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Opportunity Evaluation : Doormint

Symbiosis Institute of Management Studies (SIMS)

(A constituent of Symbiosis International University)

MBA 2015- 2017

Submitted to Submitted by
Dr. Amit Kumar Agrawal Deepak Kumar (D 17)
Rohit Guleria (D 43)
Utkarsh Jathar (D 58)

Jan 3, 2017
Doormint : Mr Abhinav Agarwal

*Disclaimer: I, Rohit Guleria, did my summer internship (April - June, 2016) with
Doormint, which has since closed down its operations since October, 2016. Over the
period of those two months, I had an opportunity to interact with most of their core team
and learn from their experiences. For this assignment, we will limit our description to the
opportunity and idea part.*

Meet the Founders


Doormint was started by 3 IIT alumni, Abhinav Agarwal ( IIT Bombay, 2008-2012,
Electrical Engineering) Naman Lahoty ( IIT Bombay, 2008-2012, Chemical Engineering) and
Piyush Ranjan ( IIT Kanpur). It had been listed by Forbes as a startup to watch out for in
2016.

Before coming together for this startup, Abhinav had been working with Mckinsey since his
graduation. Naman had worked with Flipkart, Toppr and Humming Whale Product
Innovations. Piyush too had development experience at Cleartrip, Olacabs and Browserstack.

All three of them were the initial co-founders of the company in September 2014. While
Abhinav took the role of CEO, Piyush held the role of CTO and Naman was looking after
Business Development

Doormint started out as a mobile-app based one-stop solution for hyper local consumer utility
services. The handyman services on offer included on-demand laundry, professional
cleaning, handyman, plumbers, carpenters, electrician, pest control and electronics appliances
repair with amazing convenience, quality and predictable pricing.. All that needed to be done
was to make a booking on their app, give the timings when you wanted the services to be
performed. With their technical expertise and supply chain experience behind them, the
founders had in their mind a roadmap to streamline these services so that customers need
could be fulfilled any time, hassle free and at their convenience. Since, all of them were
based in Mumbai at that time, that was the city they decided to start from. Overtime, they did
expand the business to Gurgaon, Bangalore.

Motivation Behind Starting Up

Abhinav had been working as a consultant with Mckinsey in Mumbai. He had also been part
of the Entrepreneurship Cell at IIT Bombay. So the bug of starting on his own was always
there. During his experience at Mckinsey, happened an incident which was the real reason
behind motivating him and his other friends to come together for this startup aimed at
changing the home solutions landscape in India to the benfit of ever increasing urban
population in the cities. He had described about it in multiple interviews over the years. I
have worded it in my own words all the while trying my best to do justice to the original
story.

Abhinav was living in a rented apartment in Mumbai. One fine Sunday, the geyser in his
apartments bathroom stopped working. With his electrical engineering background, he tried
to fiddle around with it to get it to work, but to no avail. Post a few futile attempts at
repairing, he thought best to call the society-in-charge to let him know of his problem. But, as
happens in most of the cases, no body takes the responsibility and they just look to pass it on.
Here also, the society-in-charge didnt know what to do and gave him the owners contact.
The number Abhinav received was not reachable and it was getting frustrating for him to be
involved in a problem he thought was a minor niggle which many people would have faced
multiple times over their lifetimes. He then took it upon himself to get this problem resolved
and got in touch with a local electrician who promised to turn up but arrived roughly 3 hours
later from the scheduled time. Even when the electrician did turn up, he understood the
situation and thought of minting money rather than being of much help to Abhinav and
solving the problem. He made multiple visits to solve his problem and in the end charged him
a huge bill. With no benchmark pricing availlable to him to refer to, Abhinav had to pay
whatever was demanded from him. Also, since he didnt know much about the working of
geysers, he couldnt even test if the issue had been repaired for good or working just
temporarily. He felt cheated that moment and was frustrated over the whole ordeal. Even
after living in a Tier 1 society, he couldnt get the services made available to him. In thinking
over this issue for next few days, he felt the need of standardization of multiple services like
these over price, punctuality, professionalism and could see the market for the same. With the
successful model of Uber and Ola running around them, they could use technology to plug
this gap. He discussed the issue with his friend Naman and they started to think of a solution
which could address the problem faced by Abhinav and also in terms of standardizing value
addition in the consumer services system. That was the moment the idea of Doormint was
born.

From the idea initiation to actually getting a Business proposal ready, it took them a few
months time to do market research, explore with the service providers and hunt for suppliers.
They interacted with the blue collar workers and understood their problems. The problem
they were looking to address involved multiple stakeholders namely:
1) End Consumers who could be sure of the pricing and the quality of service they were
receiving. Doormint wished to plug this gap by getting the trusted service providers and
having a feedback mechanism to assure that a certain quality of service is always assured.

2) Service Providers who need not worry about getting the orders and could focus on
learning about improving their art. The orders would come via Doormint and the service
providers would be provided with the address and timing detail to go offer their services. This
demarcated the technical skill from business skill. Also, better service ensured getting higher
frequency of orders. This gave the service providers an incentive to improve their skill-set.

3) One-Stop Solution : This is what differentiated Doormint. One need not have multiple
apps for getting multiple services. With Doormints app, you could ask for multiple services
at an affordable and up-front price at the time of your convenience without making any call
and get post service warranty.

With the aid of technology, Doormint wanted to position itself in between customer and
service provider and ensure a streamlined flow between them. As Uber can be thought of as
cab aggregator, you can think of Doormint as being home-services aggregator.

Naman and Abhinav talked to Piyush and convinced him to join them to start working on
getting the application running. The energy level during the initial days was very high and
even after working from a small shop in a defunct mall, they came up with the application
and started rolling out various services.

Overtime, with the professional platform and efficient management, they got the management
of demand and supply in control and technology had a major role in achieving synergies and
higher productivity for all those involved. Online payment was again something which
appealed to the urban population and increased the popularity of the application. The quality
of service providers was something which Doormint had to assure. Within no time, they had
a pool of 250 skilled service providers working across the offered services. To attain a
benchmark service quality and happy customers, a strict on-boarding process was put in place
including various background checks and steps. Skill license, Police records are checked as a
first step along with the interview process. With that clearance, first 2 orders were monitored
and customer feedback was considered. Once the customer and Doormint were satisfied, the
service person was on-boarded.

Pretty soon, the orders started flowing in. Doormint got 50-60 bookings/day and 30% repeat
customers within 3 months of its launch. With the orders, money from investors also started
pouring. In its first round of funding, Powai Lake Ventures invested Rs. 60 lakhs in the
venture. With this capital, the team strength grew along with its services.

Competition : Doormint had combined multiple services into one and was working in a
potential $100 Bn market. So the list of its competitors extended across sectors. It was listing
the services, so Sulekha, YellowPages, JustDial and Near.in were its competitors. Also,
service providers like Jack on Block, Hammer and Mop were giving specialised services.
Doormint wasnt the only aggregator. Urbanclap, TimeSaverz, Taskbob, Mr. Right and
Zepper were also offering aggregator services. Globally Amazon, Thumbtack, TaskRabbit,
Alfred and Thumbtack were in the same segment. Housejoy was yet another major player in
this space.

But, there was a catch 22 situation in there. If Doormint assured better services, it decreased
its own chances of getting called again. For example, if someone had electricity issues and
our service provider fixed the situation efficiently, there was less chance of the customer
contacting us again for any repairs. It took Doormint a few months time to review their
progress and observe the order quantity. It was operating just in Mumbai but across 7 to 8
categories. There was no link between the services being offered and each had its own order
frequency and expertise. It was getting difficult to ensure service quality in each of the
categories on offer. Also, getting the service providers into confidence was a challenge which
haunted Doormint right throughout its existence. The service providers started treating
Doormint as a competitor rather than as a faciliator for their business.

Shifting Focus: With these new challenges coming to forefront right into the first few
months, Abhinav was convinced that to ensure long lasting success, the company needed to
be good in one vertical only and not be bogged down by dividing its energy into multiple
verticals. Also, Doormint took pride in the quality of its offering which would have been
difficult to assure across multiple verticals.

On further analysis of the order frequeny, the company zeroed in on laundry as the vertical it
saw its future in. There was a good order size and repetitive orders had to come more
regularly as against other verticals. So, in August 2015 post 6 weeks of thinking, the team
shifted to doing just laundry and directed its energies therein and changed the application
accordingly.

Along with this shift, further money started pouring in. Helion and Kalaari Capital put $3
million in the venture. The team grew at a brisk pace post this inflow and even started its
laundry operations in Bangalore and Gurgaon. Also, the laundry market in India was a bit
unorganized. The size of the market was estimated at Rs. 2,20,000 crores with unorganized
at around 5000 crores. As per Euromonitor, this sector had been highly fragmented with
close to 8 lakh establishments, most of them being very small in size. The organised segment
comprised a mere 2-3% of the entire laundry market in India. The scope of aggregating a
handful of these unorganized establishments presented a great opporunity for anyone and
Abhinav could sense the scale. So, what started off as an on demand home services startup
quickly turned into an on demand laundry startup within a span of 1 year.

Also, laundry space had seen a lot of money from the investors in 2014 and early 2015 in the
form of HouseJoy and Wassup.

References:

1) https://yourstory.com/2016/09/doormint-shuts-operations/

2) https://yourstory.com/2015/04/doormint/

3) https://yourstory.com/2016/04/doormint-growth-story/
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