Know what is harder than pivoting when the going gets tough? Pivoting when the going is good.
On the surface, most metrics were scaling efficiently for Urban Company (previously UrbanClap) at the end of 2015. The tech company mainly generated leads for at-home service providers. But founders Abhiraj Bhal, Varun Khaitan, Raghav Chandra recognized that improving the experience of suppliers and customers would require deeper involvement. They needed to build a full stack marketplace with trained professionals.
Eight years later, the company is valued at $2.8 billion. After proving their chops by taking the beauty industry online, Urban Company went on to digitally connect customers with a range of professional services including cleaning, repairs, electrical works, plumbing, and carpentry.
When they first looked into the space, at-home services in India had been full of holes. The founders, all three from IIT Kanpur, knew that the problem had the potential to keep them busy for a lifetime. So they joined hands in 2014 to bring in organization and digitization.
Over the past decade and a half, new-age marketplaces in India have transformed how people buy and sell products and services.
From Flipkart to Swiggy, Urban Company, and Zetwerk, each has reimagined “the bazaars,” shaping the future of commerce and livelihood in India. Starting November 3rd, we will share stories from the trenches about building and scaling these marketplaces, along with foundational lessons from their journeys.
Learn more: https://bit.ly/3UnptTO
0:00 – Introduction
1:20 – Origin story
4:10 – Early days
9:33 – Product-market fit
14:25 – Picking the right service
16:30 – Testbed
17:40 – Zero-to-one phase
21:15 – Scaling the company
24:30 – Key strategic decisions
27:40 – Value to service partners
32:40 – Disintermediation
34:10 – Creating value on both sides
36:30 – Navigating COVID
39:50 – Leadership and culture
43:20 – The future