Come Fixie my house: Hong Kong start-up settles in Indian market


Hong Kong based start-up CallFixie has found is customer niche in India, says chief executive Jaspal Serai.

CallFixie is part of Hong Kong based venture group Jaarwis, which incubates handpicked start-ups through a Rocket internet-like model.

The start-up takes the form of an on-demand house renovation service, bringing together tradesmen and property owners and charging a per-job commission. By signing up to join Callfixie, tradesmen can send out their own quotes and their job performance will be rated by customers once a job is finished.

After only four months in India, CallFixie has deemed it the more successful market ahead of the earlier launched Hong Kong and Australian platforms.

Consolidation of the household service start-up space across the United States has been widespread in the past two years, with the Asian market now open to a similar pattern, which could see CallFixie at the head.

The company has already begun charging in Australia and is currently still free in Hong Kong.

“We are already doing about US$150,000 from the NCR region, and the target is to do about US$500,000 from each market in Bangalore, Delhi and Mumbai,” said CEO Jaspal Sarai.

Despite surging success in the Indian market, CallFixie claims competition from its business model – which allows for corporate services – is proving challenging. Servicing offices, restaurants, and other corporations currently account for around 70 per cent of revenues.

Sarai is confident that the start-up will turn around this figure in close to a year, thanks to the surge in interest from Indian consumers.

“It is an ongoing work…we have a 13 to 15 month horizon from now, by which we will break even,” he said.

Home service start-ups are among the most popular in India and offer everything from cleaning services to pest control, making CallFixie a late entrant into the competitive market.

CallFixie will work towards integrating into the Indian market, with Serai acknowledging that understanding and working with disparity between Indian, Australian and Hong Kong consumer culture is the key to launching a new product successfully in different competitive spheres.

“In India, we have a training module, which we don’t have in any other market,” he said.

The Indian market is calling for more household start-ups and CallFixie may not be alone, with Malaysia-based Kaodim a prospective competitor with the financial potential shake up the market.

Kaodim offers a wider range of bookable services and may extend its range across the Asian market after recently closing a US $500,000 seed capital deal with East Ventures.