Hyperlocal services have become the new buzzword in startups arena in India. The on-demand industry is on fire right now, and it appears that it is not going to slow down anytime soon. Given the rise of on-demand hyperlocal marketplaces such as Grofers, PepperTap, Zopnow, and LocalOye, it is quite evident that entrepreneurs are striving hard to solve wide variety of problems faced by the Indian consumers on daily basis.
One such startup is Bro4u, which is emerging as the fastest growing hyperlocal ecommerce marketplace for household and professional services in India. With over 20 categories like handyman, cleaning, electrical, computer and documentation services in their kitty, they have taken the service industry by storm.
Since there is a rising demand to organize home services segment, customers want quality services and a trustable platform to deal with local service providers. On the other hand, local service providers want better visibility to reach wider audience. That is exactly what bro4u is solving – Helping customers meet service providers in the most meaningful way.
Started in February 2015 in Bengaluru with only handful of household and professional services, they have extensive plans to expand their services to other cities across India and even globally. They are eyeing to become single largest global technology platform for wide variety of services with a clear motto of creating value for customers, service providers and ecosystem.
Pramod Hegde and Rajath KR are the founders of Bro4U, who were inspired by the Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s “Make in India” campaign. Cofounder Rajath says, “Our journey started when our very own Prime Minister went all over the world and invited people to ‘Make in India’. We questioned our contribution to the country’s progress. It was then Pramod came up with an idea of Bro4U, which has potential to solve larger problem.”
Pramod resigned from his fancy MNC job and started pitching his startup idea to his friends and colleagues. Rajath adds, “Pramod pitched the business idea to our team members in the park, over the phone, on the road and many other places and good thing was the next day that member was joining our team. This shows how a single person’s idea can be induced to another and everyone starts shooting in the dark and hopes to shoot a gold mine someday, provided we all shoot with same grit.”
When asked what is the secret in their startup name? Pramod says, “‘Everything’. A personal touch with an emotional bonding is all we wanted and we named ‘Bro4u’. We hear it every often ‘ Bhayya chutta nahi hey’ ‘Bhayya chai milega? are few examples. It’s all over us and we used this as our brand name.”
Even though bootstrapped with very little capital, Bro4U has extensive facility to cater home service needs of whole Bengaluru. However, they are currently looking for bigger seed round to expand in Mumbai, Delhi and Hyderabad.
Currently, they have 700+ vendors on their platform and their digital vendor acquisition rate is growing by 10% every month. Since their inception, they have served 2300+ orders successfully and they are getting 30-35 orders and 35-40 enquiries on daily average.
Bro4U’s website and mobile application works in real time so that people can choose the providers based on locality, prices, and reviews. With the use of technology, Bro4u facilitates the painstaking and time-consuming daily process of order booking to order completion in a most systematic way.
Pramod says, “We create larger visibility to service providers in our website by having detailed store like profile to each service providers (Not many websites do) and thus helping them to reach wider audience. Interested vendors/service providers can request to join us as sellers. If qualified after background verification and approval process, we will create their complete vendor profile with details such as –vendor details, service description, gallery, offerings, delivery terms & policy, language known, working hours, and days & many more other information.”
Pramod Hegde is a MBA graduate with fine experience in Asset Management with earlier stints in State Street Corporation at various capacities. Pramod believes in ‘execution at the speed of thought’ and is instrumental in grouping 17 members’ unique talents into a common goal and executing the idea in very short period of time. This is the evidence for his commitment to solve common man’s problem.
His co-founder, Rajath K.R, is a Civil Engineer, who worked with ISO certified civil company Secon Pvt Ltd and is the owner of his own construction firm. He brings a unique combination to Bro4U’s people mix. Having rich experience in construction management and having seen problems faced by handyman labours, it was appropriate for him to start shaping up the unorganized sector.
As for the team is concerned, Pramod have accumulated great talent with diverse qualifications like MBA, Engineer, MA, BBM, CA, Photography etc. in their startup.
When asked about their revenue model, Pramod says, “We get commission from vendors on every successful order. We are addressing over $ 50 Billion market (Not sure of the exact number) and are trying to solve local service and other professional service challenges. We are exploring potential opportunities in digital & creative services, education, health & fitness, legal and contractual services. We are getting a lot of requests from both service providers & customers to spread our wings in concealed sectors, and we are open to explore it. Our vision is to become single largest service market place in next 4- 10 years globally.”
Since entrepreneurship is not a cakewalk as most people expect, there are more hurdles and challenges down the line than any other trade. Bro4U team also faced many challenges in their journey and Pramod shares one of the most scariest experiences of his startup – “That was our 200th order; A customer trusted us and booked cake to surprise her husband on his first birthday after marriage. We were completely off the track and failed to deliver the cake on time. To make matters worse, we had sent a job completion email as well.
He further adds, “We can’t forget that day, as we were the reason for spoiling the beautiful moment of the couple. We knew there was no way we could redo those lost moments. However, next morning, our founders personally went and delivered a bouquet to her husband and surprised couple. This taught us a lesson that every day we are dealing with more serious matters of our customers.”
To market their startup, they have used all the free marketing platforms like YouTube, Facebook, and blogging to their fullest potential. Since they are planning to grow 2x and enter Mumbai, Hyderabad and Delhi in next 8 months, they are seeking 300-400 new employees support by the end of the year 2015.