Today’s busier lifestyle have increased people’s dependency on online mediums for a lot of tasks. Buying grocery or ordering dinner; shopping apparels or reserving tables, the list is endless. However, finding skilled labour for petty and quirky stuff like repairs, maintenance or hiring professionals such as kids photographers, event managers, etc, is still difficult, especially in metros, Tier 1 and Tier 2 cities.
In order to provide a solution and tap into a potential $20 Bnn Indian facilities management market, Gautam Gokhale and Ushma Khabaria came forward with an online community task marketplace TaskMitra in March this year. Currently operational only in Mumbai, the web based platform is launched with an idea of promoting collaborative consumption which leads to less of consuming, more of sharing, saving and meeting awesome people. The founders aim is to create a portal where it’s easy for one to say what they need done with a price they’re willing to pay.
As defined by Ushma, “TaskMitra is a crowdsourced task marketplace that lets you broadcast everyday errands, short-term work & offbeat projects and seamlessly integrates you with respective service providers or even skilled people who are willing to help, through an interactive interface. We are trying to reinstate a buddy system where people can freely connect and seek help from each other.”
How It Works?
Users can use TaskMitra to fulfill all kinds of tasks, from something as simple as decluttering their wardrobes, learning to bake, getting fitter to complex ones like getting a partnership deed registered, filing taxes or needing a content writer for a blog.
One can either ‘Broadcast’ their requirements or can act as a ‘Mitra’ to provide services to broadcasters. To broadcast a task, users should describe need, along with the location and budget. Once the task goes live, Mitras with the required skills or intentions make an offer on the task; after which one can choose a suitable Mitra to complete the Task and securely Pay online.
As per Gautam, TaskMitra can be used as a two sided marketplace where users can alternate between being a Broadcaster or Mitra, as and when required. Being an intermediary, TaskMitra makes sure all dealings are fair and secure through verifications, user reviews and personal interventions when needed.
There are more than 15 categories with various sub categories. Also, the founders have come up with a concept of Trending Categories, were they specially provide a category dedicated to Tasks relating to a certain Event or festival that’s doing the buzz.
“So in the month of August we came up with a category called “Income Tax Filling” where users broadcasted their taxation needs. Currently there’s a category called “Ganesh Ustav” where users are broadcasting all things that they need done related to the festival,” said Gautam.
With a large chunk of growing transactions & users, the team is data focused & has implemented a strong footing in Big Data & machine learning. Data, which is captured is formatted, stored, and analyzed and it helps gain useful insight to increase revenues, get or retain customers, and improve operations efficiency.
So, What’s Different With TaskMitra?
As per Ushma, there are a lots of problems associated with the traditional way of outsourcing work. The first thing that comes to mind is, where can ‘I’ find help, and who’s actually going to help me out? Taskmitra eliminates these conventional ways of asking, hunting, flipping pages, or even begging for help.
What exactly makes them stand out in this new emerging business of on-demand-service marketplace is its emphasis on community integration by getting Broadcasters and Mitras on a single organized platform to collaborate seamlessly for every kind of tasks. Unlike most other players in this genre, it is not merely limited to a service that would require a professional handyman or trainer. Although most Mitras are professionals, one can also find freelancers, part timers, homemakers, students (adults), experienced retirees and people between jobs.
“That means no matter what you need, you could look for any kind of help (even the quirkiest tasks) and with a few clicks you can receive offers from Mitras, like a boss!,” said Ushma.
With the old timers like Justdial, Sulekha and other listing portals already existent in the market, there are a few new entrants in the service aggregator space like Localoye, Doormint, and UrbanClap. There are a few like, Taskbob, Hammer and Mop who have mushroomed in verticals as well.
However, TaskMitra founders believe that they are divergent in business as they are using a crowdsourced platform approach to disrupt the service industry that’s been highly dominated by service or product quality. They believe that this approach would help them to bring in a culture of social collaboration, gain traction and to create a new source of supply which is unexplored.
- As per TechNavio’s analysis, the facilities management market in India is expected to grow at a CAGR of 31.17 % over a period of 2013-2018.
- Facility management market has been forecasted to cross $19 Bn by 2020 as per a report by Global Infrastructure Facilities and Project Managers Association (GIFPMA)
- Almost 93 % of corporates are concerned about the police verification of the people deployed at sites.
- Soft services is dominating the market with the share of about 65 %, in which housekeeping and security occupy large shares of 45 % and 34 %, respectively.
- Currently 80 % of the services offered are on a sub-contractual basis, but it is expected that the trend will shift towards integrated facility management as organised players are entering the market.
Current Traction and Plans Ahead
Within just six months of its operations, there have been over 4,500 tasks completed on the website, amounting to INR 1.2 Crores, with almost 40 percent repeat users. Till date, there are 22, 000 registered users in Mumbai and is increasing with a growth rate of 20% w-o-w. Most of the marketing is from word of mouth, and as claimed active Mitras are earning upwards of 7000 per week. Of the various categories listed, top categories has been website & IT, graphics & design, photography, food & beverage and content writing.
Concentrating solely on Mumbai for now, it aims to expand to Pune, Bengaluru, Hyderabad and Chennai by end of this year. The next step is to launch a mobile app and to take social collaboration to the next level with Multilingual Interface & other innovative features across PAN India. Also, the founders will soon launch a concept of ‘SuperMitra’, wherein any professional can give his/her services over portal after background verification and paying a security deposit for getting support and mPOS devices from the company.
In contrast to most companies driven by a desire to up their competition and protect their stakes, TaskMitra is an all inclusive platform that allows everyone with certain skills, talent and experience to provide services and help users. The platform not being limited to a few services, leaves the scope unimaginable as quite truly there have already been tasks that seem out of the ordinary. Creating a plethora of opportunities, it’s interesting to see how people will get a hang of it, and how far experiments get success.