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BW Businessworld

Plotting Success Yard By Yard

The verve, energy and multi-faceted talent of Kanika Gupta Shori is mirrored in the broad success of Square Yards

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A Wharton Business School alumna and a CFA level 2 candidate, Kanika Gupta Shori, Founder and COO of Square Yards, is a multi-talented and versa­tile personality. Gupta has dabbled in the fields of asset management and entertainment before start­ing Square Yards. She has won several accolades including the Young Achievers, Woman Icon, to name a few. 

A Red Herring Asia Top 100 & ET Growth Champion 2020 company, Square Yards witnessed exponential growth in a very short span of time. The company today ranks among top 20 consumer tech startups in India in terms of GTV (around $1 billion), top 50 in terms of revenue with $50 million and is amongst the handful of consumer tech startups in India which are profitable. 

Square Yards has achieved a significant scale in just five years and is one of the few Indian startups which has successfully expanded globally. It has direct presence in more than 25 cities globally with more than 3,000 employees across nine countries. 

Backed by technology and a habit of emerging triumphant even in the most adverse circumstances, Square Yards was able to garner almost 20 per cent market share, transacting over 3,700 real estate deals, clocking a GTV of Rs 2,200 crore and controlled almost 80 per cent of the Gulf market. 

“On-boarding the right talent and creating a stellar team has been the biggest challenge. We have explored existing talent pools already, especially in India. We have resorted to deeper searches now, but we reckon that this challenge shall exist in the future too. Scaling up the model in a sector where numerous startups found traction early but failed when they tried to scale, and ensuring consumer satisfaction while maintaining operational efficiency, was another enormous hur­dle,” she says. 

With firm belief, she waded through the unprecedented global chal­lenge that the worldwide pandemic posed. Instead of being cautious and slowing down our business, they ensured that they made optimum use of technology to become relevant to their customers. 

“Hence within a few days of the lockdown, we were able to launch our digital platform and evolve our business model in a way that the April-June 2020 quarter ended on a high with Square Yards capturing 20 per cent of the total market share during the quarter. Thus, as far as we are concerned, funding was not impacted as our performance only went upwards. We raised $25 million in a record 20 days. Our valuation crossed $300 million (Rs 2200+ crore). Our global ambitions were on point with the international busi­nesses contributing to almost one third of the total revenue. As mentioned, 2020 proved to be the most profitable year for Square Yards. While I do not discount the immense losses caused in terms of lives lost and the severe impact on businesses globally, I am proud to say that we at Square Yards put our heart and soul into ensuring that we do not succumb to this unex­pected calamity,” says Gupta.

Sqaure Yards informed that the company launched and executed several new ventures such as Azuro, Secondary, Edge, Search and Discovery platform and PMS. The company’s online traffic jumped four times to reach 3 million.

“Innovating and evolving our business model has been one of the key reasons for our success. From the humble beginnings in 2014 we are now aiming to become an inte­grated property solution platform for ‘everything real estate’ 2020 was the year when we took the ini­tial steps towards achieving this,” she stated. 

“With the launch of Azuro, our rental property management plat­form, we are now capturing the rental market as well. In 2021, we plan to expand and diversify our portfolio and hence we are entering the home furnishing space soon. Innovation, Diversification, Aggression, and the Numbers achieved are what make us stand apart,” she explains further. 

On a conclusive note she signs off by saying that, “This was the year when we distributed more than Rs 30crore of incentives & spread our wings to become an ecosystem.