1. Market Analysis
Our primary service is home construction. Secondary services include: Naksa Design, 3D design, Interior design, survey, planning, parceling and so on.
With the increasing work load, time management for business person/working person is getting harder. While home is a basic requirement, people simply do not have time needed to devote for home construction. Besides, most people also lack sufficient technical knowledge required to maintain proper quality in construction. This is where we kick in. We take turn-key contracts from our clients, who are willing to construct a home for their family. We provide all logistics, manage materials and supervise overall construction.
What people want is a rather difficult question to answer. The appropriate answer is, “It depends on the economic status of the client.” Construction is never cheap. It is getting more expensive day by day. We, as a company have no choice either. Whilst we can get different materials at relatively cheaper rates that the general public in most cases, the price reduction is not significant in case of a single unit home construction. This means, what we charge our clients is:
Total Charge = Total building cost + Our overhead
For most middle-class families, our overhead is what they don’t want to pay. They would rather dedicate their time in construction. However, for higher incomed families, paying a few lakhs extra saves them a lot of trouble of dealing with minor issues during construction.
For some educated/conscious people, letting us handle their construction is a matter of getting more quality in construction. These people do not mind spending a little more money if they can be assured that they are getting more quality product and service.
2. Market Trend
In Kathmandu, because of busier lifestyle, people have started to look for a good construction company to handle their construction. Especially post-EQ, people have been more conscious regarding construction and accordingly want to have a structurally safe home to live in. However, construction practices have not yet been fully professionalized and people still opt for cheaper solutions sacrificing quality (unknowingly – thinking what possibly might go wrong – “mistri/thekdar le garihalxa ni”).
From my personal observation, I guess in average only about 20% of private building constructions in Kathmandu are handed over to professionals like us. This means there is tremendous opportunity for businesses like us to grow.
Although the trend of seeking professional construction is increasing, most people do not trust companies like us easily. Main reason for this is the behavior shown by local contractors in the past. These locally available contractors would deal in a relatively lower amount for construction and later when they have collected money from the client enough to bear expenses and a little profit, they would go AWOL, leaving the client in despair and in loss.
Another reason for people choosing to build themselves is financial reason, as already discussed above.
There are established brands as our prime competitors. The names and their strategies are a matter of P2P discussion.
There are other startups and emerging group of engineers/companies who jump right into construction after they complete studies. These kinds of companies do not run for longer period because the directors tend to go after higher studies soon and thus close business. These companies however create more disturbances in the market, disturbing market rates, quality and thus reducing trust towards professionals.
5. Current Marketing strategies
Currently, we have been adopting digital marketing for reaching out to clients.
Collecting leads and sharing content in social media – Facebook and Instagram has been our primary strategy of attracting clients.
Basically, people reach out to us and we convert them.
However, we do not have a dedicated marketing and sales team to handle/attract clients.
We do have a very good web presence, accessible at www.ajiragroup.com. We also have an engaging facebook page.
Currently, we have collaborated with Kamana Sewa Bikas Bank to provide housing loan to our clients. According to the MOU signed between Ajira Builders and Kamana Sewa Bikas Bank, the bank will provide housing loan to our clients at rates cheaper than they would offer to a walk in customer. As of October 05, the current interest rate offered to our clients is 9.75%. Other terms of this MOU is 100% financing for home construction. They also provide elevated services to our clients, with high priority. Besides, we also expect this tie-up with the Bank to generate more clients for us as well. We are also trying to enter into similar contract/tie-ups with other banks and financial institutions to attract more corporate clients and show our presence.
6. Marketing plans and strategies
Soon to be implemented strategies includes collaboration with different real estate agent companies who deal with plotting and sales of lands. For this, we had approached a few of such agents before the government lockdown in March. We have yet to revive the previous conversations with such agents. These will be one of the major sources of home builders. They will be recommending us for design and construction services in exchange for a small commission. We had already agreed on 10% commission on design services and 2.5% commission on construction services with one of the agents. But we are yet to negotiate more and deal on this.
A few more viable strategies could include tipping off municipality engineers, going on more robust digital marketing, advertising on online news media, television advertising for wider audience.
A video series on creating awareness (as a means of marketing, of course) will be a newest addition to marketing strategies soon.
There are few more concepts that might be viable for audience reach but they need to be thought thoroughly first. Let’s not discuss something that is not ready yet.