lull period (1995-97), REPL bounced back in 1998 and continues to have year-over-year growth since then.
REPL offers consulting to real estate companies, right from scratch to town planning, water treatment, sewerage planning and end-to-end consultancy in real estate sector whether it is approvals, PMC, architecture, structure design, pre sales and advertising to post sales and financial closeout of projects, which gives client a single window for all the project needs from ground floor execution to sale out level. “We are the pioneers in Uttar Pradesh for our various consultancy services. Recently, we launched end-to-end ERP solutions for real estate developers,” says Mishra.
REPL also provides advance GIS solutions to various clients and has a web-based portal to target individuals for their home construction and interior designing in various cities of Uttar Pradesh. Presently, the real estate business is considered to be one of the most complex businesses due to the uncertain market. So most organizations focus only on one aspect of real estate business stream but REPL offers a complete set of solutions under a single window for all verticals.
REPL recently opened its Singapore office and is interested in expanding its business in South Asian countries. REPL has also entered in a MOU with a reputed firm in the airport industry. It aims to enter new verticals of construction sector. “Managing all verticals with profitability is the biggest challenge now. As we are entering into international market, we are trying to do something competitive which we have not done yet,” says Mishra.