This week’s Develop It Yourself (DIY) got in touch with QuickHelp Founder Shahid Admani, an entrepreneur who made it possible for consumers to connect with and gain access to everyday technicians like electricians, plumbers, cleaners, and carpenters.
QuickHelp is an on-demand service that was established in Sri Lankan in 2018, with the aim of providing individuals with access to a reliable, hassle-free service.
When asked what inspired him to launch this service, Admani stated that he came across this when he was working on a few ideas to build a scalable business and swim into the vast sea of entrepreneurship, upon which he realised the potential as well as the dire need for innovative services in the modern world.
Explaining further, he said that when someone has a problem at their home that requires a service provider or a technician to visit, they almost always rely on that one relative who has a rolodex of contacts, which at times is very inefficient and even frustrating as they now have to give in to the demands of these technicians and often wait for days on end for them to show up, where at times some do not really show up.
“With everything around us getting disrupted in this era, from the way we book a cab to how we consult a doctor and even how we get our laundry done, it was time for us to change the way we booked a service. This is why QuickHelp was launched into the market,” he shared.
Commenting on the journey as an entrepreneur of a start-up, Admani stated that even though it is very early for him to comment on this, Sri Lanka is a truly unique country where people are ready to experiment and try new ways of doing things, rather than just following the traditional methods.
He noted that the country also has a very supportive and entrepreneurial platform that makes it an excellent environment for start-up businesses – to find product/market fit and also scale the business accordingly. “By far, it has been very positive and overwhelming with the kind of response we have received,” he added.
Having established QuickHelp with an initial investment of only Rs. 5,000, Admani stated that sheer hard work and determination are what led them to the place they are right now, and that it is “not a bad return on investment”.
If you are wondering about the services the company offers, the first is fixing problems that occur in terms of plumbing, where an experienced plumber would come and clear the clogged sink, drain lines, etc. that are causing a leakage, fix the leaking faucets and replace faulty cisterns, and install new tap/drain lines or any other services related to this criteria.
No more hassle, no more worries, and no more delaying appointments to get your leaks mended. We make sure the plumber comes at the requested time, gets your work done as fast as possible, and charges you reasonably, mentions the QuickHelp website.
The second offering is where customers can book electricians who are on board, trained, and experienced to sort out any and all electric issues with ease, including fixing shortages around the house, fixing existing plug points, installing new plugs, mending the trip switch from switching off, etc.
The third is the freedom of clients to request cleaners for dusting, sweeping, and mopping floor areas and walls (including spot cleaning of glasses, windows, doors, fans, lights, switches, railings, chandeliers, and clearing of trash) at any emergency point. The company also offers different packages for offices, apartments, and homes, making it much easier for clients to choose what suits them best.
Other services and service personnel include TV repairing, sofa and carpet cleaning, fabrication, disinfection, handyman services, air conditioner service technicians, refrigerator technician, painters, washing machine technician, gardeners, roofers, masons, carpenter, floor polishers, and other occasional services such as Ramadan cleaning.
When inquired what is the targeted segment of clients, Admani noted that QuickHelp predominantly focuses on serving individual homes in urban Colombo. “We’ve recently started opening our offerings to corporates as part of our ‘QuickHelp for Business’ programme. The response has been great, and we’ve been able to secure a large clientele of corporates who like our flexible on-demand maintenance offerings.”
Meanwhile, QuickHelp also provides a separate, exclusive service of maintaining office spaces, where services pertaining to electrics, plumbings, air conditioning, walls, and interiors are regularly managed and maintained on a predetermined level.
Accordingly, the benefits of this include timely reports suggesting preventive and immediate maintenance plans, preparation and management of existing and new AMCs, breakdown support, routine and unscheduled inspections, free annual electricity system check, free annual air conditioner check, online scheduling and booking system, 14-day credit period, and a new maintenance insurance (which is to come soon).
With the company serving over 4,000 customers and over 50 businesses on a regular basis, Quickhelp focuses solely on the hyper-local service space and works towards redefining service providers with an aim of attracting, retaining, and interacting with customers.
What’s on hold for the future?
From promoting the services provided by the company through social media platforms to relying on word-of-mouth recommendations by clients to their close circles, QuickHelp has been able to build a strong network of clients since its inception.
The reason why clients approach QuickHelp, Admani shared, is due to the easy process that is available in placing the order; for instance, if a customer books a refrigerator technician, QuickHelp will send the repairman to the customer’s premises to give a live quotation, and once approved, the client gets an invoice via email, after which the work can be preceded as desired.
Commenting with regard to this process, Admani stated that in order to get the services done, QuickHelp works with a network of service providers across the country, who are also daily wage earners, and provide them with the necessary training and know-how to earn a consistent and stable source of income.
“The most demanded service varies very often; however, our electric and plumbing services are the most consistent,” he stated.
Expressing the current challenges faced by the company, Adamin mentioned that there are plenty of them on a day-to-day basis, as QuickHelp is in the process of structuring a very unstructured – or rather unorganised – sector.
“One constant challenge we face is gathering enough supply to cater to the demand and training them adequately to provide a delightful experience to our users. However, with time and experience, we are able to manage this and keep growing,” Admani noted.
Further, he said that even though there are competitors offering similar services in the market, their current focus is only on providing an amazing customer experience to any and all. “We want to make fixing your home more of an experience than a chore. I believe that this is our competitive advantage,” he added.
Commenting in terms of the key goals targeted for the upcoming year, Admani stated that QuickHelp plans to further expand their service locations in order to get more people to try their services, given that services are currently limited to Colombo 1-15 and its suburbs like Dehiwala, Mount Lavinia, Nugegoda, Nawala, and Rajagiriya.
Along with that, the company is also looking to expand into new and more interesting services to add to their portfolio, thereby listing new services on their platform and providing a better-quality experience to its users.
In the meantime, upon inquiring Admani where he sees the company in the next five years, he responded optimistically, saying that they have a bold and very ambitious plan scheduled to organise the current service sector available in Sri Lanka, by aiming to be the platform that provides services that are easily accessible, affordable, and reliable to any customer.
Adding to this, he highlighted that QuickHelp is also working on a broader mission of “#buildingbetterlives” to its main stakeholders – for instance, providing a reliable and consistent source of income to raise the standard of living of its service providers whilst also enabling its customers to keep their homes and offices in great shape.
Giving a concluding remark, Admani expressed that looking back, the biggest achievement of himself and the company is the ability it had to provide a stable livelihood to their network of daily wage earners and help them in building better lives despite the prevailing Covid-19 conditions and other challenges. “The journey has just started, and it’s going to be fun,” Admani shared.