This Noida-based on-demand home service startup asks busy people to take life easySameer Ranjan
Lifeasy, an on-demand home service platform, provides over 200 services in approximately 18 categories of services in Delhi/ NCR currently.
At a glance
Founders: Rakesh Gupta, Jeet Narayan Singh and Gagneet Singh Ahuja
Year it was founded: 2016
Where is it based: Noida
The problem it solves: Providing on-demand home services
Sector: On-demand service
Funding: Bootstrapped (Rs 1.25 crore)
Technology has made our lives easy in so many ways, whether it is ordering a quick, hot meal after a long day, or getting a cab at the doorstep within minutes. But there are still many aspects of our daily life where we depend on our offline, often unreliable sources, losing several hours to finding a person to fix our leaky taps, squeaky doors, and the myriad electric appliances around the house.
Seeing the gap in the market for on-demand home services serving the busy, working generation, Rakesh Gupta, Jeet Narayan Singh and Gagneet Singh Ahuja ventured to start up with Lifeasy, which aims to make things easy for thousands of people leading hectic lifestyles. Headquartered in Noida, Lifeasy helps in addressing the challenges that every household faces on a regular basis in getting skilled, reliable technicians.
Rakesh’s entrepreneurial journey began with Lifeasy in early 2016. He had met Jeet Narayan and Gagneet Singh at his previous job, when they had worked together for eight years at Noida Software Technology Park Limited (NSTPL) & JAINHITS. Rakesh was instrumental in setting up, launching and managing India's first Direct To Network (DTN) cable service - JAINHITS. He has been successful in bringing various technology partners together for a JAINHITS project and has rolled out services across India.
How it started
Lifeasy was birthed out of the founders’ personal experience. The trio’s professional lives were too demanding and they did not have the time to find quick, reliable services for fixing things around their house. At the same time after successfully launching, implementing and managing media projects, they were looking to take on new challenges and felt that entrepreneurship was their calling. They found that there were a lot of challenges pertaining to the service industry along with the scattered distribution such as small time or local technicians, security, pricing factor, on-time delivery, quality issues, after-sales support and more.
Their previous stint of working with cable operators (an unorganised sector) helped all three founders to take their learnings and infuse it into Lifeasy, which is again in an unorganised sector.
How it works
Rakesh notes that Lifeasy is not a marketplace, but a pure-play, full-scale service provider. He explains how his business model is different from the competition. - “A marketplace has to generate leads and transfer it to third-party service providers. The challenge in the marketplace model is that there is no control on quality of services, timeliness of services, security and other issues. But in a full-scale service provider model, we have full control on all these above-mentioned issues,” he says.
Customers can connect with Lifeasy through its app, website or by calling its call centre that works for 12 hours every day. Following the booking, the Lifeasy team takes 120 minutes on an average to reach the customer’s place.
The online services market in India reached $70 million in 2017, with players like Housejoy, Urban Clap and Quikr Services having witnessed significant growth QoQ, according to Redseer Consulting. The consulting firm expects that at a compound annual growth rate of about 60 percent, this market is expected to grow to $300 million by 2020.
Rakesh delves into why their model does right by their users. “In a marketplace for home service providers, the marketplace takes a fee from service providers and thus they are under an obligation to generate leads for service providers listed with them. In turn, there is a scope for compromising the quality of services. In contrast, we have our in-house employees who visit houses and fix problems. We have 125 trained employees across categories under our payroll,” he adds.
Lifeasy provides more than 200 services across 18 categories. Ninety percent of the services are provided by in-house technicians. “For services like the ones we don’t cater to, for example, packers & movers, pest control, we tie up with third-party service providers. For basic services, we have full-time carpenters, electricians, plumbers and others,” Rakesh explains.
Journey so far
The founders note that the platform has become cash-positive and profitable since March. “This month’s revenue is Rs 50 lakh. We did not approach any investors for funding because we want to become profitable before going to investors,” Rakesh says. The founders have, thus far, invested Rs 1.25 crore in the business.
Lifeasy has also started a subscription service. It offers unique propositions to its customers by way of offering multiple annual subscription plans where they get almost all kinds of home services throughout the year. The subscription plan starts with Rs 999 for a year and goes up to Rs 4,000 per year. In the Rs 4,000 annual subscription plan, subscribers will get 25 services (excluding accessories) free in the year. In the Rs 999 annual subscription plan, customers can get five complimentary services in a year. There is also subscription plan for companies that they can buy the plan at an annual cost of Rs 6,000 and avail 30 complementary services. Till date, Lifeasy has served more than 25,000 customers from the date of its launch.
On the firm’s future, Rakesh says, “The plan is to first cover a significant portion of the Delhi/NCR market while slowly expanding our presence to Bengaluru and Mumbai. We are not only looking to expand to new cities but also wish to expand the portfolio of our services so that Lifeasy becomes a reliable partner for every home.”
Lifeasy plans to scale up its operations to 500-600 services per day in the next couple of months and more than 1,500 services per day on the addition of new cities. At present, it provides services to about 150 customers per day. “We are confident to reach the Rs 50-crore revenue mark by March 2020,” Rakesh adds.