Kazakh startup solves the problem of finding land resources
An important point in the planning and construction of real estate is the choice of land.
An important point in the planning and construction of real estate is the choice of land. What nuances should be taken into account before buying a plot and as an online resource engeo.kz helps to deal with this, the founders of the project Chingiz Sadykov and Zabira Rakhymbai told in an interview. The project is a participant of the 8th acceleration stream of Astana Hub.
- Tell us about the project?
-We, Genghis and Zabira are the founders of the project. Our project is engeo.kz is an online resource that helps developers choose a plot of land for future construction, based on the engineering and geological conditions of the site.
- How did the idea to start the project come about? How does your service work?
-For 11 years we have been engaged in conducting engineering and geological surveys for the design of construction. As a result, we have accumulated archival information about which soils are on a particular site. Developers and designers have often contacted us for this information, because developers collect information about it before buying a plot. All available information is collected: the general plan of the district, the plan of the detailed planning of the district, the schemes of engineering networks and so on. Quite a lot of information can be collected without conducting special field research. We also need information about the engineering and geological conditions at the construction site. Most often, before buying a site, developers are interested in the specified seismicity of the site, the type of soils lying under the site in question, as well as groundwater. All these data greatly affect the cost of future construction, so experienced developers always take these factors into account. However, it is very difficult to find geological information. The problem is that there is no resource on the territory of the CIS that would accumulate engineering and geological data. This information is stored in the archives of survey companies in a decentralized manner. Taking into account all the existing information and realizing that archival information about soils is in demand, we decided to combine all engineering and geological information into a single portal. www.engeo.kz.
The idea itself came to us in 2017, then we began to study the world experience. Thus, we found several examples of the implementation of such work in India and the UK. Now the site is working and is updated monthly with data. Due to the fact that the product is new to our market, many developers do not know about the existence of such a portal and buy plots blindly. In turn, we want to help people choose the right site for construction and calculate all the risks in advance.
Tell us about your team?
There are two of us in the team now. But when we filled out our database, we engaged students for part-time work. We trained students and built business processes for interaction within the team. We had database operators, editors who checked the completed data for operators and a supervisor who fully supervised their work. But with the start of quarantine, we have suspended their activities for now.
How does your product differ from competitors?
There are no similar business models in the CIS. However, the problem we are solving can be solved in other ways. For example, you can order engineering and geological surveys at a preliminary stage in a small volume. The data will be more reliable, but their cost is 10-15 times higher and the work itself takes about 1-2 weeks. You can also call geologists you know and try to find out what soils are in the area of the plot being considered for purchase. However, this method also takes time and has an error in accuracy.
Who are your clients? Are there any clients from near/far abroad?
Our clients are developers, designers and geological engineering companies. So far there have been no clients from near and far abroad.
How has the pandemic affected your business?
Previously, it was possible to request archival materials from a geologist. But mostly these archives are stored on paper, and they are not digitized. And the pandemic has brought new realities into our lives. Everyone needed to build their work remotely, our industry was no exception. At that moment, engineering and geological companies did not have access to their archives and, accordingly, the customer had to wait. Our product solved these problems, the customer did not have to wait for the end of quarantine, he could quickly receive information about the soils on the site of future construction.
What are your plans for the future?
Now we want to scale both geographically and by revenue.
Why did you decide to participate in the Astana Hub acceleration program?
We understood which way we needed to go, how to scale, but we didn't have enough funds. Therefore, we decided to take part in the Astana Hub acceleration program to attract investments.
Share your impressions about participation?
We had previously gone through several expensive training programs and thought that it was unlikely that they would teach us something new. We were wrong. With the passage of the acceleration program, a very deep analysis of the business model was made. It is inspiring that we are now among IT specialists and aspiring entrepreneurs. Despite the fact that the training takes place through the Zoom online platform, we feel a powerful energy charge.