Square Yards to hire 2,500 employees to further global expansion, announces annual appraisals and ESOPs
With the real estate industry embracing proptech solutions with new vigour to battle the disruptions brought about by COVID-19, companies in the sector are seeing fast-paced growth. Traditional players are realising the true value and relevance of proptech and re-envisioning the way property is bought, sold or rented, on both the commercial and residential fronts. Today, there is a visibly increased adoption of technologies across the value chain — from designing and construction, to sales and marketing.
This is not only enabling the real estate sector to address post-pandemic challenges but is also giving the much-needed impetus for proptech startups. And, in turn, these startups are seeing unprecedented growth.
Kanika Gupta Shori, Founder & COO, Square Yards
One such startup has been, one of India’s largest integrated platforms for real estate. Its services cover the full real-estate journey from search, discovery to research, transactions, home loans, rentals, property management, and post-sales service.
While India’s housing sales have shrunk by over 65 percent (YoY), thanks to a COVID-19 ravaged economy, Square Yards completed over 3,700 real estate deals with a gross transaction value (GTV) of Rs 2,200 crore in the March-June period. In fact, Square Yards was able to garner almost 20 percent market share of the overall Indian real estate sales in this period.
Furthermore, it claims that non resident Indians (NRIs) and overseas buyers accounted for nearly 60 percent of the GTV and almost half of the number of deals in the period. With this, the company controlled almost 80 percent of the Gulf-NRI market.
Riding on massive market share and volume gains, Square Yards has now announced its plan to hire 2,500 employees to augment its sales, operations, and technology teams across India and the Gulf countries. This includes 2,000 employees for its India operations and 500 employees for its GCC operations in Q2-Q3 FY21.
“At Square Yards, we want to hire hustlers who can lead the next leg of growth for us. New graduates from campuses fit well in our dynamic culture as they are in the formative years of their careers, wherein they are hungry to learn, seek exponential growth and can work tirelessly as well as smartly. We build people and people build businesses – this has always been our core belief,” said Kanika Gupta Shori, Founder and COO of Square Yards.
Passing on the rewards of its strong quarterly performance, Square Yards has also announced annual appraisals for all its employees, significantly boosting their morale. Square Yards uses employee stock options (ESOPs) as a tool to share wealth across hierarchies, and currently, 40 percent of its employees are ESOP holders. In addition to these rewarding measures, the startup said that almost Rs 7 crore worth of incentives have been distributed in the last quarter alone.
“Square Yards focuses on equal and inclusive work culture in today’s fast-paced environment. It also encourages both geographical and cross-functional movements across the organisation so that employees can always have their eyes set on newer thrills and growth opportunities. Today, although most of our offices are operational, we continue to work seamlessly with reduced capacities, as much of our Indian workforce continues to work from home to ensure safety and health all around. Additionally, we also provide a COVID-19 specific Insurance Policy in addition to existing healthcare benefits for our employees and their dependents, to keep them safe and meet unforeseen expenses if any were to arise due to the pandemic,” Kanika added.
Square Yards has been profitable on an EBITDA basis since the last three quarters. This makes it one of the very few consumer tech startups in India, which is not only profitable and growing in this phase, but is also able to sustain its operations with internal cash flow.
Square Yards has achieved a significant scale in just six years and is one of the few Indian startups to have successfully expanded globally with a direct presence in 25+ cities across nine countries.
The startup posted revenue of Rs 298 crore in FY20 and Rs 220 crore in FY19. Since its inception in 2014, it has raised $50 million in equity and over $30 million in convertible debt financing. In January 2020, Square Yards acquired Mumbai-based rental platform Azuro and it is now scaling its rental and property management services pan-India.
Today, with virtual home tours, site visits, redefining the property buying experiences by giving customers enhanced freedom to understand the experience the property like never before, coupled with the practical challenges brought about by COVID-19 and the changing dynamics of business and customer experience, the proptech sector is riding on a new wave of growth. And, this time, it looks like the sector is finally ready to unleash its potential.