Rama & Krubha go beyond the regular sister-in-laws. They have always shared a cordial relationship and worked together to solve different problems faced both within the family and their residential society. Having been residents of different countries, one major difficulty that they had faced time and again was the lack of technicians for domestic services. Returning to India, Rama recognized the same issue in Chennai and Krubha living in Coimbatore, resonated the same. Then on they had been constantly working for a solution.
Using the might of the internet and other resources they realized that with rapid change in life style, growing nuclear families that have both members working, there exists a strong demand for reliable and timely domestic handyman services. However, unlike most countries abroad where handymen are highly organized and the skill is most sought after, the handyman profession in India is still not glorified and as a result there is a massive dearth of skilled and professionally trained technicians. This leads to quick fix solutions that are not long lasting and also the semi-skilled workmen do not honor their time commitments with households having to call them several times before they appear at their door steps.
Taking a leaf out of Governments across the globe that encourage institutes to offer technical courses to increase skill levels of handymen, the Government of India has also started promoting these trainings through both Government and private institutions via the Skill India Mission along with suitable stipends. However, in spite of that, enrolment in these institutes is poor and unskilled labors mostly depend on the job practice to develop their skills.
Inspired by the enormous success of the technology driven solution of Task Rabbit founded by Stacy Brown in the USA, Rama & Krubha asked their tech savvy son, Suraj to explore various options to introduce a similar service offering in India. After extensive research and based on his own experiences of professional handyman services functioning in Australia, Suraj recommended starting a web/mobile app based platform for these services in India.
The team though faced some early disappointment when they realized that there already existed multiple players in the Indian market offering on demand handyman services in Tier 1 cities like Chennai, Delhi, Mumbai etc. However, an article a few months later in the newspaper which highlighted that most sales for e-commerce companies during the festive seasons came from Tier 2 & 3 cities, reignited their prospects of starting their own venture. Interestingly around the same time an article published on INC42 stated that in India, with a 100 Billion Dollar market potential, this field would see a growth similar to e-Commerce and the rapid influx of funds over the last few years in this space could only mean great growth potential.
Conducting due-diligence and market surveys across Tier 2 cities listed under the smart city program, the trio decided to start a venture which would effectively solve the demand for handyman services in Tier 2 cities and also improve the overall quality of life for semi-skilled technicians in these cities similar to what uber did for drivers across the globe. After multiple deliberations with family and friends, ‘Fixodo’ was born.
Fixodo intends to reduce the pain of household’s inordinate waiting period for domestic services by offering a multi –channel technology platform (including mobile / web). By providing an opportunity for technicians to be employed in a professional organization and offering them multiple benefits, Fixodo is able to convert a good part of unorganized freelancers into organized employees. In addition, highly skilled freelancers are also a part of Fixodo’s team, after rigorous background checks. This ensures customers get services only from trustworthy professionals.
Fixodo has lined up a business model with service offerings ranging from regular handyman services to unique Annual Maintenance Contract services for Gated Communities / residential societies to Professional services like architecture, lighting design etc. Its USPs are ease of reach, high level of adherence to commitment, reliable service through certified technicians, and above all very competitive and transparent pricing thus providing a compelling value proposition to the customers.
Backed and mentored by professionals with over 75 years of work experience between them, the company is headquartered at Coimbatore with franchises started recently at Tiruchirapalli and Visakhapatnam with plans for rapid expansion into other Tier 2 cities.
Started in September 2016, Fixodo’s Android app has been successfully downloaded by several thousand customers and it has serviced over 1500 customers completing more than 3000 jobs. The average job rating till date is 4.2/5.0 and the average app review is 4.8/5.0 from over 200 customers in Coimbatore. Fixodo has also featured in Rathinavani 90.8 FM and Radiocity 91.1 FM for bringing in their unique service offering to Tier2 cities in India.
Suraj handles the company’s operations, sales and business development. With a Bachelor in Electrical Engineering and a Masters in Sustainable energy, Suraj has worked in some of India’s leading solar companies & holds 5 patents across different technologies. He is also a recipient of the Prayas grant awarded by the Government of India. A double Masters in literature, Rama’s love for teaching helped her win the hearts of many students during her early years as a Tamil teacher at various schools in India. Her charming personality can seldom be looked past, she rightfully coordinates the trainings imparted to the technicians and supports in maintaining customer relations. Krubha handles strategy and lets her commerce degree support with maintaining financial accounting.
Suraj say’s Fixodo was fortunate to find support from leading institutes and universities around Coimbatore to impart trainings to the registered professionals. By improving their skill-set to double up as both handymen and sales executives, their career opportunities within the organization are significantly widened.
He says that the rewarding incentives offered to the handymen along with various certifications has assured Fixodo their loyalty and he is proud that the changes in the life style of the handymen has also translated into improved education opportunities for the Gen-next of these handymen. Since its inception the company has improved the fortunes of over 40 families (160 individuals) in Coimbatore.