Gated communities & PropTech: the future of Indian Resi?

Co-founder of PropTech app MyGate talks about how gated communities are the solution to an over decade old problem.
2 MIN READJune 26, 2019

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With demand beginning to outweigh supply in Indian residential, coliving as well as shared housing communities are becoming more common. However, a large problem with gated communities are non-efficiencies when it comes to managing the comings and goings. Abhishek Kumar, cofounder of tech startup company MyGate, talks about the future of PropTech and what it means for shared living.

Is now a good time to be a PropTech entrepreneur? Is the industry well positioned to take off?

The short answer is absolutely, yes. If you look at the last ten years we have seen tech companies make huge changes to the way we travel, shop, and most importantly, live. There were spaces in these markets that services such as Uber and Amazon were able to severely disrupt. PropTech is just as important because it can be a big part of our day to day lives, and has the potential to create immense efficiency.

Is there any way that PropTech could be seen as an enabler?

It depends from which perspective you’re talking about. If you look at the overall world of real estate, you first have to consider the consumer side. This is looking at searching, discovery, process of buying and financing, and then having to maintain it. From the perspective of developers, it goes right from land acquisition, to the assigning of asset class and design. With both of these, PropTech can certainly enable these processes by making the searching and assessing of Real Estate much easier with technology. So yes, I see PropTech as an enabler as it improves consumer trust and experience which also removing inefficiencies on a business level.

As proptech grows, will financing get easier or harder as demand grows?

Anything that has a high demand and meets consumer expectations will naturally generate all the money they need. If you take e-commerce for instance; 10 years ago it didn't immediately explode because people were understandably wary about putting payment information online to have something delivered, but as people put more trust in it it became a booming industry. In terms of tech, as long as you make the entire process seamless, convenient and sustainable then you will generate a big enough returning customer base to make any enterprise able to finance itself.

What specific problems with gated communities motivated you to start a service like MyGate?

So when me and my friends all decided to quit our corporate jobs to start MyGate, there were 3 primary driving factors. For us to pursue a new business venture, there had to be a real problem to solve, a large enough problem to solve, and a problem that no one yet has solved. This was the basic framework, and we identified a main problem. India in the last 20 years is making huge strides in urbanisation, so the same thing China went through in the 1990s and early 2000s is what India is going through right now. This means top tier cities are attracting more and more people to work and live. The finite amount of traditional housing couldn’t match this large influx of people so gated communities gained popularity as they both used space more efficiently and provided amenities that traditional residential doesn’t.
The MyGate app allows you to “simplify urban living” by tracking such things as maintenance, cleaners, and communication with neighbours, while making sure that you can track whos going in and coming out in realtime. It also allows you to manage daily services such as personal cooks or drivers.

In just over 3 years, MyGate is part of the daily lives of over 600,000 households in the top 10 biggest cities in India. 

For more info on how technology is disrupting the real estate market, the first GRI PropTech India will take place on 18 September in Mumbai. India GRI 2019 is taking place concurrently, and will feature broader discussions on all real estate asset classes in the region.

Article by Matt Harris
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