Lahore based start-up secures $100,000 investment for expansion

Published: January 10, 2016
SHARES
Email
The portal is slowly gaining popularity among the working class group, especially among the females. PHOTO: AFP

The portal is slowly gaining popularity among the working class group, especially among the females. PHOTO: AFP

LAHORE: 

After securing $100,000 in investment, Autogenie, a Lahore-based start-up that provides mechanical solutions, is targeting expansion in other cities of the country.

However, after being operational for a year, the expansion is not panning out the way the start-up had originally hoped.

A year after launching full-fledged operations in Lahore, which gave it time to study market dynamics and customer requirements, the start-up is now looking to take it down a notch, scaling down to service and maintenance jobs.

While giving up repair work would be a step back, Autogenie CEO Hamza Abbas Baksh admitted that utilising third-party assets in repair jobs was a tedious task at the moment.

“We have learnt that if we did not ensure the best quality of service by utilising third party’s physical assets (for example, workshops and labour force), we would face slow growth in customers due to recurring cost issues and other such liabilities.

“Not every customer was convinced by our business-model so we are now focusing on fewer services that would result in increasing customer-base,” he added.

Autogenie is an online portal that currently offers car-maintenance services at customers’ door steps. The portal started back in February 2015 by offering car repair and maintenance service in Lahore.

However, the team has recently stepped into Islamabad and Karachi is the next destination.

“We are looking to expand in about 20 cities of the country. We will then take a break and try to raise another pool of investment, which would be to develop our physical assets. This would get us back in the much needed repair-based services section.”

The portal is slowly gaining popularity among the working class group, especially among the females, as it finishes the need to access workshops.

“There is a dire need for capable auto-mechanic workshops and mechanics nearly all over Pakistan.”

LUMS Centre for Entrepreneurship Executive Director Khurram Zafar said pivots are essential and there are many start-ups that change their plans five to six times before turning into a successful model.

“There is nothing wrong in molding the business strategy, business always gets better from customer feedback – if you are delivering what the market wants then you can grow more rapidly,” Zafar added.

However Baksh said that market has taught them some valuable lessons.

“For us, retaining customers is crucial and this cannot be done by starting everything in one-go. We will gradually build our technical skills, equipment and assets based on the experience we are gaining,” Baksh added.

Published in The Express Tribune, January 10th, 2016.

Like Business on Facebook, follow @TribuneBiz on Twitter to stay informed and join in the conversation.

Facebook Conversations

Reader Comments (6)

  • Woz ahmed
    Jan 10, 2016 - 5:20AM

    I used there service, some itinerant turned up and did more damage than good.

    Buyer beware.Recommend

  • Sehi Banda
    Jan 10, 2016 - 10:54AM

    Good job, we need to encourage entrepreneurial drive in order to boost the economic momentum as well as for job creation for the educated and talented youth. Keep it up.Recommend

  • Nabil
    Jan 10, 2016 - 1:27PM

    Almost every industry is moving online. 90% ecom startups in Pakistan are providing services. Bridging consumers, customers and physical products / services through their platform.

    Issue is not with the services of ecom startups but they lie within that specific industry in which they are operating, as 99% industries are unorganized or are under development. Another issue is most Ecoms are operating without industry experience, thus unable to cater industry / customer dynamics.

    Another important thing is the size of the targeted segment, the reach of services vs the capacity of handling masses in a scenario where customer query is just Google away.Recommend

  • Taimoor
    Jan 10, 2016 - 7:28PM

    Woz Ahmed, Will u pls elaborate a bit? I’ve been using their services and they are way more convenient, helpful and honest than any other conventional store.
    Your comment explains nothing. Recommend

  • Taimoor
    Jan 10, 2016 - 9:29PM

    @Woz ahmed:
    Please elaborate a bit. Your comment explains nothing!

    My experience with their services is very good so I’m interested to know how did you get hurt.Recommend

  • Jan 10, 2016 - 10:05PM

    Woz ahmed, your comment explains nothing. Please elaborate. Recommend

More in Business