Published date | 04 May, 2021

Square Yards started after Kanika Gupta Shori’s second-born- How an inspirational startup journey unfolded

Kanika Gupta Shori ensures that she is always connected to her children, both when she is present and also virtually when she is absent. Her well-planned routines run seamlessly even when she is traveling for 7-15 days in a month. Planning is what she calls her secret sauce while talking about how she keeps a tab on all the activities of her children. She is now aiming for achieving 15-20% market share in every vertical under Square Yards while also achieving 20% of market share in the primary residential distribution segment. The company also wishes to transform into the biggest integrated property solutions platform, offering what she calls everything real estate.

Kanika Gupta Shori needs no introduction in the current Indian business, startup and real estate spaces. The Founder and COO at Square Yards, Kanika Gupta Shori laid the foundation for India’s biggest integrated property brokerage and mortgage platform after the birth of her second child. She was attending a party with hubby Tanuj Shori when her second-born was closer to 6 months old. Repeated questions about her career at this party made her acknowledge her inner thought process likewise. No matter how much she dodged things by highlighting motherhood, her inner philosophy told her to stop putting it as an excuse for not having a career. This led her to set up Square Yards. Tanuj and Kanika wanted to invest in real estate back home in India as an NRI couple residing and working in Hong Kong back in the year 2014.  

They soon discovered how home buyers needed more guidance through the discovery/search procedure along with purchase assistance. Square Yards was then founded with the couple’s savings and cashing in on their assets. Tanuj Shori also quit his job later on and joined Kanika Gupta Shori, taking care of business development while she handled HR, processes and operations. Square Yards is today a major success story in the startup landscape, offering integrated consumer experiences while covering the whole journey including discovery and search, home loans, transactions, property management, rentals, interiors, after-sales services and more. It has a vast network of 500+ partner real estate developers, more than 150,000 agents and 100+ banks and NBFCs. 

There were hurdles galore including the fact that the company was based in Hong Kong and a new entrant to the market. Real estate developers largely ignored the startup initially while sourcing the right talent was also a challenge. Thereafter, Square Yards shifted to India for overcoming the problems while opening offices in multiple cities and deploying both ground staff and sales force. Thereafter, the couple emphasized upon building a skilled and all-star team which was challenging initially. Kanika Gupta Shori credits her husband Tanuj Shori as her biggest source of strength and support. Her family has also stood by her through thick and thin, ensuring that she maintains the right balance between her children and work. She hails them for being reasons why she can juggle between being a mother and COO simultaneously while building a company right from scratch in an industry which is largely male-dominated. 

Kanika Gupta Shori ensures that she is always connected to her children, both when she is present and also virtually when she is absent. Her well-planned routines run seamlessly even when she is traveling for 7-15 days in a month. Planning is what she calls her secret sauce while talking about how she keeps a tab on all the activities of her children. She is now aiming for achieving 15-20% market share in every vertical under Square Yards while also achieving 20% of market share in the primary residential distribution segment. The company also wishes to transform into the biggest integrated property solutions platform, offering what she calls everything real estate. 

She also offers a few tips for fellow mothers in business or those desirous of starting their businesses. She talks of how intuition is very important along with making ample space for oneself and prioritizing self-care above everything else. With proper thinking and planning ahead, mothers can catch up on their businesses while getting back into the workforce as well. Small steps may be taken for ensuring that people stay prepared for returning to the workforce. Communicating with spouses is a must for sharing responsibilities and attaining more sanity in daily life and achieving small yet significant work-linked goals on a daily basis.

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Square Yards is a technology-enabled, global real estate aggregator and India’s largest player for primary residential real estate. It’s subsidiary Square Capital is one of the largest marketplace for secured mortgages in India. Square Yards platform offers an integrated consumer experience & covers the full real-estate journey from search, discovery to research, transactions, home loans and post-sales service – fully integrating buyers to an extensive network of 500+ partner real estate developers, and 90+ banks & NBFCs. Square Yards is led by accomplished professionals, ex-bankers, and Ivy school alumni and is backed by the competence of more than 2500 employees in 30 cities and ten countries.