An Interview with Aditya Rao, Founder at LocalOye

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[This interview is sponsored by workspot.in , India’s leading aggregator of co-working spaces, meeting rooms and shared offices. If you have additional office space and are looking to rent it, please do list it on workspot.in. If you are looking for space for your startup, do visit workspot.in]

 

LocalOye is a relatively old startup in the services marketplace which has evolved over time since their launch in 2013. The company started as a venue-booking service for parties and weddings but has now grown into a complete local services marketplace providing a number of services to its customers. The service provided by them is free for the customers and they also don’t charge any listing fee from the vendors.

The company which was founded by Aditya Rao in Bangalore is now catering to a number of major cities of India. Aditya Rao, a BITS Pilani alumnus, started this company to provide venue booking service to customers but soon realized that this is just the tip of the iceberg. This made them expand to other areas as well and become a marketplace for many hyper-local services. The company looks promising and has recently raised $5 million series A funding from Tiger Global Management and Lightspeed Venture Partners.

We interviewed Aditya.

CEO Interaction

What motivated you to start the company and what is it all about?

We realized that finding a reliable service provider has become a huge problem for a large number of people and requires instant attention. The service industry is a disorganised space and we saw an opportunity in building a concrete and customer friendly platform to encourage the sector. The current experience of booking services is also very tedious and cumbersome. While there are classified websites which provide local vendors / merchants, they have not been able to tackle the real problem of offering quality services. Our objective is to provide customers with professional services by experts. We have strong a system that screens, filters and assembles a great panel of reliable service providers for the customers.

What is the current Team Size?

Our current team is of over 140 employees spread across multiple verticals.

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How did you hire your initial team?

We focused on hiring the initial team on generalist principles. As a startup, employees have to be ready to work across verticals. So the motto for hiring was ‘attitude over aptitude’, and the same is apparent in our founding team.

Which recruiting channels work best for you? Referrals/Job Boards/ Staffing Agencies?

Referrals has been our key driver in terms of recruiting. Almost 70% of our team has been recruited by this channel.

What are the key factors that you look for in a potential candidate?

We look at people with the required set of expertise for the job and are able to integrate themselves within the culture.

The Wall

According to you how much is the competition in your vertical? How big is the industry? Who all are your competitors and what are your views on them?

The services industry is a $100 billion industry. It has a huge potential and healthy competition helps in enhancing the services and customer experience at each stage. We believe JustDial is the largest player in this segment but has some differentiations as they have prioritized listing on their platform. Most other players also have a similar model in place. The industry is still in its nascent stage and we believe there will be more and more entrants focusing on specific segments/regions.

What are your marketing strategies?

We have a holistic marketing strategy in place drawing a balance between offline and online channels. There is a dedicated focus on marketing the services in the right locations with the right audience – both the customers as well as our partners.

What has been your experience with paid marketing channels?

Paid marketing channels have been effective in connecting with the right customers and enhancing our business. The crucial role of paid marketing is to maintain the right mix and distribution.

Can you elaborate on the Challenges in promoting your website/ App?

As a startup, a lot of promotional activities and campaigns take up a major part of your bandwidth and resources. It is all about prioritizing on the key campaigns to promote. Moreover, there has been rapid development in the department of technology and deployment within the organization. To be hand-in-hand is a key enabler to overcome the challenges that we face.

What is the current traction? Can you share some numbers on Usage and Revenue?

LocalOye recently crossed the landmark of of 3.5 lakh app downloads. We cater across 100+ categories with 6,000 registered and certified partners, and have serviced more than 5 lakh customers in Mumbai, Bangalore, Gurgaon, Noida and Delhi.

Based on your experience what advice would you give to new Entrepreneurs/Startups?

There are no shortcuts. It is important to not only develop the necessary processes and the right products but also give  importance to detailing. As an entrepreneur, the founding team plays a crucial role in enhancing the business objectives and deriving value.

 

[This interview is sponsored by workspot.in , India’s leading aggregator of co-working spaces, meeting rooms and shared offices. If you have additional office space and are looking to rent it, please do list it on workspot.in. If you are looking for space for your startup, do visit workspot.in]

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