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2021: Challenges And Opportunities For Home Maintenance Service Industry In the wake of the COVID-19 pandemic, hygiene and efficiency of handymen has become a core concern

By Sanchit Gaurav

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Mohamed Hassan from Pixabay

Not too long ago, anything from fixing a leaking tap and malfunctioning electric switch to getting a home repainted used to be a tedious affair. There would be a frantic search and queries in the circle of acquaintances and local service providers. It usually proved to be very difficult to find a knowledgeable plumber, carpenter, electrician or painter who could carry out the required services without making you run from pillar to post and charging whimsically for the service delivered. This is where the digital home maintenance service sector had already emerged as an enabler even during the pre-pandemic era. However, their true benefits have come to light after the pandemic spread across the country in early 2020 and forced consumer preferences to change.

In the wake of the COVID-19 pandemic, hygiene and efficiency of handymen has become a core concern. While there are no quality or hygiene checks and monitoring while hiring handymen from the open market, professional app-based service providers take customer safety very seriously. They assign tasks to personnel who are tested safe and use the necessary personal protection equipment alongside a strict hygiene adherence. By using the services of such app based providers, we can today literally find and order any service or product that we need in our lives.

Initially when such service providers entered operations, they were seen as nothing more than an impractical novelty and an urban bubble that was unlikely to sustain itself in the longer run. There were a number of misgivings and perception issues that caused challenges for the emerging sector. One of the biggest challenges came from within the workforce itself. India is a densely populated country with significant unemployment problem which makes millions of people take up handymen jobs as electricians, plumbers and carpenters, etc. With the rise in demand for app-based home delivery of such services, a large number of service providers emerged quickly. This made the market highly competitive, but at the same time, poor or inefficient service delivery by under-skilled handymen impacted the qualitative perception of the services. The quality and experienced handymen were in short supply and barring only a few brands that evaluate the competence and service level adherence of their handymen, most others struggle with the quality of their workforce. Venture capitalists also continue to be wary of newly launched start-ups in this arena compared to the interest they show in various other tech-enabled startups.

The advantages of on-demand services

With the passage of time, the teething problems have been resolved. Today, consumers are increasingly becoming familiar with the numerous advantages that on-demand app-based providers offer. Unlike the scenario where one would go out and inquire about good service providers and then persuade the handyman to solve the problem, app-based providers have their own extensive database of handymen. One can easily access and book a service within a matter of minutes. The availability has become on-demand and these services are also highly efficient and cost-effective apart from being professional, least disrupting and safe.

Moreover, the diversity of professionals that you get on a single app is fantastic: whether the need is for a plumber, an electrician or an appliance repair service, a carpenter, a home painting service or an interior decorator. They provide tremendous peace of mind and enable the users to experience superior service qualities seamlessly.

Further, there is a growing portfolio of home cleaning, sanitization and fumigation services on the digital platforms. These home maintenance service providers are going to gain preference as essential service providers in the battle against COVID-19 as well.

In conclusion

According to Forbes, Millennials are expected to make up for 75 per cent of the global workforce by 2025. This tech-savvy generation takes the quality and experience of services with utmost seriousness. Hence, in the years ahead, there is a tremendous opportunity for the on-demand home maintenance service providers. Those who have an edge in terms of quality and hygiene of services will dominate the markets.
Sanchit Gaurav

CEO and Founder, Housejoy

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