New Delhi [India], Apr. 14 (ANI): Building or renovating is an incredibly frustrating experience in this country. The market for trusted professionals and vendors is highly unorganised and largely offline at the moment.
Largely based out of physical space, the industry wears itself out thin. Owners face a hard time finding good resources and inspiration to help articulate a vision for their dream spaces. And ironically, on the other side, millions of architects, designers, and vendors find it difficult to reach out to their customers because people are still using word of mouth and other old school ways to find the right service providers.
Enter iDecorama, a visually driven social marketplace solving the problem of discovery of design ideas, professionals and products in home and living space for Indians. The service, available online both on web and as an app, is essentially a picture directory- find pictures of design ideas and products that inspire you, and trace them back to designers, professionals and brands you want to be working with, to transform your homes, and spaces.
The six month old online marketplace has already garnered more than 50,000 app users on Android and iOS, and has recorded more than 2.5 lakh sessions on its website, which are all organic. What, exactly, does it mean for the building and renovating industry to shift online?
"The vision is to eliminate the barriers that exist between owners and good design, and between talented service professionals and their potential customers. The team at iDecorama wants to achieve this goal by delivering the best technology, user experience, a thriving active community and millions of unique products", says Bharat Sethi, CEO and co-founder.
"Building and renovating homes, or any space, for that matter, has always been a severely fragmented experience".
iDecorama offers a multi-faceted solution. The picture directory completely changes the way people go about building and decorating- it allows you to find service professionals not by whether or not your neighbour or friend was satisfied with their work, but by finding the look you want, within the budget you have in mind, and then finding a professional that fits your criteria at a location near you.
"We are attempting to drive the shift online because there is a huge opportunity to organise and get everyone on one platform. We believe that quick discovery and validation of that discovery is the biggest problem in our industry right now. Our investors have built ACETECH - the largest exhibition in this space in Asia and third largest in the world over the last 10 years. So, there's a lot of learning, connections and insights that are helping our team of 20 right now", Bharat smiles.
Well, it's clearly working. In just six months, iDecorama has more than 50,000 app users and more than 65,000 sessions on website every month. It lists about 600 brands related to home and living, featuring anything from planters to vintage closets, to innovative lighting solutions. The meticulous filters allow you to sort through more than 10,000 unique ideas posted by designers and professionals through location, budget and style, to mention a few of the exhaustive categories, to arrive at the right professionals and products for your homes and commercial spaces."All of this just comes to show the urgent need for a platform like iDecorama", says Minal Kaul, a space designer.
How is this different from other sites that have come up, offering similar services, Livespace, Renomania, for instance?
"The platform is entirely community driven", says Shravika Jain, an interior designer listed on the platform, "iDecorama is an online community of people with matching interests".
Membership into the community is free of cost, and the platform allows consumers and professionals to contact each other through inbuilt messaging and call features. This means that messages, queries and leads get passed around autonomously between members. This not only exponentially multiplies the business potential for architects and designers, opening up new avenues of collaboration and launching them to the right design-hungry audience, but also gives consumers direct access to the best professionals in the industry.
Oh, and did I mention? The service offers free consultations with some of its best experts.
In appearance, the platform is a powerful picture directory that lists professionals by photo portfolios on an 'amazing user interface,' to quote my design obsessed friend Anil Bharadwaj, who browses the platform on a daily basis to feast on the constantly updated and curated pictorial feed.
Anil goes on to remind me how iDecorama, with its extensive photo feed, is not only revolutionising the experience of building and renovating in this country, but is also introducing unique design experiences, and leading the drive for mindful construction and good design. (ANI)