In an interaction with Mamta Maity, indiainfoline.com, Sujay Kalele, Founder, TRU Realty said, "In our Strategic partnership with one of the most renowned developers in Pune, we have rolled out 4 Modules of our Platform across 4 Projects - Vaarivana being one the those".
Tell us about the company’s journey so far. How was the idea for TRU Realty conceived and background of the founder?
During my prior real estate development experience of almost 12 years, I observed that factors such like opacity, the gap in customer expectations, project overruns, the trust deficit between various stakeholders, bureaucratic inefficiencies etc were preventing Estate development industry from reaching to its full potential. The other aspect of our sector is the extremely fragmented nature of the industry which prevents us from exploiting economies of scale resulting in a high-cost base for the sector.
At the same time, when you look at other industry sectors, there are success stories operating in a much complex environment, like the auto industry or the IT industry & also able to grow consistently.
TRU Realty was conceived as a new age developer which borrows some of the best practices that have worked in other industries/sectors, uses PropTech to automate the process flow and strives to draw benefits of economies of scale by aggregating stakeholders. Our stakeholders can login to TRU portal, wherein they can access the entire information pertaining to their association, engagement, transactions, etc available on their own dashboards. TRU Realty has brought in much needed and long-awaited features in Real Estate which will change the functioning within the industry at micro & macro levels through transparency and reliability.
This also reflects in the kind of team we have built up with senior management being thought leaders & drawn in from different sectors like our CTO, CCO, etc.
Explain your business in the context of current RE industry ecosystem in India? How will it solve different needs of customers and other stakeholders?
The practices and norms in the RE industry which were prevailing decades ago, have not evolved over a period. From customer experience to fund management to vendor engagement, the stakeholders have accepted certain practices as they do not have much of a choice. During the purchase and handover cycle, a customer is bound to be shocked as some additional expenses creep in somehow, always. How frequently do we come across customers who are delighted at the time of handover because of quality and timely delivery of the product? There are many suppliers and distributors in the market who are willing to provide their services at a lower cost and good quality but haven’t got an opportunity to do so. Channel partners are always following up with the developers for their commission. You will see many such scenarios which are skewed in some or the other manner and are impacting the RE ecosystem.
With our stakeholder centric approach, we provide a hassle-free experience to all our stakeholders. We are optimizing the unutilized capacities in the market and bringing in best in class practices to eventually pass on the benefits to all the stakeholders including customers. Whether it’s a quality audit report of the unit from a third party, daily status updates on the developments in the project at the unit level, open and transparent indenting process or instant commission release at the click of a button; we have all - here - at TRU Realty. Our Stakeholders as well as Customers are always bound to win.
What kind of technology and innovations you have introduced in this space?
Right from conceptualization of a project to construction and delivery; efficiencies are enhanced at each stage in terms of cost, time and efforts. Few of our unique features like job card (day to day, itemized tracking and completion of tasks), UMS (utilization tool to ensure optimum utilization of human resources), DPM (decentralized presales module to automate lead management at least cost & response TAT), frequent and automated quality checks, integration of various tools and applications to have best of IOT (Internet of things), multiple feedback loops etc, are being introduced for the first time in Real Estate space.
TRU Realty has a bouquet of innovative tech-enabled products such as, but not limited to, TRUPAY (to address monetary trust issues), TRUSource (faceless bidding platform for vendor selection), Collaboration tool (enabling timely decisions), and TRU MULTIPLY (to build customer networks).
With a wide array of innovative, efficient and unique services and products as a part of the offering, we have created a highly robust mechanism wherein each function and subfunction is interconnected, which, in turn, minimizes risks and eliminates surprises.
Tell us more about your newly launched TRU Pay feature?
Today, the brokers or Channel Partners being such an essential part of the ecosystem al-Estate, have no means for security in relation to their commissions.
TRU Pay is channel partner-centric technology innovation registered channel partners of TRU Realty. It can be accessed by logging into CP’s TRU Realty account or through the TRU Realty Mobile App. TRU Pay safeguards the Channel Partners commission. It gives power in the hands of the CPs to claim their service charges as soon as the service is delivered as per the SLAs.
With every lead generated, the CPs get a predicted earning to keep a track of their income goals. As soon as the deal is closed, the CPs will see the actual earnings which can be withdrawn by connecting the individual’s bank account with TRU Pay wallet. TRU Pay wallet transactions are UPI Enabled and completely secured.
How has TRU Realty created that competitive edge for your first Vaarivana project? Please explain in detail.
In our Strategic partnership with one of the most renowned developers in Pune, we have rolled out 4 Modules of our Platform across 4 Projects - Vaarivana being one the those. The luxurious villa project of 247 acres – Vaarivana – at Urse, Pune Mumbai Expressway was successfully launched & managed with meticulous planning and control.
We looked at the project in a comprehensive manner and positioned it strategically – supported by our research- which was most important to generate early traction in the location. Through our efficient lead generation & management processes, coupled with Sales expertise and multi-faceted approach, the project was very well accepted by the customers and it became one of the most successful projects in its segment.
RE sector is very capital- and labor-intensive business. How are you building efficiencies across all levels to reduce cost and improve sales?
With a strong IT infrastructure of automation which is a result of integration of all job functions, budgets, costs, construction speed, etc, we have dis-allowed inefficiencies to creep in. Our analytical and research-oriented data mining helps us to alleviate predictive challenges. Automated exception reporting, real time construction reconciliation with inventory, time and other resources, integrated and independent quality management, etc, are some examples of how we manage the projects at TRU.
Our aggregation platform (TRU Source) for material procurements, strict inventory management practices as well as real time construction activities are integrated at each stage. We can identify red flags immediately (courtesy our strong, integrated IT framework) and take proactive steps to ensure timely resolution. With our platform, we have made dependencies on individuals almost redundant.
Our Job Card approach to estimation and construction empowers day to day tracking of jobs, materials as well as manpower optimization. With these practices embedded, we are highly confident to deliver projects in time, without exceptions.
What are the challenges for your business model?
While we are confident of extracting maximum benefits in a project in the post approval phase, the delays that happen due to approval & title related issues are the biggest challenges for the business model.
What are your future plans?
Our Model is highly scalable and sustainable. We already have 7-8 projects of different categories with us across Pune & Mumbai. We intend to operationalize them in few months from now.
Our long-term plans are not restricted to Maharashtra alone, but we shall be exploring business opportunities across other markets.
How do you foresee design thinking to change the paradigm of this industry post COVID-19 scenario?
Since ages, the need of the customers has always been a matter of less concern in Real Estate. There is a big gap in customer expectations on design and living experience and what is provided by the developer.
Design Thinking is a fool-proof method of bringing innovation to a sector by introducing a product or process that precisely adheres to the needs of the customers.
We keep our customers at the center of everything we do and hence, we look at everything from a design thinking lens. Our customer-centric approach while developing projects involves lot of brainstorming and research at various stages. One of the most important values at TRU Realty is Empathy which enables each employee to see things while keeping himself / herself in customer’s shoes.
What kind of a role you envisage technology to play in RE sector going forward?
In recent past, industries like food delivery, entertainment, healthcare, financial services, travel etc have seen a massive shift in customer’s behaviour and expectations.
No industry (except Real Estate) has been functioning the way it was functioning few years back. It’s high time that Real Estate adapts to changing needs and expectations of the customer.
To bring in transparency, accountability and agility in the business, IT as an ingrained expertise crossing over other business functions is a must and the time is NOW!