Bringing transparency and professionalism in real estate sector

Priya Maheshwari – Co founder, properji.com

An Ivy League graduate, Priya Maheshwari was an infrastructure policy expert at Black & Veatch, New York and with the Tata Group, India. Four years back, when she moved from US to India, a personal challenge she faced while buying a house here led her to discover an opportunity in the Indian real estate industry. Having understood the real-estate industry in US, she believed a similar model can be adopted in India to help customers make better decisions in property buying. Priya, along with two other business partners went on to start Properji.com. (http://properji.com) Properji provides buyers with an unbiased and independent property related advice so that they can make an informed decision before buying a property.

Priya holds a Masters from University of Pennsylvania. Prior to founding Properji.com Priya has worked for over 10 years in US and in India in the field of International Business, Research and Management Consultancy. Priya takes up social initiatives whenever she gets a chance. One of the social initiatives which is closest to her heart is something she did almost 10 years back. When East Timor had just got independence, she spent 2 months there and provided strategic consultancy to water and sanitation NGO working closely with executives from World Bank and USAID.

Having been born and brought up in a small town conservative family in Rajasthan, Priya was always interested in education of the girl child. She tries to contribute to that cause regularly.

About your entrepreneurial journey
“Three years back, I relocated from US to India. One of the first things I had on my mind was to buy a house. However, only listing and marketing sites existed with no independent or objective advice. I was aghast by how all Indians were putting their entire life’s savings in property based on leap of faith assumptions and blind trust in those who were ready to cheat them. So, I started Properji.com with the objective of providing buyers with unbiased independent advice so that they can make informed real estate decisions.”

The Inflection point
“Realization of a big problem, and a desire to do something about it led me to entrepreneurship. The more I got into it the more I realized how much a change was needed. Even if I do something modest it can create a big impact. That inspired me.”

Greatest inspiration
“All female entrepreneurs — big or small because they have taken that extra step. Life of a woman is a combination of so many roles. Each roles keeps on becoming demanding and stressful with time both on the professional and on the personal front. Having a positive attitude of “I can make it work” and even if something does not work, look on the positive side that you took extra step to make it happen and feel proud of yourself.”

High point in career
“I think running my own company is the biggest gift and learning I gave to myself. I got a chance to do everything at my startup — hiring, sales, business development, investor discussion, product discovery, product market fit, digital marketing, payroll, accounts, end to end operation etc. and learnt a lot.”

Most important milestone in life
“I think it is still to come. But yes, I am proud of running my venture Properji.com and successfully exiting it by selling it to Magicbricks. In just 2 years, we validated the concept, built the whole platform. It was such a great learning, engaging with all stakeholders — customers, investors, employees and mentors.”

Women are the better halves. What does it mean?

“For me, it means equality. It means putting your 100% hard work and determination in whatever you want to do in life. It means learning one good thing every day so you improve every day.”

How do you believe in making dreams come true?
“I always believed in three mantras of life – hard work, determination and positive attitude. With these, you can make your life meaningful and can do whatever you want to do in life. For me life has never been a straight curve but I was always open to exploring new things and learn from them. So, one should be open and have positive attitude in life.”

Challenges faced
“In real estate sector there are still very few women. It was intimidating in the beginning for me. But drive to solve real pain point of my customers keeps me going every day. It has been quite a learning experience for me to make an inroad and leave a mark. Initially, things were challenging getting data from builder to government agencies. But things are improving in India.”