With hygiene taking centre stage, vrLocal will play a huge role in India’s growth story, says Sai Abhishek Rayarao, MD & CEO

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In recent months, with the current focus on hygiene on the back of the pandemic, corporates need instant help with cleaning and maintenance of their property. On-demand e-services are the ideal solution for this demand. vrLocal, an on-demand service platform for corporates, is offering the ideal solution.

Turning ideas into reality

Founded by Sai Abhishek Rayarao in 2019, vrLocal provides pan-India services including fumigation, cleaning, plumbing, appliance, pest control, electrical, painting and carpentry work through trusted professionals.

An MBA graduate from the University of Bridgeport (CT, USA), vrLocal is not Abhishek’s first entrepreneurial plunge. Back in 2016, he built a business of selling high-end handmade jewellery that operates in the US.

“The joy of being able to turn an idea into a great business was an exhilarating experience, and I discovered my passion for taking disruptive ideas and transforming them into scalable, commercial models,” says Sai Abhishek Rayarao, MD & CEO, vrLocal.

Soon after his first venture, he started a company focused on building AI-based toys for kids called Goofy Turtle, which today exists across multiple locations in the USA, with plans of entering India in the short-term.

Abhishek says that the main reason he decided to start up was to create employment and experience great satisfaction in handholding ideas from paper to reality. “I am always in search of great ideas that can be turned into strong businesses. My dream is to contribute my bit as an entrepreneur in creating an ecosystem to fuel opportunities to learn, collaborate and transform game-changing ideas into champions of their industry,” he adds.

Sai Abhishek Rayarao, founder, vrLocal

The growth story of vrLocal

When Abhishek first identified the opportunity in the high-quality on-demand services space, there was only one prominent competition in the industry. So, the team spent a substantial amount of time studying their competition and identified need gaps in the industry. “We realised that customer-centricity was a clear winner, but the definition of a ‘customer’ also needed to include partners and vendors,” says Abhishek.

He says that the ability of such a platform to create large employment, especially across struggling Tier III/IV belts of India, was a great, fulfilling opportunity. They started training potential talent in these regions across the country to build the supply side of their business.

They also noticed a gap for corporate on-demand services while facility management services were on a hockey curve trajectory. With this in mind, vrLocal was built to focus on corporate on-demand services across their US and India geographies. The team spent a considerable amount of time educating enterprises on how health and hygiene directly affect the customer experience, and thereby, their bottom line.

“Understanding the unorganised nature of on-demand services in India, we realised a great opportunity into transforming this space into an organised, thriving and self-sustaining ecosystem,” he says.

Transforming the unorganised on-demand service sector

vrLocal provides services that range across every requirement a corporate could have from cleaning, plumbing, electrical, interior design, landscaping, etc.

What makes the platform stand out is the 24/7 availability of a large network of verified technicians and service providers. All its services are available at nominal rates and customers have flexibility in terms of payments. It also provides warranty for services and customers can reach out for any support during working hours.

“Our equal and fair focus on our end customer as well as our vendor/partner ecosystem sets us apart. If we ensure our partners are happy and satisfied, then we can be sure they will give the best quality service to our customers. This is the mantra we live by, and a gap in the approach we are trying to fill in the current market environment,” says Abhishek.

In the current COVID-19 context, vrLocal is navigating the new normal by providing timely fumigation and disinfection services to enterprises.

Milestones and the road ahead

The bootstrapped startup has branches in Hyderabad and Dallas, US. From having just three customers in 2019, today it services 96 enterprises across US and India. In the last one year, vrLocal has been able to onboard blue-chip customers such as ICICI, HDFC, BlueDart, Aditya Birla Group, Mahindra Finance, ZoloStays, L&T, Bank of Baroda, Standard Chartered, and Hyundai, among others.

The startup was also recently awarded the Times Business Awards 2020 for ‘Best corporate on-demand service platform’.

Moving forward, Abhishek says that vrLocal will play a huge role in India’s growth story with hygiene becoming the norm.

“By 2022, we want to ensure that 50 percent of our services use robots for cleaning. For now, we are focusing on end-to-end solutions for corporates, but we plan to move full-fledged to the on-demand home services sector soon.”

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