Ashish Dhingra, Founder – MarksDzynThe Delhi-based company offers personalised designs and virtual reality for customers to visualise their space.
At a Glance
Founder: Ashish Dhingra
Year it was founded: 2014
Where it is based: New Delhi
Sector: Design and Construction
Problem it solves: Provides design and construction solution
Funding raised: Bootstrapped
Getting your home interiors done to your absolute liking can be quite a daunting task. It is not easy to find the right contractor or interior designer, and frequent delays, un-explained cost overruns, and a lack of transparency seem to be a given.
While there are many companies that offer modular kitchen, floor tiles, and home building products, there are very few that offer affordable design and construction to mid-segment home interiors. Ashish Dhingra, an alumnus of XIM Bhubaneswar and School of Planning & Architecture, New Delhi, saw a massive business opportunity in this unexplored segment.
Ashish says, “I noticed that most established architects or designers aspire to move up the value chain, thereby leaving the mid-segment clientele to the mercy of local contractors – a fragmented sector often marred by a general lack of accountability.”
After extensive research, he built a team of professional designers and project managers, and started undertaking interior design projects. The plan was to build a company first, successfully execute a few pilot projects, get experience, and once the systems and processes are structured, offer it to customers.
Ashish left his job at ANZ Bank in Singapore and returned to Delhi to start MarksDzyn. Set up in 2014, it is an aggregator for interior design and construction services, and provides design services through a standard pricing. It charges a fee of Rs 5,000 to design a room.
“The first 200-odd projects were mostly in the corporate or hospitality sector. It is at this stage that we discovered the problems consumers were facing, and realised that most of it can be solved through simple systematic changes and use of technology,” says Ashish.
“We expanded aggressively as we were offering inexpensive designs and were delivering quality interiors, always ahead of time. We started adding clients every week,” he adds.
Currently, the company has a combination of an in-house design team and freelance design associates to provide services. It offers personalised designs and virtual reality to help customers get an enhanced design experience and visualise their space.
The company also offers furniture, modular kitchens, and storage as part of the design process. The construction services are provided by a project management team and the pricing is based on an in-house algorithm.
“The pricing is transparent, captures every part of the project, and hence prevents cost over-runs. The design fees being offered are flat fees, which is new in the industry. It gives consumers the choice to select which rooms are to be designed. Technology is being used to manage construction teams, material movements, and the different stages of construction and provide constant updates to the customer,” explains Ashish.
MarksDzyn claims to have completed more than 500 projects, and its monthly revenue has crossed Rs 100 lakh. It is now looking to offer interior design through its online platform. The team consists of 27 people.
The interior design and construction industry is estimated to be valued over $50 billion. Some of the other players delivering home design services through their online and offline platforms include Livspace, HomeLane, Houssup and Houzify.
“I think Indian consumers appreciate value-for-money proposition – and MarksDzyn is delivering that better than anyone else. While a lot of our competitors are spending on brand building, we are saving that money to provide affordable solutions,” says Ashish.
The company claims to have a healthy top line, works on low margins, and is making profit every quarter. So far bootstrapped, it is in talks with a few technology investors for partnership.
“The partnership will be more for bringing in better technology to improve customer experience. We would rather seek an investment partner rather than a growth-based funding,” he adds.
“We expect a 50 percent growth in our team over the next 12 months, and over 400 percent growth in revenue. Also, we are looking to partner with a Singapore-based technology company to offer interior design through an online platform,” says Ashish.