EK CALL HOME SOLUTIONS
Story behind EKCALL
This story is based on the experience of one of our co-founder Mr. Bimal Bastola. When I came home during my vacation, one morning the motor of our home stopped working.We didn’t know what to do and whom to call. My father knew an electrician, so he called him. Since he was busy with another work, he came in the afternoon. He looked at the motor and said, the coil has been damaged. The motor needs to be taken to the electro-mechanic shop, and for that, a plumber is required to uninstall the motor. Then we went to nearby hardware to look for a plumber and got the number, but the plumber could only come on the next day.
That day we had to manage without water. The next day, the plumber removed the motor and again we had to find a place where the motor’s coil gets replaced. We both went, looking for such a place. We gave the motor for repair and he told it will take at least 2-3 days for the coil to be replaced.We had no option. Either we need to purchase another motor or struggle for further 2-3 days. We decided to wait and after the motor got repaired, we got the call and we collected it. Again we had to wait for the plumber to install it and since the plumber was not so confident about electrical connections, we had to call the electrician as well. Finally, we ended up paying to the plumber, electrician, and motor repairing guy, besides our headache. You won’t believe, the amount we spent that time was nearly equal to the cost of a new motor. I had to fight with the plumber as he was charging unnecessarily high for the job he did. This incident pinched me somewhere in my mind, and when I went back to work in India, I started thinking, how can this whole process be made easier. Then, one day when the fan of my room was not working in my flat, I searched on google, for an electrician. That is when I ended up on a website named “House-joy”. It was a service providing platform with many maintenance related services in its portfolio. I booked their service and the rates were also transparent on their website. The technician came and repaired the fan and I gave him the amount as mentioned on the website. The transaction became very smooth. After someday again the fan didn’t work and I called them to complain, and surprisingly they had 21 days service guarantee, so they send their technician again and got it fixed free of cost. I then shared the idea with my college friends, who also liked the idea and wanted to work together on this. But, later due to some other reasons, I had to take it up alone. This particular incident made a great impact on me. Then I realized, why don’t we have such companies in Nepal? What if I start something like this so that I can reduce the pain of many consumers like me. I discussed the idea with my brother Perish Ghimire, who liked it very much, and finally, we became a partner and started working on the idea, with market research in Pokhara. Perish collected technician’s data as well as tried to understand the potential consumer’s pain. Having sufficient data and understanding consumers’ pain, we finally decided to register a company with the name ” Ek-Call Home Solutions”. Today, the company is in its 4th year of operation and we have managed to solve more than 3200 problems. Besides our household costumers, we have organizational customers like SOS Family, NTC, Nepal Rastra Bank, NICA Bank, etc. since inception. We have now more than 30 organizational customers and 1200 plus household customers in our portfolio. We have increased our full-time staff from 2 to 8 and we have more than 25 background verified technicians and service partners as well. Our management and operation team comprises of Mechanical, Electrical and Computer engineers, Chartered Accountant, M.A. Economics, and intern business students who are looking after various aspects of this business like field operations, finance, IT and designs, Social Media, Business Development and Customer response department. We started our services with just plumbing and electrical but today we have added other services like appliance repairing, computer hardware, and software-related service, masonry service, painting, carpentry, and body fat analysis service. As per consumer requests, we are trying our best to provide as many services as possible and increase our team as well to address all the calls we receive. Our upcoming projects include installing Rooftop farming with Hydroponic systems, rainwater harvesting, make houses with interlock green-bricks, make bamboo products like Doko, Thunsey, Bhakari, Maandro, Chairs, etc. from our in-house technicians. Moreover, we are in the process of making an App, that will be useful for both household consumers as well as all the technicians in the market. It will be a common platform to background verify both the technicians as well as the customers with an option to provide feedback and give ratings as well. Even during COVID-19 lockdown, the helpline of our company is open, where we can virtually assist with some of the problems that our customers might be facing. Our company was financially supported by NMB and Machhapuchhre Bank. Our Mission: To constantly deliver the right, quick and excellent services to our clients. Our Vision: We envision to be the preferred and best in class handyman franchise which enriches our clients’ lives by meeting and exceeding their expectations.
Professional Plumbing Service in Pokhara
Who thinks much about plumbing and electrical works while planning for a home? It is the least considered thing during the planning of new construction and becomes the most vulnerable thing over the year after being in use. The beautiful painting that we did in our sitting room will have no value when you start seeing dampness in the same wall. The problem of water leakage and seepage mostly happens due to poor plumbing planning and poor water-proofing knowledge. Just think about it, most of us might have made our home or might be planning. Will you ever think about the plumbing work? Will you give your time to review the plumbing drawing that the engineer proposes or do you even bother about the plumbing drawing at all?
In Pokhara, the city where we live, 98% of the house owners don’t consider drawing for the plumbing and electrical work. They just rely upon the contractor or the local plumber and electrician. They simply ask what all do you want, and that’s it. I agree, most of us don’t have the knowledge and they have to rely on someone. Many disputes can be seen between the contractor and the house owner, the plumber, and the house owner on the same issue, but still, the trend is the same. Nobody has ever changed the way they work. We at Ek Call Home Solutions(ECHS), do propose house owners to at least consider such drawing before even starting their work. It may take up their few bucks upfront, but it will save a huge problem that may arise in the future. The hassle with the technician may reduce and future maintenance costs can be prevented. Ek Call wants to bridge the gap and provide professional plumbing service from the beginning itself. This trend needs to be developed in order to avoid future problems. We recommend all the house owners to at least consult any of the professional plumbing service providers in the city before constructing your new house.
Unmanaged Service Sector
The service sector of Nepal, especially the informal service sector has great potential for a new revenue source for the government. If managed properly then they shall play a significant role in our economy. Currently, a major chunk of money goes from Nepal to India through the informal sector workers. What can our government do to bring these workers into the formal economy? It is something that the government has to think about. Startup companies like Ek Call Home Solutions, Home Sewa, Sajilo Marmat Sewa, and many others have started exploring this sector and has found a great potential.