The online home decor market in India is growing at an exponential rate with a lot of big names making competing to stay ahead in this highly competitive market. HomeLane is one of these players that promises to deliver functionality and aesthetics along with customised and efficient home designs. Bengaluru-based HomeLane was founded by Srikanth Iyer who, after having dealt with the challenges setting up his own home and is helping the community by providing the best solutions in the design space.
While a lot of companies are getting competitive in this area, HomeLane is trying to stay ahead of the game by ensuring technological implementations. The company is adopting analytics and other emerging technologies such as analytics and data science, making them an integral part of home furnishing solutions in India.
Analytics India Magazine got in touch with Puneet Gupta, Senior VP (Head of Engineering) at HomeLane.com to deep dive into the technology play at the company. Gupta shares that HomeLane is headed towards the next chapter in its tech-led standardisation of an inherently personalised process of interior design and related business workflows. “Data analytics and AI are playing a big role in how we are evolving and re-defining the customer journey with HomeLane – right from initial engagement to 3D design, cost optimization and order fulfilment,” shared Gupta.
Tech Stack At HomeLane
Technology at HomeLane spans across a wide range of products that are used for different parts of the customer journey. Large parts of their backend stack are built using architectural principles of reactive programming in Java and Kotlin, while some of it is also built using NodeJS and PHP. “Our frontend uses technologies like ReactJS and AngularJS. SpaceCraft, whereas our 3D interior design platform further leverages niche technologies such as WebGL, ThreeJS and 3D graphics programming using principles of physically based rendering,” shares Gupta.
The 25 people strong technology team at HomeLane are driving these innovative initiatives and the company plans to double their strength over the next couple of months by onboarding passionate software designers and programmers who want to be a part of this truly next-gen cloud platform we are building. They are looking for a wide spectrum of people right from analysts, data engineers to developers, system architects and more.
Technological Play To Stay Ahead Of The Competition
The scale HomeLane can achieve in the interior design space is being driven by a strong foundation in technology. “Most other players in the market are using simple technologies, if any at all, to realize,” says Gupta. He further adds that with their technology, they are able to provide a 100% transparency through the customer’s engagement with HomeLane.
“Our SpaceCraft design platform is one of its kind and truly trailblazing in terms of offering a real-time 3D design experience to customers – the first of its kind in the entire industry,” shares Gupta.
Explaining more about SpaceCraft, Gupta says that it provides a way for customers to interact with designers and create designs in a more approachable way. The design starts with an image or drawing of a floor plan, which the customer provides. Designers then create a digital floor plan and present the customers with a ‘3D experience’ – illustrating in real time how exactly their kitchen or living room would look.
“Through the course of the SpaceCraft session, the design keeps evolving as the designer and customers communicate and collaborate. Customers can select the furniture, countertops, wallpapers, false ceilings etc. of their choice. They can zero on the sizes, colours, finishes and materials that suit their needs,” he said.
Customers can even visualise real-life scenarios such as the interplay of lights from the windows or ceiling lamps. Further, they can see the impact of shadows or reflections on different material finishes (e.g. glossy, matte, etc.) and make an informed decision. SpaceCraft also automatically updates the quote of the chosen design with every change, keeping customers informed on the cost of their choices.
Adoption Of Analytics
HomeLane is also working on leveraging data to create a true differentiator to drive smart decisions at every level – be it customer acquisition, customer experience definition and differentiation, design recommendations, price optimisations, order fulfilment, operational workflows and delivery management. “The goal is to provide the customers with interior design solutions that are faster and highly personalised, while being, even more, pocket-friendly,” says Gupta.
There is no doubt that technology is the bedrock of HomeLane’s customer experience and the company plans to invest heavily in building high-quality products to enrich customer and partner experience. Gupta also shared that HomeLane will exit FY18-19 at an ARR of Rs. 400Cr.
The Way Ahead
Gupta was recently appointed as the head of engineering and he strongly believes that as the company is aiming to augment its business and operations rapidly to handle the customer growth, technology needs to scale up and bolster this growth too.
“This is achievable via the ongoing enhancements to our engineering stacks and products. The goal is to provide reliable, error-free and predictable workflows and design solutions to internal users and a blemish-free experience to the customers. This is being achieved via an enhanced precision and in-depth performance optimizations at all levels,” he said.
He believes that there is a lot of potential for growth and use of technology to ensure predictability, personalization and pocket-friendliness will go a long way. “We are in a $12Bn market of which 95% is unorganized. That’s how much headroom for growth we have!” he said.
This year, HomeLane continues to go deeper into the five cities where they are already present, and also launch 3-4 new cities. “We will also launch more disruptive features on SpaceCraft and our design to manufacturing stack,” he said while signing off.