A young passionate, workaholic from IIM-B, Jidesh, COO, Capricoast.com shares his exploration with Team RealtyMyths.Com. With a decade of experience in Sales and Marketing, jidesh still enjoys the ride. Prior to Capricoast.com, Jidesh used to work for Zansaar.com, Honeywell, etc. In his early days, he worked with Unilever in Chennai as their Area Sales Manager. Here are the excerpts of our wanted and unwanted conversations:
Let’s start with a generic one, just to bond well! How was your journey with Capricoast.com? Who has been an important part of this journey?
It’s been a fantastic journey so far with its fair share of moments at the extremes of exhilaration and exasperation and everything in between. But then that I guess characterizes any start-up during its initial years. As far as important people go, there is of course Jawad, who is our founder and a key reason why I am here, Accel partners who has believed in us right from the start and has backed us to the hilt, and John Varghese, who today heads our Partner Management, but has truly over the years stepped up to do the heavy lifting that many people would have baulked at.
Congratulations on the launch of your home automation unit. Was it the right time to get these services in India?
We believe it is the right time to enter the Home Automation market with the widespread adoption of smartphones, and technology at large. Home Automation is a nascent category, offering a greenfield opportunity with exploding demand in the face of an almost non-existent B2C supply unlike the more mature interiors market- which is serviced by a large, fragmented supplier base. Pegged at 8,000 cr the Home Automation Solutions market in India is witnessing a 50% growth year-on-year. We also believe that this fits in well with our aim to be a “home solutions player”
Real estate market is sluggish. Will it impact Capricoast.Com? How?
While real estate is definitely sluggish as of now, we aren’t impacted by the same due to the cyclical nature of this industry. Today what is truly impacted are new launches, but given that possession of any launched project takes atleast 2 years (optimistically!) and consumers consider interiors only about 3 months prior to move in, we aren’t impacted per se. There is enough inventory getting handed over as of now ( ~0.5Mn in 2017). If the sluggishness continues for more than 1.5 years, then we will have an issue, but given the larger macro outlook, i don’t think that will happen
How is e-commerce as a business category really doing? Is it a challenging space to work (in)?
With recent news mostly focussing on the gloom and doom plaguing e-commerce, it might be fair to assume that e-commerce as a category is going through a rough patch today. Ours however, is not a traditional e-commerce establishment, with the context of home solutions being a highly customized offering, with a long drawn sales cycle. The selling is of a consultative nature, and not a click-and-buy one. So that doesn’t make it any less challenging compared to the more well-known e-commerce firms, it’s just that the challenges are different here and are more related to awareness, user adoption etc.
Rental products are grabbing the eyeballs, do you agree? Can you share an insight?
Today’s generation (millennials) is focussed on accumulating life experiences, and don’t wish to be tied down to any materialistic buoys. Our TG, however, which I believe is slightly more mature and ‘settled’, still believes in investing in a home, be it for end use or letting out on rent. Fitted furniture, like the kitchen and wardrobes, are an essential purchase even if consumers intend to rent out their place, and not live in it. The former philosophy is relevant in the context of buying loose furniture to set up a home so startups offering rental furniture are riding high on this trend.
Communication today plays a key role! How are you planning to connect your audience? What do you think is a key medium of communication?
We connect (with) our audience through face to face meetings, email communication and social media. Even though we are an online-led organisation, we think offline touch-points are critical to have in the home solutions industry-since it is a high involvement, high ticket size purchase decision. We also believe in being a problem solver for our audience. Which is why we are a firm believer of useful content, which we deploy through our blog articles, traditionally not counted as a communication medium, but so powerful in today’s context. That said, we are acutely aware that all of these are just channels, and the biggest connect is a satisfied customer talking to another prospect out there.
If not at your desk, where should people find you?
I am usually running from one meeting room to another, so i am rarely at my desk!
Travel, Food, Music! What makes you exuberant?
Any personal accomplishments you want to share with our readers?
Keeping the professional life out, I think what I am particularly proud of is that i spend much more time with my parents today and have over the years, been able to provide them with a lot of experiences like vacations etc which they never indulged in
A message to the newbies joining this industry!
Don’t be afraid to try fresh ideas, act quickly and focus on solving a real customer problem while having a sustainable business model around it.
You seem to me a person with a vision. Why is vision so important!
Vision is paramount to give direction to any organisation. Oft we become so engrossed in the day to day dealings, that sometimes it’s easy to wander off track. A vision is a constant reminder, a motivator for all that you set out to establish.