Few companies define themselves so sharply on the basis of what they’re opposed to like NoBroker, the 8-year-old Bengaluru-headquartered real estate platform. Opposition to brokerage is baked into its name, its business model, and even its ambitions.

US$19 billion is the amount Indians shell out as brokerage fees on real estate rentals.That’s the market NoBroker wants to disrupt. Flip the mirror and that is also, thus, the total addressable market that NoBroker is targeting for itself.

“At the end of the day, all a broker does is introduce people. You want to pay him one month’s rent for an introduction? Really?”—that was Amit Agarwal, the co-founder and CEO of NoBroker, speaking to The Ken back in 2017 for a story.

It’s almost 2023 and Agarwal is still sticking to his guns. (Which is why he can’t reveal the exact locations of his offices).

In this episode, the “IIT-IIM” founder speaks candidly over an hour and a half on a range of topics. From entering management consulting as a young MBA because it paid the most, to starting a business that almost no investor wanted to fund, to convincing notoriously value-minded Indians to pay a subscription fee before finding a rental apartment, to running a frugal organisation with a cockroach mentality.

If you have any questions, thoughts, suggestions, or tips, please email them to [email protected]. We might not be able to reply to all of them, but we do read every single one of them.

Daybreak—a brand new podcast from The Ken (https://the-ken.com/podcasts/daybreak/)Business news is complex and overwhelming. It doesn’t have to be. Thrice a week, Daybreak tells one business story that’s significant, simple, and powerful. All in fifteen minutes or less. Hosted from The Ken’s newsroom by Snigdha Sharma, Daybreak relies on years of original reporting and analysis by some of India’s most experienced and talented business journalists. Episodes drop on Tuesdays, Wednesdays and Fridays.

Full Episode Transcript:

Rohin Dharmakumar

At the end of the day, all a broker does is introduce people.

You want to pay him one month’s rent for an introduction? Really?

Amit, that was you talking to one of us from The Ken for a story that we’d done on NoBroker back in 2017. Do you still believe in that sentence?

Do you really want to pay a broker? Really?

Amit Agarwal

It’s amazing that you remember that sentence and I think nothing has changed from that day to today.

We still strongly believe in fact, just before coming here, I received an email from a customer who is now in Nagpur and the mail heading was a little dramatic saying that I cried a lot and the mail was about as to how she was in Bombay and how NoBroker helped her avoid a broker and save brokerage.