After nearly a decade in corporate sales, Sanjay Guha, a former National Sales Manager for Dun & Bradstreet, knew he could capitalise on his natural abilities to sell and lead teams. He invested about Rs 45 lakh of his earnings to start Acquist in December 2013. It began as a privately-held marketing consulting company offering solutions in the direct marketing, digital marketing, research and publishing spaces.
In a short span, Acquist began working with big clients from across domains like real estate, IT, telecom, banking, logistics, media and energy, among others, managing their external and internal marketing and data-related requirements, with a core focus on new customer acquisition. “We grew organically, seeing an almost 35 percent YoY growth, right from our first year,” says Sanjay.
When working on lead generation campaigns for clients in the real estate sector, Sanjay observed that while the quality of lead generation was top notch, it didn’t translate into closures. “We believed that this gap was an opportunity to play to our strengths and, thereby, for Acquist to diversify,” he adds. That’s how Acquist Realty started its run in 2015.
Acquist Realty partners with Category A developers like L&T Realty, Godrej Properties, Mahindra Lifespaces, Shapoorji Pallonji Group, Kanakia Group and Purvankara. While this has been a key factor that has helped build credibility for the brand, what has also helped to catalyse organic growth is Acquist’s support in getting the best possible deal from the developer and also getting loans processed through partnerships with leading banks.
“By,2017, Acquist Realty’s contribution to the business was 40 percent and soon we started an NRI division to enable NRIs to invest in India.”
While working with NRIs, Acquist Realty had to thoroughly look into regulations and investment opportunities in the west. On the other hand, as a result of working and networking closely with high net worth individuals in India, Sanjay knew of the inherent desire that many Indians had to future-proof and diversify their investments by investing in the west.
“We realised that as much as helping NRIs invest in India, we could also help Indian residents invest in the west.”
And, that led to Sanjay starting Acquist London Realty Connect in October 2018. In just about four months, Acquist London Realty Connect has already clocked sales of around 10 million GBP. With a permanent presence in London, Acquist London Realty Connect opens up a host of investment-friendly options for property buyers and investors, and also educates them about market trends, laws and practices prevalent in the UK.
With a wide range of offerings with prices starting from Rs 1.5 crore in the commuter belt (London Zone 6) to Rs 5 crore and upwards in Central London, and mortgage options from UK’s financial institutions, Acquist London Realty Connect curates property options that ensure high rental yields and, in effect, apartments which pay for themselves. “With rental yields at 4-5 percent a year, a steady appreciation at 5-6 percent year on year, and London being one of the most safe and stable investment zones with very good regulatory framework that safeguards investments, we see property investments in London generating a lot of interest,” says Sanjay.
Acquist, together with Acquist Realty and Acquist London Realty Connect,
has crossed US$2.5 million of revenue cumulatively in the last five years. Interestingly, during this time, they have also been able to expand their presence to Delhi, Mumbai, Goa, Bengaluru and even in Singapore and the UK. The highlight, according to Sanjay, is organic steady growth. “We are an organic self-funded venture running profitably and growing organically year-on-year for the last five years without a single rupee in debt.”
Ipsita Guha, Director and Head, HR and Finance, Namrata Goyal, Head of International Sales, Somdutta Basu, Head of Indian Real Estate Sales, Arvind Verma – VP India Real Estate and Ankita Jain, VP London Realty Connect are part of the core team at Acquist. Sanjay credits Acquist’s success to the company’s core team for being instrumental in driving the growth and diversification of the business. Another reason why Sanjay believes that Acquist could not have grown without the support and trust of his 30-member strong team is because they believed in the vision and potential of Acquist, when many did not. “Many of the 30-member team who are leading key businesses today joined us as trainees a few years ago. They could have gone to cozy pastures when the economy was volatile. But they chose to work without a hike, without incentives. And, Acquist couldn’t be here today without them.”
Just four months old, Acquist London Realty has already contributed to 10 percent of Acquist’s overall business, with the consulting arm contributing 40 percent and Acquist Realty accounting for 50 percent of the total business in FY 2018-19. “In the coming months, we expect Acquist London Realty Connect to grow bigger and faster. Plans to start a similar business in New York are in the pipeline.”
The veteran direct marketing professional believes that they have carved a niche for themselves. “In all our three ventures, Acquist has always been target-oriented, ROI focused and driven organic growth. We work only with teams who align with our vision. We are at a stage where we are confident of leveraging any opportunity in any industry across the globe.”
An investment opportunity that fits most of your criteria – top developer, properties that are curated to ensure high rental yields and thereby an investment opportunity in properties that pay for themselves and a real estate company that is trusted by the best in India, there’s no reason why you should stop yourself from living your London dream. Connect with Acquist Realty London today.