TheCconnects: Can you tell our readers a little about your professional journey & how did you come to your current role/position?
Amit Kumar Agarwal: So I am an engineer from IIT Kanpur and an MBA from IIM Ahmedabad, as you can see from my LinkedIn profile. And I worked in management consulting. PwC Price out of House Coopers for almost ten years.
And then I was working as a head of the strategy with Australia and New Zealand Bank for a couple of years. And after that, I started my own company along with my friend, who is a co-founder. And the company name is NoBroker.com. And today NoBroker.com is a large company. We have accumulated 2 Crore customers.
We are adding 6 lakhs new customers per month. We are India’s largest online real estate platform which connects owners and tenants and buyers and sellers directly with each other.
We have raised around $350M of funds in VC and PE funding till now, which works everywhere, I would say three and a half crore funding till now.
TheCconnects: Who has influenced you the most in life and why?
Amit Kumar Agarwal: The person who has influenced me most in my life is my father. And the reason is that he has been a civil servant all his life, traveling across multiple cities. But his father was pretty poor and the entire reason why from a poor family, he could bring the family up was because of his hard work and because of his studious nature.
From a small village or town where people had very low awareness, he was the one who basically started hard and competed in a civil service examination and cracked it and up to the game for the entire family. So his perseverance and his efforts and his happy nature despite early life giving him so much adversity is a huge inspiration for me. So whenever I’m facing any trouble, I look up to my father and look up to the perseverance and the hard work that he has done to reach there.
TheCconnects: What are the biggest challenges you have faced in your life & how did you overcome them?
Amit Kumar Agarwal: I think from an overall perspective, I would say I have been quite lucky not to be born in a poor family that way. The biggest hurdle of getting an education, good education was not a hurdle for me. I got a good education, then of course I worked hard and competed in good colleges. But I think the biggest overall when I look back at life so far, the biggest challenges have been in terms of establishing NoBroker. Especially from the point of a concept that was unheard before. So nobody else in the world has ever done a platform like no broker where brokers in real estate are eliminated.
So it’s a very unique and innovative concept. And the entire entrepreneurship journey of the past eight years has had its own challenges which I have faced and overcome
TheCconnects: What lessons you have learned from your professional career?
Amit Kumar Agarwal: I think the lessons that I have learnt is that one be very flexible so don’t make up your mind that you like only one thing or I think you should basically be very flexible in terms of readiness to experiment and second. From the entrepreneurship point of view. I would say that having a very high sense of optimism to the extent of irrational optimism is required because what you are doing is something that has never been done before and hence you need to have a huge sense of optimism that I will be able to do it.
Otherwise, if you have a cynical attitude that’s very difficult to start something of your own I think that’s my other learning.
TheCconnects: What do you see as the biggest challenge for brands in the digital space?
Amit Kumar Agarwal: I think the biggest challenge is a lot of clutter that a lot of digital brands are basically competing with each other, many of them are offering similar services so a lot of brands are competing for the mind space of a customer and hence it is very important to be differentiated, to be distinguished so the customer remembers you and comes to you.
TheCconnects: How your product/solution can help to resolve the pain points of your customers?
Amit Kumar Agarwal: So, as I said, I am the CEO of NoBroker.com and what NoBroker does is that it eliminates brokers in real estate transactions.
So if you want to take a house you can come to NoBroker.com, rent a house or buy a house and there is no brokerage involved. Hence this is the biggest pain point of Indian customers in real estate that we are solving. We are saving them a huge amount of money.
TheCconnects: Do you have any advice for those who want to become a chief executive officer?
Amit Kumar Agarwal: The Chief executive Officer is a position that requires a lot of balance because you need to manage lots of functions, and you need to be aware of your finances.
You need to be a cheerleader of the HR values. You need to ensure that you communicate the vision to your teammates and among all of this I would say the most important part is that you should make sure that you are extremely transparent with your people. I think this is where many times the communication lacks by many people, but I would my biggest learning has been being extremely transparent with your people because teammates are very smart so there is no point in hiding anything from them have frequent communication so that everybody shares your vision. They can understand what values we share as a company