Moving a ‘house’ into a strongroom

View of a storage space in Chennai  

With certain sections of the corporate sector, particularly information technology companies, continuing to offer their employees the work-from-anywhere option, self-storage spaces have gained a new level of visibility and patronage.

In the last one year, self-storage space providers with a fairly large presence across the country have found themselves Chennai addresses, some of them adding these to existing facilities.

Bengaluru-based Safe Storage launched its services in Chennai in November 2020 with a 10,000 sq.ft space. Ramesh Madisetty, CEO, Safe Storage, points out that the Chennai market had a surprise for them.

“In the one-and-a-half months since we launched the service, our facility was fully occupied. Now, we have taken another warehouse of 30,000 sq.ft. Chennai,” says Madisetty, adding that the company is signing on 50 to 60 new customers every month in Chennai.

Stownest Storage also entered the Chennai market last year.

Other known names that operate in this business include Your Space, Storagians and Orange Self-storage.

Madisetty undelines how previously, demand for storage spaces was driven by professionals travelling abroad for six months or longer, followed those renovating their houses or going through a job transfer. The pandemic and the new work policies are now the reason for the spurt in demand.

New features

During the pandemic, many players introduced features like the quotation could be calculated by the customer by feeding in the details online.

Ramesh Agarwal, founder, Agarwal Packers and Movers Limited, says to build trust among customers that their goods were in safe hands, container- or cube-like sections were introduced.

Moving a ‘house’ into a strongroom

Agarwal says that containers come in sizes and features to accommodate the household of a typical “One, two-bedroom house all the way to a huge bungalow”.

“Every three months, pest control treatment has to be done to ensure the safety of the packed items,” says Agarwal, adding that special hubs are created for long-term storage. Insurance is also provided by most players.

The cost of storing household goods depends on factors such as size, location and duration. The average monthly rental for one bedroom and two bedroom household goods is ₹3,000 and ₹4,000 respectively; for cars it ranges between ₹2,500 to ₹4,000, according to the data provided by Anarock Property Consultants.

According to Anarock Property Consultants, the self-storage space sector in India is still in its infancy with only a handful of organised players, and with limited space capacities in top cities.

Ramesh Agarwal says the demand is temporary. “The mindset of most Indians is to store in a storage space if the requirement is for a short period, say three to six months. When it extends beyond a year, they prefer to move the belongings to their home town,” says Agarwal.

Madisetty says Safe Storage has also noticed a similar trend: “Across our facilities we see at least 100 customers taking out their goods every month and out of this, a majority want it to be shipped to their hometown.”

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Printable version | Sep 17, 2021 5:00:14 PM |

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