Empowering home building professionals to uplift an entire industry: Why we invested in Mistry.Store
It’s not a secret that despite being a very large market, home building in India is plagued by lack of transparency and standardization, leaving professionals and small businesses engaged in the industry like contractors, carpenters, masons, interior designers and others to struggle with unreliable and inferior quality of materials. This results in a substandard experience for their customers and limited post purchase assurance.
These small businesses and independent professionals, who are at the heart of the industry, influence a wide majority of customer purchase decisions. By empowering them and leveraging the existing relationship between customers and home building professionals, one can create a new tech led distribution channel for homebuilding products, while solving for the existing inefficiencies and challenges in the market.
That’s the bold vision with which Mistry.Store was built by Vaibhav Poddar and Bhanu Mahajan. The company offers a one-stop wholesale marketplace for home building materials, ranging from wooden supplies, electrical and lighting equipment, to paints and adhesives for the use of these professionals to place orders on behalf of their customers and get it delivered conveniently to the construction site.
Mistry.Store provides a strong value proposition for the end customer in terms of pricing, timely delivery, choice, transparency and customer experience by procuring from select manufacturers and passing on benefits to the end customer.
India’s home interiors market, according to research, was worth ~₹18,845.36 crore ($23.2 billion) in 2020, and supports over 1.5 million small businesses and ~7 million independent professionals. Yet, 95% of this market is unorganised, with only a few segments such as sanitary ware and paints that have large, organised players. The primary influencer in purchasing decisions is the home building professional such as the interior designer or carpenter. These professionals tend to operate within their local network or area of operation.
Retailers are highly fragmented and localised. They usually keep limited inventory and operate on opaque pricing and most distributors are small micro-enterprises with annual revenue of ₹6-7 lakh. Manufacturing is dominated by micro, small and medium enterprises (MSMEs) and most of the market is unbranded and operates at 60-80% chain margins.
Business Model and Team
Mistry.Store addresses the critical aspects that impact all stakeholders in the ecosystem, including product availability, pricing, and fulfillment. The platform offers a comprehensive digital catalog with engaging content, streamlined operations, and seamless purchasing and checkout options. Additionally, Mistry.Store offers better pricing compared to retailers, with volume-based offers for its customers.
We believe Vaibhav and Bhanu are best placed to scale this model. They bring a wealth of experience and expertise to the company, making them well-equipped to scale this solution. Vaibhav, a former intrapreneur at Max Healthcare, was instrumental in establishing the home healthcare business, ambulance management, and senior care verticals. Bhanu, on the other hand, has experience building a patient engagement platform with over 5,000 doctors pan-India, which was later acquired by Reliance.
With a mission to simplify the home building materials purchasing process, Vaibhav and Bhanu aim to create a comprehensive solution that caters to the needs of homeowners, contractors, masons, interior designers, and carpenters while improving the workings of the entire industry along the way.
India is one of the very few large economies where the homebuilding market is fragmented and unorganised. By creating a three-way marketplace, Mistry Store solves pain points for service professionals, homeowners making purchase decisions, and eventually the manufacturers as well.
By empowering the small businesses and independent professionals who are at the heart of the industry, we believe Mistry.store can organise this large fragmented market through technology while uplifting millions of these professionals with higher earnings. For a market fraught with inefficiencies, inflated pricing, and severe opacity for end consumers, this is a great example of a tech-led solution benefitting all stakeholders at once.
The model ties in with our focus on the Next Half Billion internet users who are yet to fully experience the benefits of technology for improving their livelihoods. Most service professionals and small businesses engaged in the home building products market have access to the internet, but rarely do they use it for significantly improving their earning opportunities.
In the next five years, we expect Mistry.Store to help over 500,000 professionals and improve their earnings. In the process, Mistry.Store will enhance the livelihoods of several more NHB individuals directly and indirectly employed by these MSMEs.