This month, an application called OkSir launched in India, allowing users to hire workers offering various services — the latest in a series of websites and apps in India that are trying to bring some structure and capitalise on the large unorganised segment of the country’s labour market. Arun Kapur, the founder and chief executive of the app, talks about the new venture.
Could you explain the app to us?
We’ve registered 25,000 verified service providers. We take on all kind of services, such as a tutor, an electrician, or an AC vendor. We have more than 110 services, which will in a year’s time come to 500 services. We’re launching in Mumbai, and by the end of December we might be in Pune, Delhi, Bangalore, Hyderabad and Goa. It helps vendors increase their own business in their locality so they don’t have to do any marketing for themselves. We’re just getting things organised in what has been an unorganised segment. There’s a money-back guarantee if you’re not satisfied with the job.
How does your business model work?
The revenue model is 60/40. The 60 per cent we’re charging to the customer goes to the vendor delivering the service, and we get 40 percent.
There are already other similar companies, so how does your company differ?
They are only looking into a segment, such as a particular area of Mumbai, and only probably giving two or three services, so nobody has come as full-fledged as we are going to come. Nobody is nationwide.
What are the challenges with this type of business?
We have faced challenges earlier and we are ready to face more challenges. A person physically has to be there, but he may decide to not work based on his mood. Those are the kind of challenges we will be facing to get the job done.
Was it difficult to set up the company?
It’s a challenge to get people. We have a team of 50 to 60 executives who go into the field every day and find these people and get them on board. They tell them the concept and then have to certify them. Everyone has to be police verified and have an identity card. That was challenging, so it took us a year for the launch. We have contracts with all these guys so that they are liable to do the services at a certain price.