Home Services Market Crowded but a fragmented space


In a chat with SPO India, Saran Chatterjee , CEO, Housejoy shares more about the home services space in the country and why it is no more a niche area, besides giving out details about the functioning of the company and its expansion plans –

Housejoy is the leading provider in the home services space. They are pioneers in providing high-quality on demand residential services, supported by a team of dynamic, capable and trusted professionals. The company was launched in January 2015 to provide an aggregation of services to customers ensuring punctuality, quality and reliability. They perform a wide variety of services, ranging from maintenance and home repairs to high quality plumbing, electrical services, home cleaning and computer repairs.

Housejoy additionally offers specialized services in beauty and in-house bridal make-up and are expanding their service portfolio. It also takes care of laundry and dry cleaning, with pickup and delivery right at the door step. Within a short time, Housejoy, based in Bangalore and currently operational in 7 cities, has raised 4 $Million funding in series A from Matrix Partners and has raised 23 $Million in series B led by Amazon and included new investors Vertex Ventures, Qualcomm and Ru-Net Technology Partners.

Housejoy has also rolled out its iOS app this January. They extended its dominance in the industry by acquiring MyWash, an on-demand dry cleaning and laundry company at an undisclosed amount in February, 2016. Soon after this, the company acquired Orobind, an ‘at-home’ personal fitness tech startup at an undisclosed amount. This move helped Housejoy to further strengthen its fitness offering and offer a highly differentiated experience to its customers.

Could you tell us more about your company and the services you offer?

Housejoy is an online home service provider offering safe and reliable home services that include Beauty, Fitness, Home Cleaning, Pest Control, Electrical, Plumbing, Appliance Repair, Laundry, Carpentry, Computer Repair, Cars & Bikes services and Painting. We are pioneers in providing high-quality on demand residential services, supported by a team of dynamic, capable and trusted professionals. Housejoy is based out of Bangalore and is currently operational in 6 cities in India.

What kind of a market presence are you enjoying at present, given that you are just a year old player?

We are the market leaders in a few segments we operate in. The market may be crowded with many players in this space today, but it is still fragmented on the supply side. Service providers are not often trained well or skilful enough. We intend to fill this vacuum with Housejoy.

We are the most well diversified company in this space right now – we are not a one or two category play. Moreover, even within these categories, we have gone deep. Through our acquisitions, we understand individual verticals to offer a high quality experience to customers. That is what sets us apart in this industry.

What are your expansion plans?

We are focused on growing right, focus on quality, customer experience and ultimately driving high repeats. Currently, we are trying to go deep into the ones we are operating in. We are still under utilized in a few markets we operate in like Mumbai. We first need to capitalize on that opportunity before expanding elsewhere.

What kind of competency is required to run in the home services space?

The most important factor in the segment is satisfying users with the good experience. The fact that so many well-funded players exist in this market today tells you that home services in India is a defined problem and not something that we manufactured. The sector has always existed. I have seen this happen in product commerce. Go back 4-5 years. Did you ever think you will buy a pair of shoes online? But the behaviour of people changed because of many factors including convenience, access to selection and attractive pricing. This market would play out in a similar fashion. Home services may still be available to people now, but once confidence starts building up around these online home services companies and they start delivering on availability, reliability and quality quotient, which is still missing in this space, people are going to fall back on this option more and more. With a great tech platform, deep knowledge of individual verticals, a large and varied portfolio, great team of service professionals are just some of key factors to be a player in the category.

What is the competitive scenario like in the On-demand home service space? Are there too many competitors or is it completely a niche space?

Absolutely. The market has always existed, though it is unorganized. It is massive and the demand is huge. There are at least 10-15 million households with this need today in India and each would typically spend anywhere between Rs. 6,000 to Rs. 10,000 a year on any of these services like plumbing, electrical or carpentry. So this market is potentially a $10 billion plus industry. There are many well funded players in the space and is no more a niche segment.

What kind of marketing activities do you undertake to make your brand popular among new customers?

Marketing is a very important aspect in the scheme of things and we do spend considerable revenues towards marketing activities. The industry needs to spend towards marketing to change habits of people when it comes to home services needs and this will take consistent time and money from various players. We do look at social media and digital marketing very seriously along with B2B, Outdoor, Alliances and PR.

Are you also in partnership with any housing societies or real estate companies for strengthening your presence?

We do work in partnerships with Adarsh Group and Shobha Group for selected properties. We partner with them mostly for cleaning, pest control and a few other services from our portfolio.