It is one of the most amazing career options for every creative individual who falls in love with designs, yes, it is interiors designing that have attracted many creative minds to foray into it. We at SMEStreet had a privilege of talking to Ankur Muchhal, COO & Co-founder, Flipspaces. In this candid conversation, it came out that Interiors designing segment is graduating from one level to another. Here are the edited excerpts:
Faiz Askari: What are the trends in the interior designing segment? As per my understanding, this segment is very unorganized- how this trend is influencing the market, and will it transform into a more structured way?
Ankur Muchhal: To give you a brief about what led to the foundation of Flipspaces – It started in 2015 in the domain of commercial space designing. Over the course of time, we discovered that this market is highly unorganized – there are three verticals you can divide the industry in- discover, design and deliver. Discover is when someone picks a new property, thinking of opening a new office, restaurant, etc followed by designing that particular area of the property, and then execution or delivery. When we started we found out that there are plenty of players in the three stages of the life cycle of shifting a client to a new space. This gave us the momentum we are moving right now in, and it drives us in this market and makes us organize bits and pieces in this industry, in terms of discover, design and delivery. Our simple proposition to clients in India and where we are launching now is Flipspaces offers complete package solutions to each of our clients. We help our clients discover different spaces and bridge the gap that used to exist in this particular industry. When we entered this market the design utilization used to happen with normal 3D renders by which the clients used to finalize. We transformed that experience for our clients by creating a proprietary deck, hence the client’s can walk through space in real-time and we can change each and every finish.
Faiz: At the Initial level, is it more of an experiencing kind of design?
Ankur: Initially people used to approach designers and architects who used to create 2D layouts or 2D blueprints of the space that was required to approve but at Flipspaces, customers can visualize the end product on a real-time basis.
Faiz: The interior designers and architects are worst affected by the data security standpoint and this section of the industry has suffered a lot from innovative technology and a collaborative work environment. Do you see the data security needs to be handled extremely with care?
Ankur: When we meet our clients, each and every organization shares its key data with the design team about their prospects, the number of people and their business strategy. We keep that in the format of a non-disclosure agreement, but in terms of design, people are open to showcase their offices to the world. So I believe there is no problem with showcasing their space design.
Faiz: In terms of market footprint, you have been working for the last four years, how is your business expanding, how many customers you have acquired, and which all industry segment you have explored?
Ankur: Since our inception, we have seen 3 to 4x year on year growth. Till date, we have served 3.5 million square feet space in India and we have presence in three cities, Delhi, Mumbai, and Bangalore.
Faiz: You recently announced the US expansion, is there any specific reason to target the US market?
Ankur: US has a culture of paying a premium for services that are beneficial to them. Unlike India, we are able to charge a good amount for only design and services.. Apart from that, globally Interior- the design market is $250 billion, out of which the US caters to $ 120 billion, which is almost 40-42% of the global market, whereas India being a $ 6 billion market only. Also, based on our market research we found that average ticket size for a project is 5 to 6 times more as compared to South East Asia and Pacific regions.
Faiz. Is there any goal setting with reference to the US expansion?
Ankur. In the US, we have started from Boston because it has a huge startup ecosystem. In the next two years, we plan to expand to 5 more cities and reach out to $100 million number in terms of revenue.
Faiz. Would you like to highlight any industry-specific segment?
Ankur: Our primary focus is on commercial space design and build which includes commercial offices, educational institutions, restaurants, and hospitality segments.