Online services provider AapKaPainter promises to resolve pain points of painting
Aggregator AapKaPainter connects homeowners with design consultants and painters, and taps technology to make painting homes and offices a hassle-free experience.
At a Glance
Founders: Anupam Singh Chauhan and Dhivya Raghavan
Year it was founded: August 2015
Where it is based: Bengaluru
The problem it solves: Advises homeowners on painting issues and connects them with painters.
Sector: On-demand services (curated marketplace for painting-related services)
The first thing that comes to mind after taking possession of your dream home is the colour of the walls. It takes weeks of planning and discussions to finalise the colours, but the process of painting can run to months, and be extremely cumbersome.
Enter Bengaluru-based on-demand service provider AapKaPainter, which offers end-to-end solutions for those looking to have their homes painted. The startup is built on the vision “to streamline processes, empower service providers, and deliver great experiences” through technology integration.
The story of AapKaPainter started when two friends fell in love and got married; the business was born one of them saw first-hand how tough getting a painting job done was.
Anupam Singh Chauhan, 31, and Dhivya Raghavan,28, knew each other since 2009, when they met at an industrial training programme while at college. Anupam went on to work for a steel plant, Monnet Ispat and Power in Raigarh, Chhattisgarh, from 2011 to 2013, but wanted to start something of his own.
Meanwhile, Dhivya worked for Bajaj Auto Ltd in Pune and her first home painting experience in Pune was “tiring, confusing, and disappointing”. Anupam wondered why, at a time when Redbus was organising the bus ticketing sector and Ola was providing cabs via an app, Dhivya found it so tough and time-consuming to have a house painted.
The idea of AapKaPainter took shape in his mind, but there was lack of clarity and he launched a startup related to tiffins and eatables. That, however, It did not work. He eventually moved to Bengaluru in 2015, with the idea of “painter aggregator” at the back of his mind.
Anupam started AapKaPainter in 2015, with Dhivya supporting him remotely from Pune. She finally joined him in 2016; they got married the same year.
Anupam is an alumnus of NIT Warangal while Dhivya is an alumnus of NIT Raipur. The team size of AapKaPainter is 24 now, including the founders and senior employees Vineeth Shetty (operations; also an alumnus of NIT Warangal), Abhiram Setlur (sales), and Prakhar Tripathi (business development).
How it works
AapKaPainter has a customer-facing web application and a mobile app for painters. The firm has tied up with 500-600 painters in Bengaluru, 200 in Mumbai, 120 in Hyderabad, and 30 painters in Pune.
Anupam says, “Our entire process is automated, from booking and payment to progress and feedback. After initial understanding of requirements, our engineer generates a quotation instantly, saving a lot of time and energy. Once the customer accepts the quotation, a detailed job card is generated online and assigned to one of our curated set of vendors. The vendor, in turn, assigns verified painters to the project through the app. Painters check in on the site, update the progress at the end of the day on the job card, and then check out. This way, the customer, vendor, and the company are all updated on the day-to-day progress. This ensures safety, quality and on-time completion.”
The firm has 14 consultants like mechanical engineering graduates, and other in-house experts like architects, who visit sites, study customers’ requirements and advise them.
“Once we get the order, we ask our design consultants – we have three people - to visit the site. They show 3D visualisations and the painter then gets started with work. We select the painter according to the skill set requirement, area, location, etc,” Anupam says.
The startup has signed MoUs with HomeLane and Livspace. It gets 10 percent of its customers from these two interior design platforms.
The painting market
AapKaPainter competes with a host of other on-demand service providers like UrbanClap, Housejoy, and other individual architect firms and painters. So what’s the differentiator? AapKaPainter provides end-to-end services, something that no other service providers offer.
“They are just the facilitators. We take responsibility. We have complete control over the painting process, which ensures highest customer satisfaction. We have built unmatched trust for our quality and service delivery. Customers are assured of a hassle-free painting experience and peace of mind. Starting from advice to completion of work, we are involved in the task, unlike others who are just facilitators. AapkaPainter ensures fulfilment. We take care of the assessment to execution to after-service support as well. That extends to a one-year warranty,” he elaborates.
Speaking about their journey till now, Anupam says: “We have grown 100 percent YoY. Till now, we have painted more than 2,200 houses. In December 2017, the number was 1,100 homes. We service, on an average, 150 houses every month and our average ticket size is Rs 40,000 per house (GMV).”
He adds that the firm has an annual GMV run rate of Rs 7 crore.
“The paint market size is roughly around Rs 50,000 crore. Of this, 75 percent is decorative painting (homes and offices); the rest is automobiles. An equal amount of money has to be spent on painters to get the job done. So the painting market can be roughly pegged at around Rs 80,000 crore,” Anupam says.
“We graduated from Brigade REAP (Real Estate Accelerator Programme). We are bootstrapped so far. We have been able to maintain positive unit economics and we will raise funds at the right time,” Anupam adds.
By 2020, the startup wants to achieve a GMV of Rs 100 crore, provided it gets the “right funding from the right set of investors”. “Rs 100 crore is a small amount if you compare it with the size of total painting market size in India. We also want to spread to 10-15 cities by 2020,” Anupam ends.