Amber SajidChief Operating Officer & CoHo Team Interview Published On: Thursday, June 09, 2016 Views 2747
“Luck is when an opportunity meets preparation.”
Living conditions for youngsters in India, who are staying away from home for studies or to do a job, aren’t very good presently. In the name of a cheap accommodation, they have to live in places in pretty dire condition. To change this common practice, which is being inherently imposed on Indian youth, a startup called CoHo has come forth.
CoHo provides managed apartments and villas at an affordable price for working professionals and students across Delhi NCR area (Delhi, Gurgaon, & Noida). CoHo has firm plans to expand to all tier-1 cities within next 3 years. Besides youths, CoHo team is also planning to include families as their target audience.
Please provide a brief overview of your product/ service?
CoHo.in is a tech-enabled venture pioneering the concept of Co-Living Spaces in India with its offering of managed apartments and villas. We are transforming the way students and young professionals (between the age of 18-32 – millennials) live in India. The idea is to bring in superior living experience with end-to-end home services like housekeeping, repairs, maintenance, high-speed internet and other utilities at affordable price point by leveraging technology.
What inspired you to build the above product/ service?
The idea of CoHo evolved from our listing based platform Zocalo.in (one of the most successful broker-free platforms for PG, Hostels, Shared apartments with more than 100,000 beds listed in Delhi-NCR alone). Though the platform is still quite successful, we realized that it’s difficult to monetize it directly and that it cannot control the actual on-ground quality of youth accommodation provided in India, despite providing all the information about them including ratings and reviews. Hence, the idea of creating something which truly transform the living experience of youngsters in India with an end-to-end solution.
What was the most challenging part of your journey till now?
Building anything which has a physical aspect to it is always tough in India, given that it becomes a very strong execution play and also building a great team that very well aligns to the vision of the company.
Share some details about the investments that you have been able to fetch for the business till now.
CoHo was seed funded last year by a bunch of angel investors Dheeraj Jain, Managing Partner at Redcliffe Capital (London); Rajesh Sawhney, co-founder of Innerchef& founder of GSF Accelerator; Sachin Bhatia, co-founder of trulymadly.com and ex co-founder of MakeMyTrip; Mahesh Parasuraman, former managing director, the Carlyle Group; family office of large auto-comp groups; Udaan Angels and others.
How do you protect yourself from the problem of Brain Drain?
Backed by a super resilient team, we have refined our business model and taken rapid strides to create a strong brand recall in this market. We, as a team, are cherishing every moment of being a part of creating a product that can make a difference to the living experience of youngsters in India.
According to you, what are the three qualities an individual must have to achieve success?
According to us the three qualities an individual should have to achieve success in the startup world are:
Which online tools/ services/ apps do you use the most and would like to recommend as well?
We use slack, which is a great tool for communication and helps us a lot in keeping everyone on the same page within the team.
Share any one habit which you think makes you more productive.
Following a timeline and to-do list for everything has helped everyone in the team to be more productive overall and is a great practice for people who multitask.
What are your plans for next 3 years?
CoHo plans to go in depth in each city before expanding geographically to other Tier 1 cities of India and also will be serving family audience soon, apart from just students and young professionals. Also, the introduction of latest technology products like smart locks, virtual reality, energy saving appliances will help us scale the business.