Jayesh Rajpurohit (left) and his nephew Arpit believe a shared value system has helped them taste success
Image: Nishant Ratnakar for Forbes India
IIt was not the most favorable reaction from the family. “Online ghar kaun banayega (who would like to build a house online)? Jayesh Rajpurohit’s mother asked when he introduced her and her sisters to the idea for her startup Brick & Bolt.
But that didn’t stop him from working there. “There are two things that are considered the most complicated in India: organizing a wedding and building a house,” says Jayesh, 41. “It is this belief that I wanted to change. ”
Armed with a BTech degree in Civil Engineering from IIT-Roorkee, Jayesh teamed up with his sister’s son Arpit, 34, with a BTech degree in Computer Science, and together they launched Brick & Bolt in January 2018. .
“It was the perfect fusion,” Jayesh says. “Construction is considered the industry with the most technology deficit in the world. My knowledge of civil engineering would not be sufficient if it was not supported by today’s technology. Arpit’s solid understanding of the technology has taken everything up a notch, ”he adds.
As well as sharing a great bond – Arpit had spent four to five years growing up with Jayesh’s family – both had also experienced first-hand the issues of building a house. Arpit recounts the time when his mother built a house in Ahmedabad. “Costs increased halfway through construction, the project was delayed for unknown reasons and the contractors were very irregular,” says Arpit. “These are exactly the kinds of problems we wanted to help people avoid. ”
Brick & Bolt was their answer to bring predictability and transparency to construction, an industry that is otherwise considered very unorganized.
Simply put, Brick & Bolt is an end-to-end construction services platform. By contacting them, their architects help clients with comprehensive drawings including floor plans, 3D elevations, electrical, plumbing and structural designs. They are then assigned project managers who work on a contract and other specifications, and payment schedules are then fed into a system. It is supported by artificial intelligence-based software that helps keep an eye on the schedule and progress of ongoing projects while monitoring quality. In the event of unauthorized delay, the platform also penalizes entrepreneurs. Brick & Bolt operates on a commission-based model in which they charge contractors a service fee.
Each stage of the construction is monitored through their software and to avoid price escalations, Brick & Bolt operates on an escrow model in which clients are expected to transfer money at each stage and contractors are paid after its completion. Thanks to its quality assessment system, the company also performs 310 quality checks per building floor.
To date, the company has delivered 320 homes and has started running over 250 homes during the pandemic alone. On average, the company has grown 16% month-over-month since its inception and has seen 9% month-over-month growth since the pandemic.
“Even now we are sitting on a huge open book. We have received reservations, but people are waiting for the third wave to pass before starting construction, ”Jayesh explains. If anything, the pandemic will help them grow further, he believes. “We have noticed a positive trend for the purchase of plots. People are returning to their countries of origin and have expressed the need for bigger houses. So we anticipate a lot of business to come, ”he said.
Present in three cities – Bengaluru, Mysuru and Hyderabad – Brick & Bolt will also enter the Chennai market later this year and in four other cities by next fiscal year. “The problem [of constructing a house] is so intense that we have never found a challenge on the demand side, ”says Jayesh, adding that they hope to achieve an annualized GMV (gross value of goods) of $ 5 billion by 2025.
While the initial capital of 25 lakh came from a teammate of IIT’s Jayesh, the company also raised $ 1.5 million from the Sequoia India Surge scale-up program in a cycle of pre-Series A funding in February 2020 and an additional $ 2.2 million from Germany. Foundamental venture capital firm. It has also been funded by angel investors, including Livspace founders Anuj Srivastava and Ramakant Sharma, Aakash Goel, formerly of Trifecta Capital, and Navin Dhanuka of Piramal Fund Management.
“Everyone wants to build a house, but they don’t know how. This industry lacks a data driven approach, so with Brick & Bolt I saw that they have the potential to convert the unorganized to the organized and that they are going to be a game changer. So it made sense to invest, ”says one of the angel investors, Meghna Agarwal, also co-founder of the IndiQube co-working space.
” This industry lacks a data-driven approach. With Brick & Bolt, I saw that they had the potential to convert the unorganized into the organized and that they were going to be a game changer.
Meghna Agarwal, Angel Investor and Co-Founder, IndiQube
When they started in 2018, Jayesh made several calls to potential clients asking for their needs, but it didn’t come up with any plans and they wondered if they should go ahead.
But the duo knew the size of the market was huge and decided to stay put. “We knew that if we destroyed the model, we would solve a real problem, especially for people in a country who invest their savings in building a house. We knew there was immense leeway to solve this problem with technology. At that point, we asked, if not us, then who, and we took the plunge, and here we are, ”Jayesh explains.
The idea of working together also came naturally to the duo. “We understand each other very well. We fought before starting the business on various topics … I’m very comfortable with him, ”says Jayesh. “I know his technological capabilities, his expertise and his experience, so we knew we had to partner up. ”
Often, working as a family is not recommended. But Jayesh thinks the opposite. “I trust Arpit because he’s part of the family,” he says.
Arpit believes that a system of shared values has helped them taste success. “We are both spiritually inclined and look at life the same. At work, we are both employees and don’t want work to seep into our homes or families. We don’t let other employees feel connected, ”he says.
Recently, they were listed in Forbes Asia’s “100 Companies to Watch” and intend to raise the next funding round in December 2021. The company, which started with five team members, including Rajpurohits, now has 130 employees and Jayesh is confident they will cross 250 by the end of FY22.
“We were stepping into the unknown, with no expectations, but our number of bookings and our funding is a testament to the fact that we are doing well,” says Jayesh. And when it comes to family, the duo say, they’re now visibly happy and excited. “We proved them wrong and showed them the model worked,” Jayesh says.
Click here to see Forbes India’s full coverage of the Covid-19 situation and its impact on life, business and economy
(This story appears in the September 24, 2021 issue of Forbes India. You can purchase our tablet version at Magzter.com. To visit our archives, click here.)