Webinar on ‘Managing Waste and Protecting Housekeeping Staff in Apartment Societies during Coronavirus Outbreak’

ApnaComplex has been conducting webinars connecting committee members of Apartment Societies across India on a common platform.  The first two webinars focused on ‘Securing Societies from coronavirus‘ from the point of view of a senior doctor at Apollo Clinic and RWA members of Elita Promenade, a prominent apartment in Bangalore. You can find the previous webinars here and here.

The third edition, conducted on 26th March, explored Managing Waste and Protecting Housekeeping Staff in Apartment Societies during Coronavirusand was hosted by Mr. Shekar Prabhakar, co-founder of Hasiru Dala Innovations, a company that is focused on creating better livelihoods for waste-pickers and enabling businesses that help mitigate and adapt to climate change.

Mr. Prabhakar highlighted the fact that most of us focus on what comes inside our home and fail to focus on what goes outside our home. He argued that there is a possibility that we could be asymptomatic carriers of COVID19 and as responsible citizens, we should start worrying about what goes out of our home. This is especially true for those who are quarantined because of travel history or close contact with an infected case.

He advised all the masks, gloves, tissues and personal protective equipment to be wrapped in newspaper, marked with a red X and disposed in bin specific to domestic Hazardous/Rejects (red bin).  He also advised committee members to ensure housekeeping collect domestic rejects in yellow non-chlorinated garbage bags and do not handle the waste but directly transfer from your bin to bag.

In the second half of the session, committee members from various cities raised their problems and sought advice from the panelist and fellow RWA members from other societies. Check out the video shared above to know all about the intriguing problems each Society is facing related to waste management and about the solutions that were discussed.

The presentation shared during the Webinar: Link


Webinar on ‘Securing Societies from Corona : Best Practices Discussion led by Elita Promenade Apartments’

On 22nd March 2020, as India observed ‘Janata Curfew’, RWAs from Apartment Societies from across the country came together to meet and discuss – digitally and responsibly, without leaving their home.

ApnaComplex had organized online meeting for Apartment Societies to share their best practices on ‘Securing their Societies from Coronavirus.’ The discussion was led by RWA of Elita Promenade, a prominent Apartment Society in Bangalore with ~1500 units, and a long-time customer of ApnaComplex.  Elita Promenade has been exemplary in their actions towards securing their Society and was featured in Times of India because of their innovative steps to fight COVID19.

In the first half of the session, Mr. Tarak Desai (Board Member) & Ms.Maria George (Secretary) of the Elita Promenade RWA explained how they had started their response early on Feb 1st week and talked about the task force they had set up along with volunteer groups from residents. The panelists shared their best practices such as ‘travel self-declaration form‘, sanitization at each gate and block level, installing washing stations, etc. Ms. Maria highlighted the need to quench all rumors circulating inside the Society. She explained how Elita uses Noticeboard on ApnaComplex to keep their residents informed with official news and regular advisories from RWA. 

The second half of the meeting saw committee members from various societies talk about the common challenges they are facing in this unprecedented situation and debated the solution each one had adopted. It became evident that meeting is well-received when multiple RWAs requested ApnaComplex to organize more such meetings and provide a common platform for the Societies to come together for learning and sharing their best practices with each other. The event concluded with all participating Societies thanking Elita Promenade RWA and ApnaComplex for organizing the webinar.

Presentation shared during the Webinar: Link

Travel Self-declaration Form used by Elita: TBU

Parting words from Participants:

”Excellent and very informative session. Great job guys! Thank you so much”- Raghav

“Good initiative by Elita Promenade Apartment”-Mallik

“Good coordination AC, thanks a lot for the awareness campaign” – Narayanan Ramasubramaniyan

“Thank you so much for organizing such an informative session. It is need of hour.” – Anshila Tiku

“You guys are doing incredible job. Hats off to you members of Board” – Richie

“Thanks for the Webinar, very timely and informative.” –  Sonarbina


Securing Apartment Societies from Corona – Transcript of Webinar by Apollo Clinic

On 18th March 2020, ApnaComplex and its Health partner Apollo Clinic organized a live interactive webinar (for both users and non-users of ApnaComplex) to dispel myths and gain accurate medical information about the novel coronavirus disease (COVID-19), to help keep residential societies safe. The purpose of the session was to spread authentic information so that residents of apartment societies do not have to rely on unverified and unauthorized information from social media. 

This 1-hour live webinar was helmed by Dr. Phani Kumar Gorantla (MBBS with 12 years of experience) of Apollo Clinic. The first 15 minutes of the session were used to share all pertinent information about COVID-19 including how it started, how it spreads, signs & symptoms, precautionary measures, etc. The rest of the session was dedicated to answering all the participant queries, including how to protect residential societies from this outbreak.

The session was highly appreciated by all the attendees who participated from various residential societies from across the country.

To access the presentation shared during this session, please click here

To access the video recording of this live session, please click here

Following is the gist of the information shared by the doctor during this webinar:

What is novel coronavirus or coronavirus disease (COVID-19)?

Coronavirus are a large family of viruses known to causes illnesses ranging from the common cold to the more severe ones like MERS and SARS. A novel coronavirus (nCov) is a new strain of coronavirus that has previously not been identified in humans. It has been suggested that nCov originated from Wuhan’s seafood market but the exact animal source of this outbreak is not definitively known.

How does coronavirus spread in humans?

Human coronaviruses most commonly spread from an infected person to another as follows:

  • By air such as through coughing or sneezing
  • Close personal contact such as touching or shaking hands
  • Touching an object or surface with the virus on it, then touching your mouth/nose/eyes before washing the hands
  • Rarely through fecal contamination

Should we use thermal scanners for everyone entering the society?

Thermal scanners are effective only in detecting those people who have a fever, but it doesn’t detect those who are infected but not yet showing symptoms of the infection. This is because it takes anywhere between 2-10 days for those who are infected to start showing symptoms like fever. Still, it’s a good practice to install thermal scanners in societies in order to detect people with clear symptoms like fever. 

Can pets spread coronavirus in the societies? 

Currently, there is no evidence that companion animals including pets like cats and dogs can be infected with the coronavirus. But it is advisable to always wash hands properly with soap and water after coming in contact with pets, and also avoid touching animal droppings with hands.

Is it possible that a person who doesn’t show any symptoms can still be infected?

Yes, about 40-60% of infected people don’t tend to show external symptoms like cold, cough, fever, etc. (asymptomatic) during the incubation period. Therefore, they might be infected and spreading the virus despite looking healthy. 

Can old people take walks within society? Any specific precautions they should take?

Elder citizens, especially with pre-existing conditions like diabetes, asthma, etc. are more susceptible to this infection, therefore it is advised for them to avoid physical contact like handshakes while maintaining good personal hygiene and washing hands properly with soap and water or sanitizers. But they can take walks within the society premises and should maintain at least 2 meters distance from others and wear a mask in case of mild symptoms like cold and cough. They are also advised to avoid all social gatherings at least for the next couple of weeks. 

Should children be allowed to play in the society playgrounds?

It’s okay for children to play outside, but it is strongly advised to avoid playing in big groups. If they need to do so, they should wear a mask and maintain a minimum 2 meters of physical distance. Swimming pools must also be avoided for the next couple of weeks. Playing in closed areas using common indoor playing equipment should be allowed only if all the surfaces are properly disinfected.

How to keep society equipment sanitized/disinfected?

The government has advised not using publicly open places like gyms within the societies. If used, all such surfaces of common society equipment including in the gyms and playground should be properly cleaned with disinfectants like ethanol, isopropyl, isopropanol, hydrogen peroxide, etc. 

Should everyone returning to their society from abroad be isolated? What does self-isolation mean?

Anyone who has recently returned from international trips but not yet showing any symptoms should also self-isolate themselves at home and limit physical contact with family members for at least 14 days to determine whether they are infected or not. In case any symptoms start showing up, maintain at least 2 meters of physical distance with everyone and visit your nearest physician.

Does everyone need to wear a mask?  

In case of mild symptoms or while traveling in crowded places or through public transport, wearing a mask is advised. Masks are not required for those who are not infected/not showing symptoms but are required by only those who are showing symptoms and need to travel using public transport. 

Can eating more Vitamin C rich food help fight against coronavirus?

Vitamin C is useful for increasing general immunity of the body which helps against all infections including Coronavirus. However, it doesn’t particularly help to prevent getting coronavirus as such. 

Should we avoid food order deliveries inside the society? 

For the next couple of weeks, it’s advised to get residents to collect food deliveries at the Society gate itself. If you must order food deliveries, use disinfectants on the food package to clean the surfaces before opening and using them. 

Are there any government guidelines that apartment societies should follow?

BBMP has shared an advisory for all RWAs in Bangalore, which can be found here. Even if your society doesn’t come under this jurisdiction, committee members of all apartment societies should share these guidelines with the society residents to help prevent the spreading of coronavirus within the societies. 


A Message From Our CEO: The Next Chapter in Our Story

I am thrilled to announce today that ApnaComplex has been acquired by NestAway, a leading provider of integrated property management services to homeowners in the country. As you might already be aware, NestAway has been a minority shareholder in ApnaComplex for more than a year and has been backing our vision of bringing more convenience to the homeowners in gated communities. With this, you should be ready to experience a much better ApnaComplex product with more capabilities in the coming months.

What does this mean for you?

On a day-to-day basis, it’s business as usual. There is no change in our existing agreements, terms of service and policies. With access to more resources and partnerships, we will be able to accelerate rolling out of more capabilities for you and for gated communities across the country much faster than ever.

What does this mean for us?

We will retain our distinct brand and will continue to operate independently with the same team and leadership.

We had an amazing last year, where we added more than 1 home every minute on the ApnaComplex platform. We will continue to focus on adding more homes on our platform and pursue our vision of making gated community living a pleasure for all stakeholders.

Our story continues…

It all started with my harrowing experience as the treasurer in my newly formed society. With an urge to change the status quo, 10 years ago, Gokul and I set out to make the life of managing committees of Apartment Societies a little less painful with the help of technology.

Along the way, we have innovated that resulted in many unique solutions that not only solved many problems of gated communities but also resulted in creating multiple sub-industries. Some of the products such as Collection Gateway, Vehicle Sentry, Guard Patrolling are a result of our relentless focus on continuous, cost-effective innovation. With our focus on innovation and data privacy, we have gained the trust of several thousands of housing societies such as yours across the country.

Joining forces with a company that is as passionate about gated communities, innovations and data privacy as us, is what takes us into the next chapter in our storybook. Stay tuned to see where our innovation takes us from here.

Thank You!

I want to take this opportunity to thank each and every one of you for putting your trust in us over the last 10 years and bringing us to where we are today. We come to work every day for you. Each and every member of our team – our product managers, engineers, support specialists, field officers, accountants… everybody is driven to make the gated community living a pleasure for residents, owners, and committees. This commitment is stronger than ever during this exciting time.

Sincerest gratitude,
Raja Sekhar Kommu


GST for Apartment Associations and Housing Societies – Clarifications

In a recent circular, the Department of Revenue has brought more clarity into the GST Calculation of Resident Welfare Associations(RWA). We have put together a comprehensive guide on how this may impact your Society and how ApnaComplex can help your Society adhere to GST regulations effortlessly.

Q: Is our RWA required to collect GST on Monthly maintenance collected from our members?

A: Your RWA is required to pay GST only if both of these conditions are met:

  • Aggregate Turnover of your RWA > Rs.20 lakh per year
  • Maintenance charged per member per month > Rs. 7500

Your RWA is exempt from GST even if one of these conditions is not met.

To auto-calculate GST for your RWA, just spend a few minutes and update the tax structure for your Society in ApnaComplex. ApnaComplex automatically generates GST Computation Report which exactly specifies how much GST your Society has to pay for a particular time period.

 

Q: Can our RWA take an input tax credit of GST for payment of Capital goods and Services towards our vendors?

A: Yes, RWA can claim an input tax credit of GST paid on capital goods (generators, water pumps, lawn furniture, etc.), goods (taps, pipes, other sanitary/hardware fillings, etc.) and input services such as repair and maintenance services.

In the ApnaComplex expenditure module, while entering the bills, you can capture the GST levied by the vendors. ApnaComplex’s GSTR 3B report automatically shows the GST inflow credits on payment made towards your vendors for Goods and Services. This report will exactly indicate how much GST credits can be claimed by your RWA.

 

Q: If a member owns two or more flats in the housing society or residential complex, will the ceiling of Rs. 7500/- per month per member on the maintenance be applied per residential apartment or per person?

A: As per the general business sense, a person who owns two or more residential apartments in a housing society or a residential complex shall normally be a member of the RWA for each residential apartment owned by him separately. The ceiling of Rs. 7500/- per month per member shall be applied separately for each residential apartment owned by him. For example, if a person owns two residential apartments in a residential complex and pays Rs. 15000/- per month as maintenance charges towards the maintenance of each apartment to the RWA (Rs. 6000/- per month for one apartment and Rs. 9000/- for the other apartment), the exemption from GST shall be applicable on the apartment whose maintenance is Rs. 6000/-.

ApnaComplex’s 100% automated invoicing lets you set up recurring against all or select flats based on formulae or fixed value or both. Our intuitive interface lets you configure maintenance charge calculation methodology yourself without the need to get in touch with our Support. Visit ApnaComplex Portal > Income > Member Income > Recurring Invoice to set up a recurring invoice to your members.

 

Q: How should the RWA calculate GST payable where the maintenance charges exceed Rs. 7500/- per month per member? Is the GST payable only on the amount exceeding Rs. 7500/- or on the entire amount of maintenance charges? 

A: In case the charges exceed Rs. 7500/- per month per member, the entire amount is taxable. For example, if the maintenance charges are Rs. 9000/- per month per member, GST @18% shall be payable on the entire amount of Rs. 9000/- and not on [Rs. 9000 – Rs. 7500] = Rs. 1500/-.

ApnaComplex enables you to easily define the GST calculation methodology in accordance with the above rule. Just select ‘No’ for “Apply Tax on the excess amount” field in your GST tax structure on ApnaComplex

 For your reference: GST-circular-No-cgst-109

If you need any assistance in harnessing the full capabilities of ApnaComplex’s accounting module, schedule a demo here. We would be happy to help.


Security Guard Patrol Tracking – India’s First App based Patrol tracking solution for Apartment Societies.

Security Guard Patrolling within the Apartment Society is probably the most important daily routine that keeps your Apartment Society secure at night. Unfortunately, Guard Patrol is also one of the processes that is not tracked with rigor it deserves. Most societies don’t know if the Security Guard Patrol is happening as per schedule or if the patrol is covering all nooks and corners of your Apartment Society.

But no one can be blamed for this situation. The alternative involved spending an inordinate amount of money on security infrastructure, until now. With the launch of Guard Patrol tracking, ApnaComplex has changed the game.

Security Guard Patrol is our latest innovative solution that just uses Geo-tagged QR Codes and our App to give the bulletproof security to your Apartment Society. Your residents don’t have to spend a single penny of their hard-earned money on infrastructure or software as Guard Patrol tracking is already part of your ApnaComplex Subscription. You can set-up guard patrol tracking in your society right away.

Here’s how it Works:

  • In just a few clicks, define the patrol route and checkpoints inside your Apartment Society covering all the risky areas.
  • Each checkpoint is geo-tagged. This ensures the guard actually covers that location and checks in.
  • Your guards can simply check-in by scanning a QR Code or tapping an NFC Card or using any of your existing security systems.
  • You will also get a detailed automated report with an accurate record of all patrols inside your Apartment Society.

If you are an existing ApnaComplex Customer, please refer our self-help guide to setup patrol tracking in your Society today or go through our Youtube video attached here. If you don’t already have ApnaComplex, it’s high time you schedule a demo with our experts here. We have a lot more similar innovations in store to make Living in Apartment Society, a pleasant and convenient experience for residents, committee members, and security guards.


Women’s Day Special: Exclusive interview with Super Women at ApnaComplex

International Women’s Day is no longer a new topic today. It is celebrated across the World in order to recognize and appreciate the contributions and achievements of the women in various fields. Starting from being Home-maker to Management Committee members to Working Professionals, they truly define the spirit of today’s women. Today, we decided to talk to three such women about their journey in ApnaComplex and how they are leading their lives with multiple roles and responsibilities.

These women are super confident and self-motivated either at home or at the workplace. Mrs. Prema Robert, Head of Human Resource at ApnaComplex quoted that “Confidence comes from the kind of responsibilities that I get it, more the responsibility that is given to me, the more I feel confident and that makes me explore more, learn more and motivates me to give my best.” Mrs. Arundhati Sen Pradhan, Head of Strategic Partnerships at ApnaComplex states “Motivation comes from the team that I work with, the people that I work with, gives me the motivation to do best in what I do”.

They mentioned that it has been a great journey so far and it is fun working at ApnaComplex. It is quite an experience for anyone to manage multiple roles. Ms. Monika Mitruka, Software Developer at ApnaComplex finds the experience ‘’very challenging and satisfactory.” They also mentioned that the key to confidence is knowledge & learning. These women feel privileged being women as they feel that they have the ability to handle both work and family life.

At ApnaComplex, they all have built stronger social connections amongst themselves. They advised that everyone has her own way of doing things and everyone should have belief in themselves first. Mrs. Arundhati concluded as “It is a very fun life, live to the fullest.” At ApnaComplex, people are full of enthusiasm, confidence and most importantly motivated to face all the odds. Moreover, accomplishing these odds has always been a challenging situation for these women.

Raj Sekhar Kommu – Co-founder and CEO of ApnaComplex says “We are pleased to celebrate International Women’s Day with all the amazing superwomen at ApnaComplex. International Women’s Day is celebrated globally to highlight and honor the social, economic, cultural and political achievements of women, and to call for gender equality. At ApnaComplex, we firmly believe in gender equality and are forever grateful to every female employee who is an integral part of ApnaComplex.”


Complaint Box 3.0 with Upgraded features

In our continuous endeavor to make management of your Society efficient and effective, we have released a few major enhancements to the most widely used capability in ApnaComplex  – the humble, yet world-class Complaint Box. These changes incorporate the latest best practices in managing a Society Helpdesk by Facility Management teams – with two key goals, reducing the efforts of Facility Management Staff and Improving Resident Satisfaction. As always, ApnaComplex continues to innovate and raise the bar.

Here is a gist of the key changes we have implemented:

  1. Take your Society’s Issue Resolution to next level. When a complaint is closed, the facility management team now has an option to update “Root Cause” of the complaint. This helps the FM team to tag the core reason why an issue happened. The report for all complaints shall help the Facility Management team understand the areas to focus on for improving resident satisfaction.
  2. Despite best intentions, some complaints cannot be solved. Committee now has the ability to tag a complaint as “non-solvable” after member re-opens a complaint X number of times. Once a complaint is tagged as non-solvable member will not be able to re-open the same. X can be configured in the settings panel.
  3. ApnaComplex complaint box now has the ability to configure if the resident can see the actual staff name who is working on the complaint (by default it is shown). If enabled, the resident would not see the details of the staff who exactly is working on a complaint. It helps in avoiding the residents to call up the staffs directly and encourages process compliance.
  4. We have 50% of our customer demanding that when a resident logs a complaint, it must default to a ‘Personal’ Complaint and the rest saying exactly opposite that it must be ‘Community’ complaint. To keep everyone happy, admins can now set default complaint type for their society.
  5. The new Complaint Box supports the ability to optionally select a Unit for ‘Community’ type of complaints (which was restricted to ‘Personal’ complaints in the past). This helps when Helpdesk staff has to log a community complaint on behalf of a Resident.
  6. Admins and Staff can now change the complaint type (from ‘Personal’ to ‘Community’ or vice-versa). As a bonus, Complaint Box now allows the nature of the complaint (from complaint to suggestion etc.), update the urgency status and even change the unit # if needed.
  7. Complaint Box now supports the ability to add ‘Private Notes’ against complaints which are only visible to the administrators. Staff can keep adding internal updates on a complaint as private notes, which are only visible to admins and not to the resident. This helps the staff in maintaining updates at one place for a given complaint.
  8. The most coolest feature of the new Complaint Box – Ability to create “templates” which can be used by Staff when adding notes against a complaint. Templates will help staff to respond to complaints professionally and in a consistent way. We are sure residents of your society will feel the difference in the quality of responses. In addition, this saves significant time for staff as the efforts of typing reduce significantly.

 


7 Powerful Guidelines for Cash Locker and Almirah placement that you should apply Now!

Have you ever thought about how you should place different objects at home as per Vastu?  Do you know the direction, colour, and material of the cash locker and almirah for wealth and prosperity? Yes, it is very important to know the placement, colour, and material before placing any object or item. Here are some Guidelines for placing an Almirah (wardrobe) or Cash Locker that you must apply now:

  1. Do not use almirah made of stones or marbles. Always prefer wood or iron almirah in the bedroom.
  2. Almirah should be placed in Southwest direction so that it opens in North or East.
  3. Almirah should be in some subtle colours like cream or light colour shades.
  4. Make sure not to have any mirror on the Southwest almirah.
  5. Placement of Almirah has different impacts for different rooms and should be placed as per Vastu guidelines.
  6. For Bedroom Almirah-
  • Place bedroom cabinet or almirah in Northeast or Southwest corner.
  • Mirrors on almirah must be avoided especially if this almirah is placed in your bedroom.
  • If there is a mirror on the bedroom almirah, make sure it is not facing the bed.
  • Avoid dark coloured wardrobe or almirah in the bedroom. Use light-coloured almirah.
  • For the bedroom, the almirah or wardrobe should open in east or south direction.
  1. For Cash Almirah-
  • Make sure the cash almirah or locker is comprised of a single door.
  • The placement of the cash almirah or locker should be such that it is facing the North. Since North is the direction of Kuber, so it is believed that Lord Kuber refills the cash.
  • Do not place the cash almirah in Northeast, more expenses will be there and ultimately loss of cash.

Conclusion- There is no substitute for hard work, but if you follow these guidelines it helps to balance the energies in the surroundings and attract more positivity to your home.


Smart Vastu tips to retain money

We are at a fast pace for growth. Growth for a better future and for a better world. But have you ever imagined what if there is no money or financial dearth in your life?  Nobody has seen the future, it’s essential to save than regret later. There are different types of solutions available in the market on money management. Retaining money is not that easy. It needs lots of planning.

Let’s talk on some easy and effective vastu changes to ensure a positive outcome and more money inflow.

Cash Almirah or Locker It is very important to understand where to keep your cash, almirah or Locker. Place the cash almirah or locker in the Southwest or South wall so that it opens in the North. This is the direction of Lord Kuber. It is believed that Lord Kuber refills the cash almirah so this is how you attract money.

Main door instructions Never place big or high trees in the Northeast direction outside your home as this creates an obstacle for the cash inflow. Also, keep the main entrance clutter free and if there is any shoe rack, replace it away from the main door or entrance.

Place a fish aquarium An aquarium is used especially to enhance money, career and luck. If used properly in the right direction, it brings wealth and abundance in the home. To know the best direction, you can read http://community.vastudekho.com/3785/attract-wealth-and-luck-placing-aquarium-vastu-tips-aquarium

Check these other important Vastu Dekho measures to ensure no blockades for the cash inflow-

  • Never place big or high trees in the Northeast direction outside your home as this creates an obstacle for the cash inflow.
  • Lord Kuber and Goddess Lakshmi like cleanliness so ensure that all the windows and doors of the house are properly cleaned. If not, they will obstruct the flow of money and wealth inside your house.
  • Leaking Taps in the house is a BIG NO. Since water is symbolic of money so it is believed that if water is getting waste then money is also getting wasted.