Javascript on your browser is not enabled.

Advertisement

Housejoy Aims to Grow as an All-Rounder in the Household Services Vertical

This is a long-term game and is all about quality of supply and the service. If the foundation is built well, demand can be pushed whenever and wherever you want. Everybody is at a nascent stage right now so moulding the foundation is easier. If you scale up and suddenly start to shape up, it will be very difficult.

BWDisrupt interacted with the Founding Team of Housejoy and spoke to Co-Fouder Arjun Mendu to know more about their expansive business plans in the coming months.

Excerpts from the interview:

Tell us a little about the entrepreneurial journey of Housejoy
.

Housejoy was founded in January 2015 by Sunil Goel and Arjun Mendu, both veterans in the service industry. Sunil Goel After working for over two decades in TESCO’s IT leadership team, Sunil Goel joined TutorVista, where he was heading operations and learning how startups function. Post his stint with TutorVista, Sunil started VUFirst, a video platform to pre-screen candidates before they are hired. It was at TutorVista that Sunil met Arjun.

Arjun Mendu has over a decade of experience in different fields including product development and payment systems. After completing his Masters in Telecommunication at Ohio University, Arjun joined Valuelabs where he worked as a Project Lead. He was associated with ValueLabs for over 5 years and had worked as a product manager for MakeMyTrip project. This was his first exposure to a startup and he soon opened his own company- Bookadda, along with Hemant Hohli. Bookadda was eventually acquired by the Sapna Group.

What are the various categories of home services available on Housejoy? How many cities are you currently present in?

Housejoy is an online home service provider offering safe and reliable home services that include Beauty, Fitness, Home Cleaning, Pest Control, Electrical, Plumbing, Appliance Repair, Laundry, Carpentry, Computer Repair, Cars & Bikes services and Painting. We are pioneers in providing high-quality on demand residential services, supported by a team of dynamic, capable and trusted professionals. Housejoy is based out of Bangalore and is currently operational in 8 cities in India.

How did the idea came to start and when?

Housejoy was launched in January 2015 to provide an aggregation of services to customers ensuring punctuality, quality and reliability. When we started, we identified three main problems inflicting the home services sector in India. These are availability & reliability of service providers and the quality of work they provide. Firstly, you don't find them when you need them. Secondly, you cannot be entirely sure whether they will show up or not at all and lastly, the quality of their service they offer to the customers, may be subpar. The market may be crowded with a lot of players in this space today, but it is still fragmented on the supply side. Service providers are often not trained well or skilful enough.

After facing several issues with home cleaning and maintenance, both of us understood that this field had huge potential. We spoke to vendors and customers and figured out several issues that both sides were facing. The customers were complaining about not receiving quality work and yet being charged exorbitant amounts of money without even receiving a proper bill. These services were acquired either through recommendations and word of mouth, or through search directories where listings are paid, reviews are fake or unreliable. Consumers also had an issue when they shared their contact details with the service provider. They get so many calls from different vendors and each will quote a different rate while customers are not even aware of the quality of their work. They have no idea about their background too. Working with the premise that neither listing sites nor service providers were working for customers, we embarked on an in-depth research to find a solution.

The next step was to find out the service providers side of the story. We went around interacting with 100 plumbers, electricians and home repair providers, who expressed concerns. They were unhappy with discovery platforms which made them compete with several other service providers for the same job as the lead from the platforms was shared with multiple individuals. The subscription payment at the platforms was upfront with no guarantee of jobs and the travel time for one job took over 3-4 hours a day as it was scattered in different areas which led to spending more time on one job.

Housejoy was conceived precisely to address these pain areas. For a customer, Housejoy provides an aggregation of services ensuring punctuality, quality and reliability of their service professionals. For a service provider, Housejoy provides a hyper local matching of demand and supply which ensures that the service providers are able to do more jobs in a day without having to spend time and money traveling.

Housejoy currently provides plumbing, electrical, home cleaning, pest control, laundry, appliance repairs, electronic gadget repairs, fitness and beauty services for women. We will continue to expand our portfolio of services in area of automobile servicing, on demand drivers, cooks, house helps and nannies etc. Our vision is to build a one stop platform that customers can use to fulfil all their service needs in the easiest possible way.

What are the traction detail? (Like user base, Service providers, total categories, Total number of daily orders, number of transactions till now etc.)

• We receive 5000+ orders per day

• Categories - Beauty, Fitness, Home Cleaning, Pest Control, Electrical, Plumbing, Appliance Repair, Laundry, Carpentry, Computer Repair, Cars & Bikes services and Painting.

• On social media, we have the highest number of followers base as compared to competitors

• We have serviced 1 million customers to date

• 5 lakh app downloads


What is your monetisation model? If commission basis, how much is the commission?

Housejoy is associated with a strong network of service providers based on hyper local matching. These service providers are hired through a very rigorous process and are internally trained on their respective skills They are known as Housejoy Experts who perform a wide variety of services ranging from maintenance and home repairs to high quality plumbing, electrical services, home cleaning and computer repairs. Housejoy additionally offers specialized services in beauty and in-house bridal make-up and are expanding their service portfolio. Housejoy will also take care of your laundry and dry cleaning, with pickup and delivery right at your door step. On the customer side Housejoy takes complete ownership of the experience by making sure the service providers are punctual, quality of work is high and pricing is transparent. Further to this, if any damage occurs due to a service provider’s error, Housejoy has an insurance claim upto INR 10,000.

Challenges in the sector?

The most important factor in the segment is satisfying users with the good experience. The fact that so many well-funded players exist in this market today tells you that home services in India is a defined problem and not something that we manufactured. The sector has always existed. I have seen this happen in product commerce. Go back 4-5 years. Did you ever think you will buy a pair of shoes online? But the behaviour of people changed because of many factors including convenience, access to selection and attractive pricing.

This market would play out in a similar fashion. Home services may still be available to people now, but once confidence starts building up around these online home services companies and they start delivering on availability, reliability and quality quotient, which is still missing in this space, people are going to fall back on this option more and more.

What is the funding status?

Our new investment partners open up new possibilities for market expansion, new partnerships, and best practices in running a sustainable business. We will utilise the funds to grow and innovate our services and categories with better enhanced technology to help solve deep operational issues, partnerships and to build their team. Our main focus continues to be on quality of service and customer experience. We look forward to the next stage of growth.

What is the next big thing in the pipeline?

As the orginised services sector evolves and grows, we aim to be pioneers in the evolution of the engagement model with the customers. For all repeat services like beauty, home cleaning, fitness etc we will be moving to subscription model and for one time categories like appliance repairs, home repairs we will move to a annunal maintenace contract for the entire household model.

This will help us be more deeply integrated with the customers service requirements.

Talk to us about the competition?

The market may be crowded with a lot of players in this space today, but it is still fragmented on the supply side. Service providers are often not trained well or skillful enough. We intend to fill this vacuum with Housejoy.

We are the most well-diversified company in this space right now - we are not a one or two category play. And even within these categories, we have gone deep. Through our recent acquisitions, we aim to understand individual verticals to offer a high quality experience to customers. That is what sets us apart in this industry.

This is a long-term game and is all about quality of supply and the service. If the foundation is built well, demand can be pushed whenever and wherever you want. Everybody is at a nascent stage right now so moulding the foundation is easier. If you scale up and suddenly start to shape up, it will be very difficult.

We also spend a lot of time understanding the needs of our customers and then provide solutions based on that insight. We are the only ones in the market who have 7 AM to 7 PM at-home beauty service. As you would know working women having a very busy life and with parlours not being functional till 10 am leave them struggling and hence our new service is the solution. These early morning beauty services begin at 7 am through the Housejoy app. We have received fantastic response from working women. They find this option more flexible and convenient.

What is the market and opportunity?

The market has always existed in India, though it is unorganized. It is massive and the demand is huge. There are at least 10-15 million households with this need today in India and each would typically spend anywhere between Rs. 6,000 to Rs. 10,000 a year on any of these services like plumbing, electrical or carpentry. Like product commerce, there was always a need for a service like this. The main question was whether companies were delivering superior customer experience or not. This is where the JustDials and Sulekhas may have missed the mark. They failed to focus on customer experience by solely concentrating on solving the problem of discovery. You may surely find a plumber on these platforms, but you can't always be assured of quality service.

New age companies, on the other hand, have customer service experience on their radar. It is not just about helping them discover - it is ensuring that the experience they get is much better. This is where Housejoy is trying to pitch in. A lot of companies are seeing an opportunity here and the player that is going to emerge victorious is going to be one that will find a unique solution that is relevant today. That is going to be the scale on which success - or the lack of it thereof - is measured in the months to come.

The market is potentially a $10 billion plus industry.


Tags assigned to this article:
brand competition

Around The World

Advertisement