We talked to Pradeep Chaudhary, founder of ServiceSutra, about service provider rates in India, and this is what he said about it.
First of all, how are you and your family doing in these COVID-19 times?
Pradeep Chaudhary: By the grace of almighty, we all are safe. There was a positive case in one of our team member’s families, but all is well now. And most of us are returning back to our office. Our service partners are happy as they are getting work to deal with the post-COVID-19 crisis.
Tell us about you, your career, and how you founded ServiceSutra.
Pradeep Chaudhary: I have been a coder all my life. And during those years, I used to help a few people in their business, like setting up their website, helping run Google PPC campaigns, and that kind of work.
One of my consulting clients asked to generate leads for his business. I started a small site to generate leads for moving services. So I was kind of working for one service and one client. Thankfully he connected me to a few of his associates in other cities, and I was working with all of them. Soon I realized, there is a need that needs to be addressed, and I, along with Mr. Jay N Prasad, started working with Servicesutra (Sutra means medium in Sanskrit).
How does ServiceSutra innovate?
Pradeep Chaudhary: Innovation for us is making things easier and efficient. So, we have a monthly team meeting where all stakeholders come together to discuss what we need to do to make things better, faster, and efficient. We brainstorm all ideas and then rate them based on what is more important and execute.
How the coronavirus pandemic affects your business, and how are you coping?
Pradeep Chaudhary: Business was badly affected due to COVID-19 and continuous shutdown in India. The operation was totally shut because everything was closed. All our service providers and partners were affected terribly. Some of them even had to return back to their native places because of no work. But thankfully, some of our services had demands even in those difficult days, especially the storage and warehousing and sanitizing services. But as they say, nothing is permanent, things have started moving positively, and we hope to put more effort into our operation to cover all the losses our partners, and we incurred last year.
Did you have to make difficult choices, and what are the lessons learned?
Pradeep Chaudhary: Of course, we had to make some difficult choices. We had to take a cut in salary, but thankfully we sailed through. The lesson learned is anything can happen tomorrow, and we should remain prepared for that. Since we had enough cash to survive, we sailed through those difficult months, and that’s a great lesson to remain prepared. Any startup of a small business should strive to be cash positive and think thrice before spending money on anything that’s not adding visible value to your business. At the end of the day, cash is king.
And how do you plan to stay in the game?
Pradeep Chaudhary: We plan to stay in the game by doing what we are supposed to do, i.e., help people compare and hire the best and verified professionals for home services, e.g., moving and storage, interior designing, house cleaning, pest control, sanitizing, etc. We are going to new cities, adding new services, and working towards making Servicesutra the go-to platform for all types of services people need.
Your final thoughts?
Pradeep Chaudhary: This pandemic had a great lesson for all of us. That we may be super-intelligent human beings on this earth, but there are certain things that are beyond our control. So, believe in the supreme power, stay prepared for the worse, just hang there, and you should be fine.
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