Jes Min is the co-founder of Recommend Group, a home services platform in SEA. She and her team penned this article as a contributor piece to Vulcan Post, and it is published with permission from the author(s).
Yesterday, we heard that you were closing down as of June 30, 2022. People have messaged us and said, “You must be very happy, your competitor is gone”.
To be honest, “happy” does not really describe how we feel right now.
We started at the same time in 2014, two companies with dedicated founders who saw the huge gap in the service industry and wanted to do something about it. We gathered our teams, interviewed hundreds of customers and service professionals, and launched our MVPs. From then on, we worked 14-16 hours a day to get our product-market fit right.
We were lucky to raise some funding from investors who really believed in the problem we were solving. We grew our teams, strengthened our products, and kept growing. You grew to the Philippines, we grew to Indonesia, and we competed in Malaysia.
Along the way, we always kept an eye on each other, learning from each other, challenging each other, and showing the industry that we dared to make big changes, even though some were risky. We launched and tested features for customers, features for service professionals.
We realised that our fight was not against each other, but it was against the grey market. The “status quo” that was so hard to change.
Together, we digitalised the service industry, vendor by vendor, company by company, plumber uncle by plumber uncle.
We became a much better version of ourselves, because of you. And we hope you benefitted from our presence too.
COVID-19 was tough on our service professionals and on our teams. We fought hard for the government to allow these services as essential and stop arresting our electricians at the roadblocks. We spent countless hours on the phone with the police station, begging them to release our aircon service repairmen. We lobbied hard for the MITI approvals.
By supporting the service professionals during their toughest period, most of them made it through the multiple lockdowns, and today their business is flourishing. The industry is recovering, we are seeing growth in many of the service verticals.
We are sorry to see you go. We will miss having a fellow startup in digitalising the services industry, in pushing ourselves further and asking ourselves, “Can we do better?”
We will continue the journey to transform the home services industry, not just in Malaysia but in other parts of Southeast Asia as well. Indeed there will be more tough challenges ahead, but we will continue carrying the torch for “Startups launched from Malaysia”.
If your customers or service professionals need support, we are more than happy to help them in any way we can.
Our paths diverge now, but we know your team will continue to do something great someday!
Kaodim, thank you for the past eight years.
- Learn more about Recommend.my here.
- Learn more about Kaodim here.
- Read our article on Kaodim ceasing its operations here.
Featured Image Credit: Recommend Group