I wanted to build a house. A 3 BHK. One of my friends, a building contractor, promised me that he would bring to life my dream home. We came up with a beautiful plan. From room sizes to tiles to types of sinks, we discussed, debated and finalized everything.

It was decided that my friend would begin the process of material procurement on the same day. He set out on a journey in his bike with so much enthusiasm and vigour. I thought he would come back to the site in the evening, like a warrior who won the battle, with truckloads of materials trailing him.No. He didn’t turn up. In the evening, he called me and informed that the purchase was going on in full swing and he would be back “soon”.

On the second day:

The sun rose and set. In the late evening, he called me and informed that he was trying his best to find materials within our budget range. His voice was breaking up due to poor signals. He must have been wandering in some remote territories. He would be back “soon”.

Third day: Around noon.

He called and advised me that we should opt for ceramic instead of granite for flooring. I wondered why we were changing our plans in the middle of the course. He convinced me that ceramic would require very little maintenance compared to granite. He also added that he could not find granite in our favourite colours within our budget range. I agreed. He was 30 miles away he told. He was on the outskirts. He would be back “soon”. During the planning stage, when we were brainstorming about materials, he enticed me that granite was millions of years old and owning granite was like owning a piece of history! Never mind.

Fourth day: Midnight.

He called and told that he was very close to me, just 2 miles away. I was excited that he would arrive at the site soon. He did not. The next day morning he was again 30 miles away. He was on the outskirts. I asked him why he went back. He might have forgotten to buy something and have gone back to the same place. He said he did not go back to the same place. He travelled in the opposite direction and reached the other end of the city. To hunt for Sulfonated Melamine Formaldehyde powder (for amateurs, it’s a melamine-based product, a water reducing agent used in concrete admixtures to increase the strength and workability).

I should have caught him when he was zipping past my orbit within the range of 2 miles. Never mind. The comet arrived on the sixth day. He looked like a nomad. He spoke like a philosopher. He managed to procure some. Some were yet to be purchased. For that, we needed to embark on an adventurous journey again. I realized that procuring all the materials we needed for construction within our budget range was not an easy task. I told him to take a nap, relax, regain some hope and come back in the evening.

I was thinking… “There is no supermarket for building materials. We need to travel from place to place, from warehouse to warehouse, from company to company, to procure everything. We need to spend a great amount of time and put so much of effort. If this much effort is required for a simple residential building, just imagine what it would take to build commercial spaces, high-rises, bridges, ports and other megaprojects? It seems we need to deploy an army to carry out and complete the mission of procurement.”All day I was completely occupied with such thoughts and I met him again in the evening.

Over a cup of tea, I told him, out of the blue, that I was going to open a supermarket to fulfil all types of construction needs. A market where one could find all types of construction materials from all categories in unlimited quantity. Where buyers, sellers and companies would meet one another and do business.Wondering how much space it would take, he asked me, “Where? Are you going to buy an island?”I said, “No.”He asked me again, “Then where are you going to set up this supermarket for the construction industry?”

I said, “On the Internet.”

Constructionsouq.com was born.