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Online Home Purchase Boom in India

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Madhumita Mondal, a resident of Mumbai made a decision to buy an apartment online. A strange but appealing feeling that save time and also offers mouthwatering discount compared to tradition offline purchase. Mondal spent $ 159,000 (10.1 million rupees) on a 3 bedroom apartment located in Mumbai suburbs. According to Mondal, normally she purchases books and dresses on Snapdeal.com, but when she saw the apartment advertised with good discount, she decided to give it a try to save time and money. A decision that changed her online experience.

‘Rather than having to go through property agencies off-line, this experience is much better,’ Mondal commented.

While it seems difficult to spend hundreds of thousands of rupees online, many Indians are happy about it. Property is being sold online and huge internet sales realized. Developers are getting an easy time disposing off the excess supply while consumers find it easy to buy houses with good discounts. Over the past few weeks, both Mantri Developers Ltd and Tata Housing Development Co made sales of $ 1 million each on Snapdeal. In the past one year, Snapdeal, Housing.com and 99acres.com are sites that have been making property sales online. More than 1500 apartments of sales online are reported by Tata Housing. The online platforms promise lower prices. In an advert placed on their website, Snapdeal promises low prices, ‘obtain unbelievable discounts’ the advertisement reads.

Cost Conscious

The managing director and chairman of Mumbai-based developer Rustomjee Group had this to say, ‘Indians are very conscious on cost. They believe that online platforms and mass buying are cheap methods of buying anything.’ More than 30 apartments have been sold online by Rustomjee Group through a brokerage site where buyers are directed to Rustomjee to make the sale complete. ‘We observe traditions on most things while in India, we embrace technology and what it has to offer. I see a lot of potential in the manner in which the internet can make changes in sale of apartments.’

For a new construction, the sites for online sales work in the same manner as an offline showroom belonging to a developer. Instead of going in person to view the photos and proposed models, the potential customer only has to make a few clicks. He/she is able to view the neighborhood and see how the building and units look like. He also gets an opportunity to see the reviews and ratings from other buyers. Also available is a walk-through of the three dimension furnished apartment.

Big Discounts

A good example of a typical discount is an apartment worth 6.5 million rupee which was built in Bengaluru by Ardente Realtors. The mortgage interest payment of 800,000 rupees (12 % purchase price) was being slashed off on this apartment if the purchase is made through Housing.com.

When a down payment of $ 1,600 is made by the customer on the ecommerce platform, the buyer is contacted by the developer in order to assist mortgage financing arrangements through the bank if need be. The option of paying the balance through online banking is also available.

‘Unlike offline real estate brokers, online commissions for sellers are lower,’ said Rustomjee Irani. He didn’t give further details. Snapdeal also failed to give more information on commissions. In some markets, developers are using the site so that they can offload excess supply in the markets. In the first quarter of the year, there was a total of 192.3 million square feet of unsold homes. This was expected to take 3 years and 10 months for them to be sold at the prevailing pace in Mumbai. This is according to a research and real estate consulting firm, Liases Foras Real Estate Rating & Research Pvt. There is 8-12 months inventory required to be maintained for a healthy market.

Is the CEO/Founder of Investors King Limited. A proven foreign exchange research analyst and a published author on Yahoo Finance, Nasdaq, Entrepreneur.com, Investorplace, and many more. He has over two decades of experience in global financial markets.

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Financial Inclusion: ZirooPay Targets Deeper Mobile POS Penetration in Nigeria

Nigeria’s retail Point-of-Sale solution provider, ZirooPay has embarked on an aggressive drive to deepen the penetration of its unique mobile POS assets.

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Omoniyi Olawale

In a bid to boost market share while driving financial inclusion by penetrating the underbanked market through its proprietary mobile POS technology, Nigeria’s retail Point-of-Sale solution provider, ZirooPay has embarked on an aggressive drive to deepen the penetration of its unique mobile POS assets.

Over the next months, ZirooPay hopes to grow its network of mobile POS around Nigeria by adding no fewer than 20,000 mobile POS, on the heels of a successful funding round, which has positioned it to tap into the growing opportunities in Africa’s retail sector.

Recall that ZirooPay is reputed for a patent of a unique and efficient mobile POS technology that enables small businesses to process card payments in real-time, even when there is no internet/data connection, strategically positioning it to drive financial inclusion in a country that has achieved only 63 per cent financial inclusion and 33.6 per cent of broadband penetration.

ZirooPay’s payments solution is fast, simple and reliable, delivering a 95 per cent transaction success rate for POS transactions compared to the industry’s average of 25 – 50 per cent.  The solution leverages its unique and patented internet-free technology, to enable SMEs (across the retail, agency banking, hospitality and services sectors) to process in-person payments, track their sales, and manage their businesses from their mobile devices.

Beyond payments, ZirooPay also provides merchants with automated sales history, sales analytics, and inventory tracking to help them monitor and manage their businesses more efficiently. ZirooPay’s superior transaction success rate and the integrated nature of its service stand it out from the competition.

The payment provider, which started operations in Nigeria in 2019, has organically grown to 15,000 merchants processing over $500m in 10m transactions and looks to replicate this success across Africa.

Speaking recently, the Chief Executive Officer, CEO of ZirooPay, Omoniyi Olawale said this is part of several initiatives aimed at empowering more SMEs to take effective control of their businesses, adding that the firm is committed to deepening access to ZirooPay’s invaluable payment services for all sizes of retail business both in rural and urban centres in Africa.

He explained that innovative payment solutions such as ZirooPay will remain an imperative as wholesale and retail sectors continue to dominate Africa’s contribution to its GDP, even as population growth and rapid urbanisation continue to drive consumption across the continent.

He said, “ZirooPay has set out to build an operating system for retail in Africa by providing solutions that not only drive financial inclusion but also support the payment infrastructure needed for retail to thrive on the continent. Lack of reliable payment technology for the continent remains one of the major challenges that has hindered trade tremendously and ZirooPay Mobile POS solution will address this challenge.”

According to Omoniyi, while it is still early days for payments in Africa, ZirooPay understands the peculiarities of the continent’s infrastructure challenges and would continue to advance similar innovative solutions that will address the payment challenge on the continent on a sustainable basis.

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Technology

Nigeria Approves Microsoft Agreement, Others to Accelerate 5G Deployment

In a move to accelerate the deployment of 5G services, the Federal Government has approved Enterprise Licensing Agreement for Microsoft products and clearing up of the C-band spectrum.

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In a move to accelerate the deployment of 5G services, the Federal Government has approved Enterprise Licensing Agreement for Microsoft products and clearing up of the C-band spectrum.

The approval was after Isa Pantami, the Minister of Communications and Digital Economy presented three memos to the Federal Executive Council (FEC) on June 29, 2022.

Femi Adeluyi, the Technical Assistant (Research and Development) to the Minister of Communications and Digital Economy, disclosed in a statement issued after the approval.

The Government-wide Enterprise Licensing Agreement for Microsoft products will help reduce the cost of information technology projects, while the C-band migration is expected to aid the deployment of the 5G network.

Explaining the benefits of the agreements, Adeluyi said “The Agreement will give the government access to discounted prices and other cost benefits, as well as reduce project duplication across Federal Public Institutions (FPIs).

“It will also guarantee proper technical support for Microsoft products and services, thereby ensuring protection against cybersecurity threats, which will guarantee availability and reliability of government IT services.

“The Enterprise Licensing Agreement will provide a projected savings of a minimum of 35% of Governments current investment in Microsoft Products and Services.

“This will not only substantially reduce the cost of license procurement for FPIs, it will reduce and simplify licensing complexity, facilitate accounting and cash flow predictability and monitor utilisation and impact of Government investment.”

The statement added that the Federal Executive Council has directed all Federal Public Institutions to start taking advantage of the agreement by using Microsoft licenses and services.

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Telecommunications

Nigeria’s Data Consumption Jumps 413.79%

Data consumption in Africa’s largest economy Nigeria rose by 413.79% in the last four years, according to the latest data from the Nigerian Communications Commission (NCC).

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Data consumption in Africa’s largest economy Nigeria rose by 413.79% in the last four years, according to the latest data from the Nigerian Communications Commission (NCC).

In the last four years, Nigeria’s internet population grew by 41.38 million while Nigeria’s internet data usage increased to 350,165.39 terabytes in 2021, up from 68,154.12 terabytes in 2018.

During the period under review, broadband penetration rose to 40.88% or 38.12 million users in 2021 from 19.97% or 78.04 million users in January 2018.

NCC data showed GSM internet subscribers grew by 41.39 million from 100.23 million in 2018 to 141.62 million in 2021.

This, experts attributed to growing smartphone penetration and more access to data in Africa’s largest economy.

“Smartphone penetration was up by one percentage point to 33 per cent and our data customer base grew by 14.5 per cent, now representing 34.3 per cent of our total customer base,” Airtel stated in a report.

“Data usage per customer reached 2.6 GB per customer (from 1.8 GB per customer) led by an increase in smartphone penetration and expansion of our home broadband and enterprise customers.

“This helped us grow data revenue 31.2 per cent in constant currency. Growing penetration and usage of 3G and 4G data customers helped us grow data ARPU 8.2 per cent. Fourth Generation data usage more than doubled in the year, contributing 62.2 per cent of total data usage on the network in Q4’21.”

The telecommunication giant further added that “Our improved 4G network contributed to an increase in smartphone penetration, in data customers and in up-take of large data volumes, resulting in greater data consumption per customer.”

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