'Apnacomplex' - Apartment living made easy - Part2

Saturday, January 22, 2011

Last week had written about the excerpts of my discussion with Mr Rajshekar, the chief promoter of Apnacomplex venture in part 1. Now, for the rest of our discussion:

iv. In the last couple of years, we are able to see few other similar web based application towards apartment management. How different is your application OR what is your unique selling proposition as compared to other's offerings in similar such product.

Resident Welfare Associations have existed for over decades and there have been software(including web-based software) addressing the needs since many years. There are few players who entered the market after us and few are in the process of entering. This shows that there is market and it is in nascent stage. We believe that there is enough market for quite a few players to co-exist easily at this stage - especially considering that entry barriers into this field are not high. Over a period time in future, like with any industry, the area will see consolidation.
Differentiating ourselves from many other solutions out there in the market is a continuous process. We respect our competitors and are always in the process of innovating to attract and retain customers. The core differentiation is our approach of providing a value for money solution which addresses the needs of the complex with a great customer service.

While one can get flavor of all the features we offer at https://www.apnacomplex.com/features, some of the other differentiating features are:

  1. Integrated Solution – We probably have the most integrated solution offering among all the players. ApnaComplex addresses end to end needs of the scenarios that we address. For example, the system can take the input of meter reading for piped-gas (or water or DG) for all flats, raise consolidated invoices for flats (utility charges + maintenance charges), and notify the user of the charges via SMS and email. It allows the administrator to track the payments against these charges which are then available on financial reports such as income/expense statement and the balance sheet of the complex.
  2. Anywhere / anytime access to the application - Most of RWAs are managed by folks on voluntary basis. The folks managing the complex have access to the system whenever they can devote time for doing the management activities. They don’t have to be in the association office to be doing this work. The residents have access to the application for viewing information related to their flats and the matters related to the complex. This brings in a large degree of transparency in the complex.
  3. Free from infrastructure needs and IT expertise - The application is run by the us in the cloud. The complex is able to get started within no time, needs no investment in special hardware such as server(s) etc. They also get a peace of mind as we backup the system and data at regular frequency.
  4. User Friendly – The application is designed for use by novices. Even the accounting features are available as ‘scenario based’ interface rather than accounting terms based. This greatly reduces the learning curve for the users. There are advanced interfaces, for the professionals, which provide greater power and control over the application too. The bottom line is that one need not be a professional accountant to use this application successfully.

v. Whats the absorption rate (user /customer licence) since inception?
While we are unable to disclose the exact numbers at this time, the product has been very well received by the market with in a very short span of time. Our customers have been steadily increasing with presence all over India. There has been tremendous interest in our application for all corners of the country.

vi. Apart from apnacomplex is there any other product offering from your company?
Currently, we have a single focus on innovating on ApnaComplex. We are focusing on taking this product to markets outside India.

... as you have rightly pointed out, using of the application towards apartment maintenance is still at a very nascent stage. For that matter community living of 1000+ families is a very recent phenomenon, may be less than 5 years. The residents in these communities is yet to get the real feel of the challenges they are bound to get when community living happens. So I believe as the time progresses the absorption rate will become quite high.

Signing off with an anecdote, no body would have thought, 10 years before that matrimonial website will become a reality and popular in India, but in less than a decade many Indian marriage are settled through matrimonial website and hence I believe in less than 10 years time facility management through SAas can become really popular due to the sheer size of community type lying happening in the last few years!.

Good luck Mr Rajshekar for the future of your venture!

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