You’re not a true Pakistani if you haven’t woken up one day to find out that the water pumping motor has burnt out. Or if the refrigerator isn’t cooling and everything is out on the kitchen slab. Or the best scenario of them all – your house is finally getting a UPS/Generator, or should I say getting them repaired for the umpteenth time. All these scenarios involve one major person – the technician. Needless to say that technicians have saved our lives from misery countless times. But sadly life isn’t perfect. Remember the time when the technician didn’t show up to fix your UPS and you had to spend the night on the roof killing mosquitoes.
This is where Technician.pk comes into play – a Lahore-based startup that is aiming to solve that problem for you. Technician.pk is led by an energetic, young entrepreneur Adeel Haider, who is also the CEO of the startup. Adeel was an Electrical Engineering student at Preston Univeristy from where he dropped out in the final semester. The idea for Technician.pk came in 2010, which he saw as a combination of his education and his experience in the fields of Digital Marketing and SEO. But it wasn’t until 2013 that he was able to put together a team. The work officially started in 2014.
Technician.pk aims to be a quality repair services provider for electrical appliances, computer networking, and solar power in the local market region. It will provide services for both residential and industrial areas. The team is focusing on building strong relations with customers that will help them to be the local leader of maintenance services.
In the 1.5 years since beginning, they have serviced over 500 clients and have received over 2000 orders. They were even featured in Pakistan’s 100 best startups in this year’s Startup Expo. Currently, they are incubated at LUMS Centre for Entrepreneurship. TechJuice reached out to Adeel, Technician.pk’s CEO, and here’s what he had to say:
“The idea was simple. I wanted to help the Pakistani people who suffer at the hand of technicians. So here we had a startup and we were striving to help people with remodeling and maintenance projects. We had been working for over a year now and we were having a lot of clients and the money was rolling in. And like anybody, I love making money. But I’m really bad with numbers and we were beginning to have some problems with handling finances. That is when we incubated in LUMS Centre for Entrepreneurship and our startup is one of the 16 selected out of hundreds. I still haven’t gotten good with numbers [chuckles], but it has been a great learning experience here.”
Technician.pk has a very small team of around 10 – 13 people. And if you’re wondering where the technicians come from, you don’t have to worry. Technican.pk pays huge attention to customer satisfaction. Here’s what Adeel had to say on the issue:
“Finding trustworthy and capable labor was one of the prime issues. In the beginning, we outsourced our need for labor. The people we would hire would not do the job properly and then we’d get complaints. Now we hire graduates of polytechnical institutes and 3-year diploma holders. These people already have the required knowledge. Me and my team train them according to our values and how to provide customer satisfaction. We have not had any such complaints again because our technicians do the job in the best possible manner.”
According to Adeel, they have had a great response from their clients and have a return rate of 65%. Apart from servicing the citizens, they have also lent their services to the Quaid-e-Azam Solar Project. Technician.pk charge Rs. 300 per visit for simple checkups on appliances. The rates differ and increase depending on the complexity of the job.
The R&D sector has a lot of potential with an investment of around $4.24 billion annually. While Pakistan has only a handful of startups providing repair services, Technician.pk has one advantage of not having any strong competitors right now that could challenge them. When we asked Adeel about this he seemed very confident about his startup’s position:
“There are very few startups out there who are trying to provide services similar to ours. But [TechJuice has left out the names] those startups get huge amounts of labor who don’t know how to do the job assigned to them. So while they are making jobs for people they are not guiding them.”
Adeel says that apart from finances the team hasn’t been able to focus on marketing. News about their startup has been spreading via word-of-mouth. This is something they feel that they should work more on. And we couldn’t agree more. While skills are important to run your startup, marketing skills are what lift your startup from the ground. Every Pakistani household has one go-to technician for all problems and they are afraid to try new people in fears of damage. But once the startup gets a stamp of approval, new customers will start pouring in large numbers.
Technician.pk is currently providing services in Lahore only. Their 10-year goal is to become a regional leader of repairing services in the local market with properly established workshops in all major cities of Pakistan. They are also planning to launch their mobile app and mobile workshop in 2015. Their mobile app will help customers find the right technician for the right job in their area. Users will be able to see rating and reviews about the technician before they hire. This app will let the team know about the market need and help them grow their market with the right services. With their mobile workshop, they aim to provide all major services at door steps in an efficient way so that it saves time and money of their clients.
According to their feature in Startup Expo, the ambitious startup aims to achieve steady growth in sales revenues by year three, a local market share of approximately 15% by year five, expand service and repair product line to include plumbing services, installation & maintenance of advanced security systems. They also aim to become an authorized service provider of any two big electronic companies, such as Haier, Orient, PEL, General, Kenwood, etc. in Pakistan.
Until now, Technician.pk seems to be on the right track and with the right guidance and right investors they are well on their way to achieving their goal to be one of Pakistan’s most successful startups. We wish them best of luck with their future ventures!