Do you remember the time you chased your electrician just so that he could come fix a blown fuse at home? Then you must also remember how helpless you felt when he stopped picking up your calls or answered the phone just to refuse point-blank. Rekha Pandit’s landlord, too, struggled for almost two weeks to find a plumber who could install a tap in her washroom.
“I finally had to ask my driver to find a reliable plumber. The one he found charged a bit too much but he got the job done,” she says. Like many others, Pandit realised that getting odd jobs around the house done at a convenient time and price has become almost impossible in most Indian cities.
But as with any other consumer segment, there is a clutch of start-ups hard at work in this space to make life easier for urban professionals. These companies have zeroed in on the scope of running a business that links customers to the right service professional, keeping in mind accessibility, reliability and convenience.
“Unlike my regular carpenter, who wasn’t available, LocalOye connected me to a well-trained professional. The company gave me a range of price options as well. We fixed a particular date and time and got the work done as per my convenience,” says Mumbai-based Niti Dalvi, 28, who has also booked beauty services online through other service marketplaces such as LocalOye.
“The rates are cheaper than what I usually shell out in salons. The booking was also done painlessly via a mobile app,” she adds. While these start-ups aim to satisfy the customer, they also try to ensure an increased income to the service professionals.
“Zimmber made me undergo soft skills training for five days at YMCA. Even though I already have my own shop in Lokhandwala [a suburb in western Mumbai], tying up with Zimmber has got me more jobs,” says Kunal, who has been working as an electrician in the city for the past four years. Dalvi and K