Service at your doorstep

Ahmed Shatil Alam talks with the founder of the first-ever digital one-stop service platform in Bangladesh

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There is no specific data on the total number of Dhaka residents who are tenants.But according to an estimation around 90 percent of its 1.5 crore population fall in this group. This group of people need to shift their home once in every two or three years while some change their homes more frequently due to many reasons like hike in rent,  better facilities etc.

 

 

Those who relocate themselves are aware of the hassles caused by the act of moving from one house to the other. From packing to shifting furniture and other goods, hiring a van to carry these, fixing the electricity or gas lines in the new home and so much more, often forces most service-holders to take a day to two days leave from their workplace for relocation purposes.

Now, what if we tell you about a platform where you can get any and every service you need on time being provided by specialist service providers within an affordable range? A single platform has arrived in Bangladesh that has taken the service industry by storm with their mammoth service arena.

SHEBA.XYZ is the largest service platform in Bangladesh and boasts to be the first ever of its kind. The management of the platform claims to have already established itself as a true one-stop destination for the citizens with variety of services from fixing your remote control to engine over hauling of your car.

Currently, SHEBA.XYZ- founded by two former engineering students who had been in the telecom industry in Bangladesh for years-provides 40 different types of services undersome categories. Among the services, servicing of home appliances like TV, refrigerator, washing machine, AC etc; gas stove cleaning and connection fixing, door key making, home relocation, mobile phone and computer servicing, car rental services are becoming popular among the citizens.

SHEBA.XYZ began its journey around 2015 with a story of a failure. Its two founders and former American International University Bangladesh graduate and also friends Adnan ImtiazHalim and IlmulHaqueSajibhad failed with their first venture Jilapi- a computer products based e-commerce venture. ‘As both of us are friends and always had dream to start a business venture of our own… Sajiband I had started Jilapi with new hope and aspirations,’ says Adnan, who is currently working as the chief executive officer at the award winning and one of the most prospective start-ups in Bangladesh.

But, after initiating Jilapi, both of them understood that the market in Bangladesh was not so smooth for such business ventures and they began to plan on their next move.

Then came the idea for SHEBA.XYZ. Adnan shares that on almost every or alternative Friday(which was his weekly holiday) he needs to go outside to find someone who can fix his AC, TV, gas stoves or leaking pipe or repair the broken windows at his home.

‘Actually we the middle class like to spend Friday with our families after passing a tiring week of work. But unfortunately such tasks during the off-day mires that motive,’ he says. According to him, the service industry is in a perilous situation when it comes to everyday household facilities, but there is a huge demand for these daily needs and services.

Screenshots_2017-06-15-16-28-35Thinking about this demand and about solving the hassles for the middle-class, the engineer turned entrepreneur planned to make ‘a platform’- where people can find every necessary service they need. Certainly, he shared about the idea with his pal and partner Sajib and then both of them launched the beta version of SHEBA.XYZ’s website in January of 2016. Subsequently the app and their hotline of 16516 was also launched to approach people from all walks of life. ‘As the Bengali word SHEBA means service, we took it as our name and XYZ refers to the startup’s multitasking abilities,’ he explains.

‘We want to have our consumers reach us in any form whether via phone, app or social media to seek services from us,’ says SHEBA.XYZ’s head of marketing Mehedi Hassan. He also shared that SHEBA.XYZ provide services to 9,500 customers through their 800 partners from different arenas of services.

‘We, as a service platform create a link between the consumers and service ventures…but when it comes to any sort of disputes among the consumers and service providers, we try to resolve the issue in favour of the consumer if they are right,’ he says. He also adds that his company is currently providing special package services to the corporate offices and communities.

Adnan claimed that the startup, that will be available in the whole country by the end of this year and will tap into markets beyond the border in South Asia, Malaysia and Dubai, is helping many unemployed people to become financially sound.

‘From SHEBA.XYZ, we also provide Taka 2 lakh worth of interest-free SME loan to the small vendors- who have promising potential and train them under which they can become experts,’ says Adnan.

During the initial days of the startup, SHEBA.XYZwas awarded the GP Accelerator and Startup Bangladesh Award.Back then, Adnan and Sajibwent to door to door to service AC along with the service providers. Around that time, we had learnt that most technicians are not very sound and qualified in their respective jobs, says Adnan pointing out the necessity of training provided by them to technicians.