Why on-demand service platforms are here to stay
In a world where busy working lifestyles, increasing disposable incomes, and convenience factors have become prominent in a person’s journey, it looks like ‘on-demand services’ are here to stay.
However, with an economy like ours, it was not an easy start for these companies. Earlier, a physical shop lent credibility, where the consumer had a physical communication and redressal mechanism. But with an app or a website, there is nothing like that. As the younger generation started adopting technology cautiously, acceptance grew, and today we have older generations downloading apps and visiting websites themselves to book the services they require.
What was essentially an outsourcing activity for small-ticket tasks due to time limitations, convenience, and ease has now turned into a major revenue model for players like Lifeasy, UrbanClap, and Housejoy, who have started organising a hitherto unorganised sector.
While a big number of door-to-door technicians still operate, it is only a matter of time before they all shift to the organised fold. These companies assure on-time service, transparent pricing, safety issues, and a delightful customer experience for the services delivered.
With the category growth trajectory on the ascendant, the only challenge which needs to be addressed is to create more specialised services, increasing density of technical manpower presence, and better predictability for the overall service experience.
The growth opportunity is phenomenal
Certain small issues and tasks back home take the most time to get resolved, and many times get delayed and prolonged. Hence, it becomes difficult for many to give time to family and work. People are always looking for some help to complete small tasks and save time and utilise it on other things. Since the category is optimising those timelines by using technology, and providing ease of availing services and excellent post-service support, it looks like the category can only go up. A solution provider, who provides more convenience, will always take the cake.
Adoption and availability
The digital adoption of products and services is at an all-time high, as information availability is always there, and the same is also true for smartphones across regions. This has boosted the adaptability and availability of a product or service. The ease of getting information, booking, and availing the services with just a few taps on a mobile has made the industry adoption rate very high.
The opportunity and challenges
The sheer volume and numbers have been working for leading players like Lifeasy, UrbanClap, and Housejoy to operate in the market. But the future holds challenges in competing with service providers who offer a variety of specialised services at the ground level and dedicated ecosystems around it. Also, the services have expanded from basic electrical, plumber, carpenter work, and appliance repair, to home cleaning, beauty services, etc.
These service categories are now properly defined so that they are easily identifiable and easy-to-book-track-manage. Since the unorganised sector is massive in an economy like India, it turns into a massive opportunity to have skilled workers who can join the organised market and make it robust in a mutually beneficial relationship.
The challenge, however, remains in delivering these services. As for services, you need skilled and trained manpower at every location and area, since the nature of these services is truly hyperlocal. It is unlike a product, where its distribution to multiple locations from a single location is very easy. The success mantra here is the capability of delivering services in a vast area.
Rakesh Gupta is the Co-founder of Lifeasy, India’s leading on-demand home service provider in Delhi-NCR.
(Disclaimer: The views and opinions expressed in this article are those of the author and do not necessarily reflect the views of YourStory.)