Can you please give a brief about your background?
I was born and brought up in Mumbai and had a pretty good upbringing. Did my education from Ruparel College, VJTI and IIM Calcutta, in that order. VJTI engineering was in the Information Technology stream.
Can you tell us about estatelister.com and how did you come up with this idea?
The biggest trigger for estatelister.com was the troubles of my IIM batch mates to find out proper rental houses post their management degrees. Finding a good place to stay is vital for every fledgling professional and in this regard, there was a lot to be done to offer a good experience to customers - engineering and management graduates to be specific. That was the opportunity. For this, an Internet based platform was a simple, easy yet trendy way to communicate with people on a mass scale.
What is your revenue model and how do you intend to compete with players like 99Acres, Magicbricks, Makaan and India Property?
The foundation of any revenue model in my opinion is to find value for everyone in the ecosystem. We were considerably sure that if we find value for customers, developers and real estate professionals, revenues would come, in fact they have started coming already. There is a lot of room for innovation and our first step is to add value to our esteemed customers. As far as competition is concerned, I believe we are in a different business & with a different philosophy. Ours is a Customer centric approach - and we like to call ourselves a Customer Service company with technology as an underlying platform.
What is the present status of estatelister.com?
The platform has reached a decent level with thousands of visitors to our site within 8 months of making the same live. This really tells us that customers wanted a product like us and gives us energy to burn the midnight oil. One major trend that we have observed is that our customers want to regularly do research on Real Estate - our average time spent per user is very high too.
How did you build your team for estatelister.com. How did your raise initial funds required for operations?
Team was built by convincing teammates about the merit in pursuing the idea. Initial funds were from my savings from my prior work experience.
What are your future plans to scale estatelister.com?
My biggest channel for new customers is word of mouth. Those first time users who come to our site find utility in our site and from the interactions with our team, either online or offline. These satisfied customers are our ambassadors. Definitely, we need to set up operations in more cities, but that will come along with time.
How is working as an entrepreneur different to working in professional setup?
Well, one misses all the perks at a corporate setup, no less the monthly salary. But apart from that, being an entrepreneur has been the most exciting time of my life thus far.
How do you overcome the fear of failure in your venture?
Fear of Failure motivates me further to work harder. I think support from family, coworkers and friends also matters.
In the online real estate industry, which are the new innovations which are you excited about?
For one, the exciting aspect is the growing use of mobiles for data. Particularly in India, the mobile has a lot of unexplored potential - such as search, geolocation, localization, serendipity - and the potential to exploit all these things practically for our real estate customers with platforms such as Android, iOS, Blackberry is something that I am excited about.
How did you management background at IIM Calcutta benefit you during starting up?
My batch mates and professors have been helpful. Have received a lot of help already while building the use-cases, product flows, practical problems etc. They helped gather the earliest adopters which has been fabulous.
Any advice to potential entrepreneurs?
Go for it, and keep working hard!
Triggered by the troubles faced by students IIM-C graduate Siddesh Joglekar starts Real Estate Portal FeaturedBy Guest Author
Outstation students often face problems in finding accommodation. This problem has been around for a long time, but a focused solution to this and many such real estate problems lead an IIM-C graduate, Siddesh Jogelkar to quit his full time job and start estatelister.com. GyanCentral spoke to Siddesh on the journey so far and his future plans with estatelister.com