One-stop solution for all handyman services
Md Zarif Tazwar Shihab |
Published: January 09, 2020 12:46:10 AM
| Updated: January 16, 2020 12:42:01 AM
HandyMama is a company that was founded in 2015 and has since revolutionized the household services industry in Bangladesh as an on-demand platform for maintenance and handyman services. This company connects users or customers with verified service professionals such as professional cleaners, painters, carpenters, plumbers, etc. The revenue for the platform comes from a commission charged on these games, typically 15-20 percent. With rapid growth, profitability, and economic and social impact, this is one of the new businesses to watch out for.
To learn more about the history of this incredible startup, Md Zarif Tazwar Shihab interviewed HandyMama CEO Shah Paran and CSO Rezaur R Robin.
Question (Q): How did you come up with the idea of HandyMama and what was your primary target group during your conception phase? How has this changed over time?
Shah Paran: Before HandyMama, when I was setting up my first office, I had to go out and let the workers help me. This process took a whole month. Back then there were only a few websites with a number of plumbers and service people, but nothing was organized. It was then that I came up with HandyMama. At the time, this concept was completely new, which made it difficult to get people into our team. There was a huge trust gap between us and the workers we spoke to. Now it’s different and people are applying to become “service partners”. Our main target group was and is the families of the middle and upper class. Originally it was only in Dhaka, but now we are expanding and want to go global.
Q: How much has HandyMama grown from the beginning and what is your ultimate vision with this platform?
Shah Paran: We started in April 2015 and thus ended our fourth year of operation. Currently our services are available all over Dhaka. So far we have over 1,500 certified service professionals who are actively working on our platform. In addition, more than 55,000 households and 5,000 companies used HandyMama. We are a team of 35 full-time employees in the HandyMama headquarters. Our goal is to become synonymous with artisans for all types of household services over the next 10 years.
Rezaur R Robin: It is also our vision to work on jobs and create at least 20,000 jobs, especially for women, within the next seven years. We want to train people and involve them in the common economy so that they do not lose their jobs through automation.
Q: Does HandyMama have a main competitor? If so, how does HandyMama position itself among the competition? What competitive advantage does HandyMama have that enables you to stand out from other competitors?
Shah Paran: HandyMama’s competition consists not only of platforms like Sheba, but also of local service professionals. At the moment, this industry is anything but saturated. When we look at Sheba, it’s like a marketplace where vendors are housed and you can choose your services / providers. Payment, services and quality are based on the negotiations between you and the provider you choose. HandyMama connects you with the best provider considering prices, ratings and services. We also control pricing and quality, taking into account the well-being of consumers and service providers. HandyMama is more convenient and user-friendly, which sets it apart from the others.
Q: How are HandyMama technicians hired? Does HandyMama have a review and control mechanism to ensure that its services are kept up to date?
Rezaur R Robin: HandyMama is a platform on which service providers and technicians can register themselves with the necessary information and documents. HandyMama, however, maintains a six-stage capacity acquisition and development protocol for selecting registered craftsmen. It is actually quite difficult to work with the working population in Bangladesh as they are not up to standards or not certified. First of all, our team approaches potential people and explains the HandyMama concept to them. Those who understand and are ready to work will then be guided through screening steps and training and given the necessary tools. After these steps you become a HandyMama service partner.
Q: How does HandyMama handle customer feedback? Are there guidelines for customers who are dissatisfied with services?
Shah Paran: If you work in a service industry and do the services directly or work as an aggregator, you need to care about what your customers are saying. As a service aggregator like Uber, we care about our customers’ feedback and take it really seriously in order to improve service quality and the experience. We had some disputes and customer issues that we needed to answer and resolve. In the event of problems such as theft, damage, poor service quality and professional problems of the service providers, we have strict service guidelines with our registered service partners. We play a vital role in solving these problems with our customers.
Q: Where do you see HandyMama in 10 years? What can we expect from HandyMama in terms of new services / extensions etc. in the next few years?
Shah Paran: Our vision is to become the leading home services company in Bangladesh and to meet the daily service needs of at least one million families over the next 10 years. By then HandyMama will create 20,000 new job opportunities in the home services industry. Since our inception in early 2015, we’ve worked to standardize this disorganized blue collar service sector by setting new standards in terms of pricing, quality of service, security measures, and of course, customer expectations. Overall, HandyMama will be the smarter way to get everyday household services including house cleaning, property maintenance, home appliance repair, handyman, and services that make households smarter and less stressful.
Q: How does HandyMama contribute to Bangladesh’s economy and society?
Shah Paran: Until now, few skilled craftsmen got real jobs and a large majority of people got no jobs. Now we are connecting these craftsmen to work and at the same time certifying their work. The certifications show how competent a craftsman is and can therefore pick him up more jobs later. In this way, we significantly increase the income of several people and create jobs.
The interviewer is a third year student on the BBA program at the Institute of Business Administration (IBA) at Dhaka University.
He can be reached at [email protected]