CEO of Urban Company, Abhiraj Bhal in an interview with Startup India. Here Abhiraj Bhal talks about his journey of becoming the Urbanclap CEO & Founder. After completing his engineering from IIT- Kanpur & post-graduation from IIM– Ahmedabad & a 3-year long consulting stint with BCG he started CinemaBox, a movie streaming startup with his batchmate from IIT-Kanpur, Varun Khaitan. Post-meeting Raghav Chandra an alum of the University of California Berkeley. Abhiraj Bhal along with Varun Khaitan and Raghav Chandra started Urbanclap, which is now Asia’s largest home services marketplace. Abhiraj Bhal Urbanclap CEO and Co-founders renamed Urbanclap to Urban Company in early 2020. Urban Company now alongside several markets in India also operates in Sydney, Dubai, Singapore and looks to make an even stronger global footprint, etc.
Urban Company, a leading home service platform is like a services marketplace available on desktop and mobile devices which helps bridge the gap between customers and trained service professionals. It helps customers book reliable services from trained services professionals from the comfort of their homes. Urban Company is backed by tiger global, saif partners. Individuals like ratan tata and Kunal Bahl.
Urbanclap/Urban Company offers beauty services, publishing, painting, appliance repair, and a wide range of services. Abhiraj Bhal Urban Company CEO overlooks service partners onboarding as the Urban Company CEO. Urban Company has a network of over 25000 trained service professionals, has already served over 5 million customers operates in 27 cities and 4 different countries.
In this interview, the Abhiraj Bhal Urbanclap CEO talks about how and when did he decide to become an entrepreneur, how did his parents react to his decision. What kept him going after shutting his movie streaming startup called cinema box and then launching Urban Company (formerly Urbanclap).
What his mentors suggest to him while he was about to take the decision. Also a whole lot more on how entrepreneurs can approach investors, and how does he take decisions and maintains their original ideas along with accepting and pivoting according to investor’s directions.
Did you always want to be an entrepreneur?
Urban Company CEO Abhiraj Singh Bhal: in my childhood, I don’t think I had a clear idea of what I wanted to be so I remember there was a phase when I wanted to be a photographer then there was a time when I wanted to be a fighter pilot, so all kinds of notions growing up. But I think by the time I was 15–16, it was clear to me that I want to try to get into IITs so that was I would say the first time I had a goal in my life when I was 15 years old 16 years old and the goal was to try to get into an IIT at that point of time.
I had not thought about what I’m going to do with my life post engineering once at IIT. I think that’s probably the first time when I felt that somewhere down the road in my career, entrepreneurship is worth considering.
I remember one of the alumni events that had happened where I was a volunteer I ended up bumping into and talking to a couple of alumni who had done very well for themselves in the silicon valley working and starting their own business.
I spoke about the challenges and the journey of starting one’s own company with them and at the end of that conversation, you’ve left with encouragement and also this view that regular people start companies it’s not people who are not very different from you so I think there are many nuggets like this through my time at IIT.