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“See yourself as a player in the long run and keep taking actions everyday, think of everyday as a new starting point and don’t stop,keep doing your work, have patience and believe in yourself”- Shubham T., founder of Earthfields in an exclusive interview with startup story.
Shubham, belongs to an army background, he came from north India and settled in bangalore, having completed PGDM in marketing twelve years back he started his career in real estate and has been into sales and business development since then, he has worked across a number of different companies in the real estate space largely working with Godrej properties.
He founded Earthfields in 2020, the platform brings to your desk a tech-driven solution which caters to the gap between landowners, real estate agents, builders, and developers; it is a one-stop solution for both corporations and individuals. Mutual land requirement listings are provided by the startup which in turn leads to faster decision making. Earthfields currently engages with the land categories across commercial, industrial and agriculture provided they are available for residential/commercial developments.
When Shubham had completed a decade in the real estate industry, he noticed that people around him who were doing land transactions for their project were struggling a lot, he set out to find out why it was happening and got the idea that this problem could be solved through technology.
When asked why Earthfields was started, Shubham stated that he had always wanted to start his own business but was unsure of where to begin. He used to have many ideas but struggled to make a decision. When he first began his career, working a job was never in his plans. However, the moment this idea struck him, he knew it was something he wanted to work on and develop further. It was just a matter of time before he ultimately made the decision to leave his job in order to pursue his passion full-time.
He met a lot of senior experienced people from the industry and got the idea validated, participated in mentorship programmes to learn how startups operate, undertook financial planning, outlined the issue and its resolution in detail and set out to work and has never looked back after that. He saw a problem and a solution and created a platform that could implement it. Earthfields is a niche and exclusive SaaS driven marketplace platform for Lands, their solution is going to enable a fair and competitive environment along with realistic prices of real estate assets.
With a backward integration strategy, Earthfields aims to introduce technology into every stage of the land supply chain in order to enable transparency, standardisation of prices and services, increased efficiency and productivity across the board, and, of course, a larger market share. They are currently concentrating on managing the supply and demand for land along with offering niche networking. Their MVP is currently active in Bangalore capturing both urban and rural parts of it.
More than 150 users, 50 notable Bengaluru-based real estate developers, including Godrej Properties, Birla Estates, Alembic Real Estate, Mahindra Lifespaces, Kolte Patil, TVS Emerald, SNN Raj Corp, Casa Grand, and RBD Homes, have joined the platform so far. 5800+ acres of land has been captured over their platform. They will soon roll out their subscription models in segments for various client profiles. They have already conducted some price testing and confirmation.
Being from a non-tech background, his first hurdle was to find someone who could support him in terms of technology. He began looking for the perfect person, and around half an year later he met his co-founder Mr. Anirudh and they have been working together ever since.
They have been frugal in terms of money and resources but this hasn’t stopped them in the least. They have a lean team of just three people, Mr. Shubham overseeing all the business operations and Mr. Anirudh along with Mr. Balaji taking care of the technological aspect- they have been growing and developing, they have created something distinctive, and the industry’s response to them demonstrates how well the public has embraced their vision.
Their growth has been organic, Mr. Shubham did his own networking through social media, cold calls and acquired customers the traditional way. When covid hit they saw the silver lining to the cloud and took this as an opportunity to perform even better, they made their foundation stronger and started talking to more and more people, met all the customers personally, verified them and discussed with them the products.
‘After covid everyone started moving towards technology, the area related to land sale and acquisition has always been traditional but now the customers behaviour has changed quite a lot. They are willing to use the platform and indulge in the trade through a new way”- Shubham stated. He also faced a lot of emotional challenges as he lost his mother but this did not limit him, he was always firm- “There will always be challenges, but we have to keep going”
In the future, they plan to target large corporations, institutions, HNIs, and UHNIs as their supply and demand-side clients. They estimate that the top 15 cities in India will have a market potential of roughly 3–4 billion USD during the next 5–6 years. When Earthfields establishes itself in Bangalore, they have the vision to become a Pan India platform. Their goal is to broaden their reach and cover as many places as possible in order to unlock its hidden value. They will start by expanding their business to metro cities, then to tier-2 and tier-3 cities, and finally to villages.
They have been bootstrapping; but, in order to reach the next stage of growth, they now require outside funding, so they have been actively searching for investors and are in discussion with a few angel investors.
“The startup journey can be extremely tough without the right mentors, when you are fresh out of college you don’t know how the world works, be careful starting off your journey as a fresher, Make sure you have a certain amount of experience and funds with you before you begin”- Mr. Shubham added when asked to give a message for freshers and budding startup owners and entrepreneurs.
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