Connecting “Fixes” with “Fixers”
What do you do when you are frustrated and want a quick fix at home or at the office? Fix Chap application is specifically there for you just for that and it takes just a short span of time. Fix Chap is a one stop solutions with fast and top-quality home and officer repairs through a simple well-coordinated digital process with trusted fixers. The platform founded 2018, offers easy and instant access to a wide range of handymen for repairs, maintenance and installation services in homes and offices.
Tech & Media Convergency (TMC) explores with you the journey of Fix Chap as part of our “Promoting Impact Technology Tanzania project” by exploring on youth who find solutions to everyday lives by using innovation, technology and digital solutions. The co-founder of the application, Prince Tillya (29) takes us through their journey of Fix Chap and introduces us to the concept of solving our ‘fundi’ problems in our everyday lives.
Fix Chap’s Inspiration
The application started as an idea born out of frustration for want of the right servicemen (handymen), and two years down the road the idea has morphed into a company that operates a mobile application that is making a meaningful difference. The story goes back to 2016, when Tillya was in search for an apartment. He had finally got an apartment and was moving in but found it difficult to get repairmen to fix the apartment to his liking. As he searched from one place to the other, nothing came out other than disappointments. Prince took note of his dilemma and shared his frustration with friends, what started as an idea among friends to solve such problem blossomed into a business of impact.
What we see is an application that is gradually growing, changing the way home and office repair services are done. The platform basically connects home and office owners with fixers to offer convenient solutions based on a standardised pricing with focus on ease of use, affordability and reliability.
“When a customer uses our platform, he or she will get a gist of how much a fixer will charge. The idea is not only to get value for money and quality service, but to also save time on the part of the customer and the handyman,” he notes.
How does it work?
Any product in the market or service provided, what people seek first is how it can benefit them and satisfy their needs, that is what Fix Chap does. It is a user friendly application from the way it is structured to the choice of language used. The payment method favors its users since the handymen are paid once the job is complete per the customers satisfaction. This builds mutual trust between customers and repair handymen. When dealing with your customers in any business, this is what, Prince Tillya says,
He further adds that, “And when you build for people it means they are going to be your number one fan, they are going to be behind what you are building.”
“If you want your innovation or new product to be a success you need to “If you want your innovation or new product to be a success you need to kick off with your customers in mind.”
Fix Chap also provide easy access to handymen to reach their customers at once and in a wider range. It also lends credibility to the fixers, who are graduates from tertiary and vocational training institutions and their credentials are highlighted on the platform.
Most importantly, both customers and repairmen can leave comments on the platform which provides crucial feedback, which has hitherto been positive and largely affect the rating of the fixers and provides room for improvement, according to Tillya.
Fix Chap’s Operations & Income
Tillya explains that, “you know you can actually partner with a talent or hire a talent. We are in a world that hungers for talents so that they can be used to carter for development in different sectors. Youth in Tanzania are taking a stand in embracing their potentials yet there is still a large number of youths that sleeps on their talents. Prince has invested in innovation and is using part of his talent to come up with digital solutions that benefits individuals as well as organisations. He is taking a stand, so what’s stopping you?
A growing business is the one that has enough savings and investments to last more than one year, to ensure your employees are well catered for in the long run. It is truly important to provide value that sustains one’s company and the context to which it exists. Fixchap has quite enough savings to last them a year and a half. Prince says,
“What we did as a team, all of us we leveraged on our savings the little amount we had as savings we put on the table and built whatever was enough to build.”
Nothing grows in a blink of an eye, we need to understand that anyone can begin their business with the little that they have. Creating a space for yourself is what we as youth of Tanzania ought to be doing. Prince Tillya lives as an example to fellow youth in Tanzania who took a leap of faith with his friends and began something that has blossomed to a growing business.
Tillya believes it does not make sense to start having huge budgets or even salary when the key primary focus which is the product isn’t generating the income. Working hard for your business is one thing and working smart for your business is another thing. Some had to learn the hard way to differentiate the two. Working hard does not guarantee your success in business or any other area of your life. Too much energy used without the smarts is wasted energy. You need to work hard and smart in accomplishing your goals.
What are the users saying about Fix Chap?
So far there are a number of positive reviews on the application. Among the features of the platform comments and ratings section are included where customers and fixers can leave comments after completion of service.
One customer, Hafidhi Mkongwa learnt about FixChap after searching for a while on social media for a plumber. Right after downloading the application, he says that the process was smooth and the fixer was professional who went out of his way to give an advice on a better way in using a plumber to avoid similar challenges in the future.
Another user of the platform, Jane Kalumuna, says: “I got to know about FixChap through a friend, I tried them out for my air conditioning and later electrical maintenance, their service was amazing!”
Evelyn Nguma notes: “I have been using FixChap since when they were operating through a website, and now I can access their services through their mobile App. I must say it has been very refreshing to see them make so much progress! Their services have always been perfect!
On the other side the fixers such as one Geofrey Nestory, the plumber says that he learnt about the application through who had already joined. “I used to stay at my office for days without a job, now with FixChap I am always busy, and the best part is work just come through your phone!”
An electrician, Jele Sadock, says that he knew about the platform through a collage alumni WhatsApp group, and reached out to them. Since joining he has been able to get regular work, moved out of his family home after earning more income and becoming financially independent
Interestingly, other fixers came to know through their clients, such as Lugomba Shabani, an air conditioner repairman who recommended he joins the platform.
“I must say this initiative has really brought value to my work, I get customers more easily and even earnings are much more stable compared to working independently,” he says.
Fix Chap’s expansion plan
At the moment, Tillya says, the biggest competition is the traditional way of getting handymen because unlike other services, people tend to build connections with the handymen they have worked with before and the best way to fix that challenge is to differentiate oneself.
“We started by offering five services and added another seven services with time and we plan to have seven new services on our platform,” he says.
Operating in Dar es Salaam, the company envisages expanding to other vibrant cities in the country while also updating the application so that a customer can easily access the same fixer they have worked with in the past.
FixChap also soon plans to introduce a new product, fixture marketplace, where people can easily buy and sell used household items.
For more, don’t hesitate to reach out to Tech & Media Convergency (TMC) Company Impact.firstname.lastname@example.org and for the full interview about FixChapTz you can check us up on our you tube channel https://youtu.be/YoFuehpjTMc
To read more about our reports featuring Startups in Tanzania https://bit.ly/ImpactTechTZ2021-Report