The DoneThing Storyline — highlighting entrepreneurial lessons of 2016
Click here to view the complete DoneThing storyline
DIY is in fashion nowadays, but don’t you ever think about having someone by your side to complete all those not-so-important tasks? Well, DoneThing seems to have heard your inner voice clearly. Now, with DoneThing, an on-demand personal assistant, you can make the most of your time and maximise productivity by delegating your daily, mundane tasks to them.
With DoneThing, you can essentially see through all your to-do lists without the need of any personal intervention. It is like a personal assistant managing the more uninteresting tasks in your life, the ones that can be managed well enough by someone else.
It runs several kinds of errands, from shopping for medicines, personal care items and groceries, to completing tasks like collecting the laundry, pick up and drop off documents/invoices, depositing of cheque, repairing of shoes/electronics, and notary/government ID work, to finding neighbourhood professionals like electricians and drivers on demand, not to mention help like planning travel and booking cabs.
The company took off in June 2015 under the stewardship of its five co-founders - Sonal Saraogi, Chetan Agarwal, Shivangi Agarwal, Rohit Pansari, and Karan Saharan.
Learnings from 2016:
- Market Ready Product: One of their key learnings in 2016 was to enter the market with a ‘Market Ready Product’. Do not market anything that is short of perfect, because it is difficult to regain the confidence of a lost customer. They learnt this quickly, and thankfully, their customers like what they do for them and how they do it.
- High-cost marketing activities may not necessarily yield results: The high-cost marketing activities had higher expectations but often did not yield the expected results. Instead, the less complicated, inexpensive activities seemed to strike a better chord with customers; while engagement seemed higher on the former, the overall results were better with the latter. They also realised that while execution happens to be the most important part, planning and strategising should also be given importance to be able to avoid tricky situations.
- Commitment is the key to customer experience: They noticed that brand commitment was a key factor in improving customer experience. It is not important to service with speed but to deliver as per commitment for a good overall user experience. It was more about delivering delight, and training staff were an important part of that.
- Fund management and allocation: They learned how to manage funds optimally, and allocating funds was another trick to get the hang of. While investing in human capital was important, improving processes for speed and accuracy was equally necessary. Allocation of funds happened as per functions of the company, with a major chunk of the pie allocated to the tech and service functions.
Key milestones achieved in 2016:
- Rohit Pansari shares, “2016 has been a year of transformation. We raised our first round of funding in March 2016, which was the first major expression of trust. With that, we expanded operations from Gurgaon to the entire Delhi-NCR region, covering requests from every corner of the region. We rebranded from Qlivery to DoneThing, and we had to rebuild the trust of the customers and our goodwill. Most of our efforts were around building a strong team as the workload was being shouldered by the founders and we realised we needed more hands to help. We on-boarded 5,000 merchants, acquired a 50,000-strong customer base, reached a daily 1,000 request mark and grew 25 percent.
- According to him, “With the demonetization move, we saw ourselves as one of the few companies to make the transition to cashless India comparatively easy for our customers. Where there were long queues outside banks, we offered to stand in queues for our customers to save productive time and effort. We also delivered daily needs from local vendors, paying in cash while accepting online payments from customers who could now avoid haggling for cash with local small-time vendors. Our journey through 2016 has been quite eventful, with ample interesting learnings and new milestones.”
Target for 2017
They intend to work more on improving the product, focusing on UI/UX and introducing Artificial Intelligence to make the process faster, reduce errors and improve the user experience.
They have major expansion plans, with the aim of establishing a presence in three more cities, starting with Bengaluru. They thus intend to increase their customer base, reach out to a larger audience and achieve 500 percent growth in the coming year.
The team also intends to improve their tech product for a seamless user experience while making this service an integral part of the lives of the busy, helping them enjoy some time off from chores to make more memories with loved ones and pursue their passions.