Powerplay Simplifying Communication For Stakeholders In Construction Segment
"The current goal is to make highly useful products for the most engaging customers, then identify the right price points for all those products and finally build a scalable monetisation engine," mentions Iesh Dixit, Co-founder and CEO, Powerplay
Powerplay is a freemium app to simplify communication between construction sites and central office teams. The app enables speciality contractors, general contractors, and builders to manage site work, material and labour on its platform. The platform has multiple modules that offer palpable convenience through its framework of seamless interoperability. The free modules that are offered are made readily available for the site teams to use on Android, iOS, and web browsers. The premium modules include project management, financial management, and procurement management services, which are suitable for office teams.
What are the unique key points (USP) of your company?
The USP that is manifested by our platform is that it has the first-mover advantage in the Indian market. We can proudly attest to it as India's first construction management app. The most unique aspect is that it is very useful for the site teams. Therefore, they start using it for their own use cases, and later, office teams are brought to Powerplay by them. The adoption is just like how teams adopt Slack, and then the whole company starts using it.
How are you different from the existing competitors?
In India, there is no direct competition because we are at the forefront of the segment. However, there is indirect competition from instant messaging platforms like WhatsApp, where construction management and collaboration is happening due to a lack of optimal solutions. This is where we come into the picture. Internationally, companies like Procore and Assignar are servicing the top of the pyramid, i.e., the enterprises within the construction space, but there still remains a void when it comes to the SMB contractors and currently, there are no established players here.
What is the monetisation model?
Powerplay has been pre-revenue focusing on high engagement & retention so far. We have just started with our monetisation experiments in India this quarter through subscriptions.
What challenges are you facing in running your business?
We are the first mover in the market. Therefore, there is an educational aspect involved for mainstream adoption. The main challenges are the awareness of the solution that we provide and product usability for the site team workers, both requiring some learning curve. Being aware of these challenges we have been working to solve them since the start.
Impact of the pandemic? How has been your customer's response so far post lockdown?
When pandemic hit and nationwide lockdown was declared, construction activities were put on hold too. Construction industry being a significant contributor to GDP of India, the government relaxed the restrictions on construction activities within a month and since then we have been seeing growth in usage from across the nation. During every wave, there is a short term drop in activities but it picks up within a week or two.
Powerplay got a lot of tailwinds because of the pandemic. Internet adoption & usage exploded amongst the site workers and supervisors helping us in the overall mission of digitization. Visiting construction sites became excessively difficult for the office teams, hence a tool to have remote visibility of the work became their highest priority. Powerplay solves exactly this problem.
What are the traction details (achievements of the company)?
The numbers have been very impressive, with Powerplay gradually getting closer to its north star of being the sought-after Operating System (OS) for the Construction Industry. In the past year from Jan 2021 to Jan 2022, the SaaS platform has seen 40x growth in its active* businesses and an astounding 100x growth in OS* businesses. The average time spent on the app by each user of an active business amounts to 26 minutes per day, whereas in the OS business segment, the same number is 40 minutes per day. Some compelling numbers which signify Powerplay as the leading construction management software in the country are: 2021 Highlights
● 300k+ users acquired
● Managed 1% of the total construction of India, worth ₹ 7000 crores
● Managed materials worth ₹ 1100 crores
● Managed 250k labour force in a single day
*Within the company, active businesses and OS businesses are computed on the basis of the work-progress updates on the platform. OS business is the company’s internal cryptonym for businesses that choose Powerplay and perform 4 or more work-progress updates on the application in a 7-day week - signaling high engagement. Similarly, active businesses are those who have registered at least 1 work-progress update on the app.
What has been the biggest learning so far?
1. Spend a lot of time choosing the right problem. You are going to spend a decade on the problem if it works out, it better be the one that keeps you energized for a long time.
2. We were slow in bringing some really great people to join us. We thought it would take time since we have a high bar, but there is always a way. Now, we have the most talented group of formidable people, and the pace is picking up.
What is the market size and opportunity?
The market is titanic in terms of the numbers. According to statistics.com, the Indian construction market was worth USD 170 billion in 2020–21, and globally, the size is even greater! In 2021, investments in construction tech start-ups in India hit a record high. The segment received a total funding of USD 104.2 million (as of June 15, 2021), the highest in the last seven years. Worldwide, the construction tech industry has been on the ascendency ladder as well, with USD 4.8 billion being invested in 2021, making it the highest investment in the last 5 years, according to data from Tracxn.
What are your future plans, with respect to the Indian Market?
Powerplay has been pre-revenue in India focusing towards high engagement & retention so far. The current goal is to make highly useful products for the most engaging customers, then identify the right price points for all those products & finally build a scalable monetisation engine.
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