A few days back we published a post on how we are being bullied by a US competitor (launching in India soon). For those of you who missed it, read what we had to say about it here. With this post, we want to tell you the story behind Houzify.
18 months back, we started with a vision to enable 100 million homeowners and design enthusiasts in India to beautify their homes. When the three of us got together, the inspiration behind starting something in the home décor vertical was very clear and personal. Discovering relevant design ideas that were actionable was a major challenge. With only inspiration from the West available online, we were relying largely on offline references to complete our home projects. And we soon realized that designing a home is a nightmare experienced by most people in India. That was the starting point. Since then the goal has been to design a kick-ass product that solves the discovery challenges.
Once the purpose behind Houzify’s existence was clear, the next step was to define a set of values that would govern the culture of the organisation. This would ensure that the founders as well as the people who believed in our vision would never lose sight of the original goal and would strive to work in that direction. After a few days of brainstorming, we finally aligned on four key values – Innovation, Integrity, Empathy, and Ownership.
The last 18 months have been about harnessing these values to lay a strong foundation for the business. The decision to choose design inspiration as a starting point was done after a deep reflection. We could have chosen to be a transactional platform from day one. It was a difficult choice but we clearly knew from the beginning that we wanted to be with people at every step of their home design journey. In our quest to reinvent the space, we worked tirelessly on the ground to first bring homeowners, design enthusiasts, and professionals onto the platform. People now had the option of looking at a homegrown company for inspiration to design their houses. They could follow the trends and act upon ideas that caught their fancy, without getting into the hassle of coordinating everything themselves.
Along the way, we have had 20 great individuals join us in our mission to disrupt the home décor industry and we strongly believe our team to be our biggest strength. We have been able to create a product that is amazingly simple to use. But the process behind it has been anything but simple. We’ve invested time and energy in building a mobile-first platform that combines great user experience, relevance, and scalability. We built an army of photographers pan India to help professionals and homeowners document their projects. We made sure each of these images were curated and annotated by our design experts to simplify discovery and educate our users.
And all these efforts have been very rewarding. Since we launched our Android app last September, we have had over 120,000 registered users. Over a million sessions. Over 500 curated professionals. What’s more? We have one of the best engagement metrics among all lifestyle apps in India, our session length and frequency is next only to Myntra (which is reportedly the best in the industry).
With our ‘User First Approach’, we are focused on understanding the needs of our users and building a custom solution for them. Diversion at such times is natural but focus comes easy when you have conviction in the strength of your vision. And despite all the recent distractions, we remain committed to our vision of enabling 100 million homeowners and design enthusiasts in India to beautify their homes.
Guna, Shailesh & Chintan
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