A home designing portal that connects engineers, interior designers and architects
“In Kerala, a home may be the result of 20 years of hard work,” says Gopeekrishnan G., the COO of Pala-based Sewesys Software Labs Pvt. Ltd., as he describes the importance accorded to building a home in the State.
Sewesys is a software company started by Shibin K. Sebastian, a visual communications graduate with experience in web development, and Gopeekrishnan, a graduate of computer science engineering from the College of Engineering at Kidangoor in Kottayam. The company has recently launched their first product, a home designing business portal called Yabeen.com.
Building a community
Yabeen serves as a meeting point for people looking to build a house and the people who can help them achieve their vision. The site allows professionals such as architects, interior designers and engineers to create profiles and display their work. The work they upload to their profiles is also shared onto Yabeen’s Facebook page, which has a healthy following of over 24,000 people. Users of the site can analyse the works and contact the professionals through the website. Apart from this, the site also features sellers who deal with home furnishings and accessories. “Having professionals registered on the site is great for everyone. While they get promoted automatically as part of our search engine optimisation and get more attention, the same traffic to our website benefits us and the sellers listed with us,” explains Shibin.
The duo, who happen to be family friends as well, started Sewesys in May 2012, and work out of Pala while they await allotment of premises at Startup Village, where the company is incubated. Yabeen is their first product, and both Shibin and Gopeekrishnan smile indulgently when asked about the website’s unusual name. “We searched a lot for a name we could associate with home décor, but everything had been taken, so we decided to go the unconventional route and pick something random and unusual. So we named the website after a biblical king.”
Shibin and Gopeekrishnan realised early that real estate and home ownership are of great interest to Keralites, and it is obvious from the way they rattle off statistics with ease that they have done their homework. “When it comes to styles and materials, we have seen that people have a clear idea what they want, but not where to get it. Architects who are featured on Yabeen have told us that people come to them with stacks of design magazines, with the relevant pages folded. We realised this was a process we could simplify,” says Gopeekrishnan.
A social portal
The system is indeed simple; professionals can register for free on Yabeen, much like creating a Facebook account. They can upload their concepts and clients see them on Facebook, which allows them to follow links to Yabeen. If any of the registered sellers have items related to what the client is looking at, those are suggested as well. “Unlike for professionals, we do charge the sellers a small listing fee for displaying their items. At the moment, we have around five sellers from major districts in the State, and we are working on increasing the number,” says Shibin. He goes on to mention that all products purchased through Yabeen will come at a discounted price, with a coupon code being generated which customers can avail themselves of when they pick up the item from the store. As Yabeen intends to serve as a connecting portal only, do not expect home delivery of products, though the website does automatically filter results to show sellers closest to the users’ geographical location.
If the discussions on their Facebook page are any indication, the youngsters have gained some traction. But they are not wasting any time, and the six-member team that is Sewesys is hard at work in making Yabeen a national portal with professionals and sellers from all over the nation joining the network. With their Startup Village accommodation nearing completion, they are looking forward to moving to Kochi full time and making use of the opportunities on offer. “There are a lot of interesting things ahead for us,” says Shibin, “We are also working on some other products, but right now primary focus is on Yabeen.”