Fixter end-to-end car maintenance service provider
Please introduce yourself and your startup Fixter to our readers!
My name is Limvirak Chea and I am the CEO and Co-founder of the first online end-to-end car maintenance service provider, Fixter. We launched Fixter in 2017 and are funded by AXA. My co-founders and I wanted to change the experience of car maintenance for our customers, by making it as easy as ordering a takeaway. At the same time, we wanted to bring modern technology to independent garages, improve their efficiency and make them more profitable. The long-term goal is definitely to redefine the industry and create a future-proof digital solution, as we believe that that’s the way forward.
How did you get the idea of Fixter?
The idea came with my own experience of being a car owner with a busy schedule. Car maintenance always seemed time consuming and difficult. I never knew much about cars and I didn’t know where to start with maintaining it properly. I couldn’t find an easy and suitable solution for myself online and that’s how Fixter was born. Since everything is online nowadays, we wanted to create a futureproof platform that can build a bridge between customers and garages and essentially make car maintenance as easy as ordering a takeaway.
Why did you decide to start with Fixter?
I realised that the car maintenance industry has a reputation of not being transparent and lacking trust. I wanted to help turn the sector upside down and really focus on people’s needs and what it actually takes to create a revolutionising product in a crowded market place. The car maintenance industry is a £13 bn market in the UK alone and in my opinion, its future has not been addressed yet before we launched Fixter.
We are solving current market issues with a tech approach. Our end-to-end solution includes the collection and delivery of customer cars, in-house Fixter mechanics, upfront quotes and a brilliant customer service.
What is the vision behind Fixter?
We have set up to become the first end-to-end car maintenance service provider with a simple online booking platform, collection and delivery at your doorstep and automotive experts negotiating prices for customers, supported by a world class customer support. Ultimately, we want to create a software that connects garages with customers, suppliers and their workforce.
How difficult was the start and which challenges you had to overcome?
We had a classic Startup experience with Fixter. Building a great team from scratch is particularly demanding. The first 5-10 employees need to be incredible in order to create a good base for the company. The second obvious hurdle was to convince customers and opinion formers to buy into our idea. Our end-to-end offering was quickly validated once we received great reviews and feedback from customers and garages.
I guess you can always expect difficulties when you have an idea that changes the previous market approach. It’s important to establish a great product and a team of employees you can rely on.
During the current COVID-19 crisis, we are faced with unprecedented challenges. At Fixter, we have adapted our way of working drastically. As a CEO, it’s so important to be prepared for any scenario. Business is changing daily and we need to adapt our strategies constantly. Taking care of my team is more important than ever. It’s a challenge to work from home and stay connected. We have integrated daily standups, several online platforms and mental health polls to ensure that nobody is left behind. Of course, it has been tough to adapt our product offerings and find a way to keep our business relevant in times like these, but I think we are working really well as a team, constantly coming up with new ways to meet customer needs. For example, we are offering contact free collection and delivery of customer cars, which resonates particularly well in these times.
Who is your target audience?
Fixter focuses on a multigenerational appeal. People relying on their car, with limited knowledge about maintenance and garages. Fixter appeals to people all ages for different reasons. Whether grandparents need help with their car, busy city professionals or parents with an incredibly busy schedule. We want people to have more time living their life, spending less time worrying about car maintenance.
What is the USP of your startup?
We make car maintenance easy. Customers can simply book high-quality car maintenance online, without even having to leave the house. We send fully insured drivers to pick up their car and drop them back all on the same day. We don’t use confusing car jargons when explaining the work, we keep our customers updated every step of the process, and we let our customers in full control of what work they want to do or not.
Can you describe your typical workday?
I spend a lot of time communicating my vision and empowering the Fixter team. Giving daily direction and guidance in 1:1 conversations is a big part of my daily routine. I look after meetings, but I’m trusting and relying on our staff to carry out my vision. We’re a data driven tech company, so I spend a great deal of time on reviewing our key metrics as well as refining and optimising our service.
Another part of my focus lies on communicating with garages, shadowing our drivers, meeting suppliers and partners and improving the customer experience we offer. I spend a lot of time with each individual team at Fixter, which allows us to work at full capacity on all ends.
Where do you see yourself and your startup Fixter in five years?
In the last couple of years, a lot of work has gone into the consumer side of things and the customer journey. In the next few years, we want to focus on creating a more profitable business for independent garages too. They are currently using a portal to communicate with us, that makes the whole experience easier for them and our customers. We aim for garages to be able to use the best of Fixter on throughout all of their operations and improve efficiency to run their garages. We’re also focusing on securing funding for our international expansion.
What 3 tips would you give to founders?
I would quote Ben Horowitz (The Hard Things about Hard Things): “People, Product and Profit”.
If you want to become an entrepreneur, make sure you hire the right people as you’re going to work hard altogether, build a great product and the profits will come.
It’s tough to build a company but so rewarding when you see the results.
More information you will find here
Thank you Limvirak Chea for the Interview
Statements of the author and the interviewee do not necessarily represent the editors and the publisher opinion again.