Hi Fellow Rodinhooders,
My greetings to all of you!
Before getting into details of my story, I take this opportunity to thank Alok Kejriwal for guiding aspiring entrepreneurs like us in our startup journey and for managing such an energetic community.
This is my first post on Rodinhoods after being a silent reader all these months. It’s about my story of what I used to do for a living and why I sold my Flat in Mumbai and which led me to found my startup. I believe my story is better narrated if it’s told along my journey from Dotcom 1.0 to Dotcom 2.0.
My Journey from B2C Dotcom 1.0 to Banking software world:
After graduating with an Engineering degree from southern India, I started my career selling Auto loans in Delhi for Bank of America’s Direct Sales Associate. After a year, I founded my first startup in 1998 for selling auto loans and home loans on the web. I couldn’t sustain and scale but was lucky enough to know few senior people from ICICI Bank who have ventured out to set up a loan portal from Mumbai. I joined their newly setup software product division to build Loan origination system targeted at Banks. We built a first of its kind software in India, sold and implemented in a couple of Banks. Then the dot com bust came in 2000 and our product division was sold to ICICI Infotech.
At ICICI Infotech, I got the opportunity to go across continents to pitch, sell and implement our loan solutions. This was the time I bought my flat in Mumbai.
A year later, I moved to Malaysia and stayed there for 8 years to cater to Banks in Southeast Asian markets. There I got the opportunity to assist the Banks with best practice business processes for Home loan, financial planning and wealth management. Then after a 2-year stint in Singapore, I wanted to come back to India for good and start on my own again in the fin-tech domain leveraging my expertise in Home loans and wealth management business processes.
Then I sold my Flat:
When I came back, I sold my 1 BHK flat in Mumbai to consolidate and reinvest in my hometown. In spite of having spent over 15 years in automating end to end home loan processes for Banks and its Home loan customers, I was facing a lot of difficulties in knowing the right steps to be followed in the sale purchase transaction.
During my selling process, I went through a lot of decision challenges like rightly pricing the property for sale, should I refurbish or sell as is, do I engage with a single broker or multiple brokers etc. Upon finalizing the sale with a Buyer working as Investment Banker in real estate domain, we both had to run around between lawyers and Banks to learn the next steps in their transaction process.
That’s when I realized that there is no single party in the transaction chain i.e. Real estate search portals, Buyer Agent, Seller Agent, Buyer lawyer, Seller Lawyer, Buyer Bank etc to take end to end ownership in guiding the customer in how to go about with the sale purchase transaction like MOU or Sale Agreement, procedure with respect to TDS deduction filing, claim, procedure with respect to capital gain etc. So the learning was – customer journey in real estate starts much earlier than he touches the Bank for Loans and has so many intricacies which Bank does not get involved in guiding the consumer on how to go about with it.
Also, I faced issues in making decisions with respect to what type of property type should I reinvest in, which is better a plot or flat, self-construction or builder property, under construction or completed property etc.
My learnings from my personal real estate transaction journey led me to think about the hassles a first time home buyer planning to buy a house in future would have to go through. It also led me to think about the decision challenges a repeat home buyer would have to face while thinking of investing in real estate for various reasons like rental saving, passive rental income, wealth creation, wealth preservation and wealth transfer.
All these thoughts guided me to make a tool for first time home buyers and real estate investors to provide end to end journey guidance from his/her point of start, motivation and desired outcome. That’s how Propwiser.com was born.
My Journey so far in Dotcom 2.0 Era:
We are a team of six people operating out of Coimbatore and working on Propwiser. Propwiser is being launched today, 1st April 2017 for beta users.
Propwiser is envisaged as the end to end customer Journey guidance tool across all phases of real estate journey like Financial planning, buying, owning, selling, rent-in, rent-out, tenancy management and portfolio management.
It provides guidance to consumers from the angle of financials, loan, taxation, legal and commercial aspects of Indian real estate. It’s not a listing, search and discovery portal but we aggregate data from all renowned property sources in India and facilitate a one-stop search cum decision management.
Eventually, it would become a platform for consumers to make decisions, connect with Service providers like Banks, Agents, Builders, and Lawyers – collaborate with them and with transacting parties to track transactions to closure.
The tool would be free for consumers and revenue would be from service providers like Banks, Builders, Agents, and Lawyers.
Why are we sharing this with you?
The idea behind sharing all this with Rodinhooders is to get your valuable feedback on Propwiser. Does it make sense to you? Have you personally faced any of these issues while dealing with real estate as a Tenant, Homebuyer, Landlord, Seller etc? Any particular area we should focus more on?
We would be very grateful if you visit www.propwiser.com and provide your feedback as early adopters of the tool.