Times Are Difficult; However, We Will Overcome This Pandemic
Bangalore based start-up Infurnia is the world’s first cloud-based architecture and interior design software created for professionals and businesses. We caught up with Lovepreet Man, Co-Founder of Infurnia to know how they are trying to sale through these turbulent times and how this pandemic is posing multiple challenges in front of them.
1. Do you think that start up sector will smoothly sail through this pandemic which is wreaking havoc across the world?
Depends on the industry a startup is operating in. For software in the ed-tech or grocery, this could be a great way to get a lot of new customers in a very short time. But for most of the startups in the heavily-hit industries, it’ll be tough going. If you’re well-capitalized, there are different ways you can utilize this time to create longer term value for your customers. But with fund-raising almost coming to a halt and newer customers being very hesitant to commit to anything that doesn’t save them money straight away, it will be really difficult for a lot of young startups to survive.
2. How it is different from Global Financial crisis of 2008?
We were not around at the time of the Financial crisis, so can't make a direct comparison, but it feels a lot more uncertain this time. Considering we have no concrete timelines for treatment/vaccine, no clear idea how the market will look like post normalization, and how fast will it normalize.
3. What are the ramifications of this pandemic on your start up?
We are an architecture and interior design software. With almost all construction coming to a halt, and the interior design firms coming to a standstill, we are seeing significant slowdown in new sales. Enterprises are hesitant to enter into any contracts before they get more clarity on how soon and how well the market will rebound.
4. What coping strategy you have adapted?
We are a small team with a decent runway. We are utilizing this time in 3 ways, 1) By undertaking significant product upgradations. With constant sales pressure to develop and fine tune features, sometimes it can be difficult to start large product upgrades which require a lot of time. We are utilizing this time for such projects. 2) A lot of our customers and potential customers also have more time on their hands now, so we are using it to understand their pain points even better 3) We are investing time in automating a lot of the everyday help & support processes to serve our customers better and faster going forwards
5. Are you looking for a holding hand from investors, government and others?
Even though we have not laid off anyone so far, it would be really helpful if the govt stepped in and created some program similar to the Small Business Paycheck protection program launched by the USA. Not just in name, but in the speedy approval and disbursal process as well.