Meet the SHEROES - Pankhuri Shrivastava
Pankhuri - an engineer, opted to go for a fellowship and then went on to start Grabhouse a broker-free website that helps people finding apartments, sharing rooms and PG's on rent. We speak to one of the few girls who dared to co-found a real estate start-up.
Tell us more about yourself
I hail from Jhansi and did my engineering from University of Bhopal. After my graduation, I joined the two years fellowship of Teach for India where I taught in a municipal school of Mumbai.
Computer Science Engineering, a fellowship at Teach for India and starting-up, how did you connect the dots?
Post my engineering, I got into premiere B schools and also Teach for India, a non-profit organization that aims to bridge educational inequity in India. I chose to go ahead with Teach for India as I knew I can do MBA whenever I want to but an opportunity to work for two years at grassroots level in education might not come by again. It was a two years fellowship, which was a steep learning curve in my life, and I confidently call it my best decision. The fellowship instilled in me problem solving approach and risk appetite which made the decision to start on my own very natural.
What is the story behind starting-up Grabhouse?
Grabhouse started with a simple idea of making lives of youngsters looking for flats and flatmates easy. Why should they pay a broker when they know how to use technology so well? So we started a tech enabled platform to recommend best options to house owners, existing tenants and house seekers. It is a platform to get in touch directly without involving middlemen. The recommendation engine saves time spent on browsing through multiple irrelevant properties. Authentic and detailed data provided by Grabhouse brings transparency in real estate which never existed before and since it’s 100% broker free users save thousands of brokerage money. The drive to make a system more transparent led to what Grabhouse is today.
How are you making Grabhouse different from its competitors?
Grabhouse is India's first 100% broker free platform. It is not a simple listing platform, it recommends the best options to users. We rely heavily on data that we collect from users, their social profiles and browsing behaviour. The transparency that Grabhouse is bringing in real estate through authentic property information, background details of tenants and reviews is not provided by any other real estate platform.
What are your expansion plans?
Grabhouse’s vision is that every house that goes on rent in India should go through Grabhouse. We plan to expand our operations to other cities in India that see a lot of rental activity.
A message to all SHEROES out there.
There is no right or wrong time to start. If you have an idea, you should take the plunge because if you have that passion in you then every other thing will fall in its right place. Since time immemorial, women have displayed exceptional capabilities to manage different roles at the same time so even if you are married or are a mother, you can startup.