Bangalore-based online real estate rental firm, NoBroker Technologies Solutions Pvt. Ltd’s office was attacked by more than 40 local brokers and agents. The attackers threatened the startup’s employees and tried to beat up some of them. The company has employs over 90 people at the Bangalore office.
NoBroker’s CEO Amit Agarwal stated that mob led by local brokers tried to enter the company’s premises on Tuesday. Employees locked up the office door and tried speaking to the mob.
“After 15-20 minutes of trying to talk with them, they tried to beat up people through the door that we had been holding up. They were angry that we exclude brokers from the rental process and that they were losing out on brokerage fees. No one was hurt but they made a lot of threats and demanded that we shut shop,” Agarwal said.
Speaking to Inc42, Amit said, “The intention of brokers was to intimidate us by hurting employees and breaking computers. They wanted us to stop the business and vacate the premises. In the age of internet and mobile penetration, this assault in an attempt to hamper technology based evolution. This is clearly an indication of the disruption that NoBroker is causing in the real estate market which is leading to huge savings for the customer and the pinch is felt by the brokers.”
Local police was called following which brokers left. The company has also filed non-cognizable report (NCR) at the local police station and the police have warned the miscreants against any future attempts to break into NoBroker premises.
None of the employee were seriously injured during the attack. However, some were roughed up by the miscreants. According to the company, employees were slapped and punched when they tried to prevent the goons from entering the office premises. “However, our employees exercised restraint and did not retaliate,” Amit added.
Backed by Saif, NoBroker which provide real estate solutions, has completely left real estate brokers out of business, as the company helps house seekers directly connect with property owners. As per the founder, they often receive “threatening calls from brokers at our call centre, but we never ever imagined that it would escalate to this level and we would be physically assaulted”
This is not something new. The emergence of startups and how they are solving the problems of the masses through tech route had agitated traditional stakeholders at number of points. In the past cab drivers and auto rickshaw drivers were seeing protesting against the cab hailing companies including Ola and Uber. Even traditional retailers had apitched up against the ecommerce players.