Abhiraj Bhal, Urban Company CEO & Co-founder- From resilience to authenticity: Lockdown Learnings
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Abhiraj Bhal (Abhiraj Singh Bhal) is the founder and CEO of UrbanClap, a home services marketplace launched in November 2014. Which is also Asia’s largest home services platform.
UrbanClap or Urban Company helps customers book reliable home services like beauty services massages, cleaning, plumbing, etc.
The platform is backed by Accel Partners, Saif Partners, Ratan Tata, Kunal Bahl, and Rohit Bansal. It has served over 5 million customers and has a network of over 25000 trained professionals in 24 cities from 4 countries.
Abhiraj Bhal UrbanClap CEO is a bachelor in Electrical Engineering graduate from Indian Institute of Technology — Kanpur (IIT-K) & an MBA from the Indian Institute of Management — Ahmedabad (IIM-A). After completing his post-graduate he started working with the Boston consulting group Singapore where he assisted fortune 500 companies across India Germany and South East Asia for 3 years.
After returning to India with his batchmate from the IIT-K Varun Khaitan who had also worked with the Boston Consulting Group, America he started a movie streaming startup called Cinemabox.
Post-meeting Raghav Chandra who was a graduate from the University of California Berkeley, and had the experience of working with Twitter Yelp, and more. Raghav Chandra at that time was working on an Auto aggregator platform called Buggy. in
All 3 met and decided to launch a venture in the home services space seeing that the Indian service sector is majorly unorganized and fragmented.
Jumping to early 2020 UrbanClap was rebranded to Urban Company. Abhiraj Bhal the Urban Company CEO explained that this was a step towards their plan of global expansion. As the brand name Urban Company would act as an umbrella brand which would shelter many sub-brands and verticals. Also the word ‘Clap’ could carry a negative meaning in certain western cultures.
Abhiraj Bhal led UrbanClap or Urban Company has a presence in India, UAE, Singapore, and Australia.
Here’s what Abhiraj Bhal UrbanClap CEO(now Urban Company) had to say about his Lockdown learnings as per Forbes
There’s very little to bring about the best a person can bring out than a crisis. As the covid-19 pandemic swept across industry sectors, upending established processes and putting lives and livelihoods at risk. Leaders learned to adapt to these challenging and uncertain times. Businesses had to re-engineer their processes and expectations based on the new reality. Here’s what top business leaders had shared with Forbes India about their self-discoveries, leanings, and experiences. And how they managed to turn a crisis into an opportunity for themselves.
Abhiraj Bhal, Co-founder and CEO of Urban Company –
‘Contrarians Sweep the Market When They Are Right’
Here’s a summary of all the things Abhiraj Bhal talked about
Abhiraj Bhal: During these previous few months, I have had three key learnings as a person.
The first is that emergency expects you to be optimized for both short term and long term in your thinking goal and objective setting.
At the point when the lockdown was forced in March, we needed to zero in on short-term prudence, control costs, and revamp our processes to get ready for a post-lockdown world.
However, it was essential to understand that this was a humanitarian crisis, and we shouldn’t fail to remember our people.
Urban Company took the choice to protect jobs, not cut compensations, also institutionalize different monetary and medical care measures for Urban Company’s service partners, and took every choice with the short-as well as the long term objective in mind.
The subsequent learning was to be a contrarian. Contrarians clear the market when they are correct. Subsequently, even as organizations were closing down or laying off in our area, we recruited over 300 full-time employees and on-boarded around 10,000 service professionals. We were likewise aggressive with our marketing and communication. This caused us to skip back to 140 percent of our pre-Covid top in a moderately brief timeframe.
The last learning was around time management. Before Covid-19, my schedule was constantly blocked, however, some way or another work from home permitted me to be more focused, controlled, and focussed on how and where I invest my energy.