Necessity is the mother of all inventions and has again proved true in the case of a Dubai-based start-up Fixerman.
“Fixerman is a one-stop shop for tech-related issues. What we are trying to do is solve problems for customers who have issues with gadgets such as mobile phones, tablets and laptops. The pain point we identified was the phones. The name was coined in such a way that eventually, we will fix all consumer electronics devices,” Jassim Bangara, CEO of Fixerman, told TechRadar Middle East.
Bangara said that he had a horrible experience in trying to fix his phone two years ago and that forced him to think about setting up the business. “We went into market research for more than a year to understand the market scale and scope and came out with startling discoveries,” he said.
Bangara’s research showed that apart from the lack of quality service providers in the market, the hand-held device [phone] is an important part of a person’s life.
Smartphone is more valuable than wallet
“It has proven that among your phone and the wallet, the phone is more valuable as you are more connected to it. If you lose your passport, you go to your consulate and the police take it seriously and there is a system for that. Same is the case for the wallet as the credit or debit cards are the most important.
“You call up your bank and the cards can be obtained. But in the case of a phone, there is no way to get it back if lost. There are ways to get it fixed, either from an authorised service centre or from an unauthorised service centre, but there is a huge turnaround time to get the device back,” he said.
Even though the job will get done, he said that almost 90% of the unauthorised service centres are using extremely poor quality parts.
“From our research, we found that there is a standard or best practice for hospitals, manufacturing sectors, etc. In the service sector, there are standards but most of them don’t follow the standards,” Bangara said.
Electro-static discharge-compliant van
Bangara claims that his service centres and the van with the built-in laboratory are the first to be electro-static discharge (ESD) compliant and the van is also the world’s first solar-powered mobile service unit.
When asked about his decision to launch a mobile business, he said that people are used to a certain level of convenience and to ease the pain of finding and going to the service centre.
“We provide three kinds of services – I will come to you with the van and fix it, I will take the device and fix it or customers can come to our open-kitchen concept studio at Business Bay,” he said.
Moreover, he said that Fixerman offers a two-year warranty on their fixes with OEM parts and three-month warranty for non-OEM parts. “All our technicians come with a minimum of two years training and five years of experience and also meets the standards of Apple Authorised Service Provider,” he said.
Ziad Bangara, Chief Marketing Officer at Fixerman, said that if a device is beyond repairable, it goes to recycling with the customer’s consent.
“More than 80% of the population doesn’t know that a device can be recycled. We go and pick up the non-repairable device for e-waste. E-waste is a global and pressing issue. On average, a person in the UAE creates 18 kilos of e-waste per year,” he said. The company has tied up with Dubai-based Emirates Environmental Group (EEG), a non-governmental professional working group, founded in 1991.
Fixerman has 12 business-to-business clients and more than 6,000 repeated customers under its belt. It mainly covers Dubai sometimes Sharjah and Ajman on a case by case.
“We do have plans to expand into other emirates and other GCC countries by 2020. We have raised AED 1m through private funds and seek to raise AED 2m for expansion,” Bangara said.