By Rahul Sarkar
This Bangalore Community is Securing Lives Better with MyGate
By Rahul Sarkar
For a gated society to function seamlessly, there’s so much to be taken care of – utilities, amenities, security – to name a few. And, ensuring the same is a team of dedicated individuals – the Management Committee (MC) – whose common goal is to facilitate a happy and healthy community living experience to all.
This week, we had the opportunity to interact with Prasad Shetty, one of the nine members of the MC at Beary Harmony Homes, Hennur, Bangalore. Mr. Shetty explained to us how the committee is adopting a mix of practical and digital solutions to ensure a hassle-free, more secure experience for its 150 families.
What made you feel the need for a community management app?
It was required because ultimately the older ways of communications were failing. We were repeatedly facing issues with the intercom. The security guards were making intercom calls to the residents, unaware of the fact that there is no one to answer on the other end.
Also, we wanted to minimise human errors in ensuring safety at the main gates, and this could only be achieved by automation, digitisation – in short, modernisation. I was aware of MyGate and heard a lot of other people in my network using it. However, we were looking to hire a security agency that was thorough with the app.
How is MyGate helping Beary Harmony Homes?
Residents now know who is seeking entry approval and can control who is coming to their house, that is the biggest thing! The other aspect is the notice board, all on one app. you don’t have to access different apps or check emails separately to keep track of community-wide announcements.
The security process is streamlined with the approval and denial system in place. Otherwise, traditionally, residents would get a call from the security intercom every time there was a visitor. The delivery management has become smooth. Whenever the delivery guys come in, MyGate showcases the executive’s details for the residents to be aware of who should they expect and when.
How are the residents accepting the change?
Oh, they’re absolutely fine! Initially, of course, there were a lot of questions and varied views. It took some time to get all their apprehensions removed gradually. We had to show them value and had to deal patiently. Once the residents started using it, they realised the benefits and they are pretty comfortable now.
What makes your job challenging as a member of the committee?
In a community, the challenges comprise dealing with different mindsets and behaviour patterns. Trying to get everyone used to a certain way of living and adopting new standards is always difficult because there are so many people involved. So, getting everyone on the same page is a humongous task and a continuous challenge.
So, how do you tackle this challenge?
We have to make people understand the value and utility. If there are traditional systems that are not yielding desired results, we have to get rid of them. At the same time, a new initiative has to be launched to achieve the desired objective, for which we have to get people on board and promote it.
We conduct monthly meetings where we invite everyone to come and talk to us if they have any particular issue. We address concerns one-on-one so that people don’t feel left out. In fact, we have weekly meetings among the committee members to brainstorm, evaluate and plan around how the community experience can be improved.
How has MyGate simplified your life as a committee member?
MyGate is helping us Secure Life Better; security processes are better aligned. managing visitors is much smoother, and there are no miscommunications. We know when a person tries to forge an entry and we can keep a tab on similar events via app notifications.
Since all activity is recorded, we – as MCs – have a context in every unusual scenario and can look at things from a 360-degree view, rather than act based on assumptions.
What other solutions are adopted to offer a better community experience to all?
Well, we have introduced practical solutions like waste segregation. The wobbly stones in all the staircases are replaced with slip-resistant material to offer better grip. Also, our building is equipped with a ramp that runs until the lift for wheelchair access in case of medical emergencies. We have provided a wheelchair, ready to be used by anyone in need.
We have reduced the power consumption by more than 20% over the years. This is achieved by turning off the lights in common areas when not required and keeping the electricians and office management on their toes to see that power is not wasted.
We reward our housekeeping staff with hampers to keep them motivated. As a practice, we engage in regular discussions with residents and leave the floor open for them to share concerns or ideas, at any time.