Original article written by : Tan Jyy Wei
Photos by: Chu YC
Original article can be found in Pillars Magazine August 18-31 2018 Issue, pg 4-5.
A few weeks ago, there was a mini dilemma at home. The piping system and a few air-conditioners were acting up, and the entire household became a warzone for a week because the people we engaged with were, for the lack of better words, less than professional. “We should’ve opted for better services,” I complained to my siblings and parents, to which they’d respond, “but who? We don’t know anyone.”
If only I had crossed paths with this issue’s Next Gen personalities earlier.
“Finding the right plumber, cleaner or contractor can be a frustrating and slow process,” shares Jeffri Cheong, Co-Founder and Group Managing Director of Kaodim Group. Seated adjacent to me and dressed in a smart, well fitted dark navy blazer, he proceeds to point
out that, “people are usually never sure if they are paying the right price and there are always issues with responsiveness, quality and accountability,” – and this is exactly the issue that Kaodim aims to fix.
Literally translating to ‘it’s done’ in Cantonese, the company is about helping the public hire reliable local service providers to help them
complete their projects. “Whether it is fixing an aircon, renovating your home or house cleaning, settling these local services projects for millions of people in Southeast Asia is what we’re about. Hence, why we are called ‘Kaodim’ here and in Singapore, ‘Gawin’ in
Philippines, and ‘Beres’ in Indonesia,” explains the ex-litigation lawyer with a grin.
Since the Group launched, hundreds of thousands of Malaysians have been able to find and hire local service providers, with access to real customer reviews, competitive pricing, and comparison of customised quotes or booking directly at fixed prices within minutes using their smartphones. A solution that that would come in especially handy should you ever encounter a scenario like mine above.
But, when you think about it, this isn’t the first time we’ve heard of such services – so what makes Kaodim different? “We’ve introduced convenience, transparency and accountability into the service ecosystem that did not really exist before,” answers Choong Fui-Yu
almost instantaneously when I brought up the matter. The other half of Kaodim’s founding team and CEO, who is also an ex lawyer but
dressed more casually in a white t-shirt and jeans, takes this moment to summarise how Kaodim is different: “We’re always very transparent about things, and following through on promises – that creates trust between us, the consumers and service providers.”
There is a serious look in the co-founder’s eyes as he tells me that they are very involved with the transaction from the beginning to the end of any project, so there’s always that assurance of security and accountability. “This is something customers might not get if they connected with professionals outside our platform,” he says, beaming like a proud father, “and we also have the Kaodim money back satisfaction guarantees, as well as insurance backed by Allianz to ensure that customers are completely happy with the experience they get with vendors from Kaodim.” Top that up with the fact that they’re constantly introducing a host of technological features that will improve the quality of service, pricing, speed, as well as overall user experience– and well, you know you can rest assured that what you want will be kaodim-ed sans any worry.
PROVIDING SERVICES AND BEYOND
“Happiness comes from solving problems,” Jeffri tells me, “and we’ve come to realise that in order to solve the problem of providing consumers with efficient services, we should look towards the service providers.” By this, he means to help grow and spruce up matters in that part of the ecosystem. “Our service providers are SMEs or independent contractors,” he explains, “we give SMEs jobs, help improve their quality of service, responsiveness, and pricing to customers.” With the Kaodim Vendor App, the registered SMEs are able to get hundreds of jobs every day directly to their smartphones without having to rely on complicated marketing efforts, or wait for referrals.
In addition, Kaodim’s tech and tools helps to manage their schedules, payments and a host of other things.
In the easiest of words, the Group wants to help digitise the SMEs’ growth, subsequently helping them scale at a pace they’ve never experienced before. “We do this so SMEs can scale their businesses and focus on doing what they do best, while we handle everything else,” says Jeffri. And it seems to be working. “Many service providers generate 70 per cent of their revenue from our platform,” divulges Fui-Yu, “and because customers and cash flow becomes so consistent, these service providers are able to offer more competitive prices, which then benefits the consumers.”
Placing an emphasis on growing and transforming SMEs is an unconventional way of looking at things, but one that works wonders for both parties. Plus, this also echoes and cements both founders’ main reason to take the entrepreneurial leap – to own something that is purposeful and impactful. “Jeff and I started this through a shared passion of wanting to build something of value,” Fui-Yu tells me, his tone slightly deeper as we touch on the personal topic. “We want to take this business to great heights and solve the ongoing problems in the service industry.”
Jeffri nods in agreement. “I continue to do this everyday because the mission that we have at Kaodim is now bigger and greater than just myself,” he reflects. “What we’ve done is so real and transformative – in just three years the technology has truly changed the way businesses obtain customers and conversely, customers’ hiring experiences. I also believe that in the next five years, very few people will ever go back to the old way of hiring services, that is, without a smartphone or device.”
And therein lies the attraction of Kaodim – a platform where you not only get annoying tasks (and unprofessional service providers) out of your way, but you’re also part of a movement that advocates a better and more sincere service industry.
To see the original article click here Pillars Magazine Aug 2018 Kaodim
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