Kanika Gupta Shori, the Founder & COO at Square Yards, is a highly versatile and multifaceted personality with numerous talents. She is a CFA Level 2 candidate while being an alumnus at Wharton Business School too. Kanika Gupta Shori has worked in entertainment and asset management before founding Square Yards. She has numerous accolades under her belt including the Young Achievers, Woman Icon and other laurels among multiple others.
Square Yards is a Red Herring Asia Top 100 & ET Growth Champion 2020 entity, having witnessed skyrocketing growth in relatively shorter durations. The company is ranked amongst Indias top 20 consumer technology startups today by way of its GTV (close to $1 billion). It ranks in the top 50 by way of revenues, having achieved $50 million and is also amongst the few consumer technology startups that remain profitable. Square Yards has scaled up massively in only 5 years, being one of the few Indian startups to have expanded comprehensively throughout the globe.
Square Yards is directly present in 25+ cities worldwide while having 3,000+ employees working in 9 countries. The company succeeded in garnering close to 20% of market share, enabling more than 3,700 realty deals and posting GTV of Rs. 2,200 crore while controlling a whopping 80% of the market in the Gulf. This was ensured through its technological expertise and its philosophy of remaining triumphant and resilient even amidst adverse market scenarios.
Shori states that on-boarding suitable talent and building an excellent team have been key challenges for the company. She adds that the company has explored vast existing talent pools, particularly in the Indian market. They are now resorting to deeper and more intensive searching although the challenge will remain in the future as well. Shori states that scaling up the business model in a challenging industry sector was another major roadblock. This is because several startups have found early traction in this space but ultimately failed whenever they tried to scale up. Ensuring utmost satisfaction of customers while maintaining operational efficiencies was another hurdle according to Shori.
However, Shori never stopped believing. She successfully navigated the choppy waters of the coronavirus pandemic. Instead of taking a cautious and slow approach, she made sure that Square Yards optimally deployed technology for greater customer relevance. Shori states that within a few days of the global lockdown, Square Yards could launch its digital platform and evolve its business model. This ensured a stellar quarter between April and June, 2020. Square Yards was able to garner 20% of overall market share in this period. Funding was not impacted since performance graphs kept going upwards. The company was able to raise $25 million in a record time-frame of 20 days. Valuations surpassed $300 million or approximately Rs. 2,200+ crore. The global ambitions stayed on scale with the global business contributing a handsome 1/3rd of overall revenues. 2020 was the most profitable year for the company.
While Shori does not wish to scale down the impact of huge losses due to the pandemic, lives lost and the negative effects on businesses, she states that Square Yards is proud that it put its entire heart and soul into making sure that the company did not fall flat in the face of this extreme challenge. Square Yards launched and implemented various ventures including Secondary, Azuro, Search and Discovery platform and Edge. The online traffic volumes increased four times to stand at 3 million.
Shori states that evolution and innovation is one of the biggest reasons behind the companys success and journey from its humble inception in 2014. It is now aiming at turning into an integrated platform for property solutions, covering everything real estate. She confirmed that 2020 was the year when the company started taking concrete steps towards achieving the same. With Azuro being launched as a property management platform for rentals, the company is capturing the rental space too. In 2021, it is planning to diversify and expand its portfolio while entering the home furnishing space as well. Diversification, Aggression, Innovation and Numbers achieved are what make Square Yards distinctly different. Shori also states that 2020 was the year when the company distributed a whopping Rs. 30 crore (and counting!) in incentives while spreading its wings towards turning into a whole ecosystem.
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.