CEO Series

This M'sian App Sends A Mechanic Straight To You, But There's A Catch—And It’s Not The Price

The inception of Serv came as an answer to two commonly known problems.

1. Most everyday working joes have no time to worry about servicing their cars, and they leave their cars in poor conditions.

2. Mechanics, especially freelance mechanics, have difficulties with the rate at which they secure fixed jobs.

Enter Serv, an on-demand car fixing platform spearheaded by co-founders Arief Imran and Hazim Nordin, both with background in engine oil manufacturing, and IT.

Since Malaysians are so reliant on their cars, the hassle of bringing that car into a mechanic is a real one.

Especially if your car breaks down on the road, you’ll even have to contend with “ulat accidents” while you try to figure out whether to call your workshop, call a friend to pick you up, or even just to drive it yourself in to the mechanic, and then wait nearby to get an outrageously expensive quote.

Their solution? An app.

Screenshots of the platform / Image Credit: Serv

“Instead of bringing your car to the workshop, we bring the mechanics to you by using a shared-economy platform,”
– Arief, CEO of Serv.

From 9am to 11pm daily, you boot up the Serv app to order an on-demand mechanic, who will make their way straight to where your car is to perform services. Users would be able to save on time, and the prices charged aren’t too significantly expensive compared to you making your way to the mechanics.

As a bonus for lady drivers, the prime targets for mechanic swindling, Serv offers up an upfront pricing system, meaning that when you press that button, you’re paying for exactly what you expected.

Serv manages to keep the charge of the service low by controlling the supply chains of parts and lubricants used for each service,” said Arief about the service. “This is done by partnering up with a few engine oil brands and parts supplier.”

Once you book a service on the app, it’ll even tell you the Serv Partners’ ETA along with your price quote. And while the mechanic is by your car, they’ll exclusively service your car, while throwing in a free inspection for 22 points on your car, and a recommendation for repair if anything about your car rubs them the wrong way.

Plus, you’re giving local mechanics employment opportunity too.

The catch? Serv is still a particularly young business—they just launched in September.

A Serv Partner in action / Image Credit: Serv

So while the team has lofty dreams of serving everyone across Malaysia, they’re only currently able to service Proton and Perodua unless you make your booking on their website.

Their service area runs along either Putrajaya, Cyberjaya or Kuantan, and their mechanics are also subject on availability at the moment of booking.

And these are the two pain points that Serv is determined to make better.

“The biggest challenge faced by Serv is on balancing the supply and demands of Serv partners and customers,” said Arief. “This is because our Serv partners are freelancers, meaning their availability can be unpredictable.”

“Thus, right now, we are trying to encourage our Serv partners to always be available to accept the booking made by customers. We’re also planning to gather more Serv partners as well to cater this issue.”

Meanwhile, the team is also working to figure out the kinks behind charging a fair upfront price on the app, which again, now only serves Proton and Perodua. Since prices for car parts vary across different brands, the Serv team is still trying to smoothen that out before going full-blown on their marketing.

But for what they have, Serv ensures that the mechanics they do have on board with them are legit before sending them out into the world.

Talking about upfront costs: It’s on their website / Image Credit: Serv

This includes background screening, and face-to-face interviews to ensure that they’re actually able to provide good service. And in a bid to solve their lack of mechanics, Serv is continuing to partner with automotive colleges to gain that all-important supply of certified mechanics.

But as per good customer service app goes, they also allow customers to rate their mechanics though the app, and Serv even offers refunds for any bad services.

This team of seven have sunk RM70,000 into the business so far, and to date, they’ve gotten RM24,016.80 back from their existing 171 customers.

Image Credi: Serv

As for the future, Serv will eventually be making their car service available for all brands, even luxury or premium cars.

“We also aim to provide other services such as breakdown alongside the main car service at times throughout the development. We look forward to expanding to major cities in Malaysia and reach out to the neighboring countries such as Indonesia and Philippines,” concluded Arief, with much gusto.

Feature Image Credit: Serv

 

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