The industrial revolution depended on land, labour, machines and capital. The world is still in the lurch of the industrial revolution because we cannot stop studying new materials and manufacturing processes to make as many improvements as possible, in light of the modern winds of energy conservation, waste reduction, societal objectives and sustainability.
Private ownership of property, human rights, the rule of law and the concept of credit form the bulwark of civilization as we know it, empowering entrepreneurs to create innovative enterprises for profit by solving a problem faced by people who are willing to pay for it. A virtuous cycle of new ventures, easy flow of capital and people, education and accessibility to healthcare have stimulated the development of nations all over the world, lifting the standard of living of their populations.
Today at Bangalore Insider we spoke to Swapna, she is the co-founder of Kāgaay, India’s first technology-driven real estate sales platform which aims to solve the needs of genuine property buyers looking for fair, value-driven prices. Owning a home is every individual’s wish, his or her ‘safe place’ so to speak, often provoking a sentimental value, especially if it’s their very first home bought with hard-earned money. Below are the excerpts from our interaction.
Give a brief info about your startup?
Kāgaay is India’s first technology-driven gamified realty sales enablement platform, designed to pull in sales for real estate properties and present the on-boarded properties to honest and genuine buyers who are in the need of buying a property at a fair price. It is the first startup with inbuilt facilities for providing End to End Sales Solutions to the Realty industry; an interactive platform between Buyers and Sellers. With collectively three hundred years of experience in real estate as a team, we strive to transform the digital adaption of realty industry and level-up the prop-tech market. Our focus is driven towards providing technology-powered online solutions for the real estate industry.
What made you start your startup and what problem does it solve?
Having been in the industry for many years, we realised that there are two key parameters which need a platform for the industry to grow and function better. And Kāgaay is designed specifically to address those parameters, which are, Fast Track Asset Liquidation Enablement for Realtors & Bankers and Right Price Asset Advantage for Investors & Buyers. Through our startup, we ensure to provide all end to end services of the real estate industry. Kāgaay brings all Quality Housing Projects across the globe at affordable pricing for the citizens across the World using the technology platform.
Tell us about yourself, your previous jobs/ventures? What were you doing before this startup?
I was into a totally different field altogether i.e. education. My husband was in defence services. The most suitable profession for a defence wife to work and at the same time be with family was teaching. Those were not the days of work from home culture. Actually, even the internet was not popular nor was it available due to remote locations of postings. I taught in Air Force School, Kendriya Vidyalaya and many private schools and colleges. I just grabbed whatever opportunity was available. I was involved from pre-primary to senior college.
After leaving services I got into the Real estate sector along with my husband. We worked with multiple developers to market their real estate products. But it wasn’t a satisfactory journey because the wide gap between the promises made by the developer and the delivery of products was making us uncomfortable. We realized the need and market requirement for a genuine company that would deliver as per their promise. This is how Commander Estate Developer came into existence which was formally registered as a LLP Company in 2016. This was the first group which was headed and managed entirely by Ex-Defence personnel.
Over the years our organization has assisted the developers to acquire land at preferred locations across India and design residential houses as per requirements and budget of our customers. Now we have become one of the single points of contact for serving the retired defence personnel for their housing needs.
As an organization we have been associated with renowned builders / developers and financial institutions for assistance to our esteemed customers. Our support to developers with uninterrupted funds flow by achieving fast sales in the shortest time span has been one of the main reasons for timely completion of residential projects.
Now, we have evolved into a model to be a construction and development company without diluting our main forte of marketing / sales and management of customer relationship
Where is your startup based out of? Why do you think that is the best place for you?
Our startup is based out of Navi Mumbai. Now, Navi Mumbai is a 21st Century city. It is a well planned and well developed area. It is a well connected city both by roadways and railways. This city epitomes everything about our startup and it is also a place where there is a further and wide scope for development which in turn gives us that much more opportunity to grow.
As a startup founder, what are you paranoid about? What keeps you awake at night?
Every startup founder is paranoid about stability and funds. Even though we are much better stability wise,but still a fear of losing all of it is the greatest of all. The current pandemic situation was an unprecedented one. It made us realise that you can lose everything in a moment. So many businesses got shut in the past few months. This company has been nurtured with love and care. We have given our blood and sweat to this company and every employee is like a family to us. So the fear of losing it all is what keeps me awake at night.
Who are your competitors and how are you better than them?
In every field you have competitors and ours is no different. The thing that separates us from others is that we truly care about society and we make a conscious effort every time to make our society a better place to live in. Being an Ex-Service person, these values are instilled in me. In our services, we promise only what we can deliver and once promised we ensure to deliver it come what may. And this is what will always define us.
How hard is it to have a work-life balance as a startup founder and how do you manage it?
It was difficult to manage work and life initially when I started my business. We are first-generation entrepreneurs. So I had to learn the business and its nuances with hard work and experience But as time went by, business settled, I realised a few things and started following them, rather adopted them. I let go of my ‘perfectionist’ attitude. I learnt to focus on my strengths and outsource other works. We cannot be a whiz at everything. So outsourcing saves time, money and efforts. Prioritising time and work is another key. I also have set hours for work and try to stick to them. This pandemic has taught us to tap into technology. So work/ meetings are done from home.
I also take a break and holidays with family in between to relax and recuperate. That’s the time I try to shut off the work. I also give some time for my hobbies, reading and listening to music. Exercising and meditating everyday helps me stay positive and energetic.
Have you raised funding? If yes, then we would like to know the details. If no then please tell us if you are looking to raise.
No, we haven’t raised any funding. All the funds are self generated through our parent company, the CED group of companies. We always wanted to have a total control over our product and therefore even in the future we do not have any plans to raise funds.
What’s the biggest misconception people have about you? Why do they have that? What’s the reality?
The biggest misconception people have about me is that I am aloof and not available. But in fact, it is far from reality. On any topic which excites me, I can go on and on about it. But I choose to stay away from any kind of gossip. If people come to me with a constructive subject, I am always available to them. Also, the other thing is that such notions are always associated with women in power or leading positions. But in my case at least that is not true and my doors are always open.
What gets you excited about this company?
The people that work for us excite me the most. I am lucky and fortunate enough that we have got such a wonderful team of people who share the same passion as we do. Having such energetic, like-minded, young people makes it easier for us to have a much larger vision and to execute it successfully.
Tell us how a day in your life looks like? Your schedule for a day right from the time you get up till you hit the bed at night.
My day looks just like any other working woman’s day. I get up at 6:30 am. Morning is the most chaotic part actually. Waking up kids for school, yoga and pranayam, preparing their breakfast, tiffins, managing other household chores along with it. Then it is the office time. Many times I work from home too. Work at office involves meetings, brainstorming sessions, overseeing the operations of all the departments. I also make sure to take time out and have a word with our employees and try to address their grievances if any. After work, it is back to mother duties till the time I hit the bed at night.
Tell us about your team and how did you meet each other?
Our team consists of well-curated and handpicked people from various domains. Like previously mentioned, we truly feel blessed to have such people in our team who with their work ethics, talent, dedication and hard work make us look good. With them, around us we get the freedom to think big. Each one of them is special for us and no less than a family.
Know a great startup story or want to share your own? Write to us at firstname.lastname@example.org and we will get back to you. For more updates follow Bangalore Insider on Facebook and Instagram.