The real estate industry is one of the key drivers of India’s GDP but it still remains fragmented to a great extent. Contractors, of all ranks and files, fall victim to legacy practices in the supply chain, un-orchestrated logistics, and opaque pricing policies. These constraints not only make it cumbersome for contractors to finish projects in time but also lead to budget overruns.
Believing that technology is the missing piece in the real estate jigsaw, two friends from their undergrad years, Yashwant Ram M and Dhiraj Varma set forth to address the supply chain predicaments in real estate. This is Yashwant’s second venture after Genret Energy Solutions, a Hyderabad-based EPC (Engineering-Procurement-Construction) company which he founded in 2011, he is an alumnus of ISB and NJIT. The UCLA alumnus Dhiraj had actively led manufacturing operations in large MNCs for more than a decade. Bringing in their expertise and technical acumen, Yashwant and Dhiraj laid the cornerstone of AmplifyMart, a Hyderabad-headquartered real estate procurement platform, in 2019.
“Technology can be leveraged to architect bespoke solutions that can solve the supply chain inefficiency,” says Yashwant. AmplifyMart enables contractors to get their hands on building-material supplies and home-improvement equipment from top brands at the most reasonable price points. “We are a one-stop-shop procurement platform aiming to establish communication channels across the real estate vertical & make pricing transparent for contractors”
Be it building material supplies such as cement, bricks, aggregates, steel, and sand or home improvement like solar equipment such as panels, inverters, and water heaters, AmplifyMart offers it all. “Typically, contractors contact multiple vendors for ordering products. But due to lack of access to the correct pricing information, they don’t procure materials at the best price, and it is cumbersome to track the order fulfillment” says Yashwant. To bring pricing transparency and economies of scale, AmplifyMart partners with leading manufacturers such as UltraTech, Ramco & Adani and lists their products on the website. Contractors can visit the website, compare products from different brands, and choose the ones that fit best to their requirements. Orders can be placed directly on the website or through the call center and procurement managers. Before placing an order, customers can request for quotations and also state a target price as well. An inbuilt CRM software enables contractors to negotiate on the website, WhatsApp or phone calls.
Based on the order, AmplifyMart procures the required materials from the manufacturer’s stock points and warehouses or its distributors and delivers the same to contractors. The company also has a fulfillment center on the outskirts of Hyderabad where it stores some of the fast-moving products for instant delivery. “Our commitment to ensuring customers’ success is what differentiates us from our competitors and other local traders,” says Yashwant. For ensuring on-time delivery, AmplifyMart has joined hands with several logistic partners across Hyderabad. Trucks and carriers are hired from these partners depending on the freight weight, goods are transferred from stock-points to delivery sites. As a technology enabler, AmplifyMart is also mapping warehouses and stock-points, comparing price points of products by different brands, and enabling negotiations.
The company is also empowering contractors with its online document repository. This first of its kind repository in the construction industry is an online storage space from where contractors can download invoices, warranty cards, and waybills of their orders whenever they want. Also, technology is being used to create a database where contractors are segregated as per their expertise. Whenever projects come up, the database can be used to find contractors who are most suitable for the job. This way, contractors are being able to get their hands on relevant projects and Amplify Mart will be the project management and supply chain partner.
The other challenge that AmplifyMart is solving for is credit. More than any other sector, the whole industry is mounted on the pillar of credit. While larger projects have 30-day billing cycles, smaller ones’ need credit to continue building. Either way, suppliers and contractors get trapped in muddled credit cycles. Most suppliers extend credits but they sell products at higher rates, skyrocketing the cost of projects. At the end of the day, it is the contractor who ends up settling on smaller margins. In the eyes of Yashwant, an organized credit system is the remedy to all budgeting constraints. As of now, Amplify Mart extends a maximum credit of INR 1 lakh to contractors for small and medium scale projects. This credit is managed by the company’s operations team directly. They are working toward improving the credit limit and extending it to larger projects as well where there is a larger market opportunity. However, when it comes to supplying solar equipment the company has a strict no-credit policy.
Today, AmplifyMart caters to contractors across Hyderabad. “Real-estate is one of the biggest industries in India. And, we have to potential to redefine its dimensions. We are growing steadily, and hopefully, we will become a pan-India company in the years to come,” says Yashwant. In the near future, AmplifyMart is adding more features to the platform like real-time functionalities for tracking orders and associating with more brands to increase the products on its website.
AmplifyMart was one of the startups in the first T-Angel cohort. T-Angel is an initiative of the Government of Telangana, T-Hub & LetsAccelerate to meaningfully help early-stage startups deliver on business outcomes and become funding ready. Check out the full cohort here.
For more such startup stories, check out the LetsVenture blog!