While everyone else is claiming it to be a funding slowdown, Indian Angel Network, the group of angel investors show no such signs. IAN announces an undisclosed investment in Bengaluru based movers and packers startup, Pikkol.com. Angel Investor, CEO & Managing Trustee B.PAC, Revathy Ashok and Raj Rathi led the round of investment on behalf of IAN with Raj Rathi joining the company board to further guide the team in becoming a leader in the moving and relocation industry in India.
Conceived as the brainchild of a group of enterprising young men, Pikkol is a technology centric relocation service provider where customers can generate tailor-made solutions for their relocation needs. They make use of strong analytics based technological backend and logistics network for servicing the orders adding reliability and accountability through operational interventions.
In spite of a crowded relocation services market, there are hardly any players who offer standardized and quality relocation services. Pikkol was born out of extensive research done in the logistics and home services segment that helped the team identify the problems that consumers face while relocating. Since the market is flooded with vendors with minimum expertise, it’s a challenge for consumers to find a trusted mover. With the aim to address this pain point, Pikkol was conceptualized in April 2015 by Deepu Chandran, Suraj Valimbe, Siby Mathew and Jayaram Kasivisweswaran.
“Currently, this unorganized industry is a constant source of dissatisfaction for customers. We felt that many of those problems related to accountability, reliability and transparency could be solved with technology and operational excellence. Customer experience is the key area that we majorly concentrate on. Really delighted that team IAN for backing us up.”Commented Deepu Chandran, CEO at Pikkol.
The company plans to utilize the raised funds in product development and expansion. They will also be concentrating on enhancing capabilities of moving teams and continual behavioral and transactional training as part of their product enhancement.
The USD 2-3 Billion packers and movers market is highly unorganized and fragmented. With increased mobility of workforce and higher urbanization, relocation market is expected to grow at 10% per annum and reach USD 5Bn by 2020. In developed markets relocation market is close to 0.2%-0.3% of the total GDP.
Raj Rathi, the IAN lead investor who is joining the board commented on the investment saying, “Relocating to a new place is already a difficult task. On top of that, when you have to deal with vendors who refuse to understand your situation adds more to the woes. This is where Pikkol will break the cluttered market. While the traditional players redirect their customers to other vendors without providing any post move assistance, Pikkol aims at providing standardized logistic services with both pre move and post move assistance. They are using technology to create better experience for the customers. What makes them stand out from other vendors in the market is their customer centric approach which is rarely found in this segment. I am pretty excited to mentor them in their journey of being the market leaders.”
While most of the online portals and traditional players in the industry claim to provide reliable packers and movers to customers but do nothing more than just passing customer details to vendors, Pikkol choose to be different and intends to usher a new wave of change in the relocation industry in India by being tremendously customer centric. Having serviced more than 10,000 moves to more than 40 destinations in India in the past one year, it incorporates innovative use of technology to identify and solve pain-points of this utility service by setting up benchmarks in service quality and transparency through data driven methodologies.
About the Founder and Team
Deepu Chandran is a second-time entrepreneur. Prior to Pikkol.com, he co-founded Innomantra, a consulting firm, in 2010. He is an alumnus of IIM Bangalore, where he was the elected President of Students Council. At Innomantra, he worked with organizations such as Google, NetApp, ABB, and Larsen & Toubro. He began his career at Larsen & Toubro and was responsible for strategic planning and new product management. In 2008, he was awarded the India Innovation Prize by the Government of Karnataka and the Confederation of Indian Industry (CII).
The company has three co-founders Jayaram K., Siby Mathew, and Suraj Valimbe – who also joined forces to kick start Pikkol. Jayaram is an alumnus of IIM Lucknow and heads product and analytics function at Pikkol. He is also a second time entrepreneur who built a travel journal app in his earlier entrepreneurial venture.
Siby is an alumnus of NIT Calicut and was associated with HP for nine years, he now handles the technology team at Pikkol. He also holds the unique honour of holding the Limca Book of Records as the first Indian team to travel 16,000 km across 16 countries in 40 days. Suraj holds an MBA from Welingkar Institute of Management and worked with Hitachi and Tata Croma. He heads operations in Pikkol.