A few years ago, no one could have thought fixing a home appliance would shift from the regular way of going from street to street in search of a repairman to just going online to get one. In July 2016, Igwe Stanley brought the home service market online when he launched WeFix.com.ng, an online platform that connects home service providers (WeFixers) to service consumers.
About the failing characteristics of repair service providers in the home service industry, he notes:
“First, you don’t find them when you need them. secondly, you cannot be entirely sure whether they will show up, and lastly, the quality of their service.”
Like every other Nigerian, Igwe Stanley had experienced the challenges of getting repairmen to fix appliances in the home, and bringing a solution was the next step.
The startup is currently based in Port-Harcourt, connecting Port-Harcourt residents to WeFixers who pick-up appliances for repair, fix them and deliver back to the homes. In this interview, Igwe Stanley tells us more about the startup, and his journey into entrepreneurship.
Tell us a little about yourself
My name is Igwe Stanley Onyekachi. I graduated from Kwame Nkrumah University of Science and Technology, Kumasi, Ghana in 2013, where I studied Chemistry. I’m the founder of WeFix.com.ng, an online platform for repair of home appliances, I love writing and travelling. Prior to WeFix, during my youth service days, I registered a company called Mega Moist Services limited, a facility maintenance company.
Tell us about Wefix.com.ng, the idea behind the brand and what you’re offering Nigerians
WeFix is an online booking platform for the repair of home appliances by professional/trained technicians, and not just like any other technicians out there. We once had a fridge that got bad at home, and we had to call a technician who eventually wasted our money changing the compressor not knowing that wasn’t the real fault. Until we got connected to a trained/professional technician who knew how to fix that particular brand, before the fridge began to function. I believe so many Nigerians have suffered the same fate. So that’s what WeFix is here to do. To provide Nigerians with professional fixing service. And so we are bridging the gap through our web/mobile app platform which will be coming out soon. Our WeFixers are trained for every particular appliance and brand, so you’re rest assured that we will give you a friendly fixing. At an affordable price.
What inspired launching an online-based repair service?
We live in a modern and global world where most activities are done on the internet. We buy cloths, order food and even get a taxi just by tapping our mobile device. My question was how come we can’t get well trained professionals, and get our appliances fixed by booking at the comfort of our homes. That was how I came with the idea of WeFix.
How has the response from Nigerians been so far?
Wefix is a growing company and though not up to a year, the responses from Nigerians have been encouraging. Since we launched in July 2016, we have had over 150+ bookings. Customers appreciate the fact that they can just book for a repair and it will be picked up, fixed and delivered back to them at the comfort of their homes by professionals, with guarantee on the fixing.
How do you ensure your WeFixers are well-knowledgeable on the service they are providing?
Our WeFixers are trusted and reliable and moreover, we don’t just employ just any WeFixers. We train the technicians, ensure they are certified and well trusted to the company’s satisfaction before they are been assigned to duties at our various workshops.
What was start-up phase like? How where you able to secure funds to set the business rolling?
Getting WeFix started was not really easy because it was difficult convincing Nigerians that you will have to pick up their appliances from their home, fix and deliver it back with all the insecurity and lack of trust in the system, but we have been able to do our best by creating trust through our service, keeping up the time schedules and also testimony from clients to gain attraction and get more customers. Funding on the other hand, was not easy and it’s still not easy, but we were able to raise funds from the co-founders, friends and family. Investors are coming up and we hoping as well as working towards the best soon
How do you make money with the platform, given the fact that you’re connecting those who need repair services with fixers.
WeFix earns through service charge, our WeFixers are not mobile technicians they are WeFix trained technicians. Another source of revenue is via pick-up and delivery fee.
Are there plans to expand the WeFix service to other Nigerian states?
Yes, we plan to expand to Abuja. We are currently working on getting funded.
As a graduate of Chemistry, how did the love for technology come in, moving you to begin a tech start-up.
I had a computer science background on my early educational days, and also while studying at Kwame Nkrumah University I was part of a hub center where I received some training and that created the interest in tech.
Tell us a little about the entrepreneurship experience so far.
My entrepreneurship experience especially in a startup phase like this has been a tough one. Everyday I wake up to a new challenge and have to strategise on how to stay ahead, keep pushing till I get the best.
What do you consider to be the gains and challenges of being an entrepreneur?
The gains of an entrepreneur is being able to build a solution which people love and when that solution is solving a real problem in the society, then it can be counted as a gain. Challenges of course will come every now and then, but your ability to stand strong and never give up makes one a true entrepreneur.
One word for young people who are considering going into entrepreneurship.
Whatever you’re building, you have to believe in God and believe in yourself, for nothing good comes easy.