Meet The SHEROES: A QnA With Preeti Markan Of ZingyHomes
Preeti Markan, Founding Director of ZingyHomes talks to us about her various ventures (this being her fifth) and shares thoughts on entrepreneurship with us today.
Can you tell us about yourself...
As a youngster, I wanted to be an astrophysicist or a nuclear physicist. Though post my grad in Physics at St. Stephen's Delhi, I also became interested in the intuitive aspects of marketing and eventually took up an mba at FMS, Delhi. I dabbled a bit in marketing of fmcg, pharma, software for sometime but realised pretty soon that corporate life and structure were not my calling. Entrepreneurship - the whole idea of creating something from scratch and doing so independently without the corporate pressures, bottlenecks and politics – was far more beckoning. I have enjoyed every entrepreneurial journey irrespective of the domain (ZingyHomes is my fifth venture). The whole process of creation is very fulfilling, exciting and enriching.
As Founding Director of Zingy Homes, what do you bring to the venture? Can you tell us more about the core team behind Zingy Homes?
As a single founder, one is pretty much involved in everything, from concept & strategy down to telecalling. My case is no different. I do have the support of a very committed team though that looks after development, design and marketing of the product. Each person in the team is an invaluable asset to the organization and instrumental in its growth.
How did the idea of this online community come about? What are the future goals you hope to achieve in terms of reach / expansion, etc?
Back in 2013, when the idea struck, we did a fair bit of research and realised that every stakeholder of the space design, architecture and construction community – from service providers, to product manufacturers, to importers & suppliers to end users had under-served needs. By creating a unifying online platform, we are making it easy for stakeholders to not just discover the right professionals, products & services or reach the right audience, but also transact business more efficiently and cost-effectively. We have just scratched the surface yet, with mostly the net savvy individuals finding us via search and using the platform. Our goal is to be the defacto platform one turns to for any interior design/architecture/building project.
Can you give us an insight into how the set-up works? How do architects / designers and end-users benefit individually?
Architects and designers across the country are using the platform successfully to build their brands. It is free for them to set up detailed profiles, showcase their design portfolio, publish their work (case studies and papers). This further leads to site visitors, both end users and developers, contacting them for designing and/or executing their projects.
For end users, the platform provides a good repository of design ideas, valid in the “Indian” context. It also increases their pool of choice when looking for design professionals for their projects. The search is no longer limited to word of mouth referrals but they can check detailed portfolios of pros around their site location and request consultation from those who fit their needs the best. We are also trying to make it easy for end users to discover what products to buy and where to source them from.
End users have also been using what we call ZingBoards (which are primarily project boards/ pinboards) to bookmark their favorite designs & products on the site and invite pros as well as their family members to comment and deliberate on the shortlisted ideas. The whole idea is to make it easy for people to discover and decide.
What sets Zingy Homes apart from other online platforms meant for community / reach and networking purposes?
A very engaged user base. Our average bounce rate over the last six months has been 6% which means people find what they come looking for. We also have the largest and the most diverse professional member base currently, which means whatever may a project type or size or location be, end users can find a good fit here.
Where do you plan to see yourself professionally in the next few years?
To grow professionally, the process of self-discovery must go on continually. While planning is an integral part of a professional life, experience teaches one to not be obsessed about reaching a specific point and that life is also about taking time to stand and stare and enjoy the journey. At every stage, I would like to see myself pushing boundaries and enjoying what I am doing.
What thoughts would you like to leave our readers with?
Today, more than ever in the past, there is a greater acceptance for anyone or anything that is “different” or even challenges status quo. Age, race, color, gender, class stereotypes are breaking down fast. We are privileged to be living in these exciting times and should proactively use this environment to make as far reaching a positive impact as we can.