Home renovation is an experience that creates wonderful memories as well and homeowners often look at a design or concept or colour to have a connect with every corner, every wall or every room of the house.
Home renovation can be an equally cumbersome experience as well especially when the hunt for the perfect designer, contractor or even handy mans for plumbing or electric work goes awry.
The segment is highly unorganised as each city has local specialists and even getting the right material – woods, paints, hardware, electricals etc -- is an opaque and time-consuming work with no assurance about the quality.
A Gurugram-based start-up Mistry.Store has identified the inefficiencies of the system and has created a building materials marketplace to simplify the materials supply aspect for home interior professionals such as architects, designers and contractors who can streamline their requirements and get the best prices.
“The best ideas come from personal experiences, and in the same way the trigger for launching Mistry.Store was my experience in doing-up my own apartment in Gurgaon,” says Vaibhav Poddar, Co-Founder, Mistry.Store.
“Today, when companies are tirelessly working on providing us convenience for everything, I was here spending probably the most I ever had… and still was struggling along with my interior designer with multiple vendors, price opacity and lack of any customer service,” he adds.
Founded by Poddar and Bhanu Mahajan, Mistry.Store marketplace is accessible to professionals irrespective of their geographies.
While professionals have to often deal with local suppliers for materials and are left with few options, home owners often complain about the lack of transparency in costs and the quality of work.
This assumes significance since the real estate segment as such has seen technology disrupt many of the traditional elements like house hunting and buying of furniture etc, the home renovation arena is still largely unorganised.
Currently operational in Gurugram, Mistry.Store provides home interior materials like plywood and boards, hardware and tools, electricals and lights, paints and chemicals, sanitary and plumbing on its platform.
Incidentally, Mistry.Store houses one of the largest warehouses and sampling area in Gurugram spread over 20,000 square feet.
This is how it works. Contractors and designers can reach out to Mistry.Store on a WhatsApp number with their requirements. The start-up then responds with a quote for the materials. Once the amount is agreed upon, the venture delivers the materials to the professionals.
Professionals get the advantage of competitive pricing without having to depend on local suppliers or multiple vendors for multiple materials.
“Mistry.Store always offers low prices, ensuring there is no need to negotiate on every purchase. Further benefits include simplified ordering & deliveries with a dedicated relationship manager and increased earnings for professional partners through loyalty benefits,” says Poddar.
Launched in 2022, the start-up has already onboarded over 2,000 professionals in a short span even though material delivery is currently done only within the Delhi-NCR region.
The founders, however, are looking to take their venture to more cities and also launch more products including a credit facility that will benefit professionals greatly.
“The market for home interior materials in NCR and surrounding areas is worth $3-5 billion. We want to create a deep presence within this area over the next 12-18 months before expanding to other metro cities,” says Poddar.
In October 2022, Mistry.Store raised $2 million in a seed funding round led by Omidyar Network India, Waveform VC and Bharat Founders Fund.
One of the key differentiators for Mistry.Store from other home decor start-ups is that the start-up does not venture into construction and the focus is firmly on material delivery.
Reports suggest that India’s home interiors market, which was estimated to be worth a little over $23 billion in 2020, is expected to grow at 5-10% CAGR.
“Mistry.Store is a trading platform for all building materials hence our business model is very straightforward - we make money through margins earned on our sales,” says Poddar.
Given this backdrop and growth potential, it seems that Mistry.Store has an exciting opportunity to bring the home interior ecosystem together, and in the process create India’s largest building materials marketplace.
“Mistry.Store will build itself into India’s largest platform for home building materials, anchored on our professional partners. While being largest in scale, we would launch initiatives to create a positive impact to our professionals’ lives, these initiatives will include areas like skilling, community building, business prospects, digital tools for improving productivity, etc.,” explains Poddar.
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