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A Design Genie For Your Dream Home

Monday, August 17, 2015

She has founded a platform that offers all the visual inspiration, products and professional information you need to make your dream home, office or personal space a reality

CEO and Founder of DezignGenie, Priyanka Padode, returned to Mumbai in 2014 after completing her graduation from New York University and a two-year stint in New York based digital ad agency, Deep Focus. Having equipped herself with international digital marketing trends and handling global brands like Lay’s, Pepsi & MasterCard, she returned home and delved head first into her family’s B2B Construction & Interiors magazine business.
Work brought her face to face with the country’s top architects and interior designers and they often had one common point of concern—despite the abundance of products and professionals in the construction & interiors industry, there was no organized place where one could find everything one needed to redo their home. And thus, DezignGenie was born.

Her website DezignGenie.com was formed on the belief that “Home is where the heart is. It is all about putting your hearts and souls into making your homes your haven. Based on this very principle, it transformed into an ultimate curated online platform for interior ideas, inspiration, products and professionals all under one roof. The platform does offer best-in-class information on designs and trends in the architecture and interior space, inspiring users to kick-start their dream homes.

Operating on a discovery and inspiration based format, the site lets users browse through thousands of completed projects, trends and ideas, connect with the relevant professionals and browse through products that would make help them realize their dream designs and envision their ideal spaces. After the inspirations section has given the user sufficient ideas to get his/her creative juices flowing, the professionals and products segment on the website helps the user discover the right professionals, cutting out the middlemen and enabling them to connect directly.

In conversation with Dominic Rebello, this brilliant young entrepreneur unravels the path ahead for herself and her business. Her views…

What drives you?
The desire to create something to really fulfill a need drives me. While everyone looks for profit and benefit in any venture, and I'm no different, what would really satisfy me and drives me is if I create a product that people can't do without.

How big is the potential for a business like yours?
It is huge! The online furniture market alone is slated to grow to 15,000 crore by 2017. Home improvement loans are freely available at very competitive and secured rates, often being more preferred than a personal loan. The US equivalent of our site, Houzz.com, is currently valued at $2.3 billion, so you can only imagine the scope of this industry. Moreover, home decor is among the top 4 things Indians spend more than 50% of their income on! We are striving to get real designers who have done real projects and display them on our portal. This gives users an authentic sense of what kind of designs to expect, who needs to be contacted to achieve the look and what kind of products will help users realize their dream designs. We want to help users actualize their dream homes.

How do you plan to scale up?
Our current focus is razor sharp - getting users to our site and helping them understand what we do and how we can add value to their home design journey. Currently, we are backed by ASAPP Media Pvt. Ltd, a B2B publishing house with magazines in the construction, infrastructure and related sectors. Six months to a year down the line, we would look for funding to take the business to the next level, expand the team and enhance the technology. However I want to create a self-sustaining business. I'd rather take longer to turn a profit myself and know that my business can survive on its own, and then use additional capital I raise to add even more value to my users, making their experience unparalleled.

Who would primarily be your consumer audience?
Homeowners, design enthusiasts would be my target audience. People just having bought or rented a home, newly married or with new families, older women looking to give their home a makeover - these are my target audience groups.

Where do you see yourself five years down the road?
I see DezignGenie being the first point people think of when they are contemplating making any design related decision. I hope to expand into commercial sectors, internationally inspired design segments and have the largest network of design professionals, services, designs, products and trend forecasts anyone can possibly imagine. You just won't need to go anywhere else.

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