It is not always easy to avail of local services. With an aim to solve such challenges, LocalOye, India’s first ever online service marketplace, was launched in 2013. They have established their presence across India. Speaking to Supportbiz, Co-founder and CEO of LocalOye Aditya Rao shares his business journey, growth, challenges of the services market in India .
SB: How and where did the idea of LocalOye originate? Could you share a brief history of your company?
Aditya:The thought process behind the birth of LocalOye was very clear. Products as a market was extremely saturated, the market that we wanted to be in was the local professional services. It was a problem waiting to be solved and no one entered the segment as it was too unorganized. We took it upon us to not just be another classified listing platform. There existed a market for a platform which can provide customized service professionals for your daily needs. So we started cautiously focusing only on one category, similar to what Flipkart or Amazon did with books. Once we figured out how to crack the category, we rocketed into launching more categories on our platform.
SB: How does LocalOye work?
Aditya: LocalOye's aim is to connect our customers to the correct service partners who will do a great execution job. We are a technology driven company. We try to automate all the functioning of our app and the human interface only happens during the time of our service delivery. So when the customer requests for a service through our app, our internal recommendation engine then finds 2-3 of the best service providers based on the customized request of the customer which will also include the availability of the customer and his budget. Once that is done, we notify our partners through our partners’ app. Once the partner says yes, we connect him with the customer thereby providing him the service in a matter of few clicks.
SB: Where do you want to see your company in 2020?
Aditya: The online services industry has really taken off in the last 12-18 months. It is the hottest sector where technology is causing disruptions in a highly unorganized market to change the very structure of it. LocalOye is currently offering 30 services under 6 major categories – Home Maintenance, Beauty Services, Health Services, Event Services, Education Services and Online Consultancy services. While our online consultancy services are available across every city in India, our other services are offered across Mumbai, Bangalore and NCR (Delhi & Gurgaon). Going forward we aim to consolidate our position as the market leader by expanding our bouquet of services to more than 250 services in our target markets.
SB: What are the key points a customer must know while approaching LocalOye for services?
Aditya: The one thing that the customers must and already know for that matter is that LocalOye’s service partners are reliable, trusted and of highest quality. LocalOye has an extremely stringent on-boarding process where we test our partners across 45 parameters which include their work experience, customer servicing, quality of work, police record checks, court record checks, aadhar card checks, amongst others. We have proactively designed this process which not only helps our customers to get connected with the best service partners but also helps our partners to improve on their overall quality.
SB: How challenging is it to convince your clients about the services?
Aditya: Luckily for us we enjoy a huge first mover’s advantage in this industry. Started in 2013, we were one of the first services marketplace launched in India. Thankfully, that was the time when the consumers were already exposed to the possibilities of online shopping through e-commerce portals. That made our task a bit simpler. However, the challenge was giving our customers a seamless experience in booking great service professionals. Our focus on technology along with building a great network of experienced service partners helped us in driving through our conviction to the customers.
SB: What are the other challenges you face in providing services?
Aditya: The one major challenge which LocalOye faced was to build a great team when we scaled up from 25 to 200 employees within 3 months. While it is easy to maintain a strong culture when you are a 25 member team, the challenge is to maintain that culture when your employee base goes up 10 times. It was a difficult time to find the right people with the true Loco spirit. And today it is these 200 Locos that define our employee happiness quotient.
SB: What are the opportunities in LocalOye service?
Aditya: Opportunities for LocalOye are unlimited. We have built a horizontal marketplace and are offering services across 6 major categories. That gives us a wider scope to reach to more customers who are looking for different solutions on a daily basis. Every citizen in this country is our potential customer. There are so many services which are not easily accessible to a lot of customers. The demand for services already exists, we just need to solve the supply side of it. We want to expand the categories of services that we offer and want to become the holy grail of services in India. This will also enable our partners to get more and more business through our platform.
SB: How is the response for a new concept like LocalOye?
Aditya: The response so far has been truly phenomenal. From getting 200 service request per day in May, we now receive close to 4,000 service requests per day. It is still a long way to go for us but we ensure that our service quality does not deteriorate with our growth. The one thing that will help us sustain this growth of ours is the great experience that we are able to deliver to our customers.
SB: What are your business policies?
Aditya: Our business policy is to be the best at what we do. What differentiates LocalOye from others is Our Team, Our Technology and Our Quality Partners. We invest heavily on these 3 aspects of our business to give a superior experience to our customers. If we continue maintaining high standards across these 3 facets, we should be able to able to have a competitive edge on our peers.