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iQuippo: digitising construction space

iQuippo: digitising construction space

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iQuippo launched by Srei Infra last year is bringing digital disruption in the construction sector. The online platform aims to create industry specific solutions thereby aiding increased transparency, efficiency and reliability in the marketplace, says Debnil Chakravarty, Chief Business Officer, iQuippo.

What are the various ways of acquiring equipment?
Today, 90-95 per cent of equipment are financed, either they are leased or rented out. These are the only three modes of acquiring equipment. Then you go on deployment phase, take a couple because of commercial assets in deployment, you deployed equipment so as to generate revenues that only you can pay back and then exit that particular equipment moving to the next phase.

iquippo rentals is in the acquisition stage, but Srei Infra is in the deployment phase where it partners with various construction companies, large corporates and other things in deploying that particular equipment and creating opportunities for that. Then you have iQuippo valuation as an option, you have yard management services, asset management services which is the second life of an asset or management of their particular assets. We’re selling that particular asset by creating valuation services, auction services and other services; this brick and mortar services were already there. So, the idea was to put across a platform to connect to this entire ecosystem.

If you look at the companies within the group, it’s in the value chain of this entire equipment. So, that’s how the concept came in. And today, if you look at the acquisition part of it, part of customers is getting financed from Srei, ICICI Bank, or any other bank getting financed. iQuippo is the front phase which does the sourcing and fulfilment for new as well as for used equipment. So, any banks or institutions with aspiration of tapping this entire direct distribution channel can just plug into this particular platform and proceed.

How is equipment rental benefiting the industry?
Talking about iQuippo rentals, if you look at this industry, we had organised rentals and now individual rentals. There are also larger companies having the rental division, equipment ownership division and project management division. Equipment ownership division rents out this particular equipment division to the project management division. So, the rental model is prevalent in that sense. Deployment of equipment is one of the challenges, where our role comes in again. Srei Infra has huge potential as there is deployment capacity, approximately around 10, 15 road projects, water projects, mining projects and other things.

So, knowing the requirement of customers is easier and there is opportunity to rent it over with somebody, it is a win-win situation for the guy who owns the equipment as well as for the one renting it. It’s a question of matching up that particular data and having the understanding which equipment would go as per the requirement.

The major issue with a number of project delays is related to productivity and unsynchronised working and collaboration between stakeholders. iQuippo will promote real time collaboration between stakeholders and provide them access to skilled manpower to avoid delays in project completion.

When it comes to B2B shopping, what has been the experience in selling such assets?
Let’s look at what is there in South East Asia for developed economics. In developed economies, you cannot sell it or complete the entire selling cycle online. We reach out to customers all the way and then move them to work in an offline situation. The customer will love that particular experience and being much more efficient in the process. So, the idea
is not to replace the overall state but only to compliment the lead generation process and the customer’s experience.

We do a lot of campaigns, people reach out to us on Facebook and other digital platforms. However, many people don’t buy videos, texts, etc., so there are other means to reach fully online. Thus, we created offline channels like a call centre, and in another setting we created WHATSAPP. Additionally, demonetisation has also brought in shift towards online.

Major issue with a number of project delays is related to productivity and unsynchronised working and collaboration between stakeholders.
Debnil Chakravarty, Chief Business Officer, iQuippo

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