Home Is Where The Heart Is, Houseome Bringing The Stories Behind Every Home To The World

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Interior designing is a art of creating a space into beautiful and functional while supporting the health , safety and well being of occupants and enhancing their quality of life.

It is a multi-faced profession whereby the needs and resources of the client are satisfied to create an interior space that fulfils the project goals.

As it is said, Home is where the heart is, the creativity in designing a beautiful home makes a person feel happy & relaxed.

It is the home which takes out all the stress of the person after the entire day of work, humans run to their home to have a peaceful environment, feel happy and satisfied spending time with their family and loved ones.

A well designed interiors boost your satisfaction and happiness to 10 times.

Interior design tells about beauty , relaxation and modernism. It is the technique that is given more importance all over the world now-a-days. Interior Designing makes the space lively, beautiful and functional with in the budget and according to the clients requirement. As we know know that every home has a story, a great interior designing brings this story in front of the world.

Today we are presenting the exclusive interview of founders of Houseome, who truly understands the importance of Interior designing, lets see what they have to say about their venture and how they started their journey and what are they offering to the world.

What is the Name of Your Venture? Any specific reason for this name?

While deciding the name for our company, our initial idea was to have a single word that would describe a ‘beautiful home’ and should also appeal to the end-consumer. After coining various names we zeroed down on ‘Houseome’, which means an AWESOME HOME. All credit goes to my wife Garima Singhvi (Vice President, Bank of America – Merrill Lynch) for suggesting this name.

Who is your target Audience/clients? 

Our target customers are those who have bought a new flat and want a professional interior designer to help in designing and execution. We provide end-to-end solutions, where customers need not bother for any service/ contractor. We have all kinds of contractor (verified) to accomplish the task in time.

Where is your venture based (city, state, country) & what are your geographical target areas? 

We are headquartered in Mumbai and have offices in Chandigarh, Pune where in we work through franchise based model. We plan to foray into Ahmedabad and Delhi in the next 6-12 months.

What problems does your venture resolve? What are your products or services? 

Interior Designing space is very unorganized sector in India. There are multiple issues like vendor problems for eg: like carpenters, contractors who take up the work but do not have the requisite skill of designing and end up giving products which customers do not like. In such a scenario customers usually are not left with much of a choice and are forced to live with the work.

At Houseome.com, the first step is to understand our customer’s requirements. We ensure to give them a realistic cost estimate of the work and timeline to complete the project. Once the cost estimate is approved we move onto the designing phase, providing the complete design on a virtual platform. Once this is approved we commence with the on-ground execution of the design.

Share the idea or story behind the venture. How did it come to existence? What motivated you to start your own venture? 

After working for 12 years in various industries, I decided to start organizing the most unorganized space in India, which touches everyone’s life as everyone wants a professional team to build their DREAM HOME. It is also an aftereffect of my own experience, where I literally had to run around for various contractors to design my dream home. And that made me think about the opportunity in this space as people today want a professional team to handle all the details of their house work, viz, conceptualizing, designing, sourcing and execution all under one roof.

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Who are your biggest competitors and how do you differentiate yourself from them? 

We have a strong online presence and majority of our business comes through our website (www.houseome.com). We usually showcase our actual work and being very well digitally connected today, people see our work and understand the way we understand the requirements and that helps them gain trust to sign up with us.

As long as we are able to cater to our target audience and enjoy what we do we are not too worried about competition. We are confident that there’s enough and more demand for our kind of work.

The differentiating factor that we feel we have is, that we provideend-to-end solutions ie. Factory-made, workshop made and customization at site under its banner. This is unique as we control our contractors to provide best quality in timely manner. We also provide Civil Work, False Ceiling, Plumbing, Lighting and Carpentry work and all our contractors are thoroughly vetted and professional. We control the project completely right from designing to sourcing to execution. One senior designer is assigned to one project and he is also one point of contact for the customer.

How did you hire your first team members? What skills do you want in your employees/team? 

Having the right people on board is very important for any business. We have now built a team who have the right set of skills, both technical and non-technical (professionalism in dealing with the customer, maintaining timelines, ability to scale). However, I would admit that it was challenging to find the right people with the right work culture and attitude.

What expansion plans are you looking for the next 2 years, next 5 years? 

2018 was a very exciting year as we started in Chandigarh and Pune. The idea of touch and feel is major draw in this space as once the customer experiences your creativity and the work; the growth rate is much faster. We are planning to use brick and mortar model to expand in our target cities.

We are planning to have presence in more cities in next few years, like Delhi, NCR, Bangalore, Chennai, Hyderabad. We are also building our technology capabilities for faster turnaround of the projects.

Where do you want to see yourself in next 10 years? 

We are aiming Houseome to synonymize to “Awesome Home” in the near future and the whole of India to recognize our work.

What are your immediate goals over the next 1, 3, 6 and 12 months? 

We aim to multiply our presence in key target markets like Delhi NCR, Hyderabad, Chennai, Bangalore etc.

Have you raised any funding? Or have any plans for the funding? 

I invested INR 1.5million in the initial stage that was utilized to support website development, manpower and focused marketing initiatives. We have raised about INR 2.5 million through an angel Investor. It has been allocated to develop a VR (virtual reality) tool and also to support our expansion plans & relevant initiatives. However for further growth and expansion, we might consider funding in the near future.

What were the problems you faced during the starting days and how did you resolve them? 

On a micro level, while designing our first Website we shared complete plan/ prototype with one designer. The outcome was not satisfactory and we had to shelve that piece. We were looking for a platform that will be the one stop shop for all kind of customized home designing solution. Later, we met with Mr. Avnish Sharma of Syscraft Information System and shared our idea. He took the challenge and shared the first draft in next 2-3 weeks. Then it was easier for us to focus on other aspect of business, like hiring right talent, marketing etc.

On a macro level, Interior Designing space is an unorganized sector in India. Challenges like lack of professionalism from contractors to carpenters who take up the work but do not have requisite skill of designing and eventually they end up giving product, which consumers do not like.

At Houseome.com, the first step is to understand our customer’s requirements. We ensure to give them a realistic cost estimate of the work and timeline to complete the project. Once the cost estimate is approved we move onto the designing phase, providing the complete design on a virtual platform. Once this is approved we commence with the on-ground execution of the design.

What are your hobbies? What do you do in your non-work time? 

I am a family person and I like to spend time with my two daughters and my family. I usually go on small vacation to unwind, any place where can spend quite time, away from work.

I also like late movie with my kids.

Whom do you consider your idol or biggest motivator? 

My wife Garima is my biggest motivator; with her support I could enter into a space, which is totally new to me. She kept me motivated and showed the way where I am today. I follow Jeff Bezos, Elon Musk and Steve Jobs, they have created amazing companies.

What do you feel is the major difference between entrepreneurs and those who work for someone else? 

Being entrepreneur, you need to be patient. You need to wear multiple hats and guide the team from the front. When you are working for someone else your role sometimes gets limited and you are expected to perform that particular role only.

I always worked on the business side of the company and chose Strategy and Planning as my role in various organizations that I have worked in the past. These roles gave me the confidence of building my own venture.

If you had the chance to start your career over again, what would you do differently? 

I was born in Rajasthan and my maternal grandfather was a businessman and I learned a lot from him and my cousins. I started working as soon as I finished my education but I knew I would start my own venture someday. But today I feel if I had a chance I would start this venture as soon as I turned 20.

How has being an entrepreneur affected your family & Social life? 

Fridays and Saturdays are usually hectic for us, as our target customers prefer meeting us on these days. We follow Sunday as non-working day, however many customer expect us to meet us on Sundays as well. I usually opt for small breaks to unwind with family and balance my personal and professional life. I feel blessed to have a supportive wife who balances my absence from the family functions etc.

Anything, you would like to say to our readers or upcoming entrepreneurs? 

Building a business is like raising a baby you need to be more careful and have a lot of patience. The experience of building a business is also motivating as you are master of yourself. It is like caption of the army, your team will follow you and you need to lead from the front.

Tell us something about your education & family background. 

Pradeep Singhvi (age 39 years) is the Founder and CEO of Houseome.com – an interior designing platform that leverages technology to create complete dream home solutions for new-age buyers. Pradeep, originally from Jodhpur, is a Finance professional turned Entrepreneur with the aim to disrupt the current interior designing space in the country.

Prior to commencing his entrepreneurial journey, Pradeep was spearheading the business planning and budgeting of the Trent Hypermarket Ltd. – Star Bazaar – a TATA & Tesco Enterprise. He is a Chartered Accountant by qualification and has worked as the Head of Finance for leading companies including Times Television Network, Capgemini and Raymond Apparel.

What do you think is the biggest threat to the success of small businesses & Start-ups today? 

With the technology advancement, all sorts of information are available easily today. As per your niche you can create your own market and hence I don’t think there is any threat for small business or start-ups. If you have a product there is a market, you need to identify your market and your customer. If you provide your honest services/ product people will follow you and recommend you.

Do you consider yourself successful and by what means do you measure success? 

Success is a relative term and with your experience you always try to better yourself versus a year ago. I always try to do better than previous me and that keeps me going. I think there are many milestones I need to cover to create a brand, which is well known. I feel motivated and the team is fired up and we are here to make our services a pleasant experience for every household.

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