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GharExpert CEO interview at Channel.... - From the Editor GharExpert CEO interview at Channel One News
  By:Gunjan Utraja - On Friday, March 5,2010  -  8383 View(s)  -  6 Comment(s)
GharExpert CEO interview at Channel.... - From the Editor"s Desk - Gunjan Utraja"s channel - ALL channels 

Channel One News conducted a 30 minute interview of Mr. Rajnish Utraja who is CEO of www.GharExpert.com The interview was telecast on Feb 20th 2010 in “Industry Watch” program of the channel.

We are glad that the news publication has recognized the effort put by the GharExpert team. The interview was in Hindi and the English transcript of the interview are as below.

Video of Interview: Part 1 of 5

 Aastha (Anchor):  Hello and welcome to “Industry Watch”. In this program we bring to you information about a new industry every day. And today we will talk about all problems related to construction and interior decoration and for this we have with us our special guest, Mr. Rajnish Utraja, who is CEO of www.GharExpert.com. GharExpert.com  is a website where you can find information about all problems related to construction and interior decoration. Mr. Rajnish, First of all I want you to explain to our audience in your own words about what is GharExpert.com and what kind of services do you provide to the users.

Rajnish Utraja:  Thank you Aastha, before I talk about the website, I would like to share a brief story about how we initiated this website. I am basically a software consultant who was a  consultant with a General Motor subsidiary in the USA. I came back to India in 2004 and when we were building our office then I found that if you do not hire an Architect or Interior Decorator then you face a lot of problems in building your office or home. Looking at the general trend, we thought that not every one could hire experts before building their home. So we decided that we should make a knowledgebase where any one involved in construction or home improvement could go and find answer about all their queries. So we hired, architects, interior decorators, civil engineers, structure engineers, electrical engineers and build a knowledgebase where you can go and get answers to any query related to construction or interior decoration. Today, our website is India’s largest website for construction and interior contents and more than 300,000 visitors visit our website every month and I am very glad that people have appreciated our effort and approved our content.

Aastha (Anchor):  You are a software consultant and usually consultants go on to start their own business but why did you start a service in this field of construction and interior decoration which is entirely different from the software consulting. And I am sure that you must have faced a lot of challenges in this field.

Rajnish Utraja:  You are right, there were a lot of challenges as this business line was totally different from the software consulting line but I always wanted to build some thing that could have a positive impact on a common person’s life. I was an engineer and I still faced a lot of difficulties in getting things done, so the whole process must be very troubling for a lay-person.  If you speak to any one in India who has ever constructed a home or done interior decoration and ask them about their experience, they would tell you that it was one of the most unpleasant experience they had.  If a problem affects so many people then it must be a big opportunity too. My team analyzed the source of these problems faced by the people. We found that people do not know the good construction techniques, contractors do not give them technically correct information. When people go to purchase raw material, they don’t know how to adjudge the quality of raw material, say Wood or marble. So we felt that it is a very big opportunity to make a difference to a common person’s life and we accepted this opportunity.

Video of Interview: Part 2 of 5

Part 2 of the interview

Aastha (Anchor):  For this project, you would have software poeple and would have worked with Architects, interior decorators and other consultants. How did you handle people with such a diverse skill set.

Rajnish Utraja:  My biggest weakness in this project was that I am not an architect or interior decorator. But I treated this weakness as my biggest strength. An average person who is constructing his home is our client and he does not know any thing about architecture or interior decoration. So, if my consultants, my architects, interior decorators, if they can satisfy me by providing information in a manner that I can understand then they can also satisfy my customers. This is the approach we took in ensuring that my team served our clients effectively.

Aastha (Anchor):  Who are your target customers?

Rajnish Utraja:  Our target customers are middle income group, upper middle and lower income group customers. Any one who is constructing or doing interior decoration is our target audience. Our website has a lot of material that is available for free, so if you don’t want to spend any money on consulting then you could go to our website. There are around 12000 designs available on the website. You can use these designs and articles to decorate your home. But if you don’t have time, or think that these plans should be executed by professionals then you can hire us to execute your project.

Aastha (Anchor):  Where do you provide these services?

Rajnish Utraja:
Our office is in North India, New Delhi. We undertake complete project execution in North India and we provide design consulting services to our customers around the country. We provide consulting services to customers in Hyderabad, Mumbai, Bangalore, Pune and other metros.

Aastha (Anchor):  Do you provide consulting services to residences only?

Rajnish Utraja:
We provide consulting services for offices, commercial spaces and residences.

Aastha (Anchor):  Tell us about a project that was very challenging and a lot of times there are memories associated with particular projects, Please share such project with us.

Rajnish Utraja: Aastha, Interior Decoration is a subject where each person has his own set of ideas. So each project of ours brings unique challenges. For residences, specially, if you look at any average middle class family, a husband, wife and two kids, you would see that they all have their own preferences. Kids, for example, may like cartoon themes in their rooms. Women may think about kitchen planning and other space management things. Husband may worry about the cost of the project so each project has its own set of unique challenges. So all projects are interesting for us.  
Aastha (Anchor):  Today, even though people want all facilities in their home, but still they are conscious about budget so how do you convince people that their home would complete within a specified budget.

Rajnish Utraja:
Aastha, you have asked a very good question about the budget. If you ask any one who has ever constructed a home in India whether his home was completed in budget or not, you would be surprised to learn that they would tell you that it took more money to build their home than what they had originally estimated. So keeping the same problem in mind, we have built an estimator tool that helps people to save money on construction.

Aastha (Anchor): 
Rajnish, we’ll talk about the estimator tool after a short break.  

Video of Interview: Part 3 of 5

Part 3 of the interview

Aastha (Anchor):  Welcome back after the break. We have our guest Mr. Rajnish Utraja with us, Rajnish is CEO of GharExpert.com.  Rajnish, before the break, we were talking about how you can provide customers good services within their limited budget. Can you please explain about it.

Rajnish Utraja: Aastha, For the budget, If you ask any one who has ever constructed a home in India whether his home was completed in budget or not, they would tell you that it took more money to build their home than what they had originally estimated. I think the reason why this happens is, that we do not plan our home construction properly. A layman constructing home usually does not know what options he has and how he should budget or plan his home construction process. To educate the customers, we build India’s first free online construction cost estimator where if you tell the estimator that you are constructing a 2000 Sqft home, the estimator would tell you the number of bricks, cement bags, steel and other raw material required to complete construction. The estimator covers all stages of construction. For example, if you are planning to do flooring in a home, the estimator would help you discover the cost increases if you choose wooden flooring over marble flooring. By providing this free service to our customers, we want to showcase that such detailed planning and estimation techniques are available today and people should use these techniques for their home construction. Look at Delhi Metro project, where several phases of construction was completed on time. Technically, Delhi Metro used the planning and estimation techniques to complete these projects on time and we want to provide the same techniques to an average home owner so that he can also complete his project on time and within the budget.

Aastha (Anchor):  As the Delhi/NCR and other areas are growing at a rapid pace what other solutions do you provide for cost control and time management for individual clients.

Rajnish Utraja: We have taken our cost estimation service, one step further. If you do not have time and want us to help you out with your construction then we have a service by the name “Detailed Cost Estimate”. In this service, if you send us your architectural plan then we would help you in each of your decision making process. For example, we can help you pick the right wood for your kitchen cabinets. We’ll tell you about the newer materials available in the market and will also tell you about the best material available for a particular type of work. One, we will guide you to choose the right raw material for your home. Two, we’ll tell you about the challenges you might face while using that material. Three, we’ll tell you about the labor charges or other overheads that you would need to incur. This service helps you to procure the right material at the right cost, plan your budget properly and understand the technical aspects of implementation.

Video of Interview: Part 4 of 5


Part 4 of the interview

Aastha (Anchor):  How do you control the customer interaction through the website. 
Rajnish Utraja: Using the centralized infrastructure properly is very important in keeping the cost of the services low. If you send an expert to a client then it consumes a lot of time of the expert. So we would not be able to keep the cost low, if we have to send an expert to each client. To control this, we have implemented a CRM (Customer Relationship Management) system, where all queries entered by the users are centralized. These queries are automatically directed to the experts and the experts also put the answers to the questions in this centralized CRM system. Once the answers are entered in the system, they automatically get sent to the customer. Using this technology we control the cost of our operations and provide a professional service to the clients.

Aastha (Anchor):  Today, a lot of people are inclined to purchase flats. But still, building own architecture is considered good. How do you guide people as to which option they should choose?
Rajnish Utraja: See Aastha, buying flats or building homes are two separate things. If you talk about Delhi, Mumbai or other metros, people like flats because there is no land to construct homes. If you go to tier-2 or tier-3 cities, people still prefer to construct their own homes. In satellite towns like Noida or Gurgaon, people give contracts to contractors on Through rate, which means that you finalize a rate with the contractor as per your specifications and then the contractor would perform the work as per your specifications. For other cities, people still hire labor and purchase material for their homes themselves. For both of these cases, GharExpert.com helps the home owners tremendously. For through rate contracts, GharExpert tells readers as to how they should negotiate rates with the contractors, how they should check whether the contractor is doing what he is supposed to do and so one. For the labor rate work, where you purchase the material yourself, we have a lot of articles that guide you to purchase material properly. Video of Interview: Part 5 of 5
 
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6 Comment(s)
By HEMA : On Tuesday, June 19,2012
Need to know if Ghar Expert can help us building our dream house at Bangalore?
 
By Precious : On Tuesday, April 19,2011
Real brain power on disaply. Thanks for that answer!
 
By Anonymous : On Sunday, October 31,2010
Touch Lean,protection extra estimate official priority switch far teacher picture double leader useful adult serious planning arrive be quickly chair civil approach before community market mainly wrong boat warm arm letter block double unemployment note die terms risk produce urban reply whilst inform population criterion careful household directly in panel device revenue clearly be hit agent labour sure aye except demonstrate winter prisoner expression hell boy simply rural first sexual talk though smile discuss edge concept works chief growth search here imagine research close afterwards start round demand leading introduce ahead domestic
 
By SHEKHAR : On Thursday, September 30,2010
i m looking 4 front elevation & open terrace design of my upcoming 2 storyed house in Durgapur,( W.B .). Can I get it as complimentary ? Thnx !
 
By KRISHNA MOHAN : On Thursday, June 17,2010
we require front elevation for our 7 storeyd hotel project
K.MOHAN
 
By Joseph : On Sunday, March 14,2010
Good going
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