Snehanshu & Gaurav, Tapp Me Co-Founders talked about how this idea has evolved over time.
1. What potential you saw in Emerging Cities? Was it because there are already bigger players in the Main markets?
Gaurav & Snehanshu: The purpose of Tapp Me is simply to bring ease of availing home services to emerging cities while generating viable employment opportunities for the technicians in these cities. With the major players focusing only on large cities, many technicians have been moving to metropolitan cities to make a living, leaving very few choices for customers to avail quality home services in emerging cities.
This has led to an immense supply-demand gap in the home services sector. We have a growing supply of technicians in metropolitan cities and not enough demand to give them a daily wage. Skilled individuals still sit at Labour Chowk every morning looking for a job opportunity and leave home empty handed not knowing how to feed their families.
The situation in emerging cities is the opposite. The demand for home repair services is staggering yet the supply of skilled technicians lacks. We, at Tapp Me, are trying to bridge this demand-supply gap by providing the same services to citizens in emerging cities while generating viable employment opportunities for the technicians as well.
2. Why did you leave Indonesia and plan to come back to India, and starting up an enterprise in the Home Repair & Work Contracts Industry?
Snehanshu: Moving to a foreign country, getting a job and earning a better lifestyle is a very comfortable and tempting option. Every year, we see an exodus of talented people leaving the country to find greener pastures elsewhere and utilize their learnings out of India.
Having grown up in India, I know that India is a superpower. Yet the home services sector remains unorganized. Not everyone in this vast country has the luxury to find skilled manpower for their daily needs. And this bothered me. Solving a skill crisis within the nation is also our duty, and with renewed focus on this by the government also, it looked like the best time to work in this space in India. With these thoughts, I packed my bags and flew over to find a solution for this disorganized and unskilled market. What I want to achieve here is to bring to everyone’s fingertips one solution for all their home repair needs while creating opportunities for the skilled manpower. This is how Tapp Me came in to existence.
3. What was the thought when you left your first job, and planned to start up?
Gaurav: Before a stint at my first job in Credit Suisse, I used to occasionally spend time assisting my father. He owns his own industrial manufacturing business. At the factory, I got to work hands-on with the workers and technicians. The technicians are the foundation of our society and ensure that we live our daily lives in comfort thanks to their contribution, yet there is a lack in respect and trust that is given to them.
With Tapp Me, we aim at giving these technicians an identity which gives them the respect they deserve. By giving them an ID, a uniform, and an ongoing job opportunity, we are bringing them level with the rest of the society. Moving forward, these technicians do not have to struggle with lack of opportunities to earn their daily bread.
4. To what Extent do you think Technology would be helpful in refining the unorganized repair and work contract industry?
Snehanshu: I believe technology will play an immense role in organizing this repair and maintenance market. Currently there is not one single platform that connects the customers and technicians directly. Right now, you must go through a long and lengthy process of finding contacts, telephonic conversations and face-to-face discussions to get find a skilled technician. With Tapp Me, you can get:
A complete online platform (website and app) which acts as an information portal and a personalized booking engine for any home service. The users can check rates, create bookings and reschedule bookings as per their convenience.
A booking tracking system built in the app which provides the ETA, name and details of the technician to ensure convenience and safety for the users.
An app for the technicians which allows them to receive bookings with details of the job, time and date.
We aim at creating one platform where we can unite the technicians and the customers so that services can be rendered without a hitch!
5. Are Emerging Cities welcoming this wind of change, or are you facing constraints in making people rely on your brand?
Snehanshu & Gaurav: When you see 22000+ customers on-board within a matter of a few months, you can easily say that it was the necessity of the hour in the emerging cities. We have also had multiple customer asking us to bring the services to their cities as well as they appreciate the concept and look to capitalize on the home services solution we provide.
This is a solution that the customers in metropolitan cities have had the luxury of utilizing and now the customers in emerging cities are becoming a part of the organized home services structure as well. It’s a win-win situation for everyone!
6. What are your plans for widening and deepening market share?
Snehanshu & Gaurav: Home services business in India is a $15B to $100B opportunity across India, depending on what all one includes. We not only plan to widen our services across India, but also would dive in to additional services too:
. Demographic Expansion: 60% of the market share lies in emerging cities such as Patna, Jaipur. We plan on bringing our solution to users in Chandigarh, Lucknow, Indore as well.
. Service Areas: The potential for beauty services, drivers on demand and cleaning among others is immense. We plan on exploring these opportunities in due course.
. Generating Employment: Along with customers, our aim lies on fostering job opportunities for 1000 technicians by 2017 end as well.
7. How does Tapp Me define its Target Audience and how you are reaching out to your audience?
Snehanshu & Gaurav: Since Tapp Me is redefining the market with its break-through online booking platform, the target audience has widened significantly. Now even an 18-year old can assist their family in getting a tap fixed by simply finding a plumber through online search engines or by downloading an app for all their requirements.
The youth in the early and late 20s will play a significant role in propagating this solution with their online knowledge. A family can how have a plumber within just an hour of them doing a Google Search. Now you can even find a solution for your home appliance repairs on Facebook as well!