06.10.2022 09:30

How Startups Are taking advantage of Tech To Revamp Society Management

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COVID is enabling the development of app-based security and community management services in housing societies and gated communities.

Resident welfare committees or associations have become more involved in managing the increasing number of housing societies in India.

Many apartments now cover over 1,000 units. Residents have a lot of work to do, including managing safety and guest entries, staff attendance, monthly collections, and maintaining payment reports.

Other tasks added to the list by the pandemic included maintaining social distancing, limiting delivery personnel’s movement, and sanitization.

The immense inconvenience looked by occupants has pushed them to utilize loft the board applications offered by numerous players like MyGate, NoBrokerHood, SmartGuard, Jio Gate, Apartment Adda, ApnaComplex, and barely any others.

Since the most recent couple of years, we have seen the dispatch of numerous new security and the local area the executive’s arrangement suppliers too. Furthermore, the current ones have additionally been doing genuinely well.

For example, MyGate hit 20,000 networks in March 2021 and around 3.5 million homes are currently on its application. It additionally measures INR 150 crore in the month-to-month support installments.

We see this opportunity as a tremendous opportunity. It will also play an important role in the transformation and growth of local businesses.

There will be many others who are interested in serving the opportunity because of its size. We do believe that leaders will emerge in the next years and there will likely to be some consolidation,” Sanjay Swamy (Managing Partner, Prime Venture Partners), who has invested in MyGate.

The Market Opportunity

Housing societies can be complicated. Fast everything used to be done the same way five years ago.

“As residents in gated communities in Bangalore, we felt the need to change. Over five years, we have created a digital experience that meets almost every community’s needs. Vijay Arisetty is the founder and CEO of MyGate.

MyGate was created to make the gate easy to use.

However, the company has added many more features since then:

  • Purchase home products and services
  • Make rent and utility payments
  • Buy or sell any second-hand items
  • Participate in housing society elections
  • Buy, sell or rent homes in one of the 20,000 MyGate societies in the country
  • Make private, secure VOIP calls to neighbors, guard

NoBrokerHood is a super app for payment, visitor, and society management. It was founded by the founders who realized that many Indian residential societies were still dependent upon physical registers to manage all their affairs.

This outdated approach was difficult to use, lacks transparency, and is vulnerable to errors. Tech-led intervention could easily address this major gap.

We were inspired to go beyond our property search portal and use their tech capabilities to improve society living and management through NoBrokerHood. This was launched in 2018 by Akhil Gupta who is co-founder and chief technology officer at NoBroker.

This app allows residents of society to manage their society’s entry, staff attendance and payments, accounting, maintenance, and accounting all from one platform.

This tech-driven upgrade allows society residents and managers to instantly access digital records, making it easier, safer, and smarter to manage society processes.

NoBroker also offers other key features, such as:

  • Collection of recurring payments such as rents and maintenance fees by integration of NoBroker Pay into the app
  • Intercom feature
  • SOS button for emergencies and Guard Patrolling with geotagging of QR codes
  • A feature called ‘Explore that allows users to access a range of community-driven services in and around their societies
  • Users/homepreneurs/homemakers can also list their own services and host events to connect with customers

Similar services are also offered by other platforms that ease the burden for residents and resident committees.

These apps also list service providers within and around society, especially small Kirana shops that don’t get listed on major e-commerce platforms

.This unlocks double benefits for both sellers and buyers. ApnaComplex was adopted by us in August 2013. “It has greatly improved our communication and cooperation with residents regarding money issues and has also significantly improved the realization of timely maintenance payments and recovery of past dues,” Pankaj Lal, a member of ApnaComplex’s committee, says.

How Covid Changed The Game

As with many other industries, many external factors play into this industry. What matters most to customers is their ability to adapt to changing times.

The pandemic caused a significant shift in product requirements and customer preferences and opened up new opportunities for these companies. NoBroker, for example, claims that it has grown from 500 to 10,000 societies in just five to six months.

These startups took advantage of the opportunity to add more features to their product line. MyGate has released over ten new features in the last 18 months to assist its users and societies with the pandemic.

It started with temperature and mask checks in April 2020, and it continues to this day. In fact, the company recently launched Society Vaccine status.

NoBroker allowed touchless entry via facial recognition to regular staff members entering the society after the virus outbreak. This was done to prevent accidental transmission.

The following features were also added to NoBroker:

  • Residents in gated communities can access grocery services and essential items through Grocery Services.
  • The Homechef feature connects students, bachelors, and young professionals to home chefs in their society
  • AI/ML-backed COVID tracker to collect and share real-time containment area data with society residents
  • A Vaccine Finder feature on the app, synchronized to the Cowin portal

We realized that, while consumer behavior and purchasing patterns vary for each person, the needs of residents living in gated communities are almost identical. These services include cleaning, repair, grocery, pest control, and services from plumbers electricians mechanics florists home chefs, home chefs, and more.

With changing customer requirements in mind, we continued to improve the product. Gupta, of NoBroker, stated that the main goal of the updates was to make society safer, more secure, and more comfortable for all residents.

Road Ahead

Experts predict that service providers will become an Omni-commerce marketplace, which can meet the multi-faceted needs of users through one platform. The idea is to be able to take up a permanent, if not permanent, spot on the user’s home screen by providing multiple use-cases that meet their diverse needs.

It’s a battle for relevancy in a highly competitive marketplace and only discerning brands will be able, despite the trend towards an increasingly homogeneous, integrated market, to thrive over the next years,” stated Gupta.

Today, only 15% of Indian housing societies use community apps. This is a significant opportunity for these apps. This number will increase exponentially in five years.

We believe the product will become more sophisticated, and that the collective knowledge of not only the community but entire neighborhoods, will be available at the touch of a button, ready for everyone to use,” Swamy, MyGate.

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