This Hyderabad-based startup aims to streamline fragmented relocation industry with niche one-stop-shop solution based on data-mapping.
So you have that new job that is bound to do great things for your career. But it also involves relocation, which comes with its own stress.
That’s because the process involves not just moving furniture or household goods from Place A to B. There’s a host of connected activities that need to be factored in apart from just moving furniture. There are the nitty-gritties such as searching for new schools in the vicinity, rebuilding the domestic help support system and notifying your contacts and institutions like banks and insurance companies about the address change. This is where Flytta, the Hyderabad-based startup, comes in.
“The term relocation goes beyond just moving. It starts with location discovery, and goes on to house-hunting, choosing a secure and convenient place, school admission for kids, and moving the goods safely and at the right time without any damage,” sums up Rahul Kanuganti, co-founder and CEO of Flytta.
The startup provides all these services -- from house-hunting, renting, assisting with school admissions, packing and moving household goods safely, and even helping with utilitarian services like getting domestic staff, phone and LPG connections, and updating Aadhar details and so on. “Flytta is a one-stop shop with integration of fragmented services, saving customers time (by 50 percent) and cost (by 20 percent),” he says.
It was the calamitous Chennai floods of 2015 that led to the setting up of Flytta. “People who had their houses devastated due to extensive flooding had no clue where to move. They wanted to move to safer areas. But there were several factors based on which they had to choose a house, and this was causing them confusion. This chaos helped us put together Flytta in January 2016... Relocation is an emotional experience for people. We have executed short-notice relocations where the customers were cheated by other brokers. When they first came to us, they were very troubled. And when we fulfilled their requirements in less than a day, they were so happy,” says Rahul, summing up Flytta’s unique offering.
The startup is part of the NASSCOM 10,000 Startups Programme in Hyderabad and was also named one of NASSCOM’s Top 5 Product Companies of the Year in 2017.
“The supply chain in the relocation industry is fragmented without any standardisation. We are trying to mitigate this through data-mapping in the right direction,” says Rahul. To achieve this, Flytta applies machine learning via a personalised engine to various data points, and uses the results to provide a hassle-free relocation experience. Internet of Things (IoT), Cloud and machine learning (ML) play key roles in optimising operations and bringing in greater efficiencies. The proprietary personalised engine covers all services for end-to-end relocation. In addition, Flytta also uses image processing for object/item identification and an IoT-based damage reduction system for optimisation of time and to eliminate any damage to the items being moved. The system also uses continuous radio frequency identification (RFID) – based freight monitoring in real time, which decides the truck’s speed and the route and issues alerts to the driver and the control centre. It is not just individuals that Flytta helps: there is also a corporate Relocation Management Tool for organisations with 50 to 200,000+ employees.
“We are a mobile-friendly platform. We have an app that helps us engage and track unskilled labour employed during the relocation process. This helps to drive the process, monitor the work being done during every step of execution, and at the same time issue alerts if they are making mistakes in packing, placement or any other activity,” says Rahul.
Flytta’s business model entails commission from vendors for every transaction and a minimal brokerage for house rentals from customers. Its key corporate customers include the Apollo Group, United Technologies, Vodafone, GAP Retail, IBM and S&P.
“If you look at intercity and intra-city relocations, about 25-40 lakh people relocate every year in India. There are many platforms for housing but these are limited to classifieds. Logistics operators are our vendors rather than competitors, and we have not occupied even 1 percent of the market. Our offering is niche and in the next five years we look forward to scaling globally with 20 percent of the market share. This year we aim to do 5,000 relocations, and in 2019 we look to scale this up 10x with 500+ corporate clients across India and include expat relocations,” says Rahul. At present, they are operational in major Tier 1 cities of India including Hyderabad, Bengaluru, Chennai, Pune, Mumbai and the NCR Region.
In the last year, Flytta saw a growth of 5x. Rahul credits this to the right mix of team and proper guidance. “We have had the right mentors in place. Beyond all these, the lean operating model, and investors who understand the business very well have helped us grow in the right direction.”
NASSCOM 10,000 Startups has been another key enabler for this growth, helping Flytta with concept evolvement, business kit support, and market access, he adds. “NASSCOM 10,000 Startups has been our backbone, and 70 percent of our clients today are NASSCOM’s member companies. Beyond that, building a technology driven-services company is not easy and NASSCOM 10,000 Startups gave us a landscape where access to product development evangelists, HR perspectives and other relevant guidance was just a tap away.”
The 20-strong Flytta team is helmed by Rahul, a mechanical engineer with over four years’ experience in operations, international relations and crises management, and co-founder and Chief Technology Officer Gokulavasan Murali, a computer science engineer with more than five years of experience in web products development, consumer applications and deep tech. Among Flytta’s mentors are Mahesh Reddy -- Managing Partner, Corvus Ventures, and Director, MAPE Advisory Group; and Dr. Srikanth Sundararajan, partner at Venture East.
While Rahul says the Indian relocation industry is still in its infancy compared to the global relocation industry, which is far more organised, he believes that a one-stop shop solution that leverages organised, technology-based supply chain and skills could make a huge difference in narrowing this gap. “With the supply chain being fragmented and lot of middlemen in various layers and categories, adoption of Blockchain will disrupt the Indian relocation industry and make it more streamlined and continuous,” he predicts.