One of the best things about working at WeGoLook is that fantastic and unusual opportunities are always coming our way. Recently, one of these opportunities arrived in the form of a visiting entrepreneur from Bangladesh. Shah Paran recently spent 2 weeks with WeGoLook through the U.S. State Department’s Professional Fellow Exchange Program with Oklahoma University.
Shah Paran is founder and CEO of HandyMama, an on-demand handyman service that works much like WeGoLook., While we have a network of over 30,000 Lookers, HandyMama operates a network of more than 1,200 experienced, skilled, and verified handymen. Just like our CEO Robin Smith, Shah started his company because he saw a problem he could help solve for both customers and those wanting to participate in the gig economy as a worker.
Shah and WeGoLook CTO Alan White
“In Bangladesh, finding a reliable handyman is difficult,” says Shah. “It’s not like in the US, where you can easily call up a handyman and reasonably expect him to arrive on time and be qualified to fix your problem. In Bangladesh, the only reliable way to find a good contractor before HandyMama was to find someone through word of mouth or go out to the street to find one.”
Shah explained that he once waited 7 hours for a contractor to arrive at his home. This experience is part of what inspired Shah to start HandyMama.
HandyMama operates in Dhaka, the capital city of Bangladesh, which has a population of more than 16 million people. Shah is expanding services to different cities in Bangladesh and is planning to expand abroad in the next 2 years. HandyMama’s services include:
- Home appliance repair
- ...and more
HandyMama works very similarly to WeGoLook. Customers order handyman services and HandyMama’s contractors are notified based on their location and skills.
However, some aspects of the on-demand model are different in Bangladesh.
“The on-demand model is the future and I have a great opportunity because Bangladesh has not yet taken full advantage of all its capabilities. Many in Bangladesh don’t consider apps a way to do things like hire contractors. People are used to this in the US, but not as many are yet in my country. Therefore, a large number of our orders come in through telephone. That’s why it’s so important that we offer many different ways for users to order services.”
When asked about his plans for the future, Shah responds with big plans. “One of the biggest challenges to finding a qualified handyman in Bangladesh is a lack of standardized certifications. HandyMama has plans to create its own certifications to ensure all of our contractors’ skills are at a high standard.”
During his time at WeGoLook, Shah gave a presentation on HandyMama to the company. He also connected with every department, sharing ideas on how to better serve customers and contractors in an on-demand model.
Shah gives presentation on HandyMama
“We are so excited to have had the chance to host an accomplished entrepreneur like Shah here at WeGoLook,” said Kenneth Knoll, WeGoLook’s COO. “We have already learned so much from each other. When we see people like Shah changing the way business gets done in other parts of the world through an on-demand model, it reminds us that we are part of a truly global change, and that’s very exciting.”