India’s home interiors market was worth $23.2 billion in 2020 and is projected to reach $38.2 billion by 2027. This growth is driven by the booming real estate market and factors such as rising urbanization, improving income levels, among others.
Despite the growth and potential, the interior market is fragmented and unorganized. Traditionally, home interior professionals — designers, contractors, electricians, or anyone else — have their own pool of suppliers for materials and tools. Even though it works for these individuals, it is far from being efficient and is plagued with issues like price opacity, unreliable service, and being bound by geography.
Gurugram-based Mistry.Store, is trying to simplify this for home interior professionals. Founded in 2022 by Vaibhav Poddar and Bhanu Mahajan, the startup recently made the news when it raised $2 million in a seed funding round led by Omidyar Network India. Waveform VC, Bharat Founders Fund, and a few angel investors also participated.
Interestingly, both founders have previously served the healthcare industry. Mahajan had co-founded KiviHealth, which was later acquired by Netmeds. Poddar was associated with Max India Group. The duo, however, were not keen on launching a health-focused startup, even though many suggested they do so.
“Being close to something also shows you the negatives of that… the limitations,” Poddar tells Entrackr. He further says that his new startup employs an “influencer” approach inspired by the health industry.
“Startups are either B2B or B2C. For a pharma firm, B2B would be the distributor, while B2C would be people like you and me. But where does most of the marketing money go? It’s the doctors. Now, doctors are neither B2B nor B2C. It’s a very strong influencer sitting in the middle,” he says. In the case of Mistry.Store, influencers are the contractors or designers who generally influence customers’ decision on selection of products for their home interior work.
Unlike Livspace and HomeLane which aim to replace interior decorators and contractors for the home owners, Mistry.Store focuses on material supply, and does not participate in the construction work.
The startup currently provides home interior materials such as electrical and lighting, paints and consumables, and wooden supplies. Professionals can reach out to Mistry.Store on a WhatsApp number. The startup gets back with a quote, and once the professional agrees with the amount, it delivers the material.
The startup promises better prices as professionals are no longer exclusively dependent on their nearest or local vendor for materials. Other advantages include better incentives on orders and easier management of different materials for different sites.
Mistry.Store currently operates in Gurgaon and is focused on the satellite city. It, however, also does deliveries in other parts of Delhi-NCR. The company has on boarded more than 2,000 professionals, which include architects, interior decorators, and contractors. The company’s roadmap includes building new products for professionals, such as credit, expansion into more cities, and skill building.
It competes with the likes of Hippo Stores, EBO Mart, Depo24, and Material Depot.