Stress-free cleaning Maideasy
By Chong Jinn Xiung December 23, 2016
- On-demand cleaning service to help urbanites, provide additional income to low -income group.
- Constant feedback from maids helps company to come up with new services to offer customers
KEEPING a home tidy is challenging given the hectic lifestyles most people today lead. Indeed, cleaning is considered a dirty business for Malaysians but one homegrown company has taken aim at solving the problem by providing on-demand cleaning services.
Founded in 2015, Maideasy entered the market with the idea of becoming the Uber of cleaning services. The service now covers major cities in Malaysia including the Klang Valley, Johor Bahru, Nilai and Seremban.
Business has been good for Maideasy according to its chief executive officer and founder Azrul Rahim (pic, right). Though he did not reveal the exact percentage of growth in its number of bookings, he did say it has grown by four times since June last year.
Growth has been organic and even slow as they depend on a lot of word of mouth and references from customers when they share their experience with the service on Facebook.
“We prefer to focus on the quality of our service, ensuring that our cleaners are well trained. Over the past one year, we have been focused on getting our service consistency and quality up to par with our customers’ expectations,” said Azrul.
Growing from a small pool of fewer than 20 cleaners at the start, Maideasy now employs close to one thousand cleaners across all the states the service covers.
According to Maideasy, part of the reason behind the growth in the number of cleaners in its pool is because the pay offered is almost 3.5x more than the pay at a fast-food outlet, which normally pays RM6 an hour.
From the very beginning, Azrul said they made a conscious decision to only employ Malaysians.
“Our work touches people’s lives directly as we provide jobs to hundreds of people. Under the tough economic conditions now with people getting retrenched and not being able to find full-time employment, we see Maideasy as a source of income for them.”
Admittedly, it was difficult in the beginning when they did not have the brand recognition coupled with the fact that no local wanted to work as a cleaner at the time.
“These days it is easier as people have started to accept being a cleaner with Maideasy as a viable option,” said Azrul.
At the same time, they are trying to change the perception that being a cleaner is a dirty job as it is actually a very professional service.
Interestingly, Azrul notes that there are more male applicants to become cleaners these days.
“At least 40% of our new applicants are male. There are so many that we can’t take in all of them as our customers still prefer lady cleaners,” he said.
However, Azrul said that perception is slowly changing as customers are more comfortable with male cleaners and are even requesting for male cleaners because they are able to lift heavy furniture and reach higher shelves.
He speculates that the reason for the high number of male applicants could be due to the current hard economic state. Even Grab and Uber drivers are taking on Maideasy jobs between their shifts.
Maideasy also launched its own mobile app on Apple’s iOS and Google’s PlayStore in October. The app, which has been in development since early-2016, aims to provide an additional avenue for customers to schedule cleanings.
Azrul is not so caught up with the app as he believes the app is just a tool as the real solution is their service and the cleaners themselves.
“Actually we have a close relationship with our crew so we often listen to their feedback on jobs and we develop new business ideas based on their feedback,” he added.
“They are keen to share what they learn and their experience. They want us to listen anyway so it is good.”
In fact, many of the additional services offered by Maideasy beyond basic home cleaning such as moving-in/our cleaning and interior painting were suggested by the cleaners themselves. This, in turn, would create more jobs that they can engage in.
So what is next for Maideasy? Azrul said that as boring it sounds, they are looking to focus their efforts on growing their customer base while maintaining their existing customers next year.
“We will definitely look into expanding to other major towns and cities but Klang Valley will still be our key area of focus,” he added.
In expanding to other towns, he said Maideasy would have to adjust its pricing structures to match the cost of living in towns outside of Klang Valley.
Having been self-funded since its first year of operations, Maideasy was fortunate to receive additional funding from Axiata Group’s Axiata Digital Innovation Fund (ADIF) late last year.
When asked if he was actively seeking the next round of funding, Azrul said that they are not actively seeking funding but are exploring several options.
Maideasy will still be focusing on its operations in Malaysia though they are not discounting the fact that they may be looking at regional opportunities if it makes sense.
Each market is vastly different so the company needs to make sure that the economics and customer behaviour in the market are similar. Even though Maideasy has been eyeing Singapore for a long time, they are aware that they can’t simply deploy the same strategy used in Malaysia.