Separator - Sowing Seeds of Change in US$120 Bn Age-Old Indian Construction Industry

Nishant Garg & Shashank Garg,FoundersConstruction-Renovation-Repairs, words that jolt nearly 300Mn Indian households almost each year, formulate an industry that contributes US$ 120Bn to the Indian GDP and employs 1 in 5 Indians. The optimists believe that the industry will grow nearly 7 folds until 2028. Is n’t it then ironical, that such a colossal industry, with special focus on construction material, has witnessed negligible evolution, particularly over the last 3 decades. A quick comparison between the buying trends of construction material Vs those of groceries, clothes, electronics, etc. over this period would surprise most people.

Challenged by this thought and to transform consumer experience suffering from fading confidence, unorganized transactions and information asymmetry, Nishant and Shashank Garg, the 2 brothers, formed - an online marketplace aggregating 50,000+ products fulfilled by 500+ sellers across New Delhi Capital Region (NCR). Nishant is a Civil Engineer from IIT Guwahati, an ex-McKinsey consultant and an INSEAD MBA, while Shashank is a business graduate with 8+ years of forging industry partnerships. Both brothers hail from a family business that bank on 50+ years of trade knowledge and network.
Through their research, they conclude that the common man is not the lone sufferer of industry in efficiencies. Builders, contractors or architects, given their sheer volume of transactions, present an amplified set of challenges. Similarly, industrial houses witness discrepancies in material ordered vs. supplied vs. consumed. Surprisingly, the seller side seemed equally complex. Most sellers are setup as a one-man-show enterprise, with founders at the tail-end of their professional tenure battling the challenges of falling turnover and returns. With little encouragement for the next generation to succeed, manufacturers are often found firefighting relationship with a grumpy disengaging traditional founder.

Brick2wall has witnessed 8 times growth in sales reaching an annual GMV of Rs. 15 crores, recording a 40% MOM growth, with an average ticket size of Rs. 80,000

Aiding your Construction needs
For consumers, Brick2Wall serves as a one-stop online solution, providing ready access to choose and buy from 200+ brands across Building material (includes cement, steel, bricks & aggregates), Electricals, Plumbing, Sanitary Ware, Tiles and Wall finish products. Home owners particularly leverage free material calculators and buying guides endorsed by IIT Guwahati and unlimited access to contractors listed on the platform, to make educated decisions. Flexible payment solutions, price
guarantees, quality and on-time delivery, win the customers over. Leading architects, contractors and SME builders endorse Brick2wall for its professional setup, transparency and quality assurance and regard it as a revolution in the industry. They particularly enjoy regular industry updates and customized solutions, while sourcing for their multiple construction sites.

Laying the Path Ahead
In the current fiscal year, Brick2wall has witnessed 8 times growth in sales reaching an annual GMV of Rs. 15 crores, recording a 40% MOM growth, with an average ticket size of Rs. 80,000. It recently won appreciation from steel and cement companies and sees pull from manufacturers in other categories. Nishant operates a tight-ship, which he believes is crucial for an e-version of his industry and for reaching break-even within this fiscal. With sales growth, sales-mix diversification and strengthening vendor relationships, he is confident of growing the current 3.5% Gross Margin (net of transaction expenses) to >6%.

The company takes pride in its open work culture and focus on developing a comprehensive growth curve for its entrepreneurial task force. Brick2wall’s rich advisory board exhibits experience across ecommerce, finance and heavy industries that keeps them updated with industry best practices.

Brick2wall won the 31st INSEAD Venture Competition in Dec’15. It received Rs. 1.3 crores as seed fund in Jun’17 from a clutch of angel investors and plans an aggressive growth plan in FY2018. A fresh website and maiden mobile application for this industry will be unveiled later in the month.