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How Gurugram startup Relocatte is disrupting the realty market with premium furnished apartments

The real estate market in India is highly localised, and the industry is driven largely by individuals living and working in their own cities. For an outsider coming to a new city, finding a house/apartment for rent and then furnishing it is no less than a nightmare. The problem is worse for business travellers or executives when they require a furnished house for a short period of time.

As per a report by CBRE, an American commercial real estate services and investment firm, nearly 10.2 million residential properties are lying vacant in India, out of which only 10 to 15 percent are furnished. 

It is to solve this problem of finding premium furnished apartments for short to mid-term that Relocatte was started by Deepanshu Sachdeva in December 2015.

Relocatte Founder Deepanshu Sachdeva and Co-founder Harjit Ghai

The Gurugram startup mostly targets senior business travellers, expatriates, freelancers, and corporate executives relocating for one to 12 months to different cities with a monthly housing budget of Rs 50,000 or above.

“We observed there was a demand-supply mismatch of properly furnished apartments. The whole mechanism of searching and finalisation of apartments is very complex, disorganised, and tedious. Even apartments which were available in the market are not satisfying guest expectations. To resolve all these issues led to the formation of Relocatte,” says Deepanshu.

“We are on a mission to provide a large inventory of high-quality furnished apartments to global travellers relocating to Indian cities,” he adds.

The startup currently operates in Gurugram, Delhi, and Neemrana in Rajasthan.

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Laying the foundation

A global mobility administrator at KPMG, Deepanshu, during his tenure at the company, came across a programme where the company gave an option to its employees to relocate to India for six months to three years.

A lot of people were also looking to relocate to India to experience its economic growth, and its rich diverse culture and history. However, there was a serious lack of furnished apartments suitable for expats and senior business travellers. 

That is when the idea struck Deepanshu. He then left his job at KPMG and founded Relocatte in 2015.

Deepanshu was then joined by his childhood friend Harjit Ghai as the Co-founder in the company in 2016. Harjit has over 10 years of experience in hospitality and corporate sales.

“Currently we have a total of 16 employees in our team spread across technology, operations, marketing, sales, and product management. We are looking to expand the team further, especially in operations, marketing, and technology to meet the rising workload and match up with the roadmap,” Deepanshu says.

What does it offer?

Relocatte leases unfurnished apartments from landlords for long-term - typically for three to five years. Apartments are claimed to be checked on over 85 parameters, painted, cleaned, and furnished by its interior design team keeping long term requirements of business travellers in mind.

It offers ready-to-move-in apartments, which can be booked by clients from across the world through its website or app. An in-house client servicing team is also made available to provide post check-in services through its mobile app.  

All properties are listed on its website along with their prices. The clients can either chose from the properties shown on the website or can request the team for assistance to help them find a place.

All the properties have their USPs, amenities and details mentioned within the dedicated page for it. These pages also have professional photographs of the apartment that lets the customer have a fair idea of the place. The amount mentioned for the apartment on its website is the maximum amount that a user has to give.

Relocatte audits all the properties before taking them on lease and emphasis on the properties that are furnished. "If a property is tastefully staged, it can generate 30-40 percent more revenue when compared to the unfurnished ones," says Deepanshu.

The startup has over 125 apartments spread across the four cities (77 units in Gurugram, 29 in Delhi, 15 in Manesar, and 4 units in Neemrana, respectively).

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The market and revenue

According to IBEF, the real estate sector in India is expected to reach a market size of $1 trillion by 2030 from $120 billion in 2017, and contribute 13 percent to the country’s GDP by 2025.

Currently, there is Airbnb Business and Oyo Silver Key operating in the space, but Deepanshu says they are more focused towards short term stays, whereas Relocatte’s priority is towards medium to long term stays.

Explaining further on the differentiation, Deepanshu says, “Our USP is hassle-free booking of premium, ready to move-in apartments through a single window for mid to long-term stays. We are the only ones in the market meeting all these parameters. Other companies in the market either do not support long term stays or do not provide completely furnished apartments.”

The startup is currently bootstrapped with Rs 20 lakh, and says it reinvests from its profits. In March this year, it raised a debt funding Rs 35 lakh from banks and individual investors. It clocked a revenue of Rs 8.4 crore at the end of FY 2019.

The team is, however, in talks with various VCs for Series A funding.

Future plans

Deepanshu says, to accomplish our roadmap for the next two years, we plan to expand geographically to four more cities, adding around 2,500 apartments supported by a high-end tech platform.

In the next two years, the company plans to expand to five other cities including Ahmedabad, Hyderabad, and Bengaluru to reach a target of over 2,500 apartments.

“Our long-term plan is to build an inventory of over 7,000 apartments spread across 12 cities by 2024. Our team expansion will mainly be in the operations, technology, and marketing fields. We are focussed towards the development of a high-end web portal and mobile app for seamless and enhanced user experience,” says Deepanshu.

(Edited by Megha Reddy)

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