How to build a unique ConTech business model

Interview with Lilly Chureshka, CEO MAKEis

MAKEis as a PropTech solutions is one-of-a-kind for many reasons not only in Bulgaria, but on an international scale as well. Tell us more about your solution.

For the first time in the world, MAKEiS optimizes and digitizes the entire construction process of thermal insulation – from the raw material producer right down to the investor (end user). The thermal insulation technology is designed to serve the businesses in the construction sector worldwide. These are the architects, engineers, builders, service providers and building owners.

All our subscribers receive a number of benefits – the most important are: increased productivity, time saved and more profit through using our technology. We achieve this by the process and technological innovations of the physical processes in this sector we have developed, as well as the cloud platform we offer.

Lilly Chureshka, CEO MAKEis

Compared to the now known methods of thermal insulation, MAKEiS technology has three times the productivity, the insulation layer is two times thinner, three to four times lighter and there are no wet processes involved during installation. All in all, it makes MAKEiS technology a much more cost-effective, traceable and eco-friendly, long-term guaranteed process.

Which factors have influenced you the most in the creation of such one-off business model?

There are three main factors that I can point to:

There is a growing demand to reducing greenhouse gas emissions from energy production. Thermal insulation of buildings is one of the passive measures to achieve this and has a relatively high share.

Construction is the most conservative sector in the economy. Many engineering and communication processes have been digitized. However, most of the construction activities require physical or machine actions, and digitization is very poor here.

Last but not least is the persistent shortage of construction workforce, caused by the heavy physical labor that accompanies some of the processes. This discourages young people, today they want to become digital.

These factors have been the propulsion to our work on the business model and the technology. As a result, we accomplished to make some of the most expensive and highest quality insulation materials available to any consumer. This in turn leads to a more efficient confrontation to the greenhouse gases in the long term.

Digitization and modernization through the Industry4.0 and IoT elements of the thermal insulation process that we have done so far, has led to increased efficiency and reduced physical labor.

So, in my opinion, our business model responds to the major factors in this sector, making it an up-to-date and digital process of interest to most in the industry, including the young and digital people of today and tomorrow.

Your PropTech solution is both a process, and a tech innovation. Which processes do you improve and through which technologies?

Yes, first of all, MAKEiS optimizes and tracks the organization of the processes in real time to the smallest detail for all participants – these are the architect(s), builder, manufacturers of raw materials and investor(s) in a single discrete project.

Second, we have implemented two technological solutions. One shows how to install insulation easier and faster, and the other how to produce insulation panels quickly and without waste, as much as needed for a given project.

Thirdly, we have designed and built a mobile plant called the “MAKEiS machine”, which produces thermal insulation panels of suitable shape and design of both interior and exterior application.

Finally, as a fourth, we have developed specialized software and an online platform (cloud-based), in which everyone has the opportunity to freely communicate (and transfer documents) while executing a particular project. 

The mobile plant is also a part of the platform, it is well integrated and can be remotely tracked and even operated from the cloud.

These are the four pillars of our technology. The collaboration between them changes a lot. I’ll give you an example of how MAKEiS works:

Let’s say that all participants in a given project are registered on the MAKEiS platform.

A building owner has to invest in insulation. He then sends inquiries to contractors and architects for the price and appearance of the facade or the interior insulation he needs. Shortly after, a person, registered as a platform service provider, arrives on the site and takes photos of the building with a camera. He then uploads those pictures to the cloud platform, where the specialized software converts them into drawings and schematics for the proper sizes and placement of the insulation panels needed for the project. Dimensional accuracy is kept very high – to within 3mm. This information is useful to:

  1. The thermal engineer(s) – to calculate the thickness of the insulation layer needed.
  2. The architect(s) – to prepare the appearance and design of the facade; side benefit – working with real-world data.
  3. The contractor – to assess and order the volumes required materials, exact cost to the customer/investor and estimate the required installation time.
  4. The raw material manufacturers – to know where, to which exact mobile plant they need to deliver the materials as well as the required quantities.
  5. The mobile plant – to produce the exact number of insulation panels with the appropriate dimensions.
  6. The installer(s) – to mount each panel to its specific location regarding the schematic quickly, in only three easy steps.
  7. The owner (investor) – to monitor the whole process and to know what exactly is paying for.

The result is a lot of time saved and tremendous added value to each participant.

We do not install insulation ourselves, we offer a service by taking care of our technology to function flawlessly and renting out the mobile plants to licensed partners. Usually these are construction contractors, construction materials warehouses/stores or rental companies.

Everyone with a registration on the platform can use the service.

The best part is that everyone, who uses MAKEiS, can work anywhere they want or are located around the world, and their profile on the platform is their professional business card.

What is your forecast on the corona crisis effect on the Construction industry both in Bulgaria, and in the other countries Make Bulgaria operates?  

I think it is normal to have a drop in the sector and one exists. Some of the sites are closed or operate with reduced staff. My prediction is that the construction industry will recover quickly and will start operations at full speed worldwide soon after the crisis is over.