As developing countries strive to become developed countries, there is a shift from manufacturing-based economy to service-based economy. As income grows, an individual’s demand for goods and services grows. When a customer requires a particular service, he or she wastes lots of valuable time looking around for those who offer it and then in negotiating and finding the most suitable and affordable one among them.
Seekmi, is an Indonesian startup which caters to this growing service industry in this island nation. Seekmi helps people and businesses find qualified repairmen, AC servicemen, cleaners, personal trainers and a whole lot of other service professionals.
It was founded in April 2015 by Clarissa Leung. When they started, the service industry in Indonesia was extremely fragmented and quality was unpredictable. Indonesia’s service industry already makes up a large portion of the country’s GDP, but there is enormous potential for it to grow much more as the different inefficiencies are solved. Seekmi was created so that people and businesses could hire the best professionals for whatever task they want to complete, whether it is fixing a leak or learning a new language.
When Clarissa Leung first came to Indonesia, she had an extremely difficult time finding an AC repairman to fix her broken AC. Being from Canada where the climate is much cooler, trying to live and sleep in the heat was impossible for her. At the same time, she was also trying to find a Bahasa Indonesia tutor.
She reached out to a few friends and visited websites recommended by them. But after several days she still could not find any qualified vendors to fix her AC or teach her Bahasa. That is when she decided to start Seekmi to help Indonesians and expats find qualified service professionals quickly and conveniently.
The user opens the app, sends a request for a service along with necessary details. Seekmi forwards the request to respective service providers in that geographical area over phone or mail. The service provider if interested sends an estimated price for the service along with a personalized message. Seekmi collects and forwards these quotes, typically 3-5 quotes to the user. The user finalizes the best provider and hires his/her services.
The founder, Clarissa Leung is a serial entrepreneur, with two successful start-ups in North America before coming to Indonesia to build Seekmi. She holds an MBA and Computer Engineering degree from Canada and has been passionate about technology from an early age.
She has worked as a software engineer at top international companies in Japan and Canada, and in the process has earned three global patents in digital imaging technology. She hopes to keep developing technology which helps solve real world problems.
After launching Seekmi in April 2015 and having many problems finding the service providers, the team launched their website in August 2015 and later launched an iOS and an Android app in May 2016. Since the launch, they have helped thousands of Indonesians find AC repairmen, maids, cleaners, interior designers, and hundreds of other types of service professionals.
Seekmi team has grown several times in size since the beginning and as a result, they have been able to tremendously improve the quality of their vendors and customer service. Seekmi has recently launched an on-demand laundry and on-demand cleaning service to allow its customers to order instant services at the touch of their fingers whether they are at home or away.
Here is a look at their journey !
The most challenging part for the startup was to find and qualify the best service professionals for over 500 service categories. When they started, it was impossible to find service vendors because they did not have an online presence.
To overcome this, Seekmi held multiple vendor training sessions to educate professionals on how and why to go digital. By bringing these professionals online onto Seekmi, these service providers understood the power of the internet for developing their businesses.
Now, Seekmi has the largest database of the top service providers in Jakarta and they are expanding to other cities as well. As the pioneer of the service marketplace in Indonesia, Seekmi has inspired many new players to attempt to tackle similar problems in the service industry. Competition is the key to growth and Seekmi is working harder to remain the top service marketplace in Indonesia.