First of all, how are you and your Family doing in these COVID-19 Times?
Guillaume Thomas: Fine. The COVID-19 touched none of my family members, friends, or employees.
Tell us about you, your Career, how you Founded or Joined Aladom
Guillaume Thomas: I’m 46, with 5 kids and engineering background. I’m originally from Paris. I love that city, but it is not adapted to a big family. Also, I love sailing, and it’s too far from the sea. So 14 years ago we decided to move to Rennes on the west side of France. I consulted for 3 years and searched for an idea for an online business to launch. With 5 kids, I saw how painful it is to look for a child care solution, so I decided to start a website to simplify the matching between home service providers and people looking for house cleaning, childcare, seniorcare, tutoring, and music lessons.
How does Aladom Innovate?
Guillaume Thomas: We were not the only ones innovating in the jobbing business. But we found a way to provide the widest choice of services providers (both individuals and companies) and bring them business to generate different sources of revenues. Our differentiation is that unlike most platforms focusing on the UBERISATION of a market, we push for the HUMANISATION of the home service market.
How the Coronavirus Pandemic affects your Business, and how are you coping?
Guillaume Thomas: France was locked down from March 10th to May 11th. All our team worked from home, but quickly the demand vanished. Nobody would have someone else come home to clean if they were locked, and since kids were stuck at home with schools closed, they didn’t need childcare anymore.
Only services like senior care continued, so we decided to make it free to use our services for 2 months and just waited for the activity to start again, which happened at the beginning of May.
Did you have to make Difficult Choices, and what are the Lessons Learned?
Guillaume Thomas: We worked on different scenarios but decided to stay confident and keep all the staff. Those who had fewer things to do work on subjects that were not prioritized until then. We were able to launch new features and to improve the process.
How do you deal with Stress and Anxiety, how do you Project yourself and Aladom in the Future?
Guillaume Thomas: On day one, all the team was asked to work from home. 5 months after, employees come to the office 2 days a week and work from home the rest of the time. They took the decisions, and as a result, there is no anxiety. The KPI was back to normal in June regarding our activity, and we are confident about the future.
Who are your Competitors? And how do you plan to stay in the Game?
Guillaume Thomas: We have many competitors in France and other countries. We compete with companies like Care.com. We also compete with jobbing platforms like TaskRabbit or Handy, but we can even become partners to help them find taskers and customers.
Your Final Thoughts
Guillaume Thomas: The COVID-19 can be an opportunity to change the way we consume. We could see how important some people are: nurses, cleaners, people working at grocery stores. Those people had no recognition before, and this crisis is an excellent way to start putting people first. That’s what we try to do by pushing the HUMANISATION of the marketplaces.
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