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Gurgaon's fix-it-all online neighbourhood portal
Necessity is the mother of invention, and that's why, two and a half years back, I initially started Justmyneighbour.com as a modest society portal in Gurgaon. Today, it is present in thirteen Indian cities and is serving as a centralised source of communication and delivery of the various civic and personal needs in housing societies.

IRKED BY missing the major events in my housing society, I decided to do something innovative that could help people like me. Busy with my work, I got to know about Diwali celebrations only at the last moment when I had planned something different for the day. That is when I thought of JustMyNeighbour – though a new and innovative concept but I made it a point that none of the residents missed events from that point on. For 15 years I lived in a Gurgaon condominium and faced many issues that included looking for maids, carpenters, plumbers and rag-pickers, among others. It struck me that the portal can be useful even in providing such services and then there was no looking back.

What started as a modest online portal, JustMyNeighbour proved to be a good business opportunity as well besides its main utility of an interactive online platform that offers readymade solutions of a facility management system. The portal aims at networking residents with the association driving a centralized and easy access to communication through a single window platform. Besides, the portal also offers residents of Gurgaon a host of e-commerce services for the benefit of the residents that cater to their daily requirements such as food, car insurance, and grocery, etc., all at a click of a button and special discounts and offers. Through the portal, you can even fix an appointment with a doctor from the comforts of your drawing room and search for the best restaurants, hotels, hospitals, shopping centres near your home, which are uploaded by people who map them.
 
The objective of the society portal is to simplify approach to the Society Association by providing much needed facilities and services such as discussion forums for residents to incorporate their suggestions and discuss common topics of interest. Complaints can be posted online by residents who receive SMS and email alerts from the society on the progress of their issues raised. Maintenance bills are issued through the portal with the provision of direct online payments. Explaining driving directions made simpler, with an SMS and email of a Map sent to friends and family. Online notice boards are regularly updated with minutes of society meetings, circulars and important information for residents along with SMS and email alerts on urgent matters that require the resident’s immediate attention.
 
Services such as real estate, providing services of local suppliers and car insurance are the most trending ones on the portal be it in Gurgaon or other cities and since people are too busy in their jobs, they like to avail all the services at their doorsteps.
 
Crossing the initial challenges like the concerns that residents wouldn’t use the portal because it was a new concept, JustMyNeighbour has driven past it and managed to secure its presence not just in Gurgaon but in 12 other Indian cities such as Delhi, Noida, Mumbai, Pune, Jaipur, Hyderabad, Bangalore, Chennai, Kolkata, Ahmedabad, Lucknow and Chandigarh as well. It is associated with more than 2700 residential societies with an aim of contracting 10,000 societies by the end of this year. Initial concerns about the mode of transaction have also been warded off as almost all the service providers accept payment through credit cards nowadays.
 
Defining community living, the portal was started by five-likeminded people and can now boast of 40 dedicated members that include financial and communication executives, besides the marketing heads. Besides addressing the civic and daily needs of the residents, the portal has even helped the societies financially. With sponsors like Airtel, the situation proved win-win situation for all three of us; we shared revenue with the residents and Airtel reached its target customer base. Now, there are a host of sponsors that are benefiting residents and with this portal, a strongly-knit relationship has developed between us and the residents.
 
CJ: Param Sidhu is founder of JustMyNeighbour, and has 15 years of experience in the aviation and travel distribution industry.

 

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