Mobile apps providing home services on the rise

Mobile apps providing home services on the rise

By DIBYENDU MONDAL | NEW DELHI | 5 March, 2016
“I recently shifted to Delhi; I did not know much about the city. I had no idea about the local market or nearby service providers and I needed an electrician to fix electrical equipment at my new place. It was then that I came across an advertisement about LocalOye, an app, on a website. I downloaded the mobile based application, which provides an array of services at the click of a button. Such applications have truly helped to make one’s life easier,” said Bhavtosh Sisodiya, a working professional who recently shifted to Delhi.
In the past one year, there has been a surge in several mobile phone applications providing different home services ranging from providing a carpenter, electrician, support staff for house cleaning, laundry to wedding photographers, lawyers, bridal makeup artists, and chartered accountants.
However, these applications are provided by startup companies and there are often complaints of technical glitches as well as unprofessional behaviour by some service providers. “I had requested for laundry services on an application called Zimmber, which provides doorstep services for any kind of household needs. But sadly, my request for the service got cancelled automatically twice, and the third time, despite registering my request, the service provider did not come to my place even after three days of continuous follow up. It is good to have these services, but if companies continue with such unprofessional behaviour, they will not be able to sustain,” said Sushmita Roy, a resident of Patel Nagar, Delhi.
Aditya Rao, founder and CEO of LocalOye, said, “We are a startup and we are developing with time. Our efforts to improve our services would help us reach perfection.” LocalOye claims to have grown at the rate of 65% since October 2015, with a customer fulfillment rate of 80-85%.All the companies say they follow a strict process of selecting the service providers, so as to not create any inconvenience to the clients. However, a source in a company, who did not wish to be named, said, “Even though we take the utmost care to select the best service provider in the market, these service providers are not used to working in an organised set-up and thus, at times, they do not deliver according to the demands of the clients. We are working hard to transform an unorganised market place to an organised market place.”
Other applications, such as Urbanclap, taskbob, housejoy, also provide similar services to customers in Delhi. Urbanclap is one of the pioneers in introducing such application-based services in Delhi and other parts of the country. It had launched in December 2014 with just four category of services, but now has over 80 categories of services. 
“It was born out of our ambition to create a large technology-based business, solving a primary customer need in India, and we realised local services as an industry is such a central part of our lives but extremely broken, which made us to come up with such a thought. UrbanClap places the highest importance on finding and on boarding the best quality professionals in the city,” said Varun Khetan, co-founder, Urbanclap.
Taskbob, a one-year old company based in Mumbai, also helps connect clients to service providers in Mumbai. It has plans to expand its services to Delhi and other parts of the country. Taskbob has also been additionally providing maid services that can be hired at a price of Rs 99 for an hour. Aseem Khare, CEO of Taskbob, said, “Fulfillment, not discovery, is the real problem in India’s local services space. With this in mind, we have been more focused on supply and fulfillment issues rather than plain demand aggregation. Our goal has always been to build a service that provides quality and is absolutely trustworthy. This infusion of fresh capital validates our growth so far and our potential to be the number one home services provider in the country.”

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