Debendra Prasad of AssureShift and the team are working on various other projects with the same intention of offering valuable solutions to everyone
First of all, how are you and your family doing in these COVID-19 times?
Debendra Prasad: By god’s grace, both my families at home and office are doing good. In the early COVID times, we had taken serious measures like social distancing, regular sanitization, and a work-from-home approach to make it safer when we didn’t know much about the coronavirus. Luckily, we didn’t see the cruel face of COVID-19, except for one member of our team who got affected; she also recovered very soon. We are following rules and guidelines to prevent the spread of coronavirus and hope we will work better in the future.
Tell us about you, your career, how you founded AssureShift.
Debendra Prasad: I’m into Digital Marketing, Web Design, Web Development, and Business planning ever since 2012. I worked at my first job in Asansol, West Bengal, until the middle of 2014. From the start, I always wanted to build useful solutions that solve people’s problems and make their lives better.
Looking for that opportunity, I came to Bangalore in 2014 and started Creatisoul (a Web Development & Digital Marketing Company) with Mr. Juby John. Under the roof of Creatisoul, we served many clients in Real Estate, Education, Insurance, NGOs, Catering, and the Packers and Movers Industry. We got good exposure working with several relocation service providers during this time and got a chance to delve deeper into the packing moving world. That’s when we realized there were many irregularities and a lot of disorganization in the industry and decided we need to find a way out of it to help people connect with more reliable moving companies. Hence, we started building AssureShift (a trusted packers movers reference portal) in 2016 & launched our operations in 2017.
At present, we are working on various other projects along with AssureShift, with the same intention of offering valuable solutions for everyone.
How does AssureShift innovate?
Debendra Prasad: We focus on our customer’s requirements and the quality provided by our preferred moving companies. We are in constant touch with our customers and take regular feedback about their suggestions and complaints. Depending upon their response, we structure our services and user interface to give them the best user experience.
How the coronavirus pandemic affects your business, and how are you coping?
Debendra Prasad: In the early days during the lockdown period, our business was severely affected and almost came to a standstill for more than 2 months. But we were able to get it back on its feet, gaining speed, after lockdown. We got good customer requirements but the biggest problem at the time was to allocate relocation service providers to customers. The availability of service providers was insufficient to fulfill customer’s needs as most of the moving company members, who were operating in metro cities, originally hail from different places in India, and they had also migrated to their hometowns during the lockdown.
Did you have to make difficult choices, and what are the lessons learned?
Debendra Prasad: One of the most difficult choices we had to take was to reduce our per lead charges by almost 60%-70% for packers and movers. Due to our decreased income, we also had to cut down the salaries of our employees. The most valuable lesson I have learnt during this period is that adverse conditions can stand in front of you at any time, so it’s better to prepare for it in your good times. I always believe we should “Hope for the best but be prepared for the worst.”
How do you deal with stress and anxiety?
Debendra Prasad: The first thing I say to myself during any stressful situation is, “this will also pass, but this time will not come again.” Secondly, I believe that taking unnecessary stress is not going to make the situation any better; you should focus on whatever can make it better. If some thoughts are disturbing me repeatedly, I take the help of ice creams and video games.
Who are your competitors? And how do you plan to stay in the game?
Debendra Prasad: Service reference portals like Justdial, Sulekha, Urban company, and Nobroker are the biggest competitors. Meanwhile, other competitors also keep coming up. To be the customer’s first choice, we focus on providing the best packers movers hiring experience by designing our website pages with a simple interface to connect customers with service providers and be by the side of our customers from start to end.
Your final thoughts?
Debendra Prasad: Difficult times ask for the best from us, and we should be ready to deliver that. We can be reluctant during good times but should be hardworking and full focus during our difficult times. We should not lose hope but keep working for what we believe in. Sometimes, it could feel cold and dark, but the lights of wisdom within you will show you the path.