The Student-Based Startup Experience with HouseItt
Forbes Magazine recently published an article detailing the tremendous success of HouseItt, a student housing sector startup and the plethora of growth opportunities the business aims to provide to its investors.
HouseItt is a student-based real estate platform which helps people who are unaware of accommodations around their workplace or college, to find the most suitable and feasible accommodation. It helps bridge the gap between brokers/owners and the customers, thereby reducing the difficulties students face in securing a reasonable place to stay. It takes in the housing needs of their potential customers and contacts the brokers. Thus, it brings in sales for the brokers and provides the desired accommodation hassle-free to the students; charging a fee for the same.
It grew out of need when its founders faced problems while settling in Delhi, having moved here for College. The inconvenience of shuttling from one broker to another in search of a place made Bharat Bhatt ( CEO and Co-Founder) determined to change the plight of the housing sector for students. Together with Rajat Malik (COO and Co-Founder) and Ishaan Sudan, his fellow Hindu College alumni and close friends, Bharat came up with the idea for HouseItt
Nihal Goyal, a second year student at CBS pursuing BMS, has been an active part of the HouseItt team and has been associated with it since the turn of the year. He speaks on his exciting experience working for a startup.
“My first encounter with the people at HouseItt was when I was trying to raise sponsorship for a society event . I ended up at their office (which was apparently their flat too) to collect the sponsorship. There I met Bharat Bhatt and Rajat Malik ,who were in the third year of their graduation. I ended up talking about a lot of things including running a startup, student housing sector, HouseItt Business model to name a few. Based on my first interaction with them, I genuinely felt that they are trying to solve the problem faced by millions of students who migrate to other cities for their further studies.”
This drew Nihal’s interest towards the startup. In February 2020, Nihal started working with HouseItt and it has all been uphill for him from there.
“When I joined HouseItt, there was not much social presence and no team was working on the marketing aspect. As such, we started hiring interns and understanding how to place and market ourselves. Then, we started our marketing through different channels including social media platforms and other innovative campaigns; and have since dedicated ourselves to branding and positioning HouseItt in the market”, said Nihal. From recruiting the whole marketing team to planning the strategy for marketing through Social Media, he played an integral role in the startup’s marketing effort.
He has also undertaken PR responsibilities in terms of sponsorships and collaborations. While working in the Tech department, he was involved in ideating on a business solution given the needs and market conditions along with conducting a feasibility study for the proposed solution. He also worked on understanding theTech Stack of the company.
He believes that working with a startup comes with a lot of learning as one is responsible for many roles and is accountable to get things done. The experience has helped him improve his teamwork and communication skills. He added “From being a college student who was in the bubble of college societies, I realised how the world works and how things are actually done. HouseItt changed my perspective on leadership, team management and gave me great insights about the Startup Ecosystem. Everyday at Houseitt brings a different challenge and sometimes it becomes really overwhelming dealing with all the things simultaneously but at the end of the day it is a feeling of satisfaction once a problem is solved. I have contributed to the best of my capacity and in return have learned a lot.”
Upon being asked about the Forbes article, he adds “The whole team was working tirelessly for the last 6 months and Forbes article came as a wave of motivation for the whole team. We were really glad that our hard work got the recognition it deserved.”
In terms of what next and the vision going forward for the startup, he explains that since the startup is trying to serve a really big market with a lot of potential, it is expanding its operations in 10 more cities and aspires to build a one-stop platform for all the students to make their college life easier and comfortable. Currently, the team at HouseItt plans to launch a campaign- ‘ Business Development Associate Programme’ and are hiring interns for that same. He goes on to say “Housing industry favours those who provide the best service at affordable prices. We are trying to do the same to the best of our capabilities.”
While this is one of the most significant events in Nihal’s career yet, he hasn’t yet decided whether to continue this full time after college or not and wants to keep his options open.