Infra.Market: The Fastest Growing Unicorn Transforming an Industry by Building Revolutions

Souvik Sengupta
Souvik Sengupta

The construction industry, one of the oldest sectors ever existed, remained very stubborn to change, which even the wisest of the wise accept is the only constant. In contrast, the world outside its boundaries shifted its course swiftly by using every advancing technology, and construction and real estate space evolved at a puzzlingly low pace.

However, two entrepreneurially restless minds wanted nothing but to create disruption in this sleeping behemoth pegged at over $200 billion. They conceived Infra.Market, which was thus far deemed unthinkable. Aaditya Sharda and Souvik Sengupta, the Co-founders, asked themselves, why won’t the fossilized labyrinth change? Forget evolution. They knew what the industry needed was not even revolution but a company like Infra.Market that can keep…

Building Revolutions 

Satya Kaliki, the CTO, insists that Infra.Market is committed to building revolutions, “and we are now one of the fastest-growing unicorns in this otherwise opaque construction industry.”

With a reported ₹6,236 crores in revenue for FY22, which was a 5x growth over the previous year, their business, which has been profitable since its inception in 2016, offers a range of construction materials and interior lifestyle products to make spaces beautiful and durable.

With a strong focus on infrastructure, Infra.Market (currently valued at $2.5 billion) is targeting a massive $140 billion construction materials market. According to Satya, they also cater to SMEs, small contractors, and vendors, representing a sizeable portion of the retail market. Their retail and private label brands have improved margins, enabling them to go beyond distribution options and differentiate themselves from other platforms. They undertake tech-enabled manufacturing, have a presence in the retail space and are delighted to be one of India’s multi-category product brands. “This is a testimony to our efforts to establish a strong construction-tech ecosystem,” he adds.

Striking Innovations

Infra.Market continuously strives to offer solutions in the construction space through the smart use of technology and an ecosystem of manufacturers, dealers, and architects. The firm recently acquired a Hyderabad-based construction equipment rental player, Equiphunt and the largest Indian independent ready-mix concrete player, RDC Concrete. It also bought a stake in Shalimar Paints, a listed Indian paint company. The company’s business expansion has been facilitated by its pursuit of inorganic acquisitions, which the team, including Satya, believe has been crucial in their growth trajectory. They are the only construction solutions company with an ISO-certified world-class R&D centre. “Customer satisfaction is paramount to us, and we aim to provide access to a wide range of products under a single roof that simplifies business,” he states. Their offerings across India and abroad have helped them enable development in the Indian construction technology market.

Prior to Infra.Market Satya has over two decades of experience building large-scale Technology Teams and delivering World-Class Software Products across multiple continents. His role at Infra.Market gives him a unique opportunity to create history and contribute to India’s growth. Satya leads the Product and Technology strategy and execution, Customer Experience and Customer Service functions.

Creating Experiences

Over the last three years, they have digitised the workflows of Sales, Risk, Operations, Fulfilment, Procurement and Finance teams across their B2B and Retail divisions. “My next goal is to provide an unmatched tech experience to our customers,” says Satya.

Further sharing his inspiration behind venturing into the business, he says the construction industry is one of the oldest and most crucial parts of any country’s growth story. This industry has not been disrupted by technology, compared to others like Fashion, Electronics Retail (E-commerce), or Payments (Fintech). It is truly a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity to create an industry-wide ecosystem impact through technology and transformation. It has the potential to change lives (for the better) across the spectrum of the supply chain by bringing transparency and convenience and positively driving the overall experience.

Also highlighting the professional qualities and values he thinks his clients admire in him the most, Satya says that being a serial entrepreneur in technology for several years has motivated him to learn and grow daily. With technology comes innovation, and their receptive approach towards fresh perspectives has given them an edge over others since their teams are always looking for originality and unique ideas. As keeping their promises pays dividends eventually, transparency and integrity are two more crucial traits they believe their clients admire them for. Satya himself enjoys identifying and solving complex business problems, therefore encouraging his clients to grow with team Infra.Market. The team believes in nurturing long-lasting relationships rather than maintaining the typically transactional client-vendor agreements. “This, I feel, is something clients admire the most,” he says.

Bringing Tech-Disruptions

Being an experienced leader, sharing his opinion on how adopting modern technologies like AI and ML impacts the startup space and how Infra.Market is adapting to the change, Satya says technology has made its way into every sector, and the government has also embraced technology with the Digital India initiative.

Infra.Market has brought technology through leadership in this opaque and traditional sector as they strongly believe that infrastructure can make or break the future of the nation. By incorporating technology into their supply chain, they could predict capacity utilisation and allocate demand. For their users, they are comprehensively building technical solutions using the cloud, data analytics, Machine Learning/ Artificial intelligence (AI), Augmented Reality (AR), and Virtual Reality (VR).

Infra.Market’s Retailer app enables ease of management for purchasing, financing, inventory management, delivery, and other areas under one roof. Further, the VR and AR tech at its stores helps to reimagine home interiors. The org also provides an integrated platform for freelancers and influencers to have an alternative source of income through Infra.Market. Satya adds, “We use native frameworks based on micro-services architecture, Golang and Python, and PostgreSQL, an open-source relational database management system, to create applications that leverage cloud infrastructure of AWS, Google, and Microsoft Azure.” It has built a digital ecosystem for its Indian markets to enhance delivery by providing intelligent and actionable insights that update partners in real-time.

Surmounting Challenges

When probed about considering the current industry scenario, what kind of challenges they face, and how they drive their firm to overcome these obstacles, Satya shares, Digital is the future. While technology has captured several industries, the initial adoption was a challenge. Take e-commerce, for instance, the ecosystem was in place, and the customer was more accepting of it. However, the construction industry continues to be fragmented. Therefore, there is room for consolidation, platform development, and one-click delivery of end-to-end solutions. This traditional industry is expected to adapt to the current needs and create a digitalised future through transformation. There is a long road ahead for massive technology adoption in this space; nonetheless, they are optimistic about the future. And they are working towards providing significant opportunities through technologies that will lead to new efficiencies and outcomes.

According to Satya, the tech start-up ecosystem is crucial today, and significant advancements can be expected in the future. It is a matter of pride that India has a booming tech start-up ecosystem, a key driver for social and economic growth in the country. There are reports that the industry saw over 13,000 additions in 2022 alone. With technology providing umpteen opportunities, Infra.Market is optimistic about the future of the industry.

The Trend-Setters

“When we look at our traditional brick-and-mortar stores, technology has a brilliant potential to streamline operations and bring more transparency and efficiency. We can see VR and AR picking up more steam over the years. Another exciting trend we can expect to see is AI-enabled drones that can provide high-quality and real-time aerial imagery. While 3D printing has been around for a while, the construction technology industry could see greater adoption of this trend. In an ever-evolving world, we are excited to see what latest trends come and benefit the industry at large.”

In his advice to budding entrepreneurs aspiring to venture into the tech start-up space, Satya says the entrepreneurial journey is super exciting; focus on building a good team with complementary skills, give importance to culture and principles right from the inception, it is harder to change the culture of an organisation at growth stage, develop a deep appreciation for domain expertise and encourage teams to spend significant time in the field, closer to the operating environment of your users. Don’t be specific about using only the latest technology fads. Instead, choose the technology that is most suited to the business problem you are solving.

On envisioning scaling brand Infra.Market’s operations and offerings in the future, he reveals they have some promising plans for scaling up and expansion. Their new initiatives, including Retail Division and Private Label brands, show favourable results. “We have already signed up 35 franchise stores across Maharashtra, Karnataka and Telangana and have plans to expand our retail store network to 100 stores by March 2024.”

These stores will be around 10,000 to 15,000 sq. ft in size and host products from Infra.Market’s private brands along with others. “We have also set up manufacturing plants for ready-mix concrete (RMC) and AAC blocks in Maharashtra.”

Fostering a Sustainable Future

As a new-age company, they understand their responsibility to create a sustainable future for future generations. They plan to increase their efforts on the research and development side for green construction products and build technology around them. Their primary goal remains to bring transparency, quality, and efficiency in their endeavours and create value for their stakeholders.

Satya adds they are proud to have contributed to key projects across India, namely Chennai Metro, Kochi Metro, Kempegowda Airport, Navi Mumbai Airport, Mumbai Metro, NHAI projects, Delhi-Meerut RRTS, Delhi Metro, and Adani LNG Terminal, to name a few.

Infra.Market has been a proud recipient of key awards over the last few years, such as B2B Startup of the Year by Entrepreneur IndiaForbes Tycoon of the Year – 2021Emerging Company of the Year by Construction World – 2021, Business Excellence Award by BNI CEO Connect – 2019, Fastest Growing Small Business by Small Business Awards – 2018, among others.

Clients Testimonials: 

*Metallo & Engineering Equipments – “We want to congratulate Infra.Market for their excellent commitment towards delivering lightweight concrete to us. Their entire process was smooth and well-planned. They really deserve to be appreciated.”

*ENSO Group – “We would like to thank the entire team at Infra.Market for their exceptional service and timely delivery of the quality RMC they delivered to our project. We look forward to a long-term collaboration with them.”

Related Posts