Outlook15

As part of our #Outlook15 series, we asked heads of services marketplace companies – Timesaverz and Near.in about their focus areas for 2015, and the challenges that the mobile advertising ecosystem needs to address. Answers have been shortened for brevity.

What were the top developments and roadblocks in the services marketplace segment in 2014? Why?

Debadutta Upadhyaya, Timesaverz

– Expanded bouquet of e-service categories ranging from home to health, grocery to beauty-care, multiple business-models.

– Mobile technology being the focal point of any launch.

– Adoption of anything beyond the regular cab-service still had challenges, and this roadblock can be attributed mainly to habit-changing efforts that other services mandated for.

Sunil Goyal, Near.in

Sunil Goyal

– Emergence of Uber-like models for services businesses within home services (electricians, plumbers etc).

– Quality and trust are paramount for services. With increased awareness and smartphone penetration, expectations have risen and the need for one-click access to a quality experience.

What was something in the services marketplace segment in India that surprised you in 2014?

Debadutta Upadhyaya, Timesaverz

– Readiness for upfront payment vis-a-vis cash on delivery (COD) option provided the scope of service was unambiguously, well-defined.

Sunil Goyal, Near.in

– No real surprise, but we are still far behind the global ecosystem in having user focused companies in services space.

– Still hard to find local trusted professionals – find a trusted phone repair shop guy, an awesome dentist, a great zumba class instructor, what is their pricing?, what is their trust? have any one my friends used them in the past?

What are the likely trends that you expect to see in 2015? Why?

Debadutta Upadhyaya, Timesaverz

– Easy mobile payment options accelerating e-services adoption.

– Niche aggregators growing up to challenge the regular classifieds model.

Sunil Goyal, Near.in

– Startups will mature into sound companies and the space will attract lot of investment.

– Multiple local businesses will compete to get their services offered online, increased competition will be better for the consumers.

– Getting a quality service provider would become a breeze, finally one would have one click access to get an electrician or a physiotherapist at home.

What are the challenges in the services marketplace segment that would need to be addressed in 2015?

Debadutta Upadhyaya, Timesaverz

Debadutta Upadhyaya

– Centralized Government ratified verification process.

– Last mile quality control by the companies in marketplace business.

Sunil Goyal, Near.in

– Having a platform that would bring in social reputation for services businesses needs to be addressed.

– End to end delivery of service ensuring quality is much harder for services business (especially carpenter, electrician) needs to be addressed.

What do you think will not happen in the services marketplace segment in India in 2015?

Sunil Goyal, Near.in

– Having a pan-India player like the big e-commerce players have achieved will be tough to achieve in 2015, as services is a more hyper-local play. However, it is likely that a couple of companies would emerge that would start to dominate few key market segments geographically, which would then be ready to move to the next level beyond 2015.