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Ex-Googler and a senior tech professional launch a marketplace for interior designers

Jai Vardhan
9th Oct 2014
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When Vishwas Goel and Abhishek Agarwal came back from the US in 2011, they were shocked at the quality of services in India. The duo tried hiring carpenters, electricians, plumbers to get things fixed in their rented house but the service was extremely unreliable. Later in 2013, the duo started building their own house in Bangalore and began exploring interior designers.

Intruo

Along the way, they found that there was really no good way for someone to discover a good interior designer or carpenter.

Since then, the duo has interviewed close to 200 homeowners and discovered that close to 80% households are unhappy with their interior expert. “There is no place where one can read reviews about any of the home interior experts. Similarly, there is nobody who can provide a guaranteed satisfactory service for a user. As a homeowner, I was willing to spend a lot of money for doing interiors of my home but I am still unsatisfied with the result,” says Vishwas.

Sensing this pain point of homeowners, Vishwas dived into the entrepreneurial pool with Intruo to improve the quality of services in this sector in India. Intruo is a research and reviews platform for all your home interior needs. “We are the best way to hire an interior designer, carpenter, painter and/or architect for your home interior needs,” adds Vishwas.

Prior to Intruo, Vishwas worked with search giant Google for more than seven years along with a stint at Walmart Labs, while Abhishek was an engineering manager at a startup in the US.

Collecting feedback was a tough task

Initially, the duo visited homeowners after seeking an appointment with them and personally collected their feedback about the interior experts they worked with. “The review is as real as it gets. We ask them to state both the good and bad experiences of working with their interior designers. This is great feedback for a new homeowner who is looking to do business with the same designer. Collecting reviews from homeowners has been hard but overall rewarding,” points out Vishwas.

The startup is sincerely trying to solve a consumer’s pain points by collecting and posting verified reviews about interior professionals. “We are unbiased in our approach and are working extremely hard to get this data,” says Vishwas.

Intruo offers ‘satisfaction guaranteed program’ which works by leveraging its relationships with the designers and carpenters and making sure that it delivers a great experience for users.

Traction and revenue model

Being just a month-old company, it reports a decent traction from both the consumer and designer fronts. “Designers are approaching us as well. We are currently working on a few partnerships too,” adds Vishwas.

Revenue model still needs to evolve for Intruo. “We are not sure how we will make money from this yet in the long term. We will continue to experiment with a few monetization models and will finalize one that works. We are largely focused on solving the user pain points currently,” adds Vishwas.

Plans for scaling up and road ahead

“Intruo is a marketplace model which scales extremely well generally. We are looking to expand into areas beyond Bangalore in the next three to six months,” says Vishwas. In the longer run, the company is looking at being a one-stop shop for all home interior needs.

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