It has been widely seen that a lot of people in this world tend to have more real estate wealth than cash wealth. And it’s not hard to imagine why. Most of us see this in our daily lives. It can be you or that relative of yours’ who likes to invest more on real estate than hold liquid capital. It perfectly makes sense as well. Why not invest your money in something that is more likely to give you more returns than holding cash.
However, though for many people it might sound full proof to invest in real estate and forget about it, there are situations when those investments haven’t gone down well. There have been instances when individuals investing in real estate had to be content with less returns than what they would have got by investing the same amount of money somewhere else. One of the primary reasons behind such cases is that we often do not take guidance from any professional real estate advisory or consultant like the way we take from mutual fund experts.
And this is exactly what Indiassetz is trying to solve for the people. Indiassetz is an advisory and portfolio management firm in the real estate sector that can help you to not only invest in the right properties but also manage it for you.
We at Bangalore Insider had the opportunity to talk to Seema Harsha, the co-founder of Indiassetz. Here are the excerpts from the interview
Give a brief info about your startup?
Our company is called Indiassetz, it is a Real Estate Advisory and Portfolio management firm. We advise and manage a real estate portfolio of individuals across various cities in India. We currently manage the Real estate wealth of more than 4000 clients with an AUM of 8000 cr. We strive to give the experience of banks and wealth management companies to real estate and are we are strongly backed by our technological platform.
What made you start your startup and what problem does it solve?
We are a team of ex-bankers who founded Indiassetz, and during our banking days, we realised that a lot of Individuals hold more real estate wealth as compared to cash wealth. While there are banks and financial institutions to manage cash wealth but for real estate, there were no professionally run service organisations and people depended on friends, family, relatives and a lot of people from the unorganised sector to manage their real estate wealth and advise them. Indiassetz was incubated to address this gap, professionally manage a client’s entire life cycle of real estate wealth and make our clients experience a banking kind of setup for their real estate wealth.
Tell us about yourself, your previous jobs/ventures? What were you doing before this start-up?
My first job as an intern post my MBA in finance was at Centurion bank Ltd which was taken over by HDFC. Ever since I have been in the BFSI sector working with HSBC & Standard Chartered Bank until I quit to join the founding team of Indiassetz. All through my career I have been actively involved with the D & I teams and initiatives. I call myself a Banker turned entrepreneur.
Where is your start-up based out of? Why do you think that is the best place for you?
Indiassetz has its registered office in Bangalore and branches spread out in Hyderabad, Chennai, Mumbai and Delhi. We also hold an associate office in Dubai to serve our clients better.
Having Bangalore as our registered office is a very thoughtful decision because Bangalore is one of the best markets for our kind of business. Bangalore has always seen stable realty market conditions, steady price rates and the absence of drastic fluctuations. This kind of market is seen as an ideal destination to invest in. International investors prefer investing in Bengaluru because the city paves the way for lucrative returns giving Bangalore a competitive edge over other cities in India. The city is diverse and attracts a varied resident profile from different cultural and ethnic backgrounds, making it home to a unique mix of individuals. Today, this cosmopolitan city has emerged into one of the fastest developing metropolises. The city boasts of a flourishing start-up ecosystem.
As a start-up founder, what are you paranoid about? What keeps you awake at night?
The two important things for managing any start-up is managing the people and managing the finances. If these two can be managed well then there is nothing to be paranoid about.
Who are your competitors and how are you better than them?
We have entered into a space of complete end to end property management as a seamless service provider. The services we provide are completely different from brokers and dealers, and hence we do not really have much competition. We are a boutique family office to advise, manage and execute all work relating to our client’s real estate portfolio. We offer a spectrum of services across the gamut of real estate and no one in the country currently parallels that. The customer does not have to bother about their real estate as we take up all the pain points of the customer. The whole business backed by a tech platform makes us offer a unique proposition to our clients and stands out in the crowded market.
How hard is it to have a work-life balance as a start-up founder and how do you manage it?
Although we have been acclimatized to the concept of work life balance I don’t feel there is any compartmentalisation between work and life. The best part of our day and the prime time of our lives goes into our jobs, so life satisfaction comes from our will to work. I believe if we need to have a flourishing career graph then there is no demarcation between work and life.
Have you raised funding? If yes, then we would like to know the details. If not then please tell us if you are looking to raise.
We are a bootstrapped company and have not taken any funding so far. We have been expanding with our own internal accruals and have clocked in a decent YOY growth over the last 5 years.
What’s the biggest misconception people have about you? Why do they have that? What’s the reality?
Friends that have worked with me for many years have expressed the opinion that initially for the first few months I came across as an extremely tough, arrogant and a hard taskmaster but after a few months I turn into a softy.
However the truth is that I push my team in the initial few months to ensure that they achieve their maximum potential and deliver outstanding work. Once I know they have reached there I become a buddy.
What gets you excited about this company?
Everything about Indiassetz excites me. The whole idea of setting up and visualising about a day in the future when Indians living in India or outside will perceive us as a company similar to a bank that manages their real estate wealth. I also dream of the day when we become synonymous with real estate wealth management, just like banks are for cash wealth management.
Tell us what 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.
I start my day early, really early at 4 am. I do a lot of reading till about 6, clear my mails and then set the agenda for the rest of the day by listing down everything I need to finish before the day ends. From about 6 am to 7 am I go for a walk, from 7 to 9 all my time is taken by cooking breakfast for the family. I immediately leave and I’m at work by 9:30. I spend my day at office meetings, with my team or clients, engaging in discussions and other work till I get back home by 7. Following a hectic day, I spend time with my family and friends and go to bed early by about 9:30.
Tell us about your team and how did you meet each other?
The founder CEO of the company is Mr Shivam Sinha, who is an ex-colleague from Standard Chartered bank. The top management team consists of six of us and we are all ex-colleagues from standard chartered. Wel met during our banking days and had struck an instant chord. In 2014 we decided to quit our banking jobs and start Indiassetz.